Yes! Microsoft really does need to rethink Windows 8

A fortnight ago I asked a simple question -- Is it time for Microsoft to make big changes to Windows 8? BetaNews readers weighed in on the topic and as I'd hoped it made for some fascinating and insightful reading.

Although plenty of people support Windows 8 and the Modern UI, a lot of readers feel that yes, Microsoft should seriously consider making changes to its divisive OS and accept that the "one size fits all" model isn’t working.

Nvic sums it up for many:

At this point, I'd say giving in and putting in a classic UI option would be their best first move. I'm one of thousands who refuses to use the OS due to it requiring third party modification to be usable on a PC. Their second option if they don't want to do that: Stop selling to PC users and offer 7 again.

If anything, forcing PC users isn't making them get used to the new UI, it's making them less productive and causing them to develop a hatred for the product. Making those users happy would be the smart first move. With them quieted, they can then focus on the tablet market this product was really meant for.

WP7Mango agrees and thinks Microsoft should give buyers a clear choice:

There is absolutely no need to change course IMHO. Microsoft already has a perfectly good operating system for traditional desktops -- Windows 7.

I'd go with your second option -- stop selling Windows 8 on non-touch-screen devices and supply Windows 7 instead. Those who want to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8 can still do so -- it's then ultimately their choice. Once Windows 8 is updated so that it is easier to use without a touch-screen, then default to shipping with Windows 8 (or whatever updated version it's called).

But for touch-screen device, Windows 8 is absolutely the best option, and especially if it's on high-end hybrid touch-screen devices equipped with a Wacom stylus.

Cecile comments:

It was a mistake to offer W8pro on regular computers. I added to my W7 and I regret it. W8 on a machine that is designed for touch is great, but piggy back to get the new interface was a BIG mistake. Some hands on advertising in person in stores would have been better. Microsoft never seems to LEARN a hard lesson.

Froderik makes an interesting suggestion:

MS should forget the failed one size fits all strategy and release platform specific Win9 beta editions for Desktop / Tablet / Server!

Thom Frost thinks that might be going a little too far, observing:

Well the underlying OS could be the same just a UI change is all that would be needed. What MS did wrong is force the same UI on everyone.

It’s a statement that Antony Clark fully agrees with:

Brilliant comment. The OS could indeed be the same with UI choice. Forcing the UI as they did is nothing more than an Apple-ish move. Force what you think is best on the consumer to sell new product because you feel you know best for all. It's why I don't buy Apple, and why I'm starting to not like MS either.

That the debate over Windows 8 remains so lively and passionate clearly shows that Microsoft continues to have a problem on its hands with the new OS. There’s no question that Windows 8 works much better on touch screen devices than on the PC, and many customers are refusing to upgrade from Windows 7 purely because of the Modern UI.

Maybe Microsoft needs to accept making a concession to the legions of non-touch consumers is necessary to drive Windows 8 adoption. There’s no shame in listening to your customers and admitting that Windows 8, as a concept, is ahead of its time. By making a slight course correction to the PC version (rather than a full U-turn), Microsoft could yet still change public opinion and give its troubled OS a second shot at glory.

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