1st of all, Windows OSs are on a 3 year life-cycle. XP hung around much longer than it was supposed to or should have. Vista was sluggish and 3rd party vendors were not ready w/ drivers or compatible software or hardware when it was released. So less than 3 years later Windows 7 arrived. Windows 8 was released on schedule exactly 3 years after 7. Windows 9 will be released 3 years after Windows 8.
Desktop operating systems
Latest service pack
End of mainstream support
End of extended support
Service Pack 3
April 14, 2009
April 8, 2014
Service Pack 2
April 10, 2012
April 11, 2017
Windows 7 *
Service Pack 1
January 13, 2015
January 14, 2020
Not yet available
January 9, 2018
January 10, 2023
We early adopters of Windows 8 have listen to the rhetoric regarding the Win8 interface for many months. It was never deserving & still, isn't. There are decent tutorials for Windows 8 both in the OS itself, on the Net, @ Microsoft.com & in forums such as this one. As David mentioned, I have been telling people for all these any months one can easily use Win8 w/out leaving Desktop or bothering w/ Tiles or the unfamiliar style of display found on the ALL Applications screen. That fact is many people, actually like the APPs, Tiles and how all that can be use or even be of benefit to their computing needs, tasks and daily work or jobs. Most of the whining is either from a lack of willingness to go w/ something new & different. I, like many others, had no problem discovering Win8 & the 'adventure' was interesting & fun. There are so many positive attributes to Win8 that huge time over cosmetics really misses the boat. There are many cool enhancements w/ 8.1. There Win icon permanently on the Taskbar just means one can hit that instead of the Windows key. And yes one can set it to boot directly to Desktop... saves hitting ENTER on those rare times one needs to boot. And it can now be set to go to ALL Applications instead of Start. And, yet, I, still, use an Applications window on the Taskbar, never leave Desktop, never see Start or ALL Applications. Hard to validate making a fuss about something one can chose to not even use. Aside from that aspect Windows 8 is fast, smooth, and, truth, easy to use... takes less digging and steps than Windows 7 did for similar tasks.
No wait no its not, you have to open the charms bar then hit the power button and then hit the power button.
Windows 7 shutting down the computer is a one step process.
Granted here in linux we too have a three step process of shut down, most of it is opening up a menu of some kind then hitting the power down option and then the system asking if you want to shut down.
But at least in linux there is a viable reason, what if you forgot to save your document or something and all that is lost because you forgot to save before shutting down.
If an OS is going to add an extra step it has to give good reasons for it, windows 8 lacks such a reason, it dfoes it because it can.
We don't hear nearly as much complaining about this stuff anymore as time as passed. I have sold Windows 8 & Windows 8 machines to a number of clients. ALL like it a lot & w/ a couple of tips & a couple minutes of 'how tos' they have had no problem working w/ it.
You certainly wont get that nonsense from those idiots at best buy or something.
I must be blind cus I don't see problems w/ Windows but, anyone can see problems IF they want to & IF they want to consider something a problem. Attitude & perception.
Nor is it right to try to imply Microsoft to be so sort of bad guy in regard to mobility. Nor to suggest Win8 is crap on a regular PC or laptop. IT works just as well, just as nicely on a standard, non-Touch machine, as anything else. One of the major accomplished design goals of 8 was to function across various devices. As for mobility, that is not s Microsoft thing... that is a matter of our changing world. PEOPLE want or need mobility. From teens to adults that is the way things have gone & are going. Regarding business, that is (now) the way or things & that is only going to intensify. The workforce is changing, fewer stationary desk scenarios & more & more workers ARE mobile. Ergo manufacturers are responding to this.
I would expect that kind of behavior in linux as it too is an ever evolving platform, but heres the thing, I actually understand why things are the way they are in linux.
It doesnt support my x device?
That is not linuxes fault
It cant install my x program?
That is not linuxes fault
That part all goes down to people willing to develop for it.
True we in linux have had our share of UI changes, the most extreme is Gnome shell, something I would never have a windows user experience without proper guidance.
Ubuntu on the other hand with its unity interface?
Different story, sure some things are different but no OS is exactl;y like windows except windows.
The problem then comes when windows doesnt behave like windows which 8 is doing.
Its one thing to adapt to a new market but make sure when you do that you dont alienate your old customers.
It seems like Microsoft learned nothing from Vista, or ME.
When you push something that is unready you do more harm then good.
And yes I am saying windows 8 is unready, its for a market that is still emerging and you must balance it out.
Once again this is where i think Ubuntu is actually better, but like i mentioned in one of my posts i will make my assertions of where I feel Ubuntu shines where windows doesnt.
Most of the assets of Windows 8 are under the covers. Most of the assets of 8.1 are under the covers. One cool superficial thing is adding Shutdown options to the Power Users menu ( for the rare times shutdown or reboot is necessary saves going to Charms) and Search is improved. There are, also, a lot of things in 8.1 business will like, same as a lot of Windows 8 focused on & catered to business. Win8 is more streamlined & simplistic than 7 was. But, comparing it to XP is just ridiculous. XP's time has passed. Or did a while ago. Welcome to today & the future of computing.
Sure Windows 8.1 is an improvement but not by much.
There are a lot of things that I think can be done to make Windows 8 usable for all users
Sorry, but, some of us grow weary of this sorts of discussions cus they are just not deserving. Complain that the river flows a certain direction, swim against the current but, it will, still, flow & in the same direction. Trying to bash the river or blame its source won't matter. Computing will, still, continue along its course.
What a load a bull