I posted a long reply to a win8 thread on UCF that deserved to be posted here as well:

As I have said before, Win8 is gonna fail hard. Why? Because it's designed for the tablet and smartphone world. Android and iOS are already entrenched there; anything else that isn't amazingly better will fail. Win8 cannot be amazingly better. Therefore, it will fail.

It will have a side effect, however. Desktop users will be alienated. Microsoft has already done this 2 times in the past, ME and Vista. They can't afford to do it again. Most of their profits come from their desktop OS market and their office market. Without their mainstay in the OS market, they will be unable to continue as a software company. All of their other products are copies of existing software, and have all suffered staggering losses.

There is another problem with Microsoft. They have poor leadership. Even if Gates was evil, he was still a programmer. He programmed at least 1 piece of commercially successful software (Altair Basic). Balmer, on the other hand, is an MBA. He has not programmed one piece of software in his life. He instituted stack ranking,

Kurt Eichenwald wrote:
Every current and former Microsoft employee I interviewed—every one—cited stack ranking as the most destructive process inside of Microsoft


Quote:
If you were on a team of 10 people, you walked in the first day knowing that, no matter how good everyone was, two people were going to get a great review, seven were going to get mediocre reviews, and one was going to get a terrible review


source

This caused projects at Microsoft to stagnate as they became entwined into an increasingly large bureaucracy that prevented actual work from happening. Projects like Windows Reader (Originally an eBook), Vista, and Zune, where Microsoft had several years on their competition ended up being released years later, stripped of features and far from their original purpose. There is no reason that win9 will be any different from win8.

I believe that in the next 5 years, users will be increasingly motivated to change OSs as Microsoft takes yet another plunge in their profits. There are currently 2 other viable options to windows: OS X and Linux (I refer to the FOSS BSDs in this statement as well, though they are not strictly linux). Although OS X has a large fanboy userbase, I do not see it gaining more than 5-10% over the next 5 years, as its overpriced hardware is not comparable to the many cheaper PC manufacturers' products. However, Linux has the power to take the computer world by the storm in the next 5 years, as its many variations form themselves against a unique subset of the computing world.

Linux has a large commercial userbase already, as many companies have searched for a more economically viable solution to windows in the post-recession world. According to two surveys by W3Tech and Security Space released in August 2011 and 2009, respectively, Linux now runs 63.9% or greater of all servers. According to a 2012 survey of companies with $500 million or more in revenues, almost 80% of them foresee an increase in linux usage in their company in the next 12 months, and 71.8% are planning to add more linux computers in order to support "Big Data."

The big obstacle we now face is widespread desktop adoption of linux. However, this may have already begun. Current articles place linux usage from 8-10% and growing (source source). With the failure of win8 eminent, we may finally see Linus's World Domination Plan put into effect.
IMO: I would have been fine if windows 8 would have used the CE kernel. CE is used more often for embedded devices and works with touch interfaces. The CE OS line should have gotten the love.
From the first link:

Quote:
Just as with e-books, opportunities for major product developments slipped away. Windows CE, an operating system distinct from Windows that was originally used for pocket devices like personal digital assistants, would ultimately be the foundation of the mobile operating system that would power Microsoft’s first smartphones. But despite the fact that Microsoft had the jump on its competitors with Windows CE, it still lost the race for the wildly successful smartphones.

“You look at the Windows Phone and you can’t help but wonder, How did Microsoft squander the lead they had with the Windows CE devices?” said McCahill. “They had a great lead, they were years ahead. And they completely blew it. And they completely blew it because of the bureaucracy.”


Based on what happened with Vista/Longhorn, they just decided to scrap the entire thing and restart.

