Windows 8 and 8.1 Forums

Q+A Steve Balmer

  1. #1


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64

    Q+A Steve Balmer


    A few points:

    Seeing the same graphical user interface across platforms is a wondrous thing, but it’s also a little like seeing a bear on a bike. Why do it at all?

    For the first time, Windows PCs, tablets, and phones, as well as Xbox, all share the same look and feel and iconic live tiles. Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time.

    Do you plan on walking back the single interface of Windows 8, allowing different versions to flourish?

    We intentionally designed all Windows 8 versions with a common interface, fit, and feel. The choice is entirely up to the individual based on what they want to do at any given time, and we think choice is powerful.

    Do you think Microsoft has gotten better at figuring out what the user wants?

    Oh, I don’t know.

    And is that why Windows 8 is important? Because, for the first time, Microsoft is delivering an “integrated” experience across all important devices with software delivered from the cloud?

    If you want to do productivity, communication, and entertainment, you’re going to do it on multiple devices, and you have to do it in a coherent and consistent way for the user. You’ve got to support the different input modalities. The living room is different from the phone, and productivity at the desk is different from productivity on the go.
    Steve Ballmer on the Strategy Behind His Strangest Product | MIT Technology Review

    That just doesn't appear to be what we now have.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Ummm....that is what Windows 8, it gives you choice but with a different start menu.

    As a Windows Phone 7/8 user and Windows 8 user, this is pretty spot on. I have that integration, to an extent, between devices. Although I'd rather see things like IE favorites/pins from Windows 8 to Windows Phone and vice versa. Xbox Music is one that I haven't got working and don't know if it's supposed to work in that way between the two devices as the two apps aren't that similar at all, Windows Phone is better.

    Office is the highlight here, it's what the selling point of Windows Phone is and why many companies have recently announced adoption of the Lumia 920 because of Office and integration of an already Microsoft based enterprise.

    Interesting snippets you have posted, like Ballmer's response to understanding the consumer....
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  3. #3


    Posts : 1,770
    Windows Phone 6, Windows CE 5, Windows Vista x32, Windows 7 x32/x64, Windows 8 x64


    The snippets were quite intentional, as they reflect statements about issues that have concerned many regarding the Windows 8 interface. It's clear that the intent and the outcomes are somewhat different, at least from other people's point of view.
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  4. #4


    Posts : 959
    Windows 8.1, 10


    Do you plan on walking back the single interface of Windows 8, allowing different versions to flourish? In reality, there are multiple versions already: Windows 8, Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 RT, Window 8 Phone. Why not give “Pro” users something better optimized for their needs, with features such as the ability to launch multiple windows?

    We intentionally designed all Windows 8 versions with a common interface, fit, and feel. This creates both design and usage similarities and ensures consistency across the various versions–so, both the new Start screen and a desktop for x86 applications. Anyone using desktop can have multiple windows open now, split the screen for a partial view, or choose the immersive full-screen app experience that makes Windows 8 unique. The choice is entirely up to the individual based on what they want to do at any given time, and we think choice is powerful.
    I thought this was an interesting question and answer.

    I do take some comfort from this and hope the choice he mentions, and in particular the ability to keep using multiple windows in a desktop, will be kept in future versions of Windows and Office.
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  5. #5


    Posts : 1,353
    Windows 8 Pro/Windows 8 Pro/Windows 7 64 Bit64Bit/Windows XP


    Quote Originally Posted by Ray8 View Post
    A few points:

    Seeing the same graphical user interface across platforms is a wondrous thing, but it’s also a little like seeing a bear on a bike. Why do it at all?

    For the first time, Windows PCs, tablets, and phones, as well as Xbox, all share the same look and feel and iconic live tiles. Increasingly, people access the same content and services from multiple devices or use more than one device at a time.

    Do you plan on walking back the single interface of Windows 8, allowing different versions to flourish?

    We intentionally designed all Windows 8 versions with a common interface, fit, and feel. The choice is entirely up to the individual based on what they want to do at any given time, and we think choice is powerful.

    Do you think Microsoft has gotten better at figuring out what the user wants?

    Oh, I don’t know.

    And is that why Windows 8 is important? Because, for the first time, Microsoft is delivering an “integrated” experience across all important devices with software delivered from the cloud?

    If you want to do productivity, communication, and entertainment, you’re going to do it on multiple devices, and you have to do it in a coherent and consistent way for the user. You’ve got to support the different input modalities. The living room is different from the phone, and productivity at the desk is different from productivity on the go.
    Steve Ballmer on the Strategy Behind His Strangest Product | MIT Technology Review

    That just doesn't appear to be what we now have.
    I was reading a story yesterday about a small business with about 15 people. The guy had a mishmash of tech, a MacBook Pro, laptops and iPads etc for his staff. I think he'd ordered 15 Surface Pros and said he couldn't wait to get rid of all the other stuff and just have one ecosystem which was easily shared.

