Is Windows 8 a ‘Catastrophe’ for Everyone?

by Jason Clement for Daves Computer Tips

Is Windows 8 a ‘Catastrophe’ for Everyone?

Windows 8 a new beginning…

By now you are probably aware that Microsoft has released Windows 8, the latest version of the ubiquitous Windows family of Operating Systems. Windows 8 boasts many cool new features, including the ability to be loaded across a new range of hardware including tablets, and featuring touch-screen capabilities. I believe no one can deny the ‘coolness’ of the newest Windows family member. But were you aware that not everything is sunshine and roses behind the scenes?
I’m not going to fool you. This article will be a little long. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And in the end, you will understand what the fuss is all about.

A Developing Row

Enter Gabe Newell, (pictured above left) co-founder of Valve (developers of the digital distribution platform Steam), and former developer of Windows itself at Microsoft. On July 24th, at an annual videogame conference in Seattle, Gabe Newell had this to say about Windows 8 in a discussion about developing games for the Linux operating system:

“I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space.”

Wait. What? Why would he say that? It was even re-iterated in Forbes.
This was quickly echoed by other developers. Blizzard Entertainment’s Executive Vice President of Game Design for Diablo III, Rob Pardo, tweeted the following:

Rob Pardo @Rob_Pardo
nice interview with Gabe Newell – “I think Windows 8 is a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space* – not awesome for Blizzard either

While Blizzard Entertainment has since confirmed there will be a release of the Blizzard products onto the Windows 8 platform, the developers blasting of Windows 8 still continues, and some developers are even refusing to have their applications certified by Microsoft.
Since then, more software developers have been more or less echoing this sentiment. Even Minecraft creator Markus Persson got in on the action when he tweeted the following:

Markus Persson @notch
Got an email from microsoft, wanting to help “certify” minecraft for win 8. I told them to stop trying to ruin the pc as an open platform.

Markus Persson @notch
I’d rather have minecraft not run on win 8 at all than to play along. Maybe we can convince a few people not to switch to win 8 that way..

What’s all the clamor about?

The launch of Windows 8 comes with the launch of the Microsoft Windows Store and integration with X-Box Music service. Microsoft is following the example of Apple’s success with the Apple App Store; and raising the bar by making a Microsoft Windows Store accessible across all its platforms, including X-Box, Windows Phone, Windows Desktops. So you can order your X-Box game on your phone, start up the X-Box, and it’s already there. You can order that new music on your X-Box, and it’s already on your computer or tablet or phone. Pretty cool, right?

There is nothing immoral or illegal about this activity. In fact, Microsoft is considerably justified in pursuing a strategy which has been so successful for Apple. But this new strategy pushes further into our electronic world and puts the squeeze not just on the consumer, but also on both equipment manufacturers and software developers. All applications sold through the Windows Store will give Microsoft the same 30% cut that Apple derives from apps sold on the App Store. Apple is following suit by extending its App Store onto their desktops.

When software developers are developing for one of the 3 primary platforms (Windows, Apple OS, Linux), they rely on the developer of the operating system to put out a Software Development Kit (SDK). The new Windows 8 Software Development Kit provides coding that is streamlined for using the Windows Store to market applications. Again, not surprising.

Apple has been very successful in controlling what apps are available in the Apple Store. If you want your App listed, then play by Apple’s rules when it comes to the content of the App, and give them 30% off the top. Apple has always been a closed source, proprietary system. They control the hardware AND the software. The benefits to a closed system is that the software works. Users of Apple products generally experience fewer errors and less downtime. With that comes less third-party innovation. Most of the major breakthroughs on the Apple platform have been developed solely, or in conjunction with Apple themselves.

Microsoft, on the other hand, took an open platform approach. Granted, Windows itself has always been closed. But development of software for the platform was left open, and drivers for the hardware was also open, allowing third party developers of both hardware and software to innovate to the sky, with only the limitations of the Windows platform itself. In addition, anything you developed for the Windows platform was your own. The profits…were your own. Allowing an open development platform had its drawbacks, and poorly coded applications and drivers resulted in errors. This is where the free market takes hold, and those companies who consistently wrote poorly coded software were *generally* driven out of business, and those who coded well were able to compete in the global software marketplace. Well…so long as you weren’t coding some kind of software which directly competed with Microsoft products (more on that later, as well).

Now, if you want your App or Application listed in the Microsoft Windows Store, similar rules to the Apple paradigm apply. This gives Microsoft unprecedented control of not just of Apps, designed primarily for Windows phones and tablets, but also of Applications and Games. The birth of the Microsoft Windows Store is a means for Microsoft to tighten the reigns on software developers, as well as skimming profits off the top. Anything Microsoft doesn’t agree with can be removed from the Microsoft Windows Store. The benefits to this are the same as the benefits with Apple, in that tighter control will generally mean better working applications. The problem with closing the platform is that it stifles innovation and competition.

With the launch of the Microsoft Windows Store, Microsoft has taken the first step in tightening the reins. In truth, there is not a lot wrong here…yet. Software developers can opt not to use the Microsoft Windows Store, and instead continue pursuing their own software distribution methods. The fear is that the second step, where Microsoft further tightens the reins and begins limiting what can be installed outside of the store, or demanding more criteria in alignment with Microsoft’s designs, will be all too easy a step to take, with little recourse for the developers. Microsoft is treading new ground here, and seeing how far they can go. There are already negotiations going on with some governments to ensure that Microsoft will not be stifling competition.