EDIT: Submitted to slashdot. Hope it gets in.
That kind of supports the theory I've seen described in a Slashdot comment for a Win8 story, and which I agree with: Microsoft may just have some "magical switch" on Windows 8 that disables/sends to background Windows 8-specific features like the new Start menu, bringing back things like the Start menu button on the taskbar and the old Start menu. This way, if they see Win8 starting to be a flop, they may just "press" that "switch" and there it is, the old Win7 interface with the improvements of Windows 8 that are more consensual.
I say Linux, despite how "terrible" Win8 might turn out (I'm looking forward to it, personally), can't gain a huge new user surge with the way the computer market works these days. Buy a laptop, as in, not one made by Apple. It mostly likely isn't pre-loaded with DragonflyBSD -- it's almost certainly loaded with the latest version of Windows. How many people actually switch operating systems, that aren't using their computers as servers or aren't technically adverse? Most don't. It's complicated stuff (well, of course not to you or most of us, but tell most people you're using Fedora, and they'll ask why your Computer would ever need a hat.)

The culture around the general computer user would have to change. Schools would need to switch to use Linux primarily, to indoctrinate their students into Linuxland. Computer retailers would need to ship their products with Linux, not Windows. Offices would need to train their employees to use OpenOffice or similar office program suites instead of Microsoft Office.

I don't see those transformations coming any time soon, or in any large quantities. I see Win8 as being a welcomed addition to people's office and personal computers soon after its introduction.
Ashbad wrote:
I say Linux, despite how "terrible" Win8 might turn out (I'm looking forward to it, personally), can't gain a huge new user surge with the way the computer market works these days. Buy a laptop, as in, not one made by Apple. It mostly likely isn't pre-loaded with DragonflyBSD -- it's almost certainly loaded with the latest version of Windows. How many people actually switch operating systems, that aren't using their computers as servers or aren't technically adverse? Most don't. It's complicated stuff (well, of course not to you or most of us, but tell most people you're using Fedora, and they'll ask why your Computer would ever need a hat.)

The culture around the general computer user would have to change. Schools would need to switch to use Linux primarily, to indoctrinate their students into Linuxland. Computer retailers would need to ship their products with Linux, not Windows. Offices would need to train their employees to use OpenOffice or similar office program suites instead of Microsoft Office.

I don't see those transformations coming any time soon, or in any large quantities. I see Win8 as being a welcomed addition to people's office and personal computers soon after its introduction.


You'd be surprised at how many computers are purchased by foreign consumers that have either linux or no OS. Check out this essay for more info.

@Adoption in office
Who the hell is gonna adopt win8? No one except for misguided corperate Executives.

Please look at the sources I have provided before making a comment. They are highly informative.
Ashbad wrote:
It mostly likely isn't pre-loaded with DragonflyBSD -- it's almost certainly loaded with the latest version of Windows.
Of course it isn't loaded - how in the world will it get preloaded if hardly anyone uses it? Wink

Besides, there are actually a few computers companies (one big, many small) that preload Ubuntu or friends on computers.

Ashbad wrote:
Schools would need to switch to use Linux primarily, to indoctrinate their students into Linuxland.
MIT does that for all of their computers, and I'm pretty sure their students don't mind. Wink I also know of a county library that uses Linux exclusively because they were kind of pissed about Microsoft's licensing fees. These days, it's all about the browser - as long as Chrome and Firefox are available on Linux, the end user couldn't care less.

Ashbad wrote:
Offices would need to train their employees to use OpenOffice or similar office program suites instead of Microsoft Office.
That is a valid point indeed, and it seems that not much momentum exists (yet) to get the more active project, LibreOffice, to revamp its UI.

Ashbad wrote:
I see Win8 as being a welcomed addition to people's office and personal computers soon after its introduction.

Welcomed at first, returned after usage... Wink
Most users are rather inflexible to change. They'll open up Windows 8, say "Wow, cool boot screen and login!" Then they'll login, and then say "Where's my desktop? Where's my start menu? GAHHH I HAVE A VIRUS!!" ...and then we have a return.

