Microsoft, Windows 8, and the Innovator’s Dilemma (or, why you hate Windows 8)

One thing is obvious from the immediate reaction to Windows 8 Release Preview. Most of those who try it do not like it. It is a contrast to the pre-release days of Windows 7, when there was near-consensus that, whatever you think of Windows overall, the new edition was better than its predecessors.

Why would a company with huge resources and the world’s most popular desktop operating system – 600 million Windows 7 licenses so far, according to OEM VP Steven Guggenheimer – create a new edition which its customers do not want?

Microsoft under Steve Ballmer is a somewhat dysfunctional company – too many meetings, says ex-softie Brandon Watson – but there is still a wealth of talent there. Specifically, Windows President Steven Sinofsky has proven his ability, first with Microsoft Office 2007 which beat off the challenge from OpenOffice.org, and next with Windows 7, which if it repeated the disappointment of Windows Vista would have damaged the company severely.

If it is not incompetence, then, what is it?

In this context, Clayton M. Christensen’s 1997 classic The Innovator’s Dilemma – When new technologies cause great firms to fail is a good read. Chapter one is here. Christensen studied the hard drive market, asking why sixteen of the seventeen companies which dominated the industry in 1976 had failed or been acquired by 1995, replaced by new entrants to the market. Christensen argues that these firms failed because they listened too much to their customers. He says that delivering what your customers want is mostly a good idea, but occasionally fatal:

This is one of the innovator’s dilemmas: Blindly following the maxim that good managers should keep close to their customers can sometimes be a fatal mistake.

Specifically, hard drive companies failed because new entrants had physically smaller hard drives that were more popular. The reason the established companies failed was because their customers had told them that physically smaller drives was not what they wanted:

Why were the leading drive makers unable to launch 8-inch drives until it was too late? Clearly, they were technologically capable of producing these drives. Their failure resulted from delay in making the strategic commitment to enter the emerging market in which the 8-inch drives initially could be sold. Interviews with marketing and engineering executives close to these companies suggest that the established 14-inch drive manufacturers were held captive by customers. Mainframe computer manufacturers did not need an 8-inch drive. In fact, they explicitly did not want it: they wanted drives with increased capacity at a lower cost per megabyte. The 14-inch drive manufacturers were listening and responding to their established customers. And their customers–in a way that was not apparent to either the disk drive manufacturers or their computer-making customers–were pulling them along a trajectory of 22 percent capacity growth in a 14-inch platform that would ultimately prove fatal.

Are there any parallels with what is happening in computer operating systems today? I think there are. It is not exact, given that tablet pioneer Apple cannot be described as a new entrant, though Google with Android is a closer match. Nevertheless, there is a new kind of operating system based on mobility, touch control, long battery life, secure store-delivered apps, and cloud connectivity, which is eating into the market share for Windows. Further, it seems to me that for Microsoft to do the kind of new Windows that its customers are asking for, which Christensen calls a “sustaining innovation”, like Windows 7 but faster, more reliable, more secure, and with new features that make it easier to use and more capable, would be a trajectory of death. Existing customers would praise it and be more likely to upgrade, but it would do nothing to stem the market share bleed to Apple iPad and the like. Nor would it advance Microsoft’s position in smartphones.

Should Microsoft have adapted its Windows Phone OS for tablets two years ago, or created Metro-style Windows as an independent OS while maintaining Windows desktop separately? YES say customers infuriated by the full-screen Start menu. Yet, the dismal sales for Windows Phone show how difficult it is to enter a market where competitors are firmly entrenched. Would not the same apply to Windows Metro? Reviewers might like it, developers might like it, but in the shops customers would still prefer the safety of iPad and Android and their vast range of available apps.

You begin to see the remorseless logic behind Windows 8, which binds new and old so tightly that you cannot escape either. Don’t like it? Stick with Windows 7.

Microsoft will not say this, but my guess is that customer dissatisfaction with Windows 8 is expected. It is the cost, a heavy cost, of the fight to be a part of the next generation of client computers. It is noticeable though that while the feedback from users is mostly hostile, Microsoft’s OEM partners are right behind it. They do not like seeing their business munched by Apple.

The above does not prove that Microsoft is doing the right thing. Displeasing your customers, remember, is mostly the wrong thing to do. Windows 8 may fail, and Microsoft, already a company with shrinking influence, may go into an unstoppable decline. Bill Gates was right about the tablet taking over from the laptop, history may say, but Microsoft was incapable of making the radical changes to Windows that would make it work until it was too late.

