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Where Are the Windows 8 Attack Ads?

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT  ) has a problem.

Windows 8 hasn't been the PC industry savior that many were hoping that it would be. Sure, the software giant recently announced that 100 million Windows 8 licenses have been sold, but actual sales of desktops and laptops tell us a different story. PC sales have fallen sharply during the first two quarters of Windows 8 availability.

The last time that Microsoft put out an unpopular operating system, Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) jumped on the opportunity to roll out the famous "I'm a Mac" ads that took shot after shot at Vista. With soft PC sales and user complaints mounting for Windows 8, why aren't Apple or Google (NASDAQ: GOOGL  ) trying to ramp up the damage by rolling out attack ads?

If anything, the surprise here is that it was Microsoft that put out an attack ad taking punches at Apple's iOS and Google's Android last month. 

In this video, longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz wonders why no one has stepped up to kick Microsoft while it's down -- and why someone should do so before Mr. Softy gets back up.

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Read/Post Comments (10) | Recommend This Article (1)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

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  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:15 PM, dnelsch wrote:

    Out of the million copies of Windows 8 that have been "sold", how many are stuck in the supply channel, awaiting PC sales? Is Apple really concentrating on PC sales or are they more interested in iPad or IPhone sales and are increasing that market to the detriment of PC sales? After all, iPads work well for email - you don't need a big piece of iron (aluminum) to text or email. In the business market, what incentive is there to replace MSFT with IOS? Current PC's work, maybe slower than new ones, but so what? Time may be money but so are upgrading and/or system change outs!

    I think MSFT is no longer a growth company and they will have to be real innovative to maintain their position in the software world. "Cloud" computing may be all the rage, but it isn't going to play well with Mom & Dad when the monthly bill comes due. There has to be a better way!

  • Report this Comment On May 09, 2013, at 10:36 PM, techy46 wrote:

    Come on guys, give Microsoft's Windows enterprise and consumer customers so credit. I'd say 90% or mre of us use a desktop and notebook at work and home to do almost everything. We have real TV's, really large ones on cable and satellite, to look at video. We have home networks and usually 2 or more PC's. We really know what's going on with Intel's chips and Microsoft's OS'es. I've looked at MS Surface several times, Dell XPS and Lenovo Yoga 11/13, Z400/500 Touch and U310/410 Touch. I'm going to buy a Lenovo U410 with an i5-i7 but may wait for the Haswell versions. It doesn't really matter to use what analysis or critics say about our PC devices since most of us have worked with them for decades and made very large sums on money and don't need overpriced Apples or cheap Androids.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 10:28 AM, Asher0 wrote:

    I remember how much I hated Windows 95. Granted in those days there were few options (OS/2 was too difficult to install to become popular and there was no internet to find out how).

    There's going to be a period of Windows 8 adoption that is going to be tough but Microsoft had an imperative to change the paradigm.

    Corporates stuck with XP way beyond a period that made sense, and in hindsight should have changed to Windows 7 years earlier, but the water had been tainted badly by Vista, which had BUGS!

    I can't see corporates changing to Windows 8 too quickly but IMHO the Windows phone is amazing (from an Apple guy) and I can see a happy ending.

    Its only the medium term that is going to hurt, but some great Microsoft Server products are going to keep revenue and dependence up.

    Heck I am almost used to the Excel Ribbon its only taken me six years!

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 10:34 AM, pzarras wrote:


    The reason there aren't attack adds against Windows 8 is because Microsoft is currently ahead of the marketplace and unfortunately is stuck waiting on the hardware vendors to catch up - namely Intel with power management (though coming soon evidently) and PC manufacturers that haven't produced enough quality form factors with touch. Those that use Windows 8 on a quality device love it. The "lack of start button" is a false excuse - the same functionality exists today and you can get to everything you need in less clicks than you could in previous Windows versions.

    Yes - people attacked Vista - it was bloated and had problems over XP.

    Windows 8 adoption issues aren't Windows 8 problems - they're device problems - that will catch up sooner than later...

    What would an attack ad look like? "Hey Microsoft - you stink - no one wants an OS that supports touch?" or, maybe "Hey Microsoft - no one wants a clean and consistent design across all or their devices" or better yet, "Hey Microsoft - you're shameful for actually innovating and producing new capabilities that let people be more productive - while still allowing us to run decades of legacy apps"?

    It would be far easier to chuck stones at HP, Dell, and other device manufacturers and say "Hey HP - why don't you have a Windows 8 device that's as sexy as a Surface yet"?

    or "Hey Intel - why have you been holding Microsoft back by not giving them a high performance processor that can supply more than 5 hours of battery life?"

    These are very appropriate criticisms - that hopefully the industry will address to allow Windows 8 to shine and assume it's destined leadership position of the OS for the future.

    Microsoft should be commended for actually leading the industry and dragging others along (sometimes kicking and screaming) into devices and form-factors that people want and need.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 11:06 AM, GameBot wrote:

    @ Rick,

    Sorry you channel stuffing idea is childish banter used to try to prop up the myth of Windows 8 failing.

    100 Million sold no matter where they are in channel is almost exactly where windows 7 was, no matter how many were in channel.

    It is silly to think there is any other way to do it.

    But wait!

    That was just explaining why there is zero number dicking like you wish to imply.

    When windows 7 launched OEMS held more days supply than they do now. These days (since the down turn) they are managing the stock much tighter thus the channel does not hold nearly as many copies as it did for windows 7

    Rick here has done what many writers are currently doing. He is simply repeating or echoing the noise of the net.

    Sorry if it sounds harsh, but back in the day MF was supposed to the place where mainstream fluff was exposed.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 12:22 PM, miteycasey wrote:

    Why would I want a touch screen monitor for my desktop to use Microsoft office?

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 1:28 PM, AsokAsus wrote:

    I've been wondering that for a while myself. The ads themselves are pretty much already done: all anyone would need to do is slice and dice some scenes from the thousands of youtube videos in which Windows 8 users are screaming, pulling their hair out, and/or throwing their Windows 8 devices into walls.

    My main thought is that makers of Apple and Google products are already having a hard enough time keeping up with demand from people bailing on Windows and have no need to increase their backlogs.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 2:33 PM, pzarras wrote:

    @miteycasey & @AsokAsus -

    Clearly you guys have never used a touch computer if you're asking that question... That's the problem in the marketplace for Windows 8 - people that aren't educated and don't take the time to try new technology are condemning it sight unseen...

    Ask someone that's used touch for a month if they'd ever give it up...

    Sounds to me just like PC Users of the 80's and 90's condemning Apple for having a GUI and a mouse... Who would ever want that when a keyboard is faster??? The world has no need for a mouse - it's a toy... Who was right in the end??? It took a decade or more for the GUI to take over.

    It won't take that long for touch to take over - but watch - Apple will follow Microsoft with a MacBook with touch and then all the FanBoys will say "look how innovative Apple is".

    Even without touch (as I'm on a system with 4 large screen - non-touch monitors right now), Windows 8 is faster and cleaner than Windows 7 and I've given up nothing.

    On top of that - one sign-in and every one of my devices is automatically in sync. Couldn't do that as easily in Windows 7...

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 7:53 PM, DerkThunder wrote:

    @ pzarras who wrote

    "Those that use Windows 8 on a quality device love it. The "lack of start button" is a false excuse - the same functionality exists today and you can get to everything you need in less clicks than you could in previous Windows versions."

    Actually windows 8 does not do everything the old start menu did in less clicks.

    For one the search feature (one of the main functions of the start menu) requires users to specify weather they are searching for apps, files or settings before it will show them results. This is an extra and unnecessary step that makes it take longer to search for stuff.

    Also, the most frequently used programs list (another big part of the start menu), along with their most recently opened hover menus are now gone. This means that users have to manually configure and add shortcuts to their most used programs on the start screen instead of having the OS do it for them automatically like windows 7. So if users have to manually add all the shortcuts they want to the start screen how is that any different from them manually adding all the shortcuts they want to the desktop?

    Also the old start menu had quick and easy to access links to important places like control panel, my docs, my computer, shut down, and restart. All of which have been removed in metro. Now, one might say you could just configure metro to show links to those places but my point is if the user has to MANUALLY add links to all the important places like that how is it any different from them manually adding those same shortcuts to the desktop? The beauty of the old start menu was all the important stuff was organized for you automatically.

    The one feature of the start menu they actually left intact was the one feature no one used (Clicking "All Programs" and then scrolling through the list of folders). But with the great search feature on windows 7, the automatically generated most used programs list, and the quick links to important places no one ever needed to click "All Programs" to find what they were looking for.

    You try to make it sound like Metro is the same as the start menu, but just looks a little different. If that were the case I think people would be a lot more receptive to windows 8. But in reality metro either hinders or removes all the main functionality of the old start menu in favor of what is really a 2nd desktop that's optimized for touch.

    If MS wants to add a 2nd desktop to their OS that would be fine by me as long as they left the 1st desktop intact and fully functional which would include a start menu that hasn't been neutered.

  • Report this Comment On May 10, 2013, at 10:51 PM, pzarras wrote:


    I'll stand by my statements, but I will grant you that there is a learning curve and that people do not recognize how to work efficiently within Metro right away.

    Personally, I equate those changes to the changes that came in Office with "The Ribbon" in Office 2003. Most people struggled to find things initially compared to the menus that people were used to for more than a decade... now, looking back, few people will argue that the ribbon is more intuitive to find things.

    Additionally, Microsoft has certainly tweaked the Ribbon from version to version making iterative improvements. I think we can expect the same out of Metro. That's not to say the premise of Metro is flawed, only that it will continue to evolve and improve.

    The start button and old style menu screens tended to burry things until you either pin them, or you use them frequently enough for them to surface to frequent items (as you pointed out). While this works okay on a desktop, it simply doesn't scale across different device formats. Microsoft's pursuit of a single UI across device formats is smart - and one that I believe people will applaud once given the opportunity to make the connections across devices...

    One of the things that really lit up Metro for me in its usability was figuring out that you don't need to open up the "Charms" on the right side of the monitor in order to execute a search.

    So, if you're in the conventional "desktop" mode, you simply slam the mouse to the lower left corner of the screen (where the old start button was), one click, your in the Metro view. Start typing any thing you're trying to do - a full search, an application, a control panel applet... anything... and it appears right on the screen. You don't even have to take the time to place the curser on the old Windows 7 search box to start typing.

    I do agree that there are times where I wish you didn't have to change the search context between applications, settings, files, web, etc... but I guess I'm used to it.

    I'd bet that with Windows Blue, we'll see some improvements in execution in some of these areas.

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