Windows 8 Woes Continue


Mozilla announced on Friday that it is abandoning its Metro version of Firefox for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. In a statement released on the company’s Future Releases blog, Firefox Vice President Johnathan Nightingale praised the project’s team, but said it would be a mistake to continue to pour resources into it. Nightingale noted that the Metro browser tile for the Windows 8/8.1 start screen has never seen more than 1,000 active daily users. Mozilla’s announcement suggests that even following the release of Windows 8.1—which was rolled out in January to address user issues—the woes for Windows 8 continue.

Introduced in October 2012, Windows 8 was designed to save the PC. With Android and iOS tablets gaining popularity, the new operating system addressed both tablets and PCs by integrating a tablet-like tiled start-up screen to PCs; this was a drastic departure from the desktop start-up screen Windows’ users had grown accustomed to. Consumers responded negatively to Windows 8, with two consistent and loud complaints being the lack of a Start button—a feature Windows’ users regularly used—and not being able to boot directly to the desktop screen.

Consumer desire to boot directly to the old-style desktop suggests that users prefer to bypass the Windows 8 tiled menu completely. Mozilla’s announcement that its Windows 8 Metro tile produces less than 1,000 active daily users supports that sentiment. Firefox consistently comes in number two behind Google Chrome for browser usage, garnering around 30 percent of the market. Given its share of the browser market, Firefox’s lack of use on the Windows 8 tiled menu should serve as a canary in the mine for Microsoft.

Though it was designed to save the PC from encroaching tablet competition by making its interface more tablet-like, Windows 8, ironically, is actually hurting the PC market. Analysts report that PC sales have dropped in six straight quarters and some estimates foresee a 10 percent drop in overall PC sales in 2014. Microsoft hopes the fixes introduced to Windows 8.1 will help stem the negative tide.

It can’t be denied that Microsoft listened to consumer complaints concerning Windows 8, though the company initially chalked up much of the early criticism as a trend to the extreme, suggesting in a May 2013 statement that critics were using hyperbole and being sensational just to get page views. Two of the featured fixes incorporated into Windows 8.1 address the two key consumer complaints. Users now have the option to boot directly to the old-style desktop, bypassing the tiled screen, and a modified Start button has been added.

With tablet device continuing to gain consumer popularity and software companies responding to that trend by focusing on developing apps that support Android and iOS platforms, the PC seems destined to eventually serve only a niche audience. Serious gamers, graphic designers, animators, writers and the like will still likely see the benefit of a PC over a tablet device, but the average consumer who uses the Internet to gather news and information or keep in touch with friends and family via social media prefers the portability and convenience that tablet devices offer. So even if consumers do react positively to the Windows 8.1 fixes, the trend in tablet usage growth suggests that Windows 8’s woes will continue.

Scott Merrow


11 Responses to "Windows 8 Woes Continue"

  1. ACampanelli   March 19, 2014 at 4:50 am

    Since I do not know how to “reach” to the truly idiotic geeks at Microsoft who are causing Microsoft to put out products as abysmal as Windows 8, I hope to use symbols to communicate with them.

    The Microsoft Refrigerator

    New from Microsoft is the Microsoft refrigerator. When it arrives, you’ll notice that the door to the refrigerator has no handle. Nor does it have any signs or notes telling you from which direction the door opens, or how to open it. This feature is brought to you by the genius who conceived of “charms” hidden in Windows 8, to ensure that you will curse at least once while trying to figure out how to shut down your laptop or desktop for the first time.

    To cause the refrigerator to first get cold, and before you can store anything inside of it, you must first call Microsoft, register the refrigerator with them, and open a video-account with them, so Microsoft can see everything you place inside your refrigerator at any time. This feature is brought to you by the dweeb who thought it was a good idea to require you to register with Microsoft, just to be able to use a computer which has the Windows 8 operating system

    Once your video-registry for your refrigerator is complete, you can open the door, and once you do, an arm will automatically extend out to you with a ham sandwich, and the door will then close. It doesn’t matter that you wanted to eat something other than a ham sandwich, because Microsoft has decided that since you’ve eaten a ham sandwich in the past, that’s what you will eat now. This feature is brought to you by the imbecile who created the auto-formating features in Microsoft Word which make it virtually impossible for users to simply set-up documents they way they want to, but instead are forced to fight with Word, every time they have the audacity to indent something and thereafter proceed to try to start a new paragraph.