Give credit for this though: Windows 8 is a bold move, and unlike the Tablet PCs that Gates waved around ten years ago, it is an OS that is fit for purpose. Sinofsky’s goal is to unify the smartphone and the tablet, making a new mobile OS that users will enjoy while also maintaining the legacy desktop and slotting in to enterprise management infrastructure. I admire his tenacity in the face of intense protest, and I am beginning to understand that foresight rather than stupidity underlies his efforts.

43 thoughts on “Microsoft, Windows 8, and the Innovator’s Dilemma (or, why you hate Windows 8)”

  1. I think you’re wrong regarding a big success of Win8.
    I like the tile interface.
    I don’t get all the Windows 8 bashing
    what other operating system provides that kind of revelation?
    Windows 8 is as you say a bold move for Microsoft.
    Windows 8 look is very bold beautiful and fluid.
    im so happy for codename:Windows 8 and i think Windows 95 was a big deal for users and developers alike.
    and Fluent Ribbon was also a *highly* controversial design — which worked out fine.
    Overall, this release feels smoother, faster, snappier, and more stable.
    with this your luck can be perfect.now with touch you can have all your requirements plus even more.My prediction is clear and I know that there will be a much perfect luck for the whole W(P)8(RT) universe than Microsoft can imagine.

    no forget mark as anwser and log the uri

  2. I cannot express deeply enough how much I hate the metro interface on Windows 8. What appalls me even more is that Microsoft are removing Aero and have recently described it as “cheesy and dated”.

    I am the head of software development at my company. I have spent 12 months re-writing our flagship product using VB.net and WPF – the current shipping version of the program has a large Visual Basic 6 base of code, but I have completely halted development on the rewrite project now. I realise that Windows 7 should be around for a long time yet, but I have come to the conclusion that as a result of the hair-brained strategy that Microsoft is now following they will rapidly become a company in decline. No company is too big to fail. I do not see why I should continue to develop a product that Microsoft will already be tagging as “legacy” as I wanted to be as up-to-date as possible, and with another code base that will last another ten years. Because of the Aero removal and the push for WinRT the message I am hearing is that WPF has no real future, which means that we are probably wasting our time with the rewrite.

    Instead of the comfortable feeling I had 12 months ago that performing a rewrite using WPF was a no-brainer, I now find myself having had to finally investigate Android and Linux Mint as credible alternatives and am actually quite impressed with what I am seeing. Our company sells a very specific product and it won’t really matter to our new customers what platform we deliver on, so I am considering selling Android tablets with our future software pre-installed and configured (I realise that most developers won’t be in that position).

    I have been programming for Windows since 1990 and have been positive and enthusiastic about every version of Windows since version 2 (albeit to varying degrees). I have used both community previews of Windows 8, and now have the release preview – and every time I use it I feel angry so there is no way I will actually buy it. I seriously feel that Windows 8 will fail and will be a case-study used by management students for decades to come as an example of how to kill a successful product with ruthless efficiency. So, from having been rather evangelical about Microsoft for many years I now just feel that the development path I was following is suddenly a dead-end. I’m not going to wait and see whether Windows 9 will try to fix this, or whether Bobby Ewing is going to step out of the shower.

  3. I believe the author of this post has completely missed the point… And I say this as a senior software engineer who actually likes the new Metro interface in Windows 8.

    However, as much as I do like the Metro interface, the useability of that interface when doing serious work on a desktop is very much lacking. Serious work on a desktop has a completely different paradigm than that of a mobile device. And anyone who believes that mobile devices will replace desktop computing in this genre obviously has little understanding of how serious computing is performed.

    Mobile devices are for the most part simply toys that allow people to flit through information, text with friends and associates, read emails, and the like. Anything else other than such short term usage and one will quickly tire of the inability of a mobile OS to provide a more comfortable working environment. Besides these devices are small to tiny and what person in their right mind would want to seriously consider staring at such a device for hours on end when trying to do work that requires being able to multitask your screens.

    True, these new devices are currently outselling desktops by larger margins. However, they are the new toys on the block where the ultra-book is just beginning to emerge that actually provides a superior compromise for the need for mobility with a decent working environment. Mobile device manufacturers may find their own “Innovators Dilemma” upon them. In addition, a lot of this is simply cultural fad with the younger generation, the results of which are in fact quite horrifying to sociologists.

