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Windows 8: Hate it already? Why waiting for Windows 9 won't help

Jared Newman | Aug. 29, 2012
We take a speculative look at the future of Microsoft's operating system.

Conventional Windows wisdom seems to hold that every other version of Windows is terrible and needs to be fixed by whatever version comes after that. Does this mantra sound familiar?

Windows XP, good. Windows Vista, bad. Windows 7, good. Windows 8, bad. Windows 9, good.

That's how it's supposed to go, right?

Given the drastic changes in Windows 8, it's no surprise that some users who hate it are already holding out hope for a better Windows 9.

As evidence, I submit a sampling of comments from PCWorld readers:

  • "What Windows 8 is, is just a media O.S... that's about it. On a tablet, that's fine or a cell phone. Vista was bad, Windows 7 is good.. Microsoft will make Windows 9 better." -Shinobi
  • "I'm another one who will NOT 'upgrade' to Windows 8 - maybe Windows 9 will be better, every alternate system seems to be a shambles, looks like 8 will continue the trend!" -jja7528
  • "I hope that all PC manufacturers will give buyers the option to customize their PC's with the "OLD" Windows 7, at least until an improved Windows 9 comes out......" -SamDovels

I'm here to deliver the bad news: Windows 9 won't provide salvation, at least not if you're hoping for Microsoft to alter its current trajectory. Unless you're willing to embrace the changes Microsoft is making in Windows 8, be prepared to stick with your current version of Windows for a long time.

Windows Needs Change

Although Windows 8 has a fair share of perks for the traditional desktop, the operating system's featured attraction is its new touchscreen interface.

Instead of the pop-up Start menu that's been around since Windows 95, there's a full-screen Start page with a grid of big, touchable app tiles. Within this menu, you'll find the Windows Store, full of apps that seem to have tablets in mind.

To take advantage of the software, Microsoft and PC makers plan to sell laptop-tablet hybrids, meant to offer the best of both worlds.

If you have zero interest in tablets or touchscreens, these changes might seem upsetting. It's as if Windows, nerdy at heart, showed up to school with a hip new look, intent on abandoning its geeky friends.

Yet, it has to be this way. PC sales are down, while iPad sales are surging. People are turning to the iPad when they just need to get online or play with some apps. Although PC purists insist that you can't do real work on an iPad, the body of evidence to the contrary keeps increasing.

Office Suite apps abound, as do keyboard cases that make the iPad more laptop-like. You can write code and design webpages on the iPad. You can compose music and edit video, too.


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