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Windows 8 PCs jump straight down to the bargain basement

Dell Latitude 6430u - Windows 8 launch, Pier 57

Photo by Dell’s Official Flickr Page – http://flic.kr/p/doAsyh

Joe Wilcox has been scouting his local Best Buy, and found a distinct lack of excitement over Windows 8 PCs, which are already on sale at bargain prices:

I know people shop for deals during the holidays, but if Windows 8 convertibles, touchscreens and ultrabook had big appeal wouldn’t Best Buy prominently display them? Meanwhile, at my local store, tablets dominate the main front area and boxes of cheap laptops fill the central aisle. C`mon, do you want Santa to bring shiny new laptop or tablet this year? If Windows 8 can’t generate interest in PCs during its first holiday season, what can?

I’m not surprised Windows 8 PCs aren’t inspiring a wave of demand from customers. The product just doesn’t seem to have built the excitement of Windows 7, let alone the blockbuster interest garnered by Windows 95 at its launch.

The big issue facing Microsoft is that Windows 8 isn’t designed to solve any real user needs. Instead, it’s designed to meet Microsoft’s need to head off the iPad as it starts to plunder all the enterprise gold the company has relied on for years. The biggest, and most immediate selling point – the “don’t call it Metro” interface – just looks out of place on any PC which doesn’t have a touch screen.

If you design a product to meet an internal need rather than something that customers want to do, you’re always going to be starting from the wrong point. There are several new features in Windows 8 which actually do meet user needs – for example, syncing your data to the cloud – but they’re mostly the kind of behind-the-scenes “plumbing” features that Apple puts in its odd-numbered updates like Snow Leopard and Mountain Lion.

But overall, I keep looking at Windows 8 and just thinking “Why?” Why would any consumer bother with it?


Comments on this entry are closed.

  • http://twitter.com/allpointsnorth Chris Brennan

    “just looks out of place on any PC which doesn’t have a touch screen.”
    I think the problem on a laptop without a touch screen is that it doesn’t work very well, it looks great. 

  • Miles Hart

    After using Windows 8 for about a month, I started to think of Windows Phone 8 for desktop, rather than the “next Windows 7”.  Since then, its become alot more straight forward.

    I’ll draw a parallel with programming, many very bright developers never got to grips with OOP, they came from the script, top down approach to solution development. Eventually, most of them realised you have to relearn your approach. Then things fall into place.

    I’m not saying Windows 8 is perfect, there are many wtf moments through using Win8, however I’ll boot Win8 over Win7 without a second thought.