Still though, I would personally not call it the year of the Linux desktop, especially because:

1) Not much focus on stability - if I can crash my computer by opening my laptop and pressing a key, there's an issue. (This actually happened to me with the latest Ubuntu, on my netbook. That must be a cool way to cause a kernel panic!)
2) Politics - especially with forks and sillyness. And by "fork" I don't mean "Hey I'll fork the code, work on it a bit, and send the changes back to you to merge", I mean "Hey you suck, I hate you and your project, so I have the right to fork your code!"
3) Not really user friendly - good for you if you have terminal skillz. Not something great for regular users. There are plenty of areas where I see gaps showing the lovely user the terminal. Heck, they'll think it's a virus!
4) Lack of teamwork This kind of goes back to #2. There are so many distributions out there (100+), so how am I to respond when someone asks me, "How do I get Linux?" There are more and more desktop environments - how will I explain that? Variability and diversity is a good thing, but it can also be Linux's demise (at least for mass-market adaptability).
5) Lack of compatible (usage-wise) applications Microsoft Office users are going to HATE LibreOffice/OpenOffice. Even regular, "I just type essays" users aren't exactly fond of its interface. (me)

Nevertheless, Windows 8 will face some issues ahead, and will likely alienate quite a few users out there. At the very least, a percentage of those alienated users will consider Linux, and a percentage of them will overlook those issues above and make Linux their new PC home. Wink

seana11 wrote:
@Adoption in office
Who the hell is gonna adopt win8? No one except for misguided corperate Executives.

Please look at the sources I have provided before making a comment. They are highly informative.
And if they do, they'll back out in a day. Why? Money.

First day of new Windows 8 OS = lots and lots of surprised (and possibly annoyed) workers calling support/IT. More calls = more money, and that is certainly a turnaway. (Not to mention less user productivity.) There are also applications that may not have been prepared for Windows 8 yet, which will also prevent usage in the office.

EDIT: Grammar fix
@Albert: like always, I enjoyed your (long and thorough) response. Smile

Re DragonflyBSD, it was kind of one of those far-fetched examples that I was trying to use to create artificial emphasis on my point -- I realize now it was actually a bit lame, since you are right about Ubuntu growing in ship popularity, and the fact that few have ever touched Dragonfly or most *BSDs (which makes me whimper in sadness.)

As for schools, I'm not surprised at all that MIT went that route, I'd be upset if it weren't the case Razz however, I was fascinated to hear that your public library took that route -- it makes sense, since 90% of library computer usage is spent by visitors searching for books in a web-based catalog. As for the schools I was referring to, I meant more of Elementary, Middle, and High schools. It's at a young age where children learn how to use a computer, and a lot of the learning process is conducted at school, when writing reports or working on computer-based group projects. Were children introduced to Linux and UNIX land at a young age, they would learn how to use a system powered by such operating systems. Only real problem is that they may get used to a Windows-based environment at home and a UNIX one at school, and confuse one for having features in another, leading to a less productive schoolwork experience.

I say that switching to any new OS is going to cost just as much money as the next OS; I'd even suspect making a change to *nix from windows will cost magnitudes more than an inter-Windows version upgrade. Employees will be used to working in a Windows environment, so even if there are some significant changes between the UI and internals of Win7 and Win8, most things will remain the same. Bring in a new flavor of OS entirely, and you'll definitely need to setup a huge set of training sessions for workers to learn their way around the totally new OS. Then again, if the switch is made to something FOSS in the UNIX scenario, the costs of Win8 licenses and software upgrades may even up the playing field costs-wise. Of course, I'm not one to make such calculations, as all of this would vary on company size, employee skills, and whatever the costs are for all of the software licenses, so I can only make somewhat vague educated guesses in this respect.

@Seana, interesting read, thanks for it. My guess was always that Linux dominated ~5% of the overall desktop market (as opposed to 1% or 8%), but I had no idea so many laptops shipped with non-OSX *nix. I still can't quite believe that this number would rise significantly, but I'm also not sure how volatile the reactions of a Win8 release would be; I guess we'll see how your prediction plays out over time Smile
AHelper wrote:
IMO: I would have been fine if windows 8 would have used the CE kernel. CE is used more often for embedded devices and works with touch interfaces. The CE OS line should have gotten the love.


Uh, why? CE is useless these days - Microsoft is killing it, and rightly so.
In all likelihood, Microsoft is betting that MetroUI Phones and the Surface Tablet will break users into Windows 8. However, the release of Windows 8 into the desktop market is probably ill-timed. If W8 was made available months after Surface was, then it'd be a much better scenario for Windows. But with the imminent fail of W8 a majority of users will downgrade, a significant minority will jump to Linux because they'll be able to recycle their existing workstation rather than buy all new hardware to run OS X and the others will stick with W8.

