Geeks Speak, Consumers Say No


So I’m sitting here reading a ZDNet article: Microsoft’s Windows 8 approach: Bold, arrogant, or both?

The argument is irrelevant.

Is Microsoft’s approach, which involves trying to force feed Windows 8 to unwilling users, bold? Arrogant? Stupid? Who cares? How about all three? What is over-the-top stupid — not to mention self-destructive — is trying to stuff an operating system down users’ throats when they obviously do not want it.

I bought a PC for my husband last night to replace his 6-year-old desktop. I ended up buying almost exactly the same computer, but with much more memory, hard drive space, graphics support … more of everything and blazingly fast, too. Ironically, it also cost less than the old desktop. Prices have come down a good deal in the past 6 years, at least for desktop computers.

Did I order a Windows 8 machine? No, I bought a Windows 7 machine because he would be lost in Windows 8 and so would I. He is not computer savvy and does not give a hoot about what’s under the hood of the OS nor does he care to learn. But he does need a computer with an up-to-date version of Word, PowerPoint and Outlook. He needs to be able to get on and off the Internet, receive and send mail, create documents, keep a calendar, and exchange files. He hates finger painting and will never use a tablet, prefers the comfort of his desk, the big flat screen monitor and full size keyboard.

If I’m going to be honest about it, so do I.  Laptops are fine, but some of us spend a lot of hours at the computer and we type faster and more accurately on a standard keyboard. I love my big bright HD monitor and for editing photographs, the laptop is never going to be first choice, even though it has the same software as my desktop. It simply means that my husband and I are probably always going to have both a desktop and a laptop and they will serve different purposes in our lives. That ought to be a plus for business since we end up keeping 4 computers for two of us (not counting Kindles and other small devices).

It ought to be easy to get an operating system with which we feel comfortable and familiar. We should not be forced to use something a corporation deems better. What in the world is wrong with supporting both Windows 7 and 8? It would hardly be the first time Microsoft has supported multiple operating systems. They supported NT and Windows for years and still support various versions of every operating system including Windows 8.

But Microsoft is bound and determined to do it their way, no matter what it costs. We are going to march to their drum beat. Or else. Or else we give up and buy a Mac? Switch to Linux? Wait a while until something else that will support our familiar applications comes onto the market? Are the marketing wonks at Microsoft so out of touch they believe they can force me to buy something I don’t want? What in the world makes them think that? As a side note, I should point out that what people do not like about Windows 8 is not how it works or anything complicated. They don’t like the user interface. I think it’s ugly, in addition to taking away familiar functionality with which I am comfortable. If they just made Windows 8 look and feel like Windows 7, it would sell. And yes, they could do it. They just don’t want to.

I don’t want to buy what they are marketing. Who will win? I think I will, or maybe, we will all lose. Because in this fragile economy, losing a few big players like Microsoft, Dell and other Microsoft dependent corporations would probably be that final nail in our economic coffin.

Meanwhile, collectively and individually, we aren’t marching to Microsoft’s drummer. We aren’t buying their act or their operating system. PC sales are falling through the floor. Microsoft stubbornly insists everyone will do it their way while we dig in our heels and say “Hell no!” They obviously don’t get it. They think it’s about technology, but it’s really about choice. It’s about comfort. It’s about freedom.

I’d have bought a different computer for Garry, but I refused to buy Win8. I don’t want it. Neither do most of the people I know. We are called consumers and it doesn’t matter how great Microsoft thinks their new OS is. They may even be right and it still doesn’t matter. If we don’t buy it, they are screwed. And so, in the long run, are we. They are being incredibly short-sighted, which I think is a special kind of stupid. How many computer companies have disappeared because they wouldn’t bow to the market?

Remember Digital Equipment Corporation? DEC was Massachusetts’ biggest employer and it is gone, baby, gone. By the time they finally realized that being better wasn’t selling their products, it was too late. Down in flames they went.

