Microsoft’s Mistake

I’m a pretty big fan of most Microsoft products.

Windows 7 and Windows 2008 R2 are both leading operating systems in their respective domains: Both are bulletproof, support just about everything and anything, while offering the rare qualities of being both easy to use yet immensely powerful.

IIS 7.5 is superb. SQL Server 2008 R2 is excellent. .NET is a remarkable platform that needn’t envy any other.

Over the years I’ve done a lot of work in the Microsoft stack, and it has been a very powerful partner. Along the way I obtained an MCP, MCSE, and MCDBA (obtained simply to have goal-markers in thoroughly understanding the products. Despite being a developer and software architect, I always want to fully understand the platforms I develop upon to leverage what they had to offer). I have a BizSpark company. I have an expensive MSDN software subscription.

So please trust that it isn’t based upon bias or anti-Microsoft bigotry when I offer up the opinion that Windows 8 is a disaster in the making. That it is a product that will not manage to serve either the tablet or the desktop market competently.

I say this after trying to appreciate the product for a couple of days: The vision just isn’t there. The platform is horribly ugly (the overriding design principal of “contrasting color tiles” is tolerated only because it remains novel given how few users of Windows Phone 7 there are), has poor usability, and offers such a split-personality that each simply becomes a grating half-measure.

Microsoft is giving a gift to Apple, voluntarily ceding market to them. They saw what it was accomplishing and tried to reproduce it, poorly.

Windows 8 is akin to KFC switching to Kentucky Fried Beef after seeing McDonald’s gaining marketshare. Customers might as well simply buy a Big Mac.

While it is obvious that the traditional desktop is not the center of the computing universe that it once was, and Microsoft should always be attacking new markets, sacrificing the advantages that the desktop platform holds, while gaining little or nothing, serves no one. The desperate attempt to acclimate the desktop base to the mobile and tablet vision will do nothing more than alienate.

Apple should ramp up the manufacturing, as Microsoft is doing a wonderful sales pitch for both iOS and OSX.