Sunday, April 22, 2012

Win(RT)s & Losses

Microsoft has proven once again that they are completely out of touch with the consumer market, and have NO intention of EVER reaching out to them.

First off, let’s look at the new operating system on the horizon: Windows 8. Nothing new here. We've been hearing about this "reimaged Windows" for over a year now, and there has been quite a bit of excitement over it. I admit, I've had a "thrill up my leg" whenever I heard news of it. But, just like a politician's ability to deflate any campaign promise, Microsoft has gone out of its way to pop that balloon. They have come out with the name(s) for the new operating system: Windows 8 (obvious?), Windows 8 Pro, Windows 8 Enterprise (which is different from Pro how?), and WinRT. What? WinRT? What the hell is that?

There has been many guesses to what WinRT stands for, but the (sarcasm alert) funny part to me is that it is the one that will be natively installed on new store-bought tablet devices. So, you are sitting in that local coffee shop and pull out your tablet. Someone at the next table asks you, "Hey. Is that an iPad? An Android tablet? Or a Windows 8 tablet?" And you answer, "No, it's a WinRT tablet." Because you CAN'T call it Windows 8, because that would be lying (which is okay IF you ARE a politician . . . ). And since it's been called Windows 8 for so long, that person will think you are some kind of obnoxious engineer or developer, and knock over that expensive cup of coffee all over your table when they walk away from you.

Another thing. I've been using my HP Touchsmart tx2 convertible laptop for about three years now, and have recently upgraded it from Windows Vista Home Premium to Windows 7 Home Premium. One of the things I like to use is Windows Media Center (WMC) to watch movies while at lunch (temporarily ripped from DVDs). A nice feature of WMC is that, since my lunch is only an hour, I can pause a movie and continue it from there the next day (without having to leave the software running the whole time - like if I had an actual DVD in the player). One of the things WMC was not able to do was to automatically play an inserted DVD, or even allow me to select DVD when in the program. I went online for help and discovered that, according to Microsoft, in order to play DVDs with WMC I would need to be using AT LEAST the Home Premium version of Windows 7. Uh, that is what I'm running. If I want to be able to play DVDs with WMC, I would need to upgrade, and here are some handy links to help me purchase that. Morons.

So, I went to Microsoft's Contact page for some support. I searched their support page and wouldn't you know it? No WMC. That's right. There is no support assistance available for this program. Are they discontinuing it? Well, if you WANT WMC to run on your new Windows 8 device (not including purchased tablets with WinRT on it, because that's not Windows 8), you must be using the Pro version, and PURCHASE it separately. So, I'd say that yes, they are discontinuing it.

Microsoft has had one major problem (and many, many minor ones): their marketing department SUCKS. I think that the department is not full of marketing people, but computer engineers. You know, those same folks that think WinNT and WinRT are such friendly consumer-grabbing names. Microsoft comes out with a terrific product, does their best to keep it a secret from the public, spend lots of money developing it, and when it starts to catch on - BAM!! They drop it.

Sorry Microsoft, but the "thrill up my leg" is gone. I think I will stick with my Windows 7 convertible laptop (another first that has gone away) until I HAVE to make the change. And this is not just me talking - do you think businesses (many STILL running Windows XP - another "great" name) are going to invest in cosmetic changes and funky names? Only when they have to. Only when they have to.


© Emittravel 2012

No comments:

Post a Comment