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Microsoft Reaffirms Desktop is the Core of Windows

By - Source: ZDNet | B 21 comments

Someone at Microsoft loves us.

Microsoft's Executive Vice President of operating systems, Terry Myerson, recently told ZDNet in an interview that the desktop is part of the future of Windows, that it's absolutely a core experience. The news is refreshing given that all the Windows 8 advertising since before the platform's launch has seemingly been about the touchy Start Screen. That focus didn't change until desktop users lashed out and PC sales began to plummet.

"We actually value using the desktop. I feel highly productive using it. It's very familiar to me," he told ZDNet. "We plan -- (as) we talked about at the Build conference -- to bring modern apps to the desktop. We are going to have machines that have a great desktop experience."

When asked about all the rumors surrounding Windows RT, he said that Windows ARM processors have a future, and there's tremendous innovation in the ARM ecosystem. He believes that Intel has a fabulous future, that there's tremendous innovation going on with Intel as well.

But what about all that talk concerning the merging of Windows RT and Windows Phone? He said that Microsoft will have a great version of Windows on ARM. The team is working to determine what will really "delight" customers in all the form factors that will have ARM chips. Nice dodge, Mr. Myerson.

"I think the most important thing is the one developer platform across the Internet of things, phone, tablet, PC, Xbox, PPI (Perceptive Pixel touch displays), the cloud. One coherent, consistent excellent place, one way for developers to target the Windows ecosystem and delight our customers," he said.

Later on ZDNet, he brought up the topic of the Start Menu, which was shown during BUILD in April. He said that it was displayed to show developers that it was coming back, but right now he doesn't (or is unwilling to confirm) when it will arrive. We speculate that the Start Menu will arrive this fall in Windows 8.1 Update 2, or next Spring in Windows 9 "Threshold."

The interview also talked about wearables, which according to this interview, isn't really much of a topic. "With our Internet of Things work we are enabling our customers to build great stuff," he said.

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Top Comments
  • 12 Hide
    red77star , April 16, 2014 12:39 PM
    There is something contradicting about this interview and that's as soon as you start talking about Desktop, Metro Eco System has no place especially not in floating Windows. The explanation is simple...Metro Apps bring 0 value to PC Desktops. It comes down to this. Windows 8 should not have been released for Desktops. Windows 7 wasn't broken and doesn't need replacement for now. Windows 8 in under different name should go only for Phones and Tablets.
Other Comments
  • 1 Hide
    antilycus , April 16, 2014 12:32 PM
    Microsoft, every single time you speak, you show just how out of sync you are with your customer base wants and desires. Windows 8 and Metro suck....coming from DOS, going to Windows 3.1 -> 8.x, OS/2 Warp, OS X, Linux (on Gnome), BeOS, etc WIN8 is BY FAR the least user friendly. You have lost of trust of tens of milions of users and it's trust that users/customers don't care enough to give you another chance for. There is much more competition out there for a lot less price and MUCHHH more value. You've murdered SQL, V.S. , .NET, every language ever (F# is a good example), Exchange, Office, Live drive... wait I mean sky drive, oh sorry ONE drive... you are literlaly burning whats left of your customer base and lack luster developers that can't understand basic principles like tab indexes aren't going to save you. HTML5 is the future...open source is the future (doesn't mean free)... Microsoft is not.
  • 12 Hide
    red77star , April 16, 2014 12:39 PM
    There is something contradicting about this interview and that's as soon as you start talking about Desktop, Metro Eco System has no place especially not in floating Windows. The explanation is simple...Metro Apps bring 0 value to PC Desktops. It comes down to this. Windows 8 should not have been released for Desktops. Windows 7 wasn't broken and doesn't need replacement for now. Windows 8 in under different name should go only for Phones and Tablets.
  • Display all 37 comments.
  • 7 Hide
    doomtomb , April 16, 2014 12:55 PM
    Nothing to see here folks. Just some talking head and broken promises. Oh yeah, and "tremendous innovation"
  • 5 Hide
    clownbaby , April 16, 2014 1:11 PM
    Microsoft, you could have fooled me! Windows 8 is buried under some garbage UI and makes professional desktop use annoying. I've been downgrading pro systems to win7 at request from users at a rate of 2-3/week.
  • 0 Hide
    Wamphryi , April 16, 2014 1:16 PM
    Now that I have applied the update to Win 8.1 the OS is now the traditional experience people wanted. Win 8.1 is superior to Win 7 at the back end. It is stronger and more stable. I can put in a new motherboard of a completely different type and Win 8.1 has the system up and running in under 5 minutes. Win 7 just blue screens until you scrub the drive and start from scratch. If your a Win 8 hater who is not using the OS then you are bleating about yesterdays news. Win 8 has moved on and so should anyone who wants the ATX PC form factor to thrive. Simply put if you have it you will know 99% of the issues are moot. If you don't have it then you don't know what you are talking about.
  • -1 Hide
    classzero , April 16, 2014 1:25 PM
    Quote:
    Microsoft, every single time you speak, you show just how out of sync you are with your customer base wants and desires. Windows 8 and Metro suck....coming from DOS, going to Windows 3.1 -> 8.x, OS/2 Warp, OS X, Linux (on Gnome), BeOS, etc WIN8 is BY FAR the least user friendly. You have lost of trust of tens of milions of users and it's trust that users/customers don't care enough to give you another chance for. There is much more competition out there for a lot less price and MUCHHH more value. You've murdered SQL, V.S. , .NET, every language ever (F# is a good example), Exchange, Office, Live drive... wait I mean sky drive, oh sorry ONE drive... you are literlaly burning whats left of your customer base and lack luster developers that can't understand basic principles like tab indexes aren't going to save you. HTML5 is the future...open source is the future (doesn't mean free)... Microsoft is not.

