Windows 8 release date soon: Review roundup

Friday sees the Windows 8 release date so here are the reviews. There are basically two competing memes: Either Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has totally failed to offer a compelling upgrade to Windows 7, or the new converged operating system is the best thing since... errmm... whatever was best before sliced bread.

Windows 8 launch

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers sharpen their knives.

By Richi Jennings: Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Nick Wingfield reports:

Windows [with] more than a billion users...is getting a radical makeover. ... The new design is likely to cause some head-scratching...when Windows 8 goes on sale this Friday. [It's either] a fresh, bold reinvention of the operating system for an era of touch-screen devices [or] a renovation gone wrong, one that will needlessly force people to relearn how they use [it].

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The boldness of the changes has delighted some users, who say...the company is taking greater creative risks than...Apple. ... Microsoft made Windows 8 a one-size-fits-all operating system for...tablets, conventional computers...and newer devices that combine elements of both. ... Apple took the opposite approach with the Mac and...the iPad, which have distinct interfaces.

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Microsoft is convinced that most people will quickly become accustomed to Windows 8. But to help ease the transition, the software offers tutorials.  MORE

Bill Rigby adds:

Friday is likely to be a non-event for most companies...[which] say there is no compelling reason to adopt it. ... Microsoft's main goal is to show it can master the new touch-optimized, mobile forms of computing pioneered by Apple...and Google.

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Car maker Volkswagen, which only last year moved 60,000 PCs onto Windows 7, is not planning to make another drastic shift anytime soon. ... That's not unusual, as corporations generally test a new system for 12-18 months. ... This time even that pattern might not happen.

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This may not be a huge problem for Microsoft [which] gets paid regardless of what version of Windows many big customers actually use. ...a key priority for Microsoft is to get customers off...Windows XP -- which still runs on 41 percent of the world's 1.5 billion PCs.  MORE

And Preston Gralla grumpily runs the numbers:

Windows 8 offers very little for users of traditional computers...[it's] designed more for touchscreen devices. ...there are some new Windows 8 native apps, but those apps are [mostly] underpowered and underwhelming.

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My guess is that sales of Windows 8 computers will be somewhat depressed by the new interface.  MORE

But Ken Hess brings his own device opinion:

Though I've used Windows 8 for a while now, I can't wait. ...the release of Windows 8 is in the home stretch. ... [It's] the most exciting operating system release since Windows 95. Seriously.

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I think this OS launch will be bigger than anything Apple has seen so far. ... I've waited a long time to be excited about a desktop OS and this one is long overdue. ... I haven't been this excited about an OS release since the release of Windows 3.0. ... Windows 95 was exciting in its own way but not like this. ... Windows 8 measures on the Richter scale.

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Windows 8 will likely breathe new life into...older hardware. ... [It's] a Windows XP killer.  MORE

While snth is more direct and to-the-point; without beating about the bush, he comes right out with it and uses just a few words to devastating effect, telling us just how it is, in his succinct opinion:

I'm a 20+ years Mac user. I find nothing mysterious about Windows 8 GUI whatsoever. What on earth is the matter with people?  MORE

Meanwhile, Paul Thurrott despairs of the fourth estate:

...widely reported stories about users being “baffled” by Windows 8 are FUD. ... Windows 8 is so easy even a three-year-old can use it.

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Windows 8 is a revolution, so there are changes. They are not insurmountable. Just ask a three-year-old...  MORE
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