The price hike seems insane, in a PC market that is showing signs of saturation. And if Win8 is attractive to notebook users who want touchscreens, that doesn't need to hold also for other PCs. For example, I have no desire for touchscreens in any of my PCs. So I'm far from jumping at the possibility of "upgrading" to Win8.
Kind of makes you wonder about the Microsoft exec who was pushing Win8, and bailed at the same time as his pet project was launched?
And again, I will suggest that having launched the WinRT version of the Surface tablet first was probably a mistake. A Surface tablet that behaves like a super-sleek notebook is more interesting than one that's just a little bit better of a tablet. I would have bought the x86 version of the Surface. I ain't going for the dumbed down model, though.
It kind of seems like the shift in consumer preferences has caught the PC industry, Microsoft included, off guard. Spending millions to develop a new OS, hike up the price and consumer and businesses will flock to it, right? Maybe not anymore.
Guys, make some sense! It is really price hike. There are more hardware in a Win8 notebook with touch screen than a Win7 notebook. Nothing comes for free, at least not without some forms of subsidy. With increased BOM cost, the selling price has to go up.
Like the time when netbook was first introduced, consumers realized that they don't have to buy a notebook PC of typical size (brick size and weight at the time, how stupid PC OEMs are to fool consumers when they had the ability to make much thinner and lighter notebook at similar price point) in order to have the good experience on web surfing, watching movies, listening to music etc. Today, many consumers' need can be served very well by the $199 Kindle HD alike (though most consumers chose to be ripped off by Apple), hence the inevitable drop in notbook PC sales. For those consumers who would rather have a single computing device to serve both causal and serious computing needs, Win8 Tablet is probably the best compromise. In contrast, the iPads and the Android tablets offer limited functions because of the limited on-board DRAM! Given the evolving CPU architecture, these tablets could one day be able to run serious application software like OrCAD, Photoshop CS, .... For now and the next two years at least, Win8 Tablet is still the best computing devices that is extremely portable, powerful, and offers over 8hr computing per day.
I used the Windows 8 pre release version off and on for several months now. I having it stalled in a virtual machine so I didn't have to destroy my machine to try it out.
I really don't understand it at all. They took some features that were designed around tablets and shoe horned them into an environment where they really don't belong.
I don't think they've really taken any Windows 7 functionality away - the start menu is gone but you can more or less get the same functionality with the search. They haven't taken the capability away. They've just made it more difficult to find and use.
An important question for a lot of people (since this is the EE Times) would be ... how well do engineering apps run, if they have been installed on a Windows 8 machine?
A lot of EDA tools are still being run on XP machines. A few people have finally made the move to Windows 7.
There are so many industry commentators focused on categorizing machines. It does not matter if a machine is called a laptop, a tablet, or a hybrid. Each category contains systems with different feature sets and price points. What is ultimately important is how much utility and fun the buyer derives from his machine.
Apple gave Microsoft a licnese to its user interface IP on the condition it did not implement anything remotely similar to Apple user interfaces. The result: Metro.
Personally I have an aversion to learning this new in-yer-face interface.
I for one would be surprised if Windows 8 doesn't actually HURT PC sales. I went to a store to try it out, and boy, what a confusing and non-intuitive mess it is! It may make (more) sense on a small tablet, but using it on a big screen is genuinely awful.
There is just no sense in making a system that shows very little information, full-screen on a big screen, with big fonts, lots of whitespace... but has the controls to actually do something hide OFF-screen. What a horrendous idea. It also seems to be designed to force maximum mouse movement: to this corner, then to that corner, close an app by grabbing the top of the screen and dragging all the way to the bottom, etc.
And then there is the whole non-integration of the two disparate systems (desktop and "metro"), each with their own list of tasks, but not sharing, so the user needs to go hunt for them in two places...
Maybe a person can get used to it and find ways around there issues, but you can't really call it an improvement in usability, whichever way you spin it. In trying to make one shoe that fits everyone, Microsoft has managed to make one that fits everyone badly. The whole thing makes a very bad first impression. And no, that's not just because it is different. I personally like different and unusual user interfaces, like GNOME 3 on Linux for example. Their attempt to provide a system that works for touch and desktop use alike seems much more sane.
Time will tell for the new Windows products. PC sales are determined by a lot of factors. Key being its usefulness for your work applications. As long as a PC lets people do the normal day to day tasks, then PC's have a very useful life. Tablets will not change that need, only fail to satisfy it.
The Surface is an interesting attempt to bridge both worlds, but the jury is still out as to whether it will meet either requirements.
We need to get past the absurd notion of instant success. Everyone changes or tries new things at different rates. Easy to use is another word for "can't do anything useful" and hard to use means it has more power than you can understand with a quick look.
Just my opinion.
In my case, Win8 DID result in a new PC sale...only NOT one running Win8! My wife's XP Celeron machine had run out of adequate poop some time back, and was getting "constipated" at least once a day. I picked up a refurb HP Win7 Home Premium machine for less than $200, with 1TB HD, multicore CPU, 4GB RAM, etc. My only beef with it is Mr. Softy killed the ability to use a network drive for backup.