    The new Metro interface was designed for a specific market in mind, which was not the desktop. As a result, mixing the two has been and will be a terrible mistake that Microsoft will have to face. They made it far worse by removing the one option in Windows 8 that could have provided a compromise, the “Start Button” and its menu system.

    I am sorry but I do not see the development of Windows 8 as a result of any “Innovators Dilemma” paradigm here since the need for a familiar and working desktop environment will never be replaced by one for mobile devices. Microsoft, like Apple, should have separated the two and left it at that and thereby would have satisfied their current customer base while allowing for the necessary innovation for the mobile market. There would have been absolutely nothing wrong with this and in fact would have provided Microsoft with far more flexibility and maneuverability than their current strategy provides for. Microsoft is quite capable of supporting two different operating systems… Just like Apple…

  4. Since the consumer preview became available, I have installed Win 8 on an old ASUS eeePC, no touch screen and 1024 x 600 screen resolution, initially sorely missing the start button. But now, I use that old eeePC more than I ever did when it had win XP on it. It’s not as good as my wife’s iPad right now (no touch control) but I certainly see the value in those active tiles. I say Microsoft had and has no choice if it wants to stay relevent. Desktops will eventually fade into the background as cloud storage, and more powerful/flexible tablets, and, more important, more delivery platforms evolve.

  5. Something as simple as making available a Win7-style Start button as an alternative to the Metro interface would suffice for me! Just this change would silence many of the desktop and laptop users who are slagging off the OS, and I don’t see it as a difficult thing for MS to do. Then we would have the *choice* to use either Metro or traditional desktop.

    Don’t get me started on VS2012 Express!

    I do not use tablets or smart phones, and won’t for the foreseeable future. They are simply not a good fit for my work and lifestyle. So, please MS, give us a non full-screen alternative to the Start button. Don’t make me stay on Win7 or migrate to Linux.

  6. My Windows 8 Impression

    First – I love Windows 7. Have it running on six PCs at home along with one running Windows Home Server. Windows 8 may be a bold move but so is jumping off a cliff. Sometimes bold moves aren’t all that productive

    Been playing with Win8 since the initial Developer Preview. There a couple of big “gotchas”, well actually, more than a couple.

    Strike one: There seems to be no consistency across applications. Some only open in Metro. Some, mostly admin functions, only open in the desktop. Many have a completely different look and feel than the others. Some file types default to Metro but the application that opens isn’t compatible with the file type. Ex., I was able to connect to my DLNA server from the desktop but when I selected a video file there it opened in the Metro Video app. The video app only displayed video files stored in the Microsoft cloud and didn’t even attempt to play the file I selected. There was a way to open local files in Metro but my DLNA server was missing from the list.

    Strike two: EVERYTHING in Metro relies on the cloud to function. I installed Win8 on my six year old convertible tablet/laptop PC. I was able to get most of the hardware functions to work but never could get the stylus to function. I realize the machine is rather old but one would think that there is some sort of generic touch/stylus driver built in. Brought the laptop into work to show some of the guys how bad Win8 is. Didn’t take long. I am not allowed to connect to the corporate network with my personal equipment so, since Metro depends on a functioning network connection, my PC basically became an anchor. If you have no network access Win8 is useless.

    Strike three: Tried to access a web site with a lot of Flash content using Internet Explorer in Metro. Said I didn’t have Flash installed. Tried to install it and it said I already had Flash and that I would have to open the site using the desktop version of IE. Two versions of IE, each incompatible with the other???

    You’re out! Bring back Windows ME, BOB and Clippy… Even they were better! 😉

  7. I wonder if Windows 8 should really be called Tiles 1.0. Windows 8 should be an improved windows 7 with the ability to run Tiles in a sandbox.

  8. Couldn’t disagree more. Windows 8 isn’t well-liked for a simple reason: It’s a mach-up of 2 UI paradigms that just don’t fit well together.

    This might still be acceptable if it accomplished something for the user — simplicity, attractiveness, whatever. But instead it does absolutely nothing for the user at all. It just allows MS to try to push its tablet interface on non-tablet users.

    Innovator’s Dilemma my ass.