At least, this is my prediction.
Also, epic hilarity w.r.t. to secure boot on x86 PCs: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/secure-boot/
elfprince13 wrote:
Also, epic hilarity w.r.t. to secure boot on x86 PCs: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/08/secure-boot/


Smooth, Microsoft.
alberthrocks wrote:

Besides, there are actually a few computers companies (one big, many small) that preload Ubuntu or friends on computers.

Not to mention chromebooks. I think those will be the really benifit from Windows 8's losses. Google has plenty of money, time, and developers. On top of this, Google has publicity. Everyone knows what Google is, and what's more, they love it. It's the rare person who doesn't use Google as their primary search engine. Why then should it not be their primary OS?

Please note that I am not talking about businesses and schools here, who may need a more powerful OS. I am talking about the average, technologically-challenged person who just wants to do email, internet, Facebook, Twitter, and maybe Skype.

alberthrocks wrote:
I also know of a county library that uses Linux exclusively because they were kind of pissed about Microsoft's licensing fees. These days, it's all about the browser - as long as Chrome and Firefox are available on Linux, the end user couldn't care less.


My library system does the same, so its really not far-fetched to think of linux getting into schools.

alberthrocks wrote:

Ashbad wrote:
Offices would need to train their employees to use OpenOffice or similar office program suites instead of Microsoft Office.
That is a valid point indeed, and it seems that not much momentum exists (yet) to get the more active project, LibreOffice, to revamp its UI.


I think that as the Open-source userbase increases, OpenOffice and LibreOffice will probably update their UI.


alberthrocks wrote:

1) Not much focus on stability - if I can crash my computer by opening my laptop and pressing a key, there's an issue. (This actually happened to me with the latest Ubuntu, on my netbook. That must be a cool way to cause a kernel panic!)


Happened to a friend I have on Fedora. XP seems rock-solid to me compared with the Linux distros I have tried. However, I would never go back to XP because of other issues.


alberthrocks wrote:

3) Not really user friendly - good for you if you have terminal skillz. Not something great for regular users. There are plenty of areas where I see gaps showing the lovely user the terminal. Heck, they'll think it's a virus!

Ubuntu seems to have done a great job on user-friendliness. I know, everyone hates unity (I don't), but I have to say, for your typical Grandma/Mom, this is the most user-friendly UI I have seen.

I am saying this from experience. My Mom, my Aunt, and my Grandma all have Ubuntu now (I installed it), and they love it. All three of them hated computers before, got frustrated with windows, and called me to speed up their computers. Ubuntu got them more. It got them to be able to use their computer without frustration as well. I have not heard complaints from any of them on the Unity UI. On the contrary, they all rave about how easy it is to use, as well as how "pretty" it is (I think we all have a secret love of Mac's UI).


alberthrocks wrote:

5) Lack of compatible (usage-wise) applications Microsoft Office users are going to HATE LibreOffice/OpenOffice. Even regular, "I just type essays" users aren't exactly fond of its interface. (me)


Try getting someone who has always used MS Office 2003. They don't notice the difference.
alberthrocks wrote:
1) Not much focus on stability - if I can crash my computer by opening my laptop and pressing a key, there's an issue. (This actually happened to me with the latest Ubuntu, on my netbook. That must be a cool way to cause a kernel panic!)
2) Politics - especially with forks and sillyness. And by "fork" I don't mean "Hey I'll fork the code, work on it a bit, and send the changes back to you to merge", I mean "Hey you suck, I hate you and your project, so I have the right to fork your code!"
3) Not really user friendly - good for you if you have terminal skillz. Not something great for regular users. There are plenty of areas where I see gaps showing the lovely user the terminal. Heck, they'll think it's a virus!
4) Lack of teamwork This kind of goes back to #2. There are so many distributions out there (100+), so how am I to respond when someone asks me, "How do I get Linux?" There are more and more desktop environments - how will I explain that? Variability and diversity is a good thing, but it can also be Linux's demise (at least for mass-market adaptability).
5) Lack of compatible (usage-wise) applications Microsoft Office users are going to HATE LibreOffice/OpenOffice. Even regular, "I just type essays" users aren't exactly fond of its interface. (me)


