Windows 8 just received a one-two punch: The head of Samsung's memory chip division says it's no better than Vista, and an IDC analyst has called it "horribly stalled."
Jun Dong-Soo, president of Samsung's memory chip division, told Korea Times :
"The global PC industry is steadily shrinking despite the launch of Windows 8.I think the Windows 8 system is no better than the previous Windows Vista platform."
As for the Surface tablet, he was equally negative:
"MS's rollout of its Windows Surface tablet is seeing lackluster demand."
Dong-Soo is certainly not alone among Microsoft partners in what he thinks about Windows 8 or Surface tablets. Todd Bradley, the head of HP's PC business, said this to CITEWorld about the RT-based Surface:
"It tends to be slow and a little kludgey as you use it .... It's expensive. Holistically, the press has made a bigger deal out of Surface than what the world has chosen to believe."
"Windows 8 itself is still not successful. The whole market didn't come back to growth after the Windows 8 launch, that's a simple way to judge if it is successful or not."
That leaves Samsung, HP, and Acer underwhelmed with Windows 8 and Microsoft's Surface. And IDC analyst Bob O'Donnell is piling on as well. He told CNet that IDC research has found that Microsoft made a mistake with the basic design of Windows 8, by making it an operating system with essentially two separate interfaces:
"There were certain decisions that Microsoft made that were in retrospect flawed. Notably not allowing people to boot into desktop mode and taking away the start button. Those two things have come up consistently. We've done some research and people miss that."
He also called Windows 8 "horribly stalled," and said that Microsoft may eventually be forced to make changes to Windows 8, notably by allowing people to boot directly to the Desktop:
"It's possible [Microsoft] is making changes to the OS [to allow a boot to desktop mode]. There's a lot of debate about it. Certainly if you talk to PC vendors, they'd like to see Microsoft do that. Because they recognize some of the challenges that consumers are facing."
I'd bet that Microsoft won't be making that change. The company seems convinced that forcing people to use the Windows 8 interface formerly called Metro will get them used to an interface best suited for Windows 8 tablets and Windows Phone 8 devices, and they will then buy those devices. The lackluster sales of the Surface and other Windows 8 tablets, and the small market share of Windows Phone doesn't seem to have convinced the company otherwise.
So for better or worse, the Windows 8 you see today is the Windows 8 you'll likely see tomorrow. And Microsoft is paying the price for it.