Microsoft officially took the wraps off Windows 8 in October 2012, promising to offer a complete Windows experience across multiple devices, be they tablets, desktops computers, laptops, and smartphones.
Introduced with much fanfare, Windows 8 has actually failed to excite, especially due to the changes it brought to the visual interface and which made the operating system rather confusing for beginners who expected to get the same familiar look as in Windows 7.
While getting used to Windows 8 shouldn’t take too much time, some failed to adapt, which led to infinite waves of criticism that are still falling over the Redmond campus and Steve Ballmer.
Windows 8’s early uptake was fairly disappointing, PC sales remained low as well, Microsoft refused to provide any sales figures and the Winpocalypse begun. Many people in the IT industry – including not only users, but also analysts, experts, executives of other companies, and even partners – criticized the software giant for the way it designed Windows 8.
With Windows 8.1 already on the market and another large update in the pipeline, but also with Windows 9 plans currently under consideration, Microsoft can finally take a breath of fresh air and relax, as only a few people are actually criticizing Windows 8 today, more than one year after launch.
As a recap, we’ve selected ten of the anti-Windows 8 comments released by important figures in the IT industry, some of which have then worked together with Microsoft to improve the operating system. Keep in mind that most of these comments came just after Windows 8’s launch, so their opinions might be different now that Windows 8.1 is already up for grabs.
“In 2006 we compared Microsoft to A-Rod, which was a compliment at the time. In 2013, the comparison is still apt, but it is no longer a compliment. Windows 8 appears to be a flop, and a decade of mismanagement has put Microsoft at risk of becoming a shrinking company.” – Hedge fund manager David Einhorn.
“The initial launch of Windows 8 obviously has to be considered one of the more colossal [mess] ups in the company's history, but I do think they've done a pretty good job in redressing that. Going back to Start menu and making the tile interface an option on the task bar is probably what the company should have done in the first place.” – Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.
“The thing about Windows 8 wasn’t just [Microsoft's] distribution. As somebody who participates in the overall PC ecosystem, it’s totally great when faster wireless networks and standards come out, or when graphics get faster. Windows 8 was like this giant sadness. It just hurts everybody in the PC business.” – Valve’s CEO Gabe Newell.
“We frankly believe [Microsoft's] strategy of forcing user interface changes that nobody wants has proven to be a disaster.” – Sterne Agee analyst Shaw Wu.
“The global PC industry is steadily shrinking despite the launch of Windows 8. I think the Windows 8 system is no better than the previous Windows Vista platform.” – Jun Dong-soo, president of Samsung’s memory chip division.
“A Christmas gift for someone your hate. Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone…. you will have no idea how to use Windows 8.” – Philip Greenspun, Internet entrepreneur and MIT professor.
“According to my information and support request stats, I know that no one uses them on desktop PCs and laptops. The reason is quite simple. Has anybody tried holding a modern ultra book and surfing the web? It’s just heavy.” – Dennis Nazarenko, the developer behind Start Menu X.
"Two days ago, I told Microsoft what we think: there is a sort of disappointment. Windows 8, as it is today, doesn't fit with obvious behaviours. It's not intuitive enough. Intuition is not sufficient. Microsoft will propose new releases and it'll get better but the first reaction is it's absolutely not comparable with iOS – there is a huge gap.” – Jean-Christophe Lalanne, the CIO of Air France and Group CIO of Air France-KLM.
”I think one of the challenges is, there was a lot of confusion with Windows 8, my personal view is that they (Microsoft) confused the market with a couple of different flavours.” – Mark Whittard, managing director of Toshiba Australia.
“You fire up Windows 7 and can quickly find your way around it. Do the same with Windows 8 and you spend two days wrestling with it in order to understand it,” the reseller said. “It's a disastrous product and is a really good excuse to get rid of customers.” – Microsoft reseller in the UK.