1. Debian. Rock solid distro.

2. Lets look at some of the major forks of the past 5 years. LibreOffice was forked off of OpenOffice, Xonotic was forked off of Nexuiz, and Magia was foked off of Mandriva. Nothing else. Five years, and only 3 forks that anyone cares about. Why is this? Because it's taboo to fork something. There may be hate in a project, but people don't fork without a very good reason.

3. That argument would have worked in 1999. Not anymore. There is a melange of user-friendly distros that have matured. Software installation has gotten much better, and more things "just work." You don't have to dig in etc if you want to change stuff any more. Linux is very friendly towards users.

4. I would attribute this not to a lack of teamwork, but to the lack of an official distro--not to say that that's better. The way it is set up currently, there is the perfect distro for every user. Some are more hacky than others; some are more bleeding-edge than others. It's much better than only having one option, like Windows or OS X.

5. I like the lack of ribbons. (On a different note) Writer is superior to Word. However, the whole suite needs to be upgraded especially in the calc, base, and clip art sections, all of which pale in comparison to MS Office.
seana11 wrote:

1. Debian. Rock solid distro.


I should try it out some time...
If you want to refer to the Non-mac other OSes, simply go for *nix. It includes Linux, FreeBSD, and all variants thereof, as well as minix and other unix-style operating systems. It really only leaves out specialized OSes like RiscOS, in the rare case where they're not Unix-based.

Even disregarding taboos, forking has many disadvantages, but there are good reasons to do so.

Cons:
You lose the support of anyone previously working on the code.
You have to manage the project
You have to differentiate yourself

Pros:
You can disregard philosophies, short of violating licenses. (ie debian's Free software strictness vs Ubuntu's more relaxed view)
You can take the project in new directions without resistance
You can call it your own (with due credit to the original, of course)

Forking generally isn't because of internal strife, but out of necessity. The ones where some guy doesn't get along with some other guy are such insignificant projects relative to an Operating System that they go relatively unnoticed.

I'm an Arch man myself. Gotta love the updates, and as of yet it has actually been my most stable system, simply because of the lack of strange OS-specific configurations. (Ubuntu >Sad )

I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart, though. Installing it is...an adventure, on good days.
willrandship wrote:

...
I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart, though. Installing it is...an adventure, on good days.


That's why I haven't installed it yet. Maybe someday when i have a lot of time and when there is someone on IRC to walk me through it I will. Smile
flyingfisch wrote:
willrandship wrote:

...
I wouldn't recommend it to the faint of heart, though. Installing it is...an adventure, on good days.


That's why I haven't installed it yet. Maybe someday when i have a lot of time and when there is someone on IRC to walk me through it I will. :)


There is always someone on irc who will help you. Juts hop on freenode to the distro of your choice's channel, and you will be courteously escorted through the whole process.
I don't see why people will feel the need to change OS's at all if Win8 is the failure its expected to be. Why not just continue to use the OS they're already using, which works fine? A lot of my school's computers still use Windows XP. They've had no need to upgrade since XP does everything they need it to. Only the teacher machines and some of the High School's classroom stations use Windows 7, and only because they're relatively new purchases. I suspect those using Windows 7 will simply stick with it until MS either fixes win 8 or releases a better OS(similar to how a number of XP users stuck with that until win7 came out).

This discussion does have me considering installing a linux distro on my secondary partition instead of winXP. Are there any you guys would recommend for running older windows programs(like the numerous '00 Star Trek games and quake III clones I have trouble running right now)?
DShiz you're right, most people using windows don't bother to upgrade the machine, but the main problem is that those same people like to buy new computers fairly often (every 3-7 years, minimum) and then they will be forced to use win8.

If you're trying to run windows programs I'd recommend windows Razz Wine is nice and all, but no compatibility layer will handle all the little quirks perfectly.
  
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