PC makers to rebel against Microsoft Windows at Consumer Electronics Show

By on December 27, 2