Microsoft gets the Windows 8 blues

Posted by Mike Magee

It now looks increasingly likely that Microsoft will have to perform a dramatic u-turn on the Windows 8 interface.

Yesterday, London UK based the Financial Times reported that Microsoft is being forced to put the “start” button back on the opening screen of Windows 8, while the company said today that it will now release a preview version of Windows Blue at the end of June.

Microsoft’s current Windows 8 screen is based on the premise that people would want a touch style tablet feel for their PCs. But that adds an extra cost to machines and there is little evidence there is much enthusiasm for Ultrabook machines with detachable screens.

Microsoft adopted the Windows 8 tile approach in something of a kneejerk reaction to the success of “swipe” options on tablets and on smartphones.  But Ultrabook sales have not gone nearly as well as both Intel and Microsoft hoped – due to cost, the current economic climate and, ironically, the relatively low price of subsidized smartphones and tablets.

Microsoft denied the Financial Times report and claimed that it had a good response to Windows 8. However, Microsoft stands a snowball’s chance in hell of persuading enterprise users to swap out existing Windows 7 installations for an interface that simply is superfluous to business machines.