Why Have Microsoft Been So Quiet About Windows 8

Mike Halsey MVP
Feb 8, 2012
Microsoft, Windows 8

In case you missed it, we've had a great Windows 8 discussion going on here at gHacks in the last couple of days, one that is no doubt set to continue for a while yet in various forms as we look forward to the release of the Consumer Preview (beta) at the end of this month.  One of the issues that people have highlighted with Windows 8 is the poor communication we've had so far from Microsoft.  So why is this and what has caused it?

I'm writing this as an outsider looking in.  I've no real idea why Microsoft have chosen to keep quiet on so many things, such as having Windows 8 default to the desktop as the main user interface which seems to be the biggest and most common question.  I do have some insight into the company, the products and the people behind Windows 8 however, so hopefully I might be able to shed some light as to the reasons why, and what the historical perspective of this is.

It was after this that the former head of Microsoft's Office division, Steven Sinofsky, took charge of Windows development.  Sinofsky was already a very secretive man and much of the secrecy now revolves around him, his personality and his desire to make certain that the only information that makes it out into the public domain is the correct information.

Thus Microsoft launched the Building Windows 8 blog where Sinofsky and his team have been trickling out information steadily since shortly before the Developer Preview of Windows 8 was released.  We can be certain that if Microsoft didn't need to get developers writing Metro apps we certainly wouldn't have seen Windows 8 then at all, and it wouldn't be appearing for the first time until now.  This is because Sinofsky and the Windows development team hate releasing anything that's neither finished nor ready.

Alas this was what they had to do with the Developer Preview and, as such, it's had a lot of very bad, and probably equally unfair, press.  What Microsoft didn't do was adjust their marketing strategy at the same time and, as such, the communication about the operating system has focused almost entirely on what's new, what's cool, where huge improvements have been made, but that it has not actually been answering many of the questions people have been asking.

This could be because at the time the answers to those questions simply didn't exist.  Don't forget that Windows 8 still had an awful lot of development to get through after the DP was signed off at the beginning of last August.  That's a long time ago now.  It could equally be though that it wasn't the discussion Microsoft wanted to have.  For example, telling IT Pros that they could simply switch to the desktop as their default UI could very well have undermined all the work they have been doing getting the world, and software developers, excited about Metro.  After all, if Metro was something that could just be switched off, why would people worry about it and you'd very quickly find it being relegated to a minor sub-feature in Windows like Media Centre.

I may be wrong with my assumptions and assertions here, but it's certainly true that nobody within Microsoft is coming up with the answers.  This might change in the coming weeks or it might not.  One thing is for certain though, the wider world is simply not going to stop asking.


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  1. Some Dude said on March 19, 2023 at 11:42 am

    Are these articles AI generated?

    Now the duplicates are more obvious.

    1. boris said on March 19, 2023 at 11:48 pm

      This is below AI generated crap. It is copy of Microsoft Help website article without any relevant supporting text. Anyway you can find this information on many pages.

  2. Paul(us) said on March 20, 2023 at 1:32 am

    Yes, but why post the exact same article under a different title twice on the same day (19 march 2023), by two different writers?
    1.) Excel Keyboard Shortcuts by Trevor Monteiro.
    2.) 70+ Excel Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows by Priyanka Monteiro

    Why oh why?

    1. Clairvaux said on September 6, 2023 at 11:30 am

      Yeah. Tell me more about “Priyanka Monteiro”. I’m dying to know. Indian-Portuguese bot ?

  3. John G. said on August 18, 2023 at 4:36 pm

    Probably they will announce that the taskbar will be placed at top, right or left, at your will.

    Special event by they is a special crap for us.

  4. yanta said on August 18, 2023 at 11:59 pm

    If it’s Microsoft, don’t buy it.
    Better brands at better prices elsewhere.

  5. John G. said on August 20, 2023 at 4:22 am

    All new articles have zero count comments. :S

  6. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 7:48 am

    WTF? So, If I add one photo to 5 albums, will it count 5x on my storage?
    It does not make any sense… on google photos, we can add photo to multiple albums, and it does not generate any additional space usage

    I have O365 until end of this year, mostly for onedrive and probably will jump into google one

  7. St Albans Digital Printing Inc said on September 5, 2023 at 11:53 am

    Photo storage must be kept free because customers chose gadgets just for photos and photos only.

  8. Anonymous said on September 5, 2023 at 12:47 pm

    What a nonsense. Does it mean that albums are de facto folders with copies of our pictures?

    1. GG said on September 6, 2023 at 8:24 am

      Sounds exactly like the poor coding Microsoft is known for in non-critical areas i.e. non Windows Core/Office Core.

      I imagine a manager gave an employee the task to create the album feature with hardly any time so they just copied the folder feature with some cosmetic changes.

      And now that they discovered what poor management results in do they go back and do the album feature properly?

      Nope, just charge the customer twice.

      Sounds like a go-getter that needs to be promoted for increasing sales and managing underlings “efficiently”, said the next layer of middle management.

  9. d3x said on September 5, 2023 at 7:33 pm

    When will those comments get fixed? Was every editor here replaced by AI and no one even works on this site?

  10. Scroogled said on September 5, 2023 at 10:47 pm

    Instead of a software company, Microsoft is now a fraud company.

  11. ard said on September 7, 2023 at 4:59 pm

    For me this is proof that Microsoft has a back-door option into all accounts in their cloud.
    quote “…… as the MSA key allowed the hacker group access to virtually any cloud account at Microsoft…..”

    so this MSA key which is available to MS officers can give access to all accounts in MS cloud.This is the backdoor that MS has into the cloud accounts. Lucky I never got any relevant files of mine in their (MS) cloud.

  12. Andy Prough said on September 7, 2023 at 6:52 pm

    >”Now You: what is your theory?”

    That someone handed an employee a briefcase full of cash and the employee allowed them access to all their accounts and systems.

    Anything that requires 5-10 different coincidences to happen is highly unlikely. Occam’s razor.

  13. TelV said on September 8, 2023 at 12:04 pm

    Good reason to never login to your precious machine with a Microsoft a/c a.k.a. as the cloud.

  14. Anonymous said on September 18, 2023 at 1:23 pm

    The GAFAM are always very careless about our software automatically sending to them telemetry and crash dumps in our backs. It’s a reminder not to send them anything when it’s possible to opt out, and not to opt in, considering what they may contain. And there is irony in this carelessness biting them back, even if in that case they show that they are much more cautious when it’s their own data that is at stake.

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