Bill Gates on Windows 8: "It's an absolutely critical product (for the future of the company)"

By on October 22, 2012, 1:00 PM

Steve Clayton, who writes for Microsoft's Technet blog, recently sat down with Bill Gates to briefly discuss the Windows 8 launch and what that means to the future of the company. Not surprisingly Gates likes Windows 8 and his Windows RT tablet which he recommends should be seen and touched -- even though to this day no one outside of Microsoft's circles has had access to the Surface's touch covers.

Gates who currently serves as Chairman and no longer is involved in running Microsoft on a day to day basis, thinks Windows 8 "takes Windows into the world of touch, low power devices -- really giving people the best of what you think of as a tablet type experience and the PC experience.”

When asked about Windows Phone 8, he said eventually both platforms (WP8 and Windows 8) would evolve into one, citing what the company is doing with cloud services, the new app store and Microsoft Office.




User Comments: 32

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Lionvibez said:

Lol they should have asked him if he could find the shutdown button!

9Nails, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I'm thinking to myself, but why do I feel like it's something that they're selling me instead of something that I'd want to buy?

1 person liked this | ThanosPAS ThanosPAS said:

A Steve Jobs admirer huh? You know, "finding needs that I didn't know I had" type of thing about marketing, that the last two years is reproduced in a trivial manner almost everywhere...Like you can capture in a single sentence the whole marketing policy of a (any) multinational corporation.

1 person liked this | TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Now there's a news alert! Bill Gates likes something MS is doing. :p

howzz1854 said:

It's a no brainer... I mean I can't imagine us still using mice in the next 15 years and clicking on "start" button.

Windows 8 may or may not be a crowd favor, that is yet to be determined. but it certainly is an important transition for a company like Microsoft to move into the future, to pave the way for what's to come.

Darkshadoe Darkshadoe said:

I'm thinking to myself, but why do I feel like it's something that they're selling me instead of something that I'd want to buy?

EXACTLY! They are force feeding products THEY think you need.

1 person liked this | Lionvibez said:

It's a no brainer.. I mean I can't imagine us still using mice in the next 15 years and clicking on "start" button.

windows 8 may or may not be a crowd favor, that is yet to be determined. but it certainly is an important transition for a company like microsoft to move into the future, to pave the way for what's to come.

Something to think about.

Your 55 years old and your boss says hey we are going to windows 14 (in your 15 year time span) No more keyboard mice and everything is touch. So now you have to have your arms up 8 hours a day touching and dragging stuff to get work done.

4 people like this | amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

I just got the email from Microsoft about being able to use my Xbox Live account/ID to login to Windows8. Just what I want to use at work, my gaming ID! I can just see it now....

"Hey PwnurFace83, got that Excel spreadsheet ready yet?"

howzz1854 said:

Something to think about.

Your 55 years old and your boss says hey we are going to windows 14 (in your 15 year time span) No more keyboard mice and everything is touch. So now you have to have your arms up 8 hours a day touching and dragging stuff to get work done.

Something else to think about. gesture based operation "might" be better and eliminate carpal tunnel syndrome for people who use mice heavily. we use our hands and fingers multiple ways everyday, but our hand is not designed to be used the way we use mouse (wrist/index finger).

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

we use our hands and fingers multiple ways everyday, but our hand is not designed to be used the way we use mouse (wrist/index finger).
I think I will agree to disagree in this area. While you may have a valid point where wrist and index finger is concerned. When you move from a mouse to hand gestures, you could then argue that these same stresses on the wrist/index finger are then moved up the arm to elbow/shoulder. Maybe in an ideal world a balance between the two can be found to equalize the stress.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

There was already a phone with near-touch technology implemented (Sony eXperia), so you hover near the screen without touching it. I foresee this developing further and very soon. Nobody will be touching screens then.

[link]

howzz1854 said:

That would be nice. Minority Report style. I always wanted to wear those gloves.

1 person liked this | hahahanoobs hahahanoobs said:

I could listen to Bill talk all day. Windows 8 is going to be great once the gaming is on par with W7. Everything else is already there.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

I don't know what plans they have for the future, but I can't argue with Windows 8. Its definitely an upgrade.

Trillionsin Trillionsin said:

Yes because perhaps maybe its just an experiment?

howzz1854 said:

Yes because perhaps maybe its just an experiment?

you gotta start somewhere.

avoidz avoidz said:

I don't think we'll be waving our hands around at our desks in the future. Maybe for digital whiteboards, Minority Report-style. I think desk surfaces in front of the screen will be a touch surface with a keyboard (like the desk control in TRON) and we can "mouse gesture" on the surface next to it instead.

