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What would a U-turn on Windows 8 mean for the third Xbox?

I came across an article recently titled, ‘Microsoft prepares rethink on Windows 8 flagship software’ found here:

The article suggests that Microsoft is, “preparing to reverse course over key elements of its Windows 8 operating system, marking one of the most prominent admissions of failure for a new mass-market consumer product since Coca-Cola’s New Coke fiasco nearly 30 years ago”. Apparently they have finally caved to pressure from the many irate windows users who have been screaming at Microsoft to bring back a more familiar format to their OS since windows 8 launched. They now intend to bring forth an update that will change “key aspects” of how win 8 is used.

While it’s good that Microsoft are finally listening to what their customers want, changes on this scale equate to what Financial Times describes as “a significant admission of failure for Steve Ballmer”. This is made all the more significant when you think back to the launch of windows 8 in October last year, which was described by Ballmer himself as a “bet-the-company” moment. Richard Doherty, analyst at tech research firm Envisioneering, is quoted as saying: “This is like New Coke, going on for seven months – only Coke listened better.”

Obviously this fiasco will have a significant impact on their OS business and image but what of the third Xbox? I ask the question because, according to recent rumors, Xbox 3 will run on a “core version” of windows 8.
Doing such a huge U-turn on windows 8 functionality could affect the way that the OS is implemented on MS’s console. I could speculate on how but, given that we know very little about how the OS on XB3 will work, it would just be pure guess work.

Given the backlash MS has faced over win 8 they are sure to be treading lightly with the XB3 OS as tying it too close to their troubled desktop OS could reflect badly on the console. Of course there’s always the chance that non of this will affect the console but with their main source of income in the firing line you have to wonder if MS could even stay in the video game industry should their golden goose keel over and die.

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SilentNegotiator1846d ago

Meh. 360 already has the metro design and it's well received there. It works well enough for a console, but no one asked for this to pervade their PCs.

Godmars2901846d ago

By most obvious signs they designed the interface for PC OS more in line for tablets and Kinect. Shoving those "options" down people's throats while ignoring basic access. They have no excuse not to have seen negative backlash from such a move.

But I can't see them doing anything other than doubling down with the next Xbox given that that's what they were aiming for.

abradley1846d ago

It will have no effect on the next xbox what so ever.

The complaints with Windows 8 come from PC users who can't operate properly without a touch screen attached to their computer. A lot of us told Microsoft this before they released the final version and they didn't listen a tad. They thought that forcing users to use a new interface even when it doesn't work correctly with a mouse and keyboard, would be a good idea. Guess that didn't work out for them.

GalacticEmpire1846d ago

I see your point but what if they design the Xbox OS around the use of Kinect/touchscreens? The same issue will apply.

Like I mentioned in the blog, it might not affect it at all but just as I can't say for certain that it will, you can't say for certain that it won't.

abradley1845d ago

No I can't say for definite but as SilentNegotiator said above, the current Xbox already has a metro design very similar to windows 8. Unless they do some serious redesigning and change the input to Kinect only or touch only, I don't see a massive issue.

You have to understand this from a PC user point of view. Using a mouse instead of a finger, on a touch orientated OS doesn't work. It's the same reason that 7 never worked on tablets, the buttons were too small and the interface was not made for touch screen use. With 8, the mouse is too clunky to navigate the menu systems quick and fast, which was never an issue before with 7 on PC's.

If, and that is a big IF. If they do screw up the next Xbox interface, it will cost them a lot more then just the console wars. Microsoft have sustained hits to the PC sector as more Mac's and Linux systems are sold. With increasing demand for tablets as well, Microsoft were not in a good position before. To blow it again with the Xbox will cost them more then most people think.

darthv721845d ago

maybe I'm in the minority but i have been using the various versions of Windows since 3.1. The major overhaul that was 95 marked a significant change to their OS and they have been building from there.

I may be one of only a small handful that never had issue with ANY of the windows versions. Including ME and Vista. I use a windows 7 pc at my work and a windows 8 netbook at home. I have no problem discerning the two.

I dont read much in the way of tech blogs regarding complaints unless I too am experiencing issues that warrant searching out a solution. so you can see why I dont know of these problems the masses are screaming about.

I use the system (probably not to the fullest) and for what I do, their OS works like a charm. So I will need to read up on the proposed changes they intend to make.

I will say this though, the time it takes to adhere to changes is diminishing as each younger generation grows into maturity. Meaning that I know more about PC than my parents and one day my children will know even more than I do now. They are adaptable to the changing conditions at a younger age where as older people are referred to as "set in their ways".

Just FYI...I'm 40 and i am able to adapt to the changing conditions of things. There can be no progress without change. If MS wants to admit failure with 8, that is on them. I personally dont have a problem with it and can appreciate the changes that have been made to "Windows" in general over the years.

i have become so accustomed to Windows that i almost forget how to do things in DOS....I say 'almost'. Now how this will effect the nextbox....remains to be seen. We can assume they are trying their hand at the media center pc aspect that they have been working on for years with previous ideas like webtv and media center editions of various windows OS.