  9. @MSHYYC: Historically, Microsoft takes three versions to get to success … but only two versions to get to a worthwhile product. Windows 2.0, MS-DOS 2.0, and WinWord 2.0 were all fine products. They just didn’t sell in the quantities that Windows 3.0, MS-DOS 3.0, and WinWord 6.0 did.

    @JB: People were predicting that Ribbon would destroy Microsoft’s Office revenues, that it would make businesses consider OpenOffice because it continued with the familiar pull-down menu interface. Didn’t work out that way. Microsoft’s Office business is doing great — better than Windows.

    Might they have done better if they hadn’t ditched the Ribbon? There’s no way to tell without a time machine. Certainly, they wouldn’t have a bunch of users who are used to the ribbon interface. There are kids entering college this fall who have been using Ribbon since they were 12. These kids will have a hard time switching to OpenOffice. The lock-in might well be worth the price of alienating some users.

    The Sinofsky calculation with Windows 8 is that 1 zillion customers at $60 each is better than 1.2 zillion customers at $50 each. For one thing, you get into a lot less antitrust trouble that way. For another thing, it keeps the company sharp, preventing complacency from setting in from the monopoly position. And if they can manage 1.1 or even 1.2 zillion customers at $60 each, then even better.

    @Jon: I don’t get it. *How* exactly does Metro prevent your codebase from lasting 10 years? WinForms has been legacy for 6 years now, and people are still writing brand-spanking-new apps in WinForms. MFC has been legacy for over a decade, and people are still writing new MFC apps. Or did you seriously think that the desktop is going away?

    There is one platform that got really screwed by Metro — Silverlight. But WPF? You’re overreacting. Parts of Visual Studio are written in WPF. Part of AutoCAD are written in WPF. There’s no reason why WPF shouldn’t live as long as WinForms.

  10. The problem for Microsoft is pretty misrepresented here by allusion to the “Innovator’s Dilemma” as a justification for striking out in a radical direction for Windows 8.

    The reality is that the use cases for the traditional desktop are diverging. Those that wished to consume media, browse the internet and perform communications tasks are now using tablets and phones whereas they had a vastly under-used desktop machine previously. I would argue that those people now don’t really need a desktop machine at all and they are finding that the tablet and phone performs their tasks more conveniently.

    The other, more traditional desktop user still exists and they wish to do work.

    Microsoft’s problem is that they have a single OS which they identify with both these use cases. Unfortunately by trying to cater for both, they cater for neither.

    Many people that I have heard from actually like the Metro-style interface for a use case well suited to a tablet or phone. The main complaints I have heard of Windows 8 are on the desktop for doing proper work. In this use case, the tiled and full-screen interface just isn’t efficient and unbelievably annoying.

    Microsoft need to decide which users they are targeting and focus on them. Are they going after iPhone/Android users in the mobile market for consumption of media, or are they trying to sustain the rapidly diminishing (in terms of overall percentage of computing) desktop market?

    In trying to cater for both, they are satisfying neither.

  11. Most of the comments here including the author is kind of silly and uninformed. I have used windows 8 and it is fantastic and I have read tons of reviews that pretty much say the same.

    I have also read many reviews which critisize it and all of them have this common theme of how metro sucks on a desktop. All those commenters have one thing in common they are using the metro touch interface on a non touch screen and have completely misinterpreted the concept. Ever tried to do a iPad on a non touch screen and see if you still love it (point being using something in a way it is not designed to be used). Being silly apart don’t forget that you are not forced or required to use both PC and Metro interfaces.

    Don’t use the Metro interface on your desktop if you don’t want to or don’t like it. You either don’t know or are simply ignorant of the fact that you are NOT required to do both. It is a choice between the two, you can just use either one of them or both, its entirely upto you. This choice is really wonderful considering how app centric todays mobile world has become and how we have come to love our apps.

    PS: And really you had to compare a software business of the scale that Microsoft does with a few tiny hardware companies, the two couldn’t be farther appart. I can understand your theory but the analogy really sucks.

  12. Microsoft does fine when they follow their proven time tested standard approach to development (e.g.: copying Apple). It’s when they deviate from that plan that they fall on their sword (Windows Mobile).

    Windows 8 looks like another deviation. Worrisome.

  13. Where do you get your information? Your whole premise is based off an unsupported statement that most people who try Windows 8 hate it. Really? Show me the data. I personally liked it. Still do like it. You are aware that one click turns it back into Windows 7 I assume. That seems to me like a pretty good way to keep people happy especially since it boots in about 25% of the time of windows 7 and is faster in operation.