Guest said:

Bill Gates nailed it in the video. Wanna know who they were targeting when they were developing Windows 8. Watch the video segment from 1:15-1:35. People who want to consume things and do it as simply as possible. Let me see if I can narrow it down in to two words - consuming simpletons. Windows 8, in the words of Bill Gates himself, is Windows for Dummies. You gotta love it!!! Thanks for telling me what I have known for a long time Bill.

Windows 8 = YouTube for the masses!!! Yippee!!!!! :)

avoidz avoidz said:

Microsoft sees Apple rolling in cash and wants in on the action. Sure, that's business. But Microsoft always offered more than mere confectionery in their software.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

Bill Gates nailed it in the video. Wanna know who they were targeting when they were developing Windows 8. Watch the video segment from 1:15-1:35. People who want to consume things and do it as simply as possible. Let me see if I can narrow it down in to two words - consuming simpletons. Windows 8, in the words of Bill Gates himself, is Windows for Dummies. You gotta love it!!! Thanks for telling me what I have known for a long time Bill.

Windows 8 = YouTube for the masses!!! Yippee!!!!!

Most people don't follow tech news like me and you and don't like tweaking their computer. Calling them stupid for wanting a simple, easy to use OS is pretty idiotic in itself. But if you want the most complicated computer experience possible, you're more than welcome to build your own OS, or are you too much of a simpleton? :p

P.S. - I like how everyone bashes windows 8 for being so complicated and difficult to work with, and then turn around and bash it for being too simple. Pick a side people.

Guest said:

"Most people don't follow tech news like me and you and don't like tweaking their computer. Calling them stupid for wanting a simple, easy to use OS is pretty idiotic in itself. But if you want the most complicated computer experience possible, you're more than welcome to build your own OS, or are you too much of a simpleton? :p

P.S. - I like how everyone bashes windows 8 for being so complicated and difficult to work with, and then turn around and bash it for being too simple. Pick a side people."

I didn't call anybody stupid. I take simple and stupid to have different meanings. I am sorry that you don't. I am really only using Bill Gates words from the video. If your upset that they designed Windows 8 for "people who want to consume things and do it in a simple way" then you need to send him an email.

I have no interest in returning to the days of programming in assembly language. Nor do I have any interest in performing every possible action on my desktop with the swipe of a finger. There are tradeoffs in many things in life. Windows 8 shoehorns users into a class of people they consider not smart enough to do things on their own. The fact is that people, barring mental retardation, are as smart as they choose to be. Everyday a person wakes up they can choose whether or not they want to watch hours and hours of YouTube videos, no YouTube videos, or strike a balance somewhere in between. If people want to consume content in a simple way, they already have devices for that. We have gaming consoles devoted exclusively to people who want to play games. We have portable DVD players for people who want to watch movies on the go.

My theory, is that Windows 8 for the desktop wasn't a response to help people "consume" content more "simply" on their desktop. That's all done pretty easily in Windows 7 as things stand. Windows 8 is an attempt to "force" people to do "nothing but" consume content just like they do on tablets now. Sure all the powerful functionality that exists in Windows 7 hasn't been completely stripped from Windows 8...yet. You know the story about putting a frog in boiling water, right? They gotta do this stuff very slowly and very gradually.

The justification for releasing Windows 8 makes no sense to me. I think it creates an even bigger gap between those would produce content and those who consume content. I do both on my computer. It seems Microsoft is shifting the focus of the desktop and the purpose from doing more consuming and less producing. They're making decisions for us, that should be left up to us, not decided by them. Nothing in Windows 7 hinders anybody from playing games, watching movies, or listening to MP3s all day, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week if they so choose.

I hear Microsoft touting cloud capabilities in Windows 8. They want everybody storing their content on their hard drives. I see Windows 8 as an attempt to return to the dark ages where the keyboard and monitor in the users home is nothing more than a dumb terminal which connects to resources beyond their control.

Microsoft is attempting to strip the desktop user of all his/her power and become dependent on them alone.

Windows 7 was the culmination of a perfect balance of simplicity, flexibility, and power. The freedom to do whatever you want, however you want. Freedom always includes choices. And it seems like Microsoft is slowing herding people down a single lane path. The way of the finger. I like to give Microsoft a one finger salute for the gift that is Windows 8.

If Windows 7 is too difficult for a person to use. They need to buy a tablet and just stay away from the desktop. Instead of allowing people to rise above their technology limitations in life, we are slowly bringing our expectations of the masses down by dumbing down the desktop. Windows 8 makes the desktop into nothing more than a glorified tablet for people they have discounted as 'too dumb to learn'.

Microsoft says they developed Windows 8 because they wanted people to be able to consume things as simply as possible. Bill Gates own words. Okay fine. The surface tablet makes perfect sense. What was the purpose of bringing it to the desktop?