    This is the sort of thing that will empower Windows 8, I think the potential for Windows 8 products and Surface is huge. Just imagine the future with more powerful chips and better battery life and even lighter machines.

    These aren't consumption devices these are powerful computers, not exactly a bear on a bike.
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  6. #6


    I just could not imagine working daily on a small screen, with limited ram, and few ports.

    I've got a surface pro ordered from Microsoft to evaluate for work. We are just kicking the tires, not planning to really use it for anything.

    Sadly, we acquired a company a while back in the UK and they are on Macs and they love them. We are bending over backwards to try to support them. We suggested switching them to new Windows based machines and they said, "you will have to pry my Mac from my cold dead hands". They decided it was easier to keep them happy than to force the issue. Ughhhh.

    We also let some key developers in another office get Macs because that is what they have at home and now a large number of others have Mac envy and want a MacBook now. It's like an infection.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    I just could not imagine working daily on a small screen, with limited ram, and few ports.

    I've got a surface pro ordered from Microsoft to evaluate for work. We are just kicking the tires, not planning to really use it for anything.

    Sadly, we acquired a company a while back in the UK and they are on Macs and they love them. We are bending over backwards to try to support them. We suggested switching them to new Windows based machines and they said, "you will have to pry my Mac from my cold dead hands". They decided it was easier to keep them happy than to force the issue. Ughhhh.
    One must test drive over kicking the tires on such a device to get a real feel of it. It's like using Windows 8 in a VM, you don't really know it until you use it daily as a main OS for many months. I'm assuming you're going to install several Desktop apps?
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  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by Coke Robot View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    I just could not imagine working daily on a small screen, with limited ram, and few ports.

    I've got a surface pro ordered from Microsoft to evaluate for work. We are just kicking the tires, not planning to really use it for anything.

    Sadly, we acquired a company a while back in the UK and they are on Macs and they love them. We are bending over backwards to try to support them. We suggested switching them to new Windows based machines and they said, "you will have to pry my Mac from my cold dead hands". They decided it was easier to keep them happy than to force the issue. Ughhhh.
    One must test drive over kicking the tires on such a device to get a real feel of it. It's like using Windows 8 in a VM, you don't really know it until you use it daily as a main OS for many months. I'm assuming you're going to install several Desktop apps?
    Oh yeah, I will play with it extensively. I'm just saying other than to seer what this is about, we aren't planning to use it for anything in particular. It will likely just become another toy for me at my desk.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 1,353
    Windows 8 Pro/Windows 8 Pro/Windows 7 64 Bit64Bit/Windows XP


    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    I just could not imagine working daily on a small screen, with limited ram, and few ports.

    I've got a surface pro ordered from Microsoft to evaluate for work. We are just kicking the tires, not planning to really use it for anything.

    Sadly, we acquired a company a while back in the UK and they are on Macs and they love them. We are bending over backwards to try to support them. We suggested switching them to new Windows based machines and they said, "you will have to pry my Mac from my cold dead hands". They decided it was easier to keep them happy than to force the issue. Ughhhh.

    We also let some key developers in another office get Macs because that is what they have at home and now a large number of others have Mac envy and want a MacBook now. It's like an infection.
    Don't forget you can hook it up to another monitor and once you get a dock you've got a pretty decent system.

    When you get sick of kicking its tyres I'll send you my address, I'll take the underpowered little thing off your hands.
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  10. #10


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by BillWindows View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by pparks1 View Post
    I just could not imagine working daily on a small screen, with limited ram, and few ports.

    I've got a surface pro ordered from Microsoft to evaluate for work. We are just kicking the tires, not planning to really use it for anything.

    Sadly, we acquired a company a while back in the UK and they are on Macs and they love them. We are bending over backwards to try to support them. We suggested switching them to new Windows based machines and they said, "you will have to pry my Mac from my cold dead hands". They decided it was easier to keep them happy than to force the issue. Ughhhh.

    We also let some key developers in another office get Macs because that is what they have at home and now a large number of others have Mac envy and want a MacBook now. It's like an infection.
    Don't forget you can hook it up to another monitor and once you get a dock you've got a pretty decent system.

    When you get sick of kicking its tyres I'll send you my address, I'll take the underpowered little thing off your hands.
    I'll put my name on that list....
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

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