It’s not really a surprise to me that people want to see Microsoft with a huge wad of egg on its face for merely suggesting that Windows 8 should exist. Microsoft is the old guard now; aside from Xbox, their products feel outmoded. Their late Zune and their current Bing exempify how their ‘second to bat, first to lead’ charge isn’t working so well anymore. But let’s not fall for the rhetoric: Windows 8 is doing pretty well, far from being the perceived disaster of Windows Vista.
As Microsoft reported a few days ago, Windows 8 has sold 100 million licenses in six months, no doubt helped by their early upgrade discount, which puts it in line with how well its better-received predecessor, Windows 7, did in the same time frame. As I’ve described on our PRO SHOs before, Windows 8 is like having a smaller OS bolted on top of the old Windows. I like that smaller OS, the true “Win8”, which will no doubt be the template for all versions of Windows going forward over the Windows 95-derived desktop we’ve all known and loved for nearly twenty years.
It’s ironic that the reasons why I enjoyed Windows 8’s “metro” apps in my review of the OS went out the window once I went to a multi-monitor setup. While Microsoft boasts that Windows 8 has 60,000 apps, versus 5,000 when it debuted, multi-tasking is still not anywhere near as elegant in its Win8 view. On top of that, flipping between the Win8 OS and the desktop OS is still just as jarring as ever.
Microsoft has a lot of opportunities as it struggles to make a consumer-ready, tablet-friendly OS that satiates the needs of legacy apps, but amongst the many things people have called Windows 8, it isn’t a failure.