By any objective standard, the initial response to Windows 8 has been a mixed bag for Microsoft.
The Redmond giant has had to watch for the past eight months as the PC market it dominated for decades first sputtered and then stalled. Itís also had to listen to customers complain, sometimes vehemently, about the usability challenges of Windows 8.
And a good share of the blame for both situations can be traced right back to design decisions made several years ago by Microsoft executives in the early planning stages of what became Windows 8. They misjudged the hardware market, designing Windows 8 for 10-inch and up tablets and touch-based laptops, hitting the market as consumers discovered the joys of smaller devices. They overestimated their customersí willingness to move beyond the desktop to a world where touchscreens rule. It didnít help that the first wave of Windows 8 devices didnít even have touch capabilities and that Windows 8 did almost nothing to help introduce customers to its radical new interface.