Gartner is having a tough Windows 8 day

Gunnar Berger, research director at Gartner is having a really bad week.

He wrote a series of (5) posts that were actually pretty balanced about Windows 8 and his thoughts around Microsoft’s Operating System. He wrote about the good and the bad and it all seemed good until the blogosphere focused on one element of his review.

He described the experience of using a mouse and keyboard in Windows 8 as “in a word: bad”. Umm.. duhhh he’s right, it’s not a great experience!

Well he probably got MASSIVE push back from Microsoft and/or his bosses and today, he’s walking back that particular line and trying to do damage control.

From the Register:

I think the use of keyboard and mouse on Windows 8 is a weak spot, yes. It’s very intuitive when you have the touch interface, when you swipe with your thumbs those menus are easy to get to, but when you do a mouse and keyboard, they’re hidden and not easy to spot. It’s not easy to find them.

After our interview, Berger called back and had this to add: I’ve seen about three articles now using that “bad” statement, and I want to clarify.

If you look at my blog, I’ve gotten rid of it. It’s upsetting me that it’s being taken completely out of context. If you look at the articles, there’s a lot of positive stuff I say, and negative things – there are things that have room for improvement.

But what I’ve seen in a lot of these blogs today… is headlines saying “Gartner says Windows 8 is bad”. That’s just completely inaccurate. One, this isn’t Gartner research, this is an employee’s blog. Two, you need to look at the context of “bad” – which you can’t now, as I’ve taken it out – the whole article is the context, not just those two sentences.

This was dumb on so many levels.

  1. Deleting the entry was stupid. This is the web, we know what you wrote – makes you look shady.
  2. You meant what you wrote at the time.
  3. You’re always a Gartner employee, there’s no such thing as a “personal” blog when you’re an analyst.
  4. It’s the eve of a major Microsoft OS release – what did you expect people would say when you used the phrase “bad?”
  5. IT IS TRUE – Windows 8 (Metro) works best with touch.

We all make mistakes but this dude should have just kept on moving.

More interesting to me is what he also said in the Register:

A. I’d like Metro to allow the desktop to be the default login screen, if I want that. There’s some cases where I don’t want that – maybe if I’m on a corporate environment, I just want to have a list of apps and those are the apps the user gets, so I want just Metro apps.

But if I want a desktop, and I want people walking in and seeing something familiar, that’s one thing I’d really like to see.

You do see that on the server product, Server 2012, when you login to that, you first see the desktop and if you hit the Windows button you get Metro. I like that better. I like the Metro as secondary, not the first thing you see.

Gunnar, please don’t apologize for this one as well because it’s true too.

This I believe is (at this point) Windows 8’s Achilles heel. Microsoft’s insistence that no matter what we want to do with out PC’s we have to start in Metro.

They got it right with the Server OS and while I can understand not wanting to default to an App as opposed to the Start Screen, not giving users the option is just plain foolish.

This is the big one that will bite Microsoft in the ass with Windows 8.

You agree?

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