Windows 8 or not

Is anyone listening?

I had to purchase a new laptop. My need was very simple, a laptop that supports the latest Office, SQL Server and development tools. I didn’t want to mix this new stuff with the old stuff that I already have on my old laptop.  A new laptop with Windows 7 would perfectly suit my need. But I purchased Windows 8 because of the human nature of always buying the latest version.

Now, a touch screen laptop is a strange gadget. It is a tablet in one way, as I can do everything that I use to do on IPad or Android. But like a tablet, it is the pretty clumsy one. If I wanted Windows tablet I would have purchased Surface. I choose it to be the laptop. The idea was to hook to my LAN and use it for business purpose.

Why would anybody purchase the Windows 8 laptop?  I can see only one reason and i.e. to hook to the company’s network and use Word, Outlook and the rest.  It gives you a standard Windows laptop plus the benefit of touch screen and a feel that you have the tablet as well. This is what differentiates Windows 8 from others. No other tablet offers you the power of the windows laptop. So, you accept that Microsoft had used this feature to attract customers. That’s what I thought, but I was wrong! I realised very soon that the laptop cannot be hooked to the company LAN at all. I read help, went on Internet and couldn’t sort it out. I realised that I had purchased a very clumsy tablet that I didn’t need. I left it aside and didn’t use it for 2 weeks. I didn’t know what to do, to return to the shop or not. I dialled Acer’s help desk. They kept transferring me from one operator to another. Nobody understood what ‘LAN’, ‘company network’, ‘join domain’ and ’Windows login’ meant! The fourth person transferred me to Microsoft people. A person there finally understood what I was talking about. He said: “I know what the problem is! You will have to purchase an upgrade to ‘Windows 8 PRO Pack’”!  Halleluiah!

They could have put up a message with text: “Warning! This product is not for business use. It is just a clumsy tablet. If you want (by any chance) to use it for business, click here and install the upgrade”. This could have saved me a lot of time.

So there was no other way but to purchase the upgrade software. Microsoft was selling for $99 but I have found on Internet for $58. I purchased the upgrade. It took 3 days to arrive, a box delivered at my door. I opened the box, there was another ‘upgrade’ box inside. I opened that one and to my surprise there was nothing inside. I looked carefully and realised that all I got was a card with a key to unlock the software. Can you imagine packing, shipping and all those efforts to deliver a 20 characters key? Couldn’t they just send it electronically? It looked like someone was playing a practical joke, or just wanted to make thinks complicated.

I installed the upgrade, joined my domain and finally reached the point where I wanted to be from the very beginning.

Now, I am trying to understand why all this fuss was necessary? What did Microsoft actually get by making me go through this ordeal?  How much have they earned by forcing me to purchase the upgrade? Did they manage to earn $20? Has anybody there asked themselves: “was this worth”? How much damage they have done to their product? How many clients have they lost?

Here are three simple actions that I earnestly suggest Microsoft to do:

  • Discard the ‘pro’ upgrade as it is unnecessary nuisance. Make ‘standard’ version have this upgrade already installed. If people purchase Windows 8, they want it for business.
  • Stop advertising Windows 8 by showing detachable keyboards. Show what really matters: “a person unpacks a laptop, selects one of two options: ‘work at home’ or ‘work in office’. If later, enters a network name. After that, it all works and the user can enjoy the newly purchased gadget.
  • Fire the person who devised the current procedure. I have heard expression ‘programmer’s solution’ referring to some clumsy solution where the programmer can see some logics in it but it is unusable in real life. I don’t have term for this one. Maybe ‘silly’ defines it correctly.

A friend of mine, a devoted MAC user said to me: “Steve Jobs would never allow this to happen”. I can’t see a bigger insult to Windows 8 than that! I really hope that Microsoft is listening. The product is not the problem. They have the great product. It is just the state of mind that they have to change.

Slava Krnjetin Slava Krnjetin - I have graduated Mathematics and then turned to IT and never looked back. I have now over 25 years of experience in IT industry doing consulting and development. It has always been my passion to follow the new IT trends and tools as they evolved over years.

You can leave a comment on this page after logging in.