This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Microsoft's Windows 8: Why I Changed My Mind

Still, using Windows 8 on a purpose-built touch screen is not necessarily enough to make the operating system a success. Even if that 1% touch-screen experience is as smooth as can be, it comes with a learning curve. The absence of a start button in particular means that you have to figure out basic menu navigation. Learning this may take some people five minutes or less, but for others it could require up to 25 minutes.

Either way, you will be a completely lost and unhappy customer if you don't have someone show you these basic commands.

There is good news and bad news in this. First, the good news:

Once you have taken the time to learn these basic commands and gestures, I think almost all customers will find that Windows 8 works very well and is a solid improvement over Windows 7. In other words, the learning curve may be steep, but at least it's measured in minutes, not hours.

The bad news: I can see many people buying Windows 8, not investing a few minutes in having someone in the store showing these new basic interface concepts, and then trying to use it "cold" at home. In that case, initial user reaction may be very negative, causing a major black eye for Microsoft, as well as returned equipment to stores. If this becomes "the story," then Microsoft may be doomed. This was my fear before Oct. 25.

To wit, the all-too-few Microsoft stores are selling only touch-screen PCs now. However, when I walked into Best Buy (BBY), Fry's and the Sony (SNE) Store, there were many non-touch-screen Windows 8 PCs. Microsoft has it right, and the people who buy non-touch-screen PCs from these other retailers may cause Microsoft a fatal problem.

There is other good news with Windows 8: It's not all about the interface and the touch screen. It's also about security and manageability. Antivirus software is now built in, and wiping/restoring your PC now takes a few minutes instead of perhaps hours. The synchronization across devices and SkyDrive are now as "normal/integrated" as they are for the Google (GOOG - Get Report) and Apple ecosystems.

But this is for "regular" Windows 8. not Windows 8 RT.

At least in the near term, Windows 8 RT, including Microsoft's own hardware (the Surface tablet) is a relative sideshow as far as I am concerned. Windows RT cannot run Microsoft Outlook or any traditional PC software such as the Chrome browser or iTunes. This can change over time, but the situation for a buyer today -- and perhaps for many months to come -- is bleak.
2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Real Money

More than 30 investing pros with skin in the game give you actionable insight and investment ideas.

Product Features:
  • Access to Jim Cramer's daily blog
  • Intraday commentary and news
  • Real-time trading forums
Only $49.95
14-Days Free
14-Days Free
AAPL $93.24 -1.01%
GOOG $701.43 0.82%
MSFT $49.94 0.14%
FB $117.26 -0.68%
TSLA $212.10 -4.70%


Chart of I:DJI
DOW 17,660.71 +9.45 0.05%
S&P 500 2,050.63 -0.49 -0.02%
NASDAQ 4,717.0940 -8.5450 -0.18%

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs