I bought a Microsoft Surface yesterday. Long story, don’t ask why, it wasn’t for me.
This is the story of the purchase.
It started with a phone call to the Microsoft Pop-Up store at the Shops at Columbus Circle…
Evan: “Hi, do you have any Surface tablets in stock”
Sales Rep: “Yes, plenty!”
Evan: “32’s or 64’s?”
Sales Rep: “All of them!”
I went to the “store” about two hours later. It’s not really a store. It’s a very small set up…kinda like those mall kiosks where they sell knick-knacks with inspirational phrases on them.
There are eight - EIGHT - sales reps in a very small space. When I get there I am the only customer. Note it is 7pm on a Wednesday night and the place is bustling with holiday shoppers and tourists. I am the only person at their ”store.”
I approach the closest rep and ask for a 32GB Surface and a red keyboard. She asks me if I’d like a demo. ”No”, I tell her. I just want to buy it. She seems lost and does not know what to do. She calls over the “manager” and he unlocks a case and pulls out a Surface and the red keyboard.
He hands them to me and asks me if I want a demo. Seriously WTF is up with the pushing of the demo??? I tell him no and just want to buy it. My original sales rep takes the items over to the register, pulls out a tired old scanner gun and zaps my two items. The Microsoft laptop acting as the register immediately crashes. She looks up at me and says “Sorry my computer crashed. Just give me a second to reboot.”
She reboots, rings me up and asks me if I’d like my receipt. I ask her to email it to me. She says they can’t do that. So I tell her sure, I’ll take the receipt. She hits print, the computer crashes again and I walk out.
Yes, this has been the microsoft business strategy for quite some time now.
1 - make a horrible product 2 - blame the users 3 - profit!!!
I don't want ribbons in my programs. I don't want horrible schizophrenic UI:s that can't decide if they're meant for tablets or desktops. And most of all, I don't want to pay for MS to take control of my hardware and riddle it with crapware and DRM. I want my computer to be my computer and do what I say, not what MS says.
Well, I don't really give a fuck about macs. Everyone knows that mac users are like a religion, they obediently buy every new device while they're waiting for the second coming of Jobs...
Anyway, your logic is flawed - you defend the poorly designed, horribly implemented changes of vista 8 by saying "other people change things too and people love them"... but change is not a value in itself - there are bad changes and there are good changes. It matters if it's a change for better or a change for worse, and vista 8 is definitely a change for worse.
But you don't have to believe me. The statistics don't lie - win8 sales figures are like a fraction of the corresponding win7 figures when it had been out for the same amount of time. Everyone knows its a flop. Everyone can see it - except the diehard ms fanbois, and the paid shills and astroturfers of microsoft.
You mean like devices that are advertised to have 32GiB of storage but actually only have 16GiB available because win8 takes a 16GiB chunk of storage memory?
All actual usage tests that are performed by neutral parties (as opposed to microsoft-paid shills) are giving win8 tablets (as well as desktops and notebooks) horrible reviews.
What's more, windows on ARM is a totally closed platform, controlled by microsoft. It's like apple but even worse because you can't (as of now at least) even jailbreak them. And no one wants to develop for them, so the app selection sucks. What are you going to do with your "sweet" tablet or whatever when all the available apps are crap?
That's my point. People ended up realizing that Apple just makes insignificant updates that makes older hardware unsupported and generally making things harder for everyone except the sort of people that have no idea what they're doing and just want it because it's the newer, flashier version. Much like windows vista/8.
If anyone still thinks "SecureBoot" is anything other than microsoft's plot to hinder competition, they are seriously deluded.
Even on machines where secure boot can be disabled, it is made so mind-bogglingly difficult and inconvenient there's simply no excuse for it. Here's an excerpt of a recent article (if you want to read the whole thing, [link] )
A few weeks ago one of my computers, a desktop machine, called it quits after many productive years of service. Following a respectful period of mourning, I decided to go out and get myself a new desktop computer. Nothing fancy, just a nice low-end box. I settled on HP's Pavilion P6-2310. The machine arrived in a timely manner, I hooked it up and realized that in my haste to get my shopping over with I had forgotten one important detail: Secure Boot.
Secure Boot, in case you missed all the excitement earlier, is a technology which is supposed to protect computer users from malware by insuring only trusted software can boot on the machine. How this works is, essentially, the computer comes with a security key (or keys) and any operating system or boot loader which we want to run on the machine needs to have a corresponding key. The idea is malware won't be able to sneak onto the computer and get loaded into memory before the operating system. A side effect, which many do not believe to be a coincidence, is operating systems other than Windows 8 are prevented from booting too. For some reason these details had slipped my mind when I was shopping on-line. When I hooked up the new computer and booted for the first time I was suddenly reminded in an unpleasant way.
The first symptom was that I could not boot from any device except the hard disk. I was thrown into the Windows 8 set up process. The manuals which came with the computer do not mention, in any fashion, accessing the BIOS/UEFI, changing boot order or disabling Secure Boot. Typically in the past computers have displayed hints, such as "Press F1 to edit settings" or "Press F9 to change boot device" when they power up. Not in this case, no hints are given and we're left to trial and error. F10, I found, would grant me access to the machine's start-up configuration, but getting my thumb drive to boot took a few steps beyond that.
First I tried to simply change the boot order and was told this was not possible while Secure Boot was enabled. Hunting through the menus I finally found the Secure Boot feature and, selecting it, I was informed (via a big, red warning box) that disabling Secure Boot was dangerous and not recommended. Then I had to disable Secure Boot and re-enabled "Legacy" boot options in the proper order and then, finally, I was able to enable specific devices from which I wanted to boot. After that I was able to boot from my thumb drive only if I knew to hold down F9 while the computer was starting up, we're not given that information.
In short, to get to the point where we can attempt to boot an alternative operating system we need to know our way through six steps:
Boot machine while pressing F10 Find Secure Boot in the menu tree, ignore warnings Disable Secure Boot feature Enable legacy boot options Enable specific legacy devices, such as USB devices Save and reboot while holding down F9
I gotta agree with Pakaku there on this one: modifying settings in the BIOS is familiar territory for anyone with the technical interest to be switching OS loads. Is it shady practice by Microsoft? Possibly. However, consumer products are designed to be used in a specific fashion. Look at the entire line of Apple products: you use them as the manufacturer intends, and they do their job. They're certainly not DIY-friendly.
The majority of PC consumers won't be interested in changing the operating system. The majority of people interested in changing their OS will be competent or curious enough to figure out how to turn off Secure Boot. Or just buy their machine part-by-part and do the full system assembly themself (I haven't bought a pre-configured desktop...ever).
It's pretty apparent you're not looking for discourse so much as rabble-rousing in search of a choir to preach to. "Crimes against humanity" indeed...it's a free market with options. Just don't buy pre-loaded Win8 systems and you're safe.
You guys are just ignoring the point and repeating the same mantra, "normal people don't want to change their OS" and "no one forces you to buy a win8 computer". Yeah, that's just fine, except that thanks to microsoft using its leverage on the OEM:s, there aren't many alternatives on mainstream retailers - if you look at the major retailers, every single new computer they're selling is a windows 8 computer.
It's no coincidence that microsoft is purposefully making the changing of OS as difficult as possible. They're making it even more difficult - if not impossible in some cases - to dual boot. It's no coincidence - microsoft knows that a large portion of people who have abandoned windows have gotten there by first trying out the alternative OS in a dual-boot config. So they make it more difficult, because they want total control of people's hardware, and people being able to dual-boot to another system gives them an alternative to windows, which microsoft doesn't want.
See, it's disingenuous to just repeat the mantra that "it's possible to install another OS". Yes, it's technically possible, but that's not the point. The point is, to gain mainstream acceptance, an OS needs to be easy to install, or easy to acquire otherwise (eg. preinstalled). Microsoft is blocking both of these potential paths to alternative systems, because they know that the harder it is for people to change the OS, the less people will be likely to try it, and the less people will be trying dual-booting. Linux has been in recent years made much easier to install, which has caused an increase in its popularity, eating away microsoft profits. That's the sole reason for secure boot, to try to eliminate competition and maintain lock-in.
And I don't buy the "it's a free market" argument either. There are limits and restraints on what you can do even in a free market. You're not allowed to mislead or gouge your customers, and you're not allowed to hinder competition, because healthy competition is good for the consumers. Microsoft is all about eliminating healthy competition, and a truly free market cannot function without competition - it's one of the founding pillars of a functioning free market economy. In fact, with competition artificially stunted, it's not even a free market.
Hamster, after looking around the forums a little, it's obvious you're an "immovable object" of Linux fanaticism on your own personal anti-MS crusade. I concede to your sheer will and zealotry. Anyway:
Dual-booting is old school. I just build VMs now. I run a 64 bit Win7 OS with three various virtual linux systems for testing code and server-side applications I'm developing. And being able to dual-boot isn't going to make the market share take off: the market majority is lazy and just wants something running out of the box. Linux-installed systems will grab a market share. That's just the insane ramblings of a non-devoted OS omnivore though, so they can be disregarded.
I still maintain that while Secure Boot a valid discussion point, and something good to be aware of, "crimes against humanity" is just inflammatory barking. It hurts your cause.
I'm not just anti-MS, I'm also anti-Apple, anti-Sony, and to a lesser degree anti-Google (they get some forgiveness for balancing the stupid shit they do with some genuinely good stuff).
Generally, I'm anti-any large corporation that uses their capital and political power to oppress consumers and smaller businesses. You see, I have this strange aversion to bullies. I hate to see large entities abusing their power against smaller ones.
I'm also anti-copyright mafia. I hate how they're censoring large swaths of the internet to protect their own profits and ancient business models. I say, if a corporation cannot maintain its profits and sustain its business model without legislation that oppresses our freedom to share information and culture, then those corporations should just die. We don't owe a living to them, just like we the people don't owe a living to microsoft or apple either.
Maybe you don't care about your freedom or privacy, and you're happy to use MS products. If you want to shove your head in the sand that's your right, I guess, but don't say I didn't warn you when your next computer comes with "Trusted" "Computing" that monitors everything you do.
Yes, agreed. I think Win 8 is destined for market failure anyway and the basic reason is not what you might expect. It's the 'apps store model', (a really bad copy of apple) which basically means that any software has to "approved" by MS or it won't run in Win 8. This scraps the accepted up until now software model and will make the developer world irate to say the least I think.
that doesn't make it ok. Sure, technically savvy people know to avoid that type of PC, but regular consumers won't. This means that those people will be buying PC:s that are locked to a single OS, and if they later decide they'd rather use another OS they're screwed. This just makes it harder for other OS's to compete against microsoft, which is obviously microsoft's goal.
One corporation should not be given this much power over people's hardware. Especially when that corporation has a vested interest in eliminating all competition and a known history of abusing its market position.
Regular consumers are usually pretty happy with one OS.
Settings like SecureBoot should be capable of being enabled/disabled within the BIOS of via third party software.
I think you're a bit bias on this topic. Kind of looking at it as a personal attack, along with an "crime against humanity".
I'm all for a good conspiracy theory, but this is kind of clutching at straws... Microsoft are looking out for themselves, yes; however every single company does it.
I spent 5 mins researching, and what do you know, there's already several ways to bypass SecureBoot and disable it, even to have it from preventing Windows to be installed or by giving it several bootloader options for multiple OS'!
It's just one of those things that you learn to live with... annoyance, yes but end of the day it's no biggy.
If people want alternative OS', then they'll do the research how to. However the average consumer simply won't give a damn.
Microsoft is just looking out for themselves - yeah, right... pull the other one.
Looking out for yourself is all fine, but the problem is, the way they "look out for themselves" is harmful to everyone else and only benefits microsoft... that's the problem right there. It would be fine if microsoft was willing to compete with their competition on a level playing field, to let the public decide which OS they want, and if they chose other than windows they'd just have to try to make their product better. That'd be fine, and they could do all the "looking out for themselves" they'd like for all I care.
But that's not the case... microsoft has a long history of anti-competitive behaviour, vendor lock-in, DRM... if there's a dirty trick in existence, chances are microsoft has tried it.
How about the way microsoft is blacmailing OEM:s into not offering anything other than their product, with the leverage of threatening to increase prices for their OEM licenses?
How about the way microsoft (along with their latest bought lackey nokia) is funding patent troll companies so they can use them to attack Google & Android by proxy?
I guess if you think it's ok for one corporation to hold the entire world's hardware hostage in their lock-in racket, I guess that's just fine for you then... but maybe everyone else isn't as OK as you with it... also, people shouldn't be required to "do research" for obscure hacks for the simple task of installing an alternate OS... with current, non-uefi hardware, installing a linux distro is as simple as inserting a CD and booting your computer, then clicking through a couple of dialogs. This makes it easy for non-technical people to try out linux and maybe start using it. With microsoft's new bullshit "security measure" the barrier is raised higher again, because again microsoft is afraid of competition on a level playground...
It's a bit disingenuous to say that it's not a big deal because it can be circumvented.
Sure, someone with technical knowledge can circumvent it, but less technical people are going to have problems. Linux has become more popular recently because certain distributions have made it very easy to install and use, all you do is insert a CD and boot your computer. Obviously microsoft is so afraid of competition it tries to make it as hard as possible for people to try other operating systems, they want people locked in to windows against their will, and that is in fact a big deal. It's harmful to competition, it's harmful to consumers, and it's harmful to innovation and the tech industry as a whole.
If it was only secure boot, if that was the only problem, things wouldn't be so bad, but microsoft spends tons of money attacking all its competition in other underhanded ways, such as suing people left and right with bullshit software patents (Apple is just as bad in this regard), spreading misinformation, bribing journalists to endorse their products, bribing/lobbying politicians to make policies and legislations in their favour, coercing hardware manufacturers to not offer alternative OS:s by threatening to increase their prices for them... the list is long.