MilwaukeeMike said:

@Guest with the wall of text.... the biggest problem with Win 7 is that people are buying tablets now instead of PCs. Win 8 aims to simultaneously provide an upgrade to Win7 that works great on a tablet. MS has more OS experience than google, and yet they don't have an OS for tablets. They need a tablet OS if they want to stay in the business of personal computing. Businesses will not use Win 8. Win 8 is not for them.

You could make the argument that Win 8 is trying to have their cake and eat it too by being an OS for the PC and tablet, but having a single OS for your tablet and computer IS simpler.

1 person liked this | avoidz avoidz said:

P.S. - I like how everyone bashes windows 8 for being so complicated and difficult to work with, and then turn around and bash it for being too simple. Pick a side people.

I believe those comments refer to the observation that simple UI controls such as 'Close a program' and 'Shut down computer' require many more clicks than before, and are not as visible as in previous Windows. Therefore, more complicated.

The other side is more and more UI controls are hidden and not as accessible to power users. Other things like the large flat, primary-colored "live tiles" of the Start Screen look too dumbed down for a desktop OS. The obnoxious Windows Explorer Ribbon. Windows made too simple.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

@avoidz

That's your opinion, I'll let you keep it. It's all a matter of how quick you can pick up on it I guess. As for the tiles, it's actually not "dumbed down" at all. It displays what the start menu would, but with more apps on it and real time information displayed instantly for some of those apps.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

@avoidz

That's your opinion, I'll let you keep it. It's all a matter of how quick you can pick up on it I guess. As for the tiles, it's actually not "dumbed down" at all. It displays what the start menu would, but with more apps on it and real time information displayed instantly for some of those apps.

No it doesn't!! The Start Menu wouldn't be much of a menu for starting applications, if it didn't include every app that was installed. You seem to be voicing your opinion against an opinion. My opinion is this, the only way Microsoft could get Windows to run on a tablet was to dumb it down. Think about all the features that had to be removed, so Windows could function on a machine that barely has the performance of a P4 made 10 years ago.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

No it doesn't!! The Start Menu wouldn't be much of a menu for starting applications, if it didn't include every app that was installed. You seem to be voicing your opinion against an opinion. My opinion is this, the only way Microsoft could get Windows to run on a tablet was to dumb it down. Think about all the features that had to be removed, so Windows could function on a machine that barely has the performance of a P4 made 10 years ago.

Lol nothing wrong with voicing opinions, even if they contradict other opinions :p I think that of course the tablet version is going to be dumbed down, its a tablet. That being said, the desktop version so far has retained all of windows 7's functions, added more, and improved on the windows 7 functions. The only thing I was worried about was the interface that's getting all this flack, but I actually learned it almost immediately.

For the start menu, I'm not sure what the max is you can have displayed on windows 7, but I've never seen more than about 8-12 programs on it. Then you can type or search through it to find specific programs not on there. In windows 8, you have the whole screen to fit commonly used programs on it. Then you can type or search through it to find specific programs just like before. Then there are always apps that can display commonly searched for information just from that screen. That means it does everything the start menu did, but with more programs and more useful information.

avoidz avoidz said:

For the start menu, I'm not sure what the max is you can have displayed on windows 7, but I've never seen more than about 8-12 programs on it. Then you can type or search through it to find specific programs not on there.

If you mean how many you can pin to the Windows 7 Start Menu, it's about 24 program shortcuts.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

If you mean how many you can pin to the Windows 7 Start Menu, it's about 24 program shortcuts.

Sure lets go with 24

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Sure lets go with 24

The Start Menu is not limited to only the pinned items, if it were I could sympathize with your statement of Metro displaying more apps. There is a section called "All Programs", which implies exactly what it says.

ReederOnTheRun ReederOnTheRun said:

The Start Menu is not limited to only the pinned items, if it were I could sympathize with your statement of Metro displaying more apps. There is a section called "All Programs", which implies exactly what it says.

Metro has an all apps option (includes the regular programs too). It shows all of them in a grid format too so you can see more apps at once.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It shows all of them in a grid format too so you can see more apps at once.
Ahh, much like desktop but in your defense desktop doesn't scroll. But then they could have made it where desktop scrolled, but they didn't. Instead we are left with 4-bit color squares, which in my eyes is a 15 year downgrade from the Start Menu. I can understand the need in the Start Screen and the general layout. What I don't understand is why those of us with modern desktop PC's must downgrade in OS capabilities just so the same OS can be used on a P4 equivalent tablet. I understand the need in disabling features so an OS can run on a tablet. I get that part of the game, what I don't get is keeping those features disabled and not allowing them as options for more capable machines.

Guest said:

The older I get the harder it is to have fine motor movement for getsures. Car accidents, sports accidents, bad ergonomic habits, and learned muscle movements have taken the toll on my ability to "gesture with finesse".

These devices will not reach the older population that have slight tremors, and people with disabilities or injuries.

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