Looking back, the consumers werent ready to give up their dedicated boxes for entertainment but as time passed, more conveniences were built into these gaming platforms to bridge that gap and bring with it PC-esq abilities as well.

We are at a point where convenience and technology has made it possible for people to have 1 box that does a multitude of things from playing games to being entertained by movies/tv and surfing the web. Just like ideas of the past, the time has come back around where consumer ARE ready to embrace change because it is offering so much more than it did the first time they tried it.

Statix1845d ago (Edited 1845d ago )

To say it's far-fetched that you "never" had any issues with Windows since 3.1 is an understatement. Are you really saying that you never had any driver issues, Window update issues, networking issues, or BSOD/crashes whatsoever, in the ~20 years you've been using PC's?

I'm content with Windows 7 on my gaming PC, and even my Vista workstation works moderately well. However, with every single iteration of Windows, I've always had at least some issues that required me to do deep troubleshooting to fix--whether it be a driver incompatibility issue, a software installation issue, the networking/wi-fi not working, etc. Very often I'd have to pull out the ol' google and search for solutions to some, at times, obscure malfunction with Windows. Sometimes I'd need to reinstall or repair a program or Windows itself; sometimes, I'd need to install a different driver; sometimes I'd need to tweak some values in the registry. Point being, even my favorite versions of Windows have given me significant hassles over the years.

I can't see you having a completely bug-free and hassle-free experience with Windows for EVERY single Windows release, unless you use your computers for nothing but Solitaire. Even in that case, it's unlikely.

darthv721845d ago

With issues relating to compatibility and issues because of a learning curve. You got me on a technicality. I'll agree with you there. Sometimes there would be driver or application bugs but that did not result in my wanting Ms to change things back to what I considered stable or usable.

I read more about these issues people are reporting and they are mostly due to function and form. Nothing that can't really be adapted to. So yes...I have never had these issues with the various windows versions. From a function and form perspective.

I'm different as I enjoy figuring out how these new versions work. Unlike those who are not as inclined to do the same.

abradley1845d ago

Its good to see that you haven't had that many issues with past iterations of windows, however, the big problem with 8 is the usability on Non-touch screen devices. I don't believe that you don't struggle time to time with the way 8 is set out on your netbook.

The small menu bars to scroll across the metro apps, the constant booting into metro rather then desktop mode, having to scroll off screen to get a button rather then placing one on the desktop. Yes, some of these people can get used to but as I run the IT network for a school, with teachers who struggle with 7, I can honestly say that they will stand no chance of using the new OS at all.

I'm afraid that 8 is beyond just simple adapting too. The OS is incredibly clunky unless you have a touch screen device.

darthv721844d ago

especially those who are still using XP but that is where those who are set in their ways should try something new.

This generation of younger computer users are able to adapt to the changes much quicker. My netbook originally had XP and I intentionally upgraded to 8 for the $40 upgrade from MS.

It was different at first, but not impossible to figure out. Even using the cursor and trackpad in place of touch wasnt hard to get used to.

those who are complaining about the changes are the ones who cant adapt. Its like cars (yes this is a strange comparative). We went from hand cranked to key start to keyless over the course of cars history. But aside from the changes to the interior and design, the function still remains the same.

Windows has gone through many face lifts but the function still remains the same. Now maybe if i were older I would be in that generation of stuck in their ways of not wanting to figure out how to do something in the new windows but like i said, I'm 40 so I am able to adapt to changing conditions.

Oh and it isnt difficult to have shortcuts on the desktop. if people are familiar with that style, they can freely put shortcuts there instead of using the metro menu. It really isnt that hard to figure out.

i can see what you mean about it booting to the metro menu though. But just think of that AS the start menu. Usually, people go to the start menu when they want to launch an application so by doing the metro by default cuts out the effort of clicking on start then looking for the app you want.

Bigpappy1844d ago (Edited 1844d ago )

I agree with you on this one darth. I normally don't get in to these discussions because I ten to like changes more than most.

I understand where some people get frustrated with having to adapt. But I upgraded my home desktop and find myself using the apps in the metro more than the desktop equivalent in most cases. They tend to load faster and are less cluttered that the desktop versions.

I still have 7 on my work Laptop, but hesitate to upgrade it until I know that all the software will run properly on 8. But I find myself always on the desktop over the laptop since I installed win 8.

M$ did say, recently,that they have sold over 100 million copies of Win8. I don't think Win 8, including metro, is going anywhere. They will just update if so people who want to stick with desktop have that option. So no U-turn. Just a few more ramps to get on and off.

Capodastaro1843d ago

Talk about clutching at straws...