    I really do not believe Microsoft reads Tom's comments, but I am sure you feel better getting that off your chest!
  • 3 Hide
    p05esto , April 16, 2014 1:27 PM
    MS has a ways to go to fix things. I really hope they do though, because the alternative choices are MUCH worse, horrible. It's a dark time for computing, that is for sure. Us Power users are in the minority and we're being forced to used crap that's so dumbed down that it's impossible to work fast and efficient. The OS is so non-customizable, so locked down, so boring, so few options... I HATE Win8, hate it BAD. Even parts of Win7 were worse in this regard compared to XP/Vista. We keep losing intelligent UI with every new version.
  • 1 Hide
    ethanolson , April 16, 2014 1:34 PM
    Polarizing comments here. The OS is almost back BUT isn't there yet. I will point out that while I like the mood of Windows 7 better, Win 8 is faster and I'm a speed freak, so I use Win 8. It's a lot nicer with the updates but still more are needed. I actually get productive work done, so I'm a desktop user. Desktop needs still more focus.

    Also, the underlying structure needs improvement... like a Vista to 7 kind of improvement. I've had a few situations where significant updates don't take and won't without a complete rebuild. Win 7 doesn't have that problem and I'm hoping that Win 9 won't either. Win 9 can't come fast enough for the entire world, me included.
  • 3 Hide
    RCguitarist , April 16, 2014 2:38 PM

    Quote:
    Now that I have applied the update to Win 8.1 the OS is now the traditional experience people wanted. Win 8.1 is superior to Win 7 at the back end. It is stronger and more stable. I can put in a new motherboard of a completely different type and Win 8.1 has the system up and running in under 5 minutes. Win 7 just blue screens until you scrub the drive and start from scratch. If your a Win 8 hater who is not using the OS then you are bleating about yesterdays news. Win 8 has moved on and so should anyone who wants the ATX PC form factor to thrive. Simply put if you have it you will know 99% of the issues are moot. If you don't have it then you don't know what you are talking about.


    Several of my family members have pcs equipped with windows 8.1 and after using thier pcs several times, I still find the experience frustrating. Nothing works logically as it should and every setting you might want to adjust or check on is buried 20 menus deep. It's terrible and not superior in any way.
  • 2 Hide
    Zaranthos , April 16, 2014 2:42 PM
    Desktop is core? Less talk and more action please. Quality from Microsoft has been going downhill in many areas. I'll make a quick list off the top of my head.

    Timing is everything, which is why ending XP support now was a slap in the face to your core base of desktop users. A lot, and I mean lot of people still have XP even after the plug has been essentially pulled on it in an effort to force people into Windows 8.x. Many people don't like Windows 8.x for obvious reasons. Some people just don't need a new computer and aren't very happy being nagged that support has ended. Microsoft Security Essentials nagging on every startup is a poor user experience, annoying, and foolish. You can say it's about warning and protecting the user but many don't care and want to continue to use it anyway and that's their choice. So why nag them like some adware infection? Remember the boy who cried wolf? Next time they won't listen.

    Windows 7 will often not update without failed update attempts during large batches of updates sometimes. This never happened with XP in the many years I've worked with it that I ever recall on clean installations. It happens on Windows 7 often. It's not fatal, but it's a waste of download bandwidth and time due most likely to poor update scripting on Microsofts part. Not enough testing and quality control. Still I prefer Windows 7 over all other versions.

    Windows 8 updating is a nightmare. I can't update a customers computer the standard Windows store way without their password. I can't download an update and just apply it like a service pack and have to endure long download times and even longer installation times. Now I may be able to do an in place upgrade with an 8.1 DVD but that's still not as good as a service pack for many reasons. I don't like the Windows store, the start screen, or the ribbon bars so even if I would use Windows 8, which I will not, I'd have to put an older Wordpad on to eliminate the ribbon bar, a third party start menu which I don't use much but still prefer of the start screen, and an explorer replacement to get rid of said ribbon bar. That makes my out of box experience bad enough I don't want to do it over the many installs I would do during an OS lifetime.