When I was a child and my mother tried to make me eat food she believed was good for me and which I did not want to eat, I clamped my jaws shut and refused. It didn’t matter how long I was forced to sit at the table. I would not eat it if I didn’t want it. No amount of coercion, coaxing, or arguments changed anything. I said no, I meant no. If my mommy couldn’t force me to eat the mashed potatoes, why does Microsoft think it can make me buy Windows 8? And what in the world makes them think they have the right to try?

It’s not about technology, oh ye geeks.


16 thoughts on “Geeks Speak, Consumers Say No”

  1. They do it because they have 90% of desktop real estate in the world; the good news is you can turn it off. Hopefully MS themselves will incorporate that into a service pack soon. As for me, yeah I use Windows 7


    1. I actually LIKE Windows 7. It has a few quirks, but over all, it fixes most of the problems I’ve had in the past with Windows, which I’ve been using for a very long time … since Windows 3.1 I think. Before that, I had Macs. I may wind up back with Mac. I dont’ really want to go there. I have a big investment in software that runs on Windows. I’d rather not migrate everything to a different OS. That would be expensive and a real pain in the butt.

      I won’t be bullied. MS could change Win 8 to make the interface comfortable for users who want the desktop. They are refusing because they have a big brother thing happening. They figure they know what’s best for everyone. I don’t care what they think. The harder they push, the harder I resist. It’s a lose-lose for them and us.


      1. yeah I agree, but there will come a time when a new machine is needed or software and it wont run on windows 7, granted that will be a very long time off, but it will come, and their arrogance will win because they are the biggest out there.


  2. Google with their Gmail is exactly the same – entirely too big for their boots, forcing change nobody wants just for the heck of it. I could be wrong here (wouldn’t be the first time), but it seems to me that the bigger a company gets, the more out of touch with consumers they are. In short, they become entirely clueless. Seems to be a trend.


    1. I think you’re right, but it needn’t be that way. Obtuseness is a choice, not a requirement.

      Companies hire professionals to “track” customer reactions, opinions, etc. Either they hire incompetents or they don’t listen. Maybe both. I’ve seen this in small organizations too. Hubris and stupidity is not limited to monster corporations. Regardless, it’s lethal if not reversed. When you stop listening to your customers, you wind up bankrupt. Giants topple. DEC at it’s peak had more than 20,000 employees. Gone. They made a last minute attempt to find a niche in the market, but it was way too late. Massachusetts’ hi-tech industry never fully recovered. Maybe never will. When big employers go down, they take a lot of lives with them. That’s why I said we all lose.


        1. Someone else’s comment really summed it up.

          Windows 8 is difficult to use! THAT’S the secret of its failure. Fix the interface and voila, problem solved. There are morons running Microsoft!


          1. I think ‘moron’ would be an upgrade for those people!

            Can’t understand why companies need to keep ‘fixing’ things that aren’t broken, when they know all it does is tick off a massive chunk of their customer base.


            1. I think THEY think they will sell more stuff because everyone will automatically jump on the “it’s NEW!” bandwagon. Except people aren’t quite as dumb as marketing execs apparently think.

              On Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 10:04 AM, SERENDIPITY


  3. Let me PUBLICLY thank you for buying me the new computer!! I still feel guilty for the money spent on our fixed income. As for the Microsoft Bully game, someone should round up an angry mob and storm their headquarters.


  4. The most astounding feature of Windows 8 is …. drum roll please … IT’S REALLY HARD TO USE.
    Cymbals clashing !!!

    You’d think after 8 versions of something it would better – friendlier – simpler. Right ???
    But NO !!! Windows 8 is almost completely illogical and non-intuitive.

    Then these twits have been promoting Touch Screen interface. Do you really want a bunch of finger prints all over your monitor? and Is Touch Screen really easier to use than a mouse? NO !! I can move cursor all the way across the screen by shifting my hand my hand about 2 inches … not to mention the convenience of the wheel.

    Touch screens might be useful for somebody. But who ? They look good in movies … like Iron Man and Minority Report. Other than that they appear to be labor intensive …


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