Windows 8- The Winter of Discontent
I remember when Apple first announced they would no longer provide a built-in floppy disk drive for any of their new machines, a great cry went up from the user base. “How can we live without our floppy?”
Apple had realized that the medium was going the way of the dinosaur, and simply could not hold the large amounts of data that were going to be required in the near future. They were right, and their decision proved justified.
Now Microsoft envisions the future of computers to have the form-factor of touch screen tablets and smart phones. To get a jump on the Industry, they've released Windows 8. There will be an initial “transition period” of frustration, but they hope that sometime down the road their decision will also prove to be justified.
Each month since the introduction of Windows 8, our PACS Windows SIG leader has spent a good deal of his time trying to defend Windows 8 from a barrage of questions and complaints launched by frustrated early adopters of the OS. Critics can also be found on YouTube and other Internet sources.
See: Windows 8: The Animated Evaluation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTYet-qf1jo
I've been following another interesting and funny series of videos about a guy who introduces a number of operating systems to his non-technical, but intelligent Mum(Mom). See Mum Tries out Windows 8 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ujmDrcKWo8
My main concern is not focused on individual private users, but to ask, “What will Enterprise do?” The end of Microsoft Windows XP Support will occur on Tuesday, 8 April 2014. So far, every supermarket, every hospital, and every bank I enter is still using Windows XP Professional. Enterprise tends to be very conservative and parochial. Will they accept Windows 8 as the next step up? They don't buy or lease their computers from Staples or Walmart, buying just what's on the shelves, or what's “on sale” that week. They go to an O.E.M. like Dell to customize and tailor the computers to their needs. When the ill-fated “VISTA” started appearing on new computers, there was a rush to “downgrade” back to XP, and Dell offered this choice to users. Currently, Dell is doing something similar for Windows 7 and Windows 8. What will Industry do in this “pinch”?
In the meantime, the new Linux Ubuntu and Mint distributions are really good, really complete, and are free. Will Industry be brave enough, and frustrated enough to embrace an alternative to Windows?