A Little History…Article Continued Here.

This excerpt is shared with permission from davescomputertips.com.

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18 thoughts on “Is Windows 8 a ‘Catastrophe’ for Everyone?

  1. Last week I was preparing a presentation to give earlier this evening. I set it up using MS PowerPoint and all worked well on my main computer running MS XP. Unfortunately my laptop which came with Windows Vista was acting up on both Vista and Ubuntu 12.04 and I was a little concerned. Anyhow I was in Walmart Friday to buy an item and I walked past the laptop section. They had some very attractive pricing.

    All laptops shown have windows 8. From what I have read I was more than a little leery of Windows 8 running the suites of software I use. I was starting to walk away when a clerk asked if she could help. I asked If they had any laptops with windows 7. They did, locked in a cupboard at the end of an aisle. I spotted one priced a $280 that appeared to meet my needs for a laptop. I bought it. Checking prices on the Internet I found it selling for between $600 and $700.

    It boots just as fast as Ubuntu 12.04 booted on my old laptop which was 20 times faster than Vista.

    My presentation using LibreOffice on the new laptop went well this evening except for Windows doing an update without warning. No problem with that though.

    I’ve been running versions of Linux starting with Slackware back in the early 90s. It seems to be as solid as Unix.

  2. I have installed windows 8 on my engineering computer. ArtCam, Solidworks, Aspire 3d, AutoCAD all running great! Much more stable than windows 7. For my uses Windows 8 is a wonderful tool.

  3. Excellent upgrade from Windows 7. Windows 8 is crisper and overall performance much better than Windows 7. All my hardware works great, too!

  4. Don’t plan to move to WIN 8 for the simple reason my Computer guy, who spent years with DEC in the early years and has serviced everything since, says: “It simply doesn’t work. WIN 7 is the best MS OS and it is no rose.” He uses UBUNTU for his business.

  5. Win 8 keeps shutting down,says program problem and will restart.I ca get used to some of the new stuff but the the constant shut down for this 84 year old is to much.Going back to Win 7

  6. I use ubuntu for couple of years now, and the fuss around Win and all those “reasons for upgrade” just make me laugh. It’s been obvious for years that marketing at MS is the most valuable department, yet millions of people keep upgrading their OS for no obvious reason. Something like Apple reloaded, probably. Sad..

  7. I bought the $40 version of Windows 8 only for use on my Arcade Emulator. Navigating thru this OS is a crap fest, at least with the Arcade running Windows 8 is hidden away.

  8. PURCHASED WIN 8 WOULD NOT LOAD ON MY DESK TOP. ON MY LAPTOP I WAS ASKED ME TO REMOVE 5 PROGRAMS THERE IS NO GUARANTEE THEY WOULD REINSTALL.WENT BACK TO SHOP AND ASKED FOR MONEY BACK.AND WAS TOLD.
    YOU HAVE OPENED THE PRODUCT I WAS ASKED TO BRING IN MY UNITS AND IF THE THEY FAILED INSTALL THEY WOULD ASK MICROSOFT. MY BROTHER.
    LOSES ALL HIS APPS ON EVERY UPGRADE OF WIN 8 ITS A S CROCK OF SH…

  9. What a disaster…I lost my speakers after Win 8 download. HP has no plans to make the correction any time soon. Tech at Microsoft was really helpful but could only point the finger back to HP = Conexant speakers. No driver to update so now I have no sound.

  10. I was never going to get 8 and I have no desire to line the bulging pockets of Microsoft. When I get fed up with Win 7 I will go back to Linux, stuff Microsoft and Apple their are both rip off artists and will not be getting a penny from me, I use Android phones and never will be going down the route of an, over valued and over hyped I phone.

  11. What Windows 8 has done is alienate most of the Senior people myself 65yrs as this is aimed at the younger generation who will grow with with this money spinning programme and what it is aimed at.Microsoft has never completed any of the Windows system and several have been of no benefit to any one.
    So for a lot of us win 7/8 and the future releases will never be useable and like myself win x p is as far as i go as it is user friendly easy to use tried win 7 and deleted it So i say to Microsoft wake up and smell the roses as you are going to loose a lot of people world wide with the new Windows aimed at the young generation..

  12. I have looked at all the reasons for upgrading and the fact that Microsoft are seeking to establish a monopoly is not given anywhere. Their proposals will take away the reason for the PC’s success – it is open and so anyone can develop for it. As it chances I do not but I have a lot of software from people who do. The increasing control is undesirable and, dare I say it, should lead to anti-monopoly action again.

  13. I say we all need step away from microsoft we need a bether os and microsoft is not giveing it to us, its all about money and they haven't even put out the best theyhave, morelike will be sold as a add on I my self work with microsoft most my life they gotten worst now want police our computers now, this is not leagle not what we want,
    windows 9 all ready beeing talk about, what this say.

  14. what mictosoft done is backwards then what should been done, more use securtiy so venders cant steel information, encription to proteck user drives, microsoft will still scan your hard drive every 90 days for all microsoft software and why no one stop this beon me, fack is no one should by windows 8 we need say enouf is enouf this not what we wanted, this not the direction we wanted to go, linx will become more userfriendly and over shadow microsoft. linx users, need to buld a pc where the os is in a protecked envirement and every thing runs on a vr type screen, all data back up in case the vr crashes can be restored , this would fix so many probems we face today.

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