    I get the main point you are trying to make but make that instead of using a gratuitous swipe as a hook

  14. Microsoft can’t go into a future containing Android and iOS with the ancient Win32 API. There’s too much cruft on top of cruft. So the first cut using a modern API, Win 8, is unimpressive. But this time they put some thought into the platform instead of rushing out crap, like they did 20 years ago, which produced huge social costs. I don’t think it matters that Win 8 is mediocre. Sucking hasn’t killed a Windows yet.

  15. No, it is Apple that faced the Innovator’s Dilemma (and uniquely solved it.) Microsoft is just being disrupted.

    Apple *is* a new entrant — iPad is Apple’s first $500 PC. Almost all Windows PC’s sell for about $500. That is a separate market fom the $1000 systems that are almost all Macs today. Up until iPad, Apple simply did not compete with the majority of Windows systems. Now, they do. iPad costs $200 to make and there is huge demand and satisfaction at $399 retail, and it is 700 grams and 10-hour battery and almost zero training and I-T hours needed — sorry, but HP and Dell and Lenovo cannot build an Intel system to compete with that. Microsoft lost 25% of the $500 PC market to iPad in just 2 years, during which time iPad was still bootstrapping, getting full-size apps and so on. Now it has Avid and Keynote and GarageBand and many other PC apps on a Retina screen, for like $5 each, and it is a full PC now. If trends continue, iPad outsells Windows PC’s one day in 2015 or so and never looks back.

    So Microsoft is making an iPad out of Windows so they can sell it on $249 devices and compete with iPad. The thing that is confusing is there is no corresponding Mac from Microsoft. That is because they have no high-end users. The high-end Windows PC is a Mac.

    Many, many Windows sales were made based on just 1 feature: CHEAPEST. But iPad is cheaper now. Even if you pay the same price at retail, iPad has 2-4 times the battery, free OS updates, $5 apps, no viruses, almost no training, almost no setup or admin, and is smaller and mobile and uses less power. Consider POS systems, kiosks, Web terminals, office terminals — all being done with iPads for much less today than with Wintel 2 years ago. To become cheapest again, Microsoft needs to be on ARM and be so easy to use, no training is required.

    The “new kind of operating system” you describe is iOS, the one from iPhone, which is the iPod phone. This new simplified computing is iPod computing. People wanted an iPod PC — that is iPad. Microsoft had many years to get it done but failed.

    This is Apple’s game from 5 years ago (11 if you count iPod) that Microsoft is FINALLY responding to. No innovation from Microsoft, here. They were sitting atop a pile of dissatisfied $500 PC buyers who had no other option. This is not the first Windows nobody wanted. Windows is VASTLY unpopular. So even though the $500 PC market is still 75% Windows and only 25% iPad, iPad doubles in sales every year, while Windows is shrinking fast. This is not the beginning of anything. NT is going to ship on ARM over 5 years after OS X. Microsoft completely missed the boat. The reason it may seem new to you is you have been running Windows, which is always just a 1995 PC with a fresh coat of paint. Every single time. Well, they wore that out. The world has moved on to iPads — mobile PC’s. In the same way that all high-end phones have become clones of iPhone, all low-end PC’s are becoming clones of iPad.

    If you can look at the $500 PC market with innocent eyes, you can see iPad is next-generation. People cannot buy a $500 PC anymore and pay $500 more to I-T people to clean off viruses during its life. With Wi-Fi and 3G/4G running through your body 24/7, you tend to gravitate towards a 10-hour battery and transparent wireless access, not a portable desk you can set up on your lap and typically need a power cord. With print publishing collapsing in 2010, these days you need a reader, not just a typewriter. Businesses cannot buy a $500 PC and then spend $1000 to upgrade it to a new version of Windows and $1000 more to train the user to use the new version of Windows. Users don’t just run Word all day anymore. Even corporate users are making short movies now, for training or marketing. They need apps that walk them through that, like iMovie. Digital photos are ubiquitous. People have huge data sets, but can’t navigate a file system. A 1995 PC is nostalgic in today’s settings like a Selectric typewriter.