    I could go on, but I hope perhaps, the next time one of the idiots at Microsoft come up with another one of these truly moronic ideas, they may ask themselves, would I want this feature on my refrigerator?

    Andrew J. Campanelli


  2. fernand   March 18, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Reason: Chrome is #1 now, fact.
    Tons of people now hate firefox after freware (forced and embeded in your computer) after the recent updates or instalations of Firefox. It was good in the past. Firefox #3 these days…

  3. Gerard Hopkinson   March 18, 2014 at 4:10 am

    Windows touch interface is designed for TOUCH screens and works very well. When we see increasing numbers of touchscreen PC’s, there will be a decline in complaints about it. If you want to use the standard interface us it and ignore the other. You’re not being charged for it. The standard interface is an improvement over XP and W7. So, what’s the problem.

  4. Scott Merrow   March 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

    bbds. You are correct, I did overlook IT. Although, I think that’s a given.

  5. Scott Merrow   March 17, 2014 at 7:36 am

    I appreciate your comment, Kevin. In the article I was referring specifically to Firefox users who access the browser via the WIndows 8 tile screen. I was making no commentary on Firefox’s usage overall. Moreover, given that my focus was on consumer’s disregard for the Windows 8 tile screen, I believe how Firefox is doing on Android and iOs to be irrelevant. Although, I did point out that Firefox is consistently the number two browser used across all platforms, running only behind Google Chrome. My ‘canary in the mine’ statement was also referring to the relevance of the Windows 8 tile screen. Quite simply, most people don’t like it and don’t use it. Again, I appreciate your comment and hope this clears up any confusion.

  6. Kevin Edwards   March 17, 2014 at 6:21 am

    Since when is an applications poor showing a reflection of the sales of the OS it runs on. Could it simply be that IE in Windows 8/8.1 does an excellent enough job and no one really cares for Firefox ? Based on this writers journalistic prowess, Windows 95/98 is a huge flop since Netscape was a failure. Did the writer even investigate to correlate how Firefox is doing on iOS and Android in relation to OS distribution compared to Windows 8 ? before making unskilled statements like ‘canary in the mine’

  7. J   March 16, 2014 at 10:34 pm

    Windows 8 was designed for pad devices, not home computers. They give users the option to disable the giant rectangular icon desktop GUI, but otherwise offers minimal performance advantage over windows 7. I do not believe they did significant research gauging whether or not PC users would take to the anti-text, big giant button GUI.

  8. Living Qwerty   March 16, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    If Microsoft were to make a car 8.0; the steering wheel would be in the back seat right side, the brake would be in the back seat left side. the gas pedal would stay in the same place, all seats would have large screen TV’s 32 inches, and best of all the doors would be in the roof. They would argue that they designed the car to compete against the boat market, even though the thing doesn’t float

  9. bbds   March 16, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    “Serious gamers, graphic designers, animators, writers and the like will still likely see the benefit of a PC over a tablet device” ——- are you kidding…!!!!! No my dear, every IT in the world uses PCs, not tablets.

  10. Kyllein MacKellerann   March 16, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    Windows is making the same mistake it made in the past with Win98 and Win2000; it is trying to force the market. Problem is, with the OS’s that run on Windows-architecture these days, people can now say “No” and make it stick.
    I like Firefox. It is my backup system (Google is first because it came loaded and I’m lazy)
    When Windows concentrates on what it does well, it wins. When it tries to move out of that area of doing what it does best, it flails and fails.
    Every time. Given a choice between Win8 or Linux (which I detest) I would go with Linux. Win 8 is that bad.

  11. Bon   March 16, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    Most people who use firefox really hate Microsoft. The only reason they stayed in the past has been because they had no alternative OS environment. No their are alternatives for those windows haters. to use their poor numbers in judging windows 8, when their are over 250 million windows 8 sold so far is ridiculous. Apple does not sell that many MACs .
    This writer is also one that doesn’t like Microsoft that much.
    This article has no merits..


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