Oh, I hate that stupid, "xp good, vista bad, 7 good, 8 bad, 8.1 good, 9 bad" pattern recognition. Umm...in reality it was more like, "Xp sucks, wait until vista. vista sucks, use xp for ages and wait until 7. 7's good, refuse to acknowledge 8. 8 sucks but for different reasons."
After 8.1, Update 1 is to be released soon to expand 8.1 further out for mouse input. Basically, it's moving parts of the UI to be more accessible to a mouse pointer.
After that, 9 is coming out and if it has a start menu, that's a feature I'm disabling right away.
Even now they have stopped broadcasting Surface commercials, along with Windows 8. They spent more money on Windows XP, in promotional materials, commercials, then they have for any other OS. When Sales & Marketing stops promoting their own company's product. You know something wrong is going on.
The users did not decide which OS was wrong, with the exception of the two I mentioned. Microsoft did by their own failure to realize that you do not shoot the hand that feeds you.
When was the last time that you saw a Xbox commercial on tv? I cannot remember at all. All I ever see is PS4 commercials.
I hope they do bring back a Start Menu. Maybe it won't be what we're used to, but dropping it entirely was a bad idea. If it weren't for Start8, I'd still be on Win7 on all my PCs (still am on 2 of 3). Win8.1 has some nice improvements under the hood, but I have no use for any of the Metro apps. I've downloaded a few to try, but the ones I tried were glorified front-ends for a web-based app, and lousy ones at that.
And I won't be using a Microsoft account any time soon. Google's tracking creeps me out to the point that I've dropped them as my primary email & mostly use Firefox instead of Chrome. And now it seems MS is going the same way. I know they've run the 'Scroogled' campaign, but it's naive to think they won't ultimately end up tracking you as closely. If stockholders see that they're leaving billions on the table because they're not tracking the way Google does (I get ads for fat women's clothes in Skype -- a corporate Skype account -- about as unrelated to anything I might ever purchase as I can possibly imagine), they're going to get sued -- and with good reason. I owned quite a bit of MS stock years ago, but I sold it after a year or two of no gains. And to think they ultimately went 14! And this new guy on the board, I bet he starts pushing it, too.
So for all practical purposes Metro is invisible to me. I even have a Windows 8.1 tablet that a Dell sales rep gave me because nobody was buying them. And I still always preferred my iPad with its fractured glass screen over the Dell. The real test was what I took when I traveled, & I didn't give taking the cracked iPad a second thought. I occasionally pull out the Dell, but even on it, I stick with the desktop.
The main things I'd like to see going forward are more refinements to its error-handling & performance, things like that. It's hard to believe that in 2014, a poorly-written shell extension can cause right-clicking to take 2-3 or even up to 8 seconds & Windows doesn't pop up a notice that says, "This APP shell extension is causing slowness, would you like to disable it?" It's ridiculous that I have to experiment with Autoruns, disabling them one-by-one to find the culprit. There are plenty of places like this where they could make improvements. They've already done the 'slow extension' thing in IE.
I did buy my first iMac last November, and I just got a new work notebook, & for the first time ever, I got a Macbook. It is concerns over MS' direction that led to both those purchases.
They brought it back with 8.1. With 8.1 Update 1, it will look for a touch screen interface. If none is found, it defaults to the Desktop and then allows you to open Metro apps in a Windowed Interface. Same how Stardock Software's Metromix. I had no issue with running Start8 from Stardock Software on my son's laptop, and mine before I loaded Xubuntu, for school and personal reasons.
The biggest problem I had with Windows 8.1. Was when you attempt to load a folder on a Network share, that has 10's of thousand of files. Explorer locks up.
I cannot wait 24 hours to load a folder or do something, that I need to get done that day.
I think that there are very good concept/ideas with Windows 8/8.1, I love the Video app, I use it all the time over even Media Player Classic HC, IE11 is great, I'm using it over Chrome, the Mail app(assuming you have an MS account) is also a great idea, being able to split the screen with links or whatever you feel like. I'm trying to like Windows 8.1 because I think there are good ideas coming out of it. I just don't like the original idea behind it, that it would be next step, that touch screen interface would take over. I guess they were guessing, maybe that was it, but boy did they guess wrong. And even if that was the direction of the market which it probably is in the long run, Microsoft should've realized it wouldn't be this soon.
But then, what could they possibly do to improve on Windows 7?? It was and still is the perfect (MIcrosoft) OS. You don't improve on perfection, ok, maybe there were a few things they could've done to improve it, but the direction they took with Windows 8 was such a
leap Microsoft seems not to know what to do with it anymore. Do they scrap it and start over with Windows 9? Do they lean back towards desktop users?
I don't know but they seem to be in a bad place right now, not knowing what to do next.
From the information that I have seen. Windows 9 is going to become more cloud based. Basically 8.1 Update 1 with a few minor changes.
Unless they rebuild from the bottom up. Going the direction that Apple took, by using BSD as the basis for the OS vs. just taking OS-9 and changing a few things and calling it OS-X.
MS just keeps on hanging onto a bunch of legacy software built into Windows & the Server Software packages. Includes the Office product. MS needs to stop trying to make a Ferrari out of a Ford Pinto.
Indeed and from what I have read, Windows 10 will be completely cloud based.
I guess, that activation will be linked to the login account, hard to circumvent.