The Macalope Daily: Yes and no


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Ed “I cover Windows. Unless there’s a Mac malware attack.” Bott takes up the Windows 8 gauntlet that’s been thrown down by, oh, practically everyone.

“Windows 8 is the new XP”

If that’s confusing, he means that as a compliment. You don’t have to understand it. Just go with it.

This new version of Windows is going to be a disaster, pundits say.

They do seem to be saying that, don’t they?!

And its new interface is so hideous and unusable that customers who are forced to use it will trip over themselves finding ways to restore the old Start menu.

Hideous? No. Confusing, yes. Schizophrenic, definitely. Tacked onto the classic Windows desktop like a two-headed freak, absolutely.

I am, of course, talking about Windows XP, which was released 11 years ago this week.

Oooh, zing! And here the Macalope fell for it hook, line, and sinker, even though he had actually read the whole article before writing this piece. How embarrassing!

If you’re a lazy pundit and haven’t written your Windows 8 wrap-ups yet, feel free to use these decade-old stories, just substituting 8 for XP.

Well, thanks for the tip, but while the situations are similar in some regards, they’re quite different in others.

Bott says all this griping is same old, same old. Why, back in the day …

Businesses were voluntarily choosing Windows 98 and even the despised Windows Me over XP.

Some still are! Inertia is a powerful force.

The thing is, though, most enterprises came to similar conclusions that didn’t include 98, Me, or Vista. They chose Windows 95, XP, and Windows 7. Given the huge change that Windows 8 presents, it seems likely that Windows 8 is another one they’ll skip. The only two reasons the Macalope thinks businesses might move to Windows 8 are if Windows 9 is worse for some reason or if touchscreen Windows devices really take off.

And maybe that will happen. Bott seems to think the Windows 8 touch experience “get[s] the job done with minimal frustration.” The Macalope doesn’t know how you square that with this maddening experience that The Verge captured on video, which the Macalope has been assured is not a joke.

Well, it is a joke. It’s just not an intentional joke.

But onward and upward! (Just don’t try to rotate your screen.)

The Microsoft that released Windows 8 is much more disciplined than the one that shipped Windows XP.

Well, it’s true that there hasn’t been any sweaty chanting lately.

No, the Macalope will not stop linking to that.

Sorry. He’s knows it’s unpleasant but … it’s just a thing he has to do.

I expect that Windows 8 will get frequent updates, including one or two that will make the interface more flexible for developers and end users.

I’m also willing to bet that Windows 9 arrives in two years, with Windows 10 probably coming two years after that.

Well, if Windows 8 is going to get a replacement within two years, then it won’t be like XP at all!

Which is good. The biggest problem with XP wasn’t XP, it was the fact that Microsoft couldn’t ship a viable upgrade for it until Windows 7.

But are enterprises going to be doing operating system upgrades every two years? How well can Windows 8 reasonably sell when the desktop PC market is in a slump? Are people really going to want to futz with the desktop on touch devices? And while XP solved the problem of “DLL hell” and the other technical failings of prior Windows releases, what problem does Windows 8 solve?

See, there are just a lot of questions about Windows 8’s path to success. Maybe Microsoft will overcome them, but it’s not going to be a cakewalk.

[Editors’ Note: In addition to being a mythical beast, the Macalope is not an employee of Macworld. As a result, the Macalope is always free to criticize any media organization. Even ours.]

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