    That's just a few things. I have many more and not enough time to bother listing things like defrag name changes in Windows 8 so search won't find it correctly or other stupid annoyances. I'm never excited about changes for the sake of change without a good reason so even XP annoyed me in some cases at first, but never enough to prevent me upgrading, unlike Windows 8. So, don't tell me desktop is core, prove it. Until then I don't trust you, don't support your flagship product, or your business in general. You've annoyed me too much and I won't soon forget.
  • 0 Hide
    someguynamedmatt , April 16, 2014 3:35 PM
    Am I the only person who misses the days of Windows 98? That has to be my favorite OS to date, except maybe Win2k/XP - it's a close matchup. Things were simple, user-friendly, and just worked - everything was right where you'd expect it to be, and nothing was buried under twenty levels of user-account bullshit like they are these days. I never had to make any MSoft accounts for Win9x... it was damn near impossible to kill, too, unless you mangled the Windows folder beyond recognition, and even then you could just pop in a disc, replace your system files, and call it a day.

    I guess Microsoft is going in favor of making things needlessly complicated and coated in ten thousand layers of worthless 'features' just for the fun of it these days. That's my rant for today.

    *Goes back to playing with 60mb RLL hard drive*
  • 0 Hide
    ultameca , April 16, 2014 4:02 PM
    I actually like windows 8 the way it is, I don't want the start menu back.
  • -4 Hide
    bmwman91 , April 16, 2014 5:00 PM
    Quote:
    Several of my family members have pcs equipped with windows 8.1 and after using thier pcs several times, I still find the experience frustrating. Nothing works logically as it should and every setting you might want to adjust or check on is buried 20 menus deep. It's terrible and not superior in any way.


    I realize that there was some intentional exaggeration here, but can you give an example or two of common settings that are more than 3 levels deep (or 20 levels)? Aside from some advanced power plan configurations in the administrative templates, there is almost nothing that I can think of which qualifies as a remotely-normal desktop setting that takes more than 3 levels of exploring. Heck, I can get to things faster than before by just opening the start screen and typing the name of what I am after. Most of the important/common settings show up that way which means only one level of digging.

    It is completely understandable that less tech savvy people are used to XP/7 and will find frustration in the fact that some stuff moved around, but it isn't exactly an insurmountable hurdle. The start screen search will turn up most things ASAP too. Sure it takes a little experimenting to work out, but that's the same argument that Linux proponents always use to try to get people to switch. "Just spend a few days trying it out and you'll get it." Win8 is better than Win7 in a variety of ways, objectively and subjectively. Not everyone is willing to part with their old habits and that is fine, but being willing to change a couple of little habits has paid off and I think that Win8 is a smoother experience overall. And I use it in "desktop" mode 99.9% of the time.
  • -1 Hide
    alextheblue , April 16, 2014 8:16 PM
    Quote:
    Us Power users are in the minority and we're being forced to used crap that's so dumbed down that it's impossible to work fast and efficient.
    Examples please. In what cases is Win 8.1 slowing you down vs. Win 7, and is that simply due to a lack of knowledge? Most of the time so-called "power users" complain here, they're not real power users.

    There are things about Win8 I don't care for, but it's getting better with every major release.
  • 0 Hide
    Dan Williams , April 16, 2014 8:26 PM
    Win8 was solely about Microsoft seeing the money Apple and Google are making with the App markets and MS wanted to share in that model. They forgot that those of us using the desktop use it because we don't want the watered down experience of the App store.
  • 0 Hide
    oxiide , April 16, 2014 8:28 PM
    Oh, how kind of them to BRING MODERN APPS TO THE DESKTOP. Why wouldn't "modern apps" start out on the most powerful, most capable platform, and then if needed, get dumbed down for the lesser platforms?
  • 0 Hide
    sykozis , April 16, 2014 8:30 PM
    Quote:
    I actually like windows 8 the way it is, I don't want the start menu back.

    I don't want the start menu back either. I'll be forced to abandon Windows if the start menu gets forced on Win8.x users....
  • 1 Hide
    JOSHSKORN , April 16, 2014 9:50 PM
    Thanks to Windows 8, people will stop playing PC games and end up wasting their time on MACs.
  • 0 Hide
    MidnightDistort , April 16, 2014 10:29 PM
    Quote:
    Now that I have applied the update to Win 8.1 the OS is now the traditional experience people wanted. Win 8.1 is superior to Win 7 at the back end. It is stronger and more stable. I can put in a new motherboard of a completely different type and Win 8.1 has the system up and running in under 5 minutes. Win 7 just blue screens until you scrub the drive and start from scratch. If your a Win 8 hater who is not using the OS then you are bleating about yesterdays news. Win 8 has moved on and so should anyone who wants the ATX PC form factor to thrive. Simply put if you have it you will know 99% of the issues are moot. If you don't have it then you don't know what you are talking about.


    I beg to differ, i have had zero problems with Windows 7 and i keep hearing about how W8x updates are bricking PCs forcing you to either do a clean install or restore from a backup. I have not seen any W7 machines blue screen either. As others have said updating W8x is a hassle, however installing service packs for XP and W7 go smoothly. I don't know what these people have on their PC's that would cause W8 updates to have problems, but i wonder if MS is rushing these updates too quickly.
  • 0 Hide
    thundervore , April 16, 2014 10:56 PM
    We just want the new taskbar, improved task manager, and the ability to mount ISO files from windows 8 on windows 7. Everything else can GTFO!!!
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