    And it also has to be noted that Microsoft’s PC makers are a disadvantage now. They fragment the platform and increase component costs. It’s the opposite of the 90’s because the hardware makers are all in China now. Microsoft outsources supply chain management to a bunch of PC makers, none of which has the scale to compete with Apple. There is also a real consumer computing market now, so demand is the thing you want. Supply is easy now. If you have demand for 100 million Windows RT tablets this year, it is A-B-C to do that. However, getting demand for 100 million devices is very, very hard. Creating 2 million tablets per year is also hard. Especially across dozens of brands. As low-end PC’s transition to ARM, Apple becomes the giant in low-end PC’s, not Microsoft.

    A key thing to understand is ARM systems are essentially iPods. That is Apple’s home turf. Windows 8 doesn’t just look like Zune, it *is* a Zune PC. Metro is there for 100% the exact same reason. Microsoft has to adapt to selling full-size general purpose computing in an iPod form factor, with iPod ease of use, iPod easy administration, iPod battery life, iPod price, iPod reliability, and even iPod fun, because the users themselves are choosing their PC’s now.

    The most important thing to keep in mind is that an iPod has enough CPU/GPU power now that most computer users do not need more. You can’t show users an iPad and then make them pay more for a badly-built Intel PC with 300% of the weight and suffer 25% of the battery life to get more CPU/GPU power that they cannot use. They want touch, camera, reading, and 700 grams more than they want Intel. Technical people divide ARM from Intel and PC from iPad, but users look at iPad and see a next-generation PC like they saw iPod as a next-generation Walkman and iPhone as a next-generation phone. So the Windows PC is a BlackBerry right now.

    Windows 8 is very late. It is not being pushed on you early. You should have been running it for 3-4 years now on cheap but well-built ARM PC’s, and there should be 500,000 WinARM apps by now instead of 50. If Surface had been 10-inch ARM, that would have done it.

  16. I wonder if Windows 8 should really be called Tiles 1.0. Windows 8 should be an improved windows 7 with the ability to run Tiles in a sandbox.

    Brilliant! And that actually would have been a great name, come to think of it.

    I now find myself having had to finally investigate Android and Linux Mint as credible alternatives and am actually quite impressed with what I am seeing.

    Funny, I’ve been investigating Java since Microsoft started demolishing its .NET developer community. Turns out Java benefited greatly from being bought by Oracle. They are much more heavily invested in the language than MS ever was in .NET, they are rapidly improving the JVM and adding language features from C#, and the new JavaFX UI system even adds a XAML-like design language. And everything’s multiplatform, too. Thank you, Microsoft, for encouraging me to leave your ecosystem!

  17. The jury is still out on Windows 8.

    All these annoying previews made by developers and programmers who have their own abstract ideas of how UI should work. I have read the reviews, downloaded the preview and will try it out.

    From, what I have read, the new interface would be a blast to users – normal but abnormal users.

    On a factory floor, where would be hundreds of computers to a shift of operators. Operators don’t care about programmers’ opinion what constitute usability. It’s just touch the screen.

    The list goes on:
    Manufacturing equipment and robotic mainframe providers. Frontdesk systems. Shipment and delivery systems consoles. The list goes on.

    The $40 price tag for Windows 8 (perhaps even less for volume purchases) is very tempting for equipment owners/manufacturers to upgrade from currently dominant XP to Windows 8. Especially if Microsoft makes that upgrade apap (as painless as possible).

    Why would an equipment programmer would want to upgrade to Windows 8. Equipment sytems programmers have been waiting for an OS that has a standardized touch screen response. Rather than a haphazard of non-standard suppliers. Not only so, it has to be compatible with ,NET. It has to run IE. It has to have all those annoying old legacy behaviours plus standardized touch screen responses. What Chris Pirillo does not care is – we don’t want to have to deal with two different operating systems when developing our software: one with touch screen and one without.

    There aren’t a lot of users involved, but the equipment industry represents perhaps 100 XP licences per user/operator. That is a lot licences. So before programmers have their grand idea why Windows 8 would be a failure – visit your local little off-road diner and look around the blue collar worker and ask him/her if he/she cares if we upgraded to Windows 8.

    Just as it turns out, that decision rests on us the programmers to decide if we wish to upgrade our equipment to Windows 8 – and to make the equipment or frontdesk operator happy and comfortable using the “new” touch screen interface. And they don’t get to escape out of our touchscreen env to see the nauseating features of Windows 8 (unless they have a developer’s server-side initiated unlock authentication).

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