Microsoft CEO on Windows 8: Whoops

Windows 8

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella just admitted what many people are thinking: Windows 8 is a mess.

“Let’s face it, we got some things wrong in Windows 8,” Nadella told the audience during the annual Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, according to Business Insider. But he tempered that assessment by saying he felt “very good” about the progress on Windows 10, which he framed as an “upgrade” from Windows 7.

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Windows 7 was the last major hit in the Windows franchise. When Microsoft released Windows 8 in 2012, it hoped the radical changes it made to the operating system would resonate with users across the tech spectrum. Whereas Windows 7 had polished and expanded upon the desktop interface so familiar to millions of PC owners, Windows 8 opted to dump its users onto a Start screen composed of colorful tiles linked to applications; anyone who wanted the desktop needed to click or tap on one of those tiles.

Microsoft’s reasoning for the Start screen seemed logical at the time: Touch-friendly tiles would allow Windows 8 to operate on tablets and mobile devices in addition to “traditional” PCs, opening up the Windows franchise to more effectively compete against Apple’s iPad and a growing number of Google Android tablets. Except things didn’t work out quite as the company hoped: More than two years after its release, Windows 8’s market-share lags well behind that of Windows 7 and even the antiquated Windows XP.

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Windows 10 (Microsoft decided to skip Windows 9, as if to get as far away from Windows 8 as possible) re-emphasizes the desktop. That pesky Start screen only appears if the user requests it, or if Windows 10 is running on a tablet or small device; Microsoft wants the operating system, due at some point next year, to scale from smartphones to massive desktops, unifying “Windows” across the whole device ecosystem.

At this point, in other words, it seems as if Microsoft would like everybody to forget about the little snafu that was Windows 8.

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Image: Microsoft

6 Responses to “Microsoft CEO on Windows 8: Whoops”

  1. Glad they finally admit the mistake but it should never have happened in the first place. They were in complete denial for a long time about how bad the mixed mode 8 interface was spouting inane statistics like less than. 01% of people use the start menu while ignoring IT Pros and industry analysts comments to to the contrary.  

  2. Dawn Syndrome

    Windows 8 is fine. Though for the first time in over *gasp* 30 years of using Windows I had to resort to YouTube to figure out how to send an email. Wait…was that what you were talking about?

  3. In early 2013, I needed a new laptop. Of course, it came with Windows 8, which I upgraded to Windows 8 Pro. I knew about the Metro interface and the lack of a Start menu on the Desktop – where 95% of the users go, anyway.

    After about 3 hours of frustration, I did a web search for a Start Menu replacement. This is not intended to be an advertisement, but Start8 replaced the Start Menu and it was only $5. I bought it. Best thing I ever did for Windows 8.

    Initially, I booted the system and had to click on the “Desktop” tab on the Metro screen. Then, Microsoft (MS) had enough “heart” to release that horrid update vs. 8.1. At least it allowed you to boot directly to the Desktop. What a nightmare to install – 8.1. It took a whole day, to do it. The automatic install bombed, so I had to research TechNet to find out what 8.1 included & then install them one at a time. I finally got it all installed & up and running. To add insult to injury, the 8.1 installation “broke” every link from the Metro screen. I didn’t really care, but I did fix it.

    The point is – will MS ever really listen to the User Community and provide an OS that does what they (the users) want and incorporates the updates required for technology? We can only hope. Windows 7 was “Vista fixed”… oops, there’s another screw-up. However, Windows 7 worked and did it well. MS had listened and it was/is a ton more stable than XP.

    The jury is out and deliberating on Windows 10. Will MS get it right out of the gate? I’m not holding my breath!

  4. I’m pretty confident that Windows 10 is going to be another success just like Windows 7. The most hated thing in Windows 8 was the modern UI and also the absence of start menu. I really appreciate Microsoft on embedding universal apps in the start menu and also pulling start menu back in Windows 10. Shortly, MS is going to do a great business in 2015 and 2016.

  5. Mayan Corioso

    I am a long time Samsung user. I am so mad that I wasted my money on. Windows 8. My hatred for the awful, awful software is beyond words. I hate it so much I will never use a Windows product again. I may actually convert to Apple. I never thought I would say that but I think Microsoft should be embarrassed about windows 8. It is an absolute mess. Thank you for letting me rant.

  6. Samdi Tailleur

    I’m an ordinary computer user, a housebound older lady who uses her computer to learn and explore and play everyday. I loved xp but my new computer came with 8 and while I did get use to it, I never really liked it. I was thrilled when Microsoft announced it was going to make the new 10 easier and familiar for those of us who loved xp. And after all the bs I went through learning to use 8, I thought it was very gracious of Microsoft to offer everyone the chance to upgrade to the new system…only it’s not so????
    How many people bought new computers, found the 8 unusable and took it off their computers and replaced it with an older system that they liked and knew how to work with??? I came very close to doing that myself only I didn’t know how to do it….so I had to learn to live with the crappy system that was 8. But not everyone is as computer limited as I am, I’ve been told time and again ‘I went back to xp’.
    Microsoft, you messed up majorly with 8, your idea of ‘we’re only going to give you a new working system IF…’ is NOT a good one and will cost you big time in good will as people move to a system that does not expect Them to pay so that You can fix Your lousy operating system. I was told that Microsoft became the most popular system because it was given away free when it first came out, give your ‘fixer’…Windows 10, away free to everyone (for a limited time if you have to) and people will remember and know that Microsoft cares enough that they fix their mistakes and Not at our expense. Just a thought…..