Daggers out for Windows 8, plaudits for the iPad

Windows 8 could not escape the critical gaze of the media -- and even Dell -- this week. Meanwhile, the iPad's three-year mark was feted by the press.

The war on Windows 8 continued this week. But there's probably something more to that than an unpopular operating system.

The week began with Dell -- ostensibly one of the biggest proponents of Window 8 -- making bleak predictions about the OS in an SEC filing.

Dell didn't stop there. It had a damning statement about the PC too. "The deteriorating outlook for the PC market [is] a result of, among other things, smartphones and tablets cannibalizing PC sales."

Which brings us to the market-devouring iPad, which, since its release this week, has passed the three-year mark . Business Insider showed how the iPad played a big part in killing PC market growth, contrasting negative PC growth against the meteoric rise of the iPad.

"Apple has sold 121 million iPads, totaling $67.7 billion in sales.... The PC industry is reeling because of the iPad... iPad revenue is bigger than Windows revenue!" the article proclaims.

So, are Windows 8's problems just about an unappealing operating system? I'm guessing not. There are also bigger forces at work. PC growth has slowed (for the reasons cited above) and Windows 8 is collateral damage.

That said, fears of impending Windows 8 doom have not subsided. We have, for example, ZDNet's "Windows 8: Can this OS be saved?" Regardless of the answer, the question, as stated, is rhetorical and clearly makes a negative assertion.

Next we have "Microsoft Windows RT price cuts don't stop the death spiral," at SemiAccurate, a chip-centric site.

"Abandon all hope, ye users of Windows RT" seems to be the message:

These technical problems can be summed up pithily by the phrase, "The OS is awful," and "Devs hate it"...the Win8 app store has very few apps in it. Most of these are not what anyone wants, and what they want is not coming either. This tally is advancing glacially because of one thing, money. No one is voluntarily writing for the Win8 store for both solid technical and financial reasons.

About the only positive news this week was for consumers. Lousy Windows 8 system sales have forced Microsoft and its PC partners to cut prices on laptops and hybrids .

But Microsoft is hardly giving up. We also found out this week that Windows 8.1 is on the way ! We'll know later if that's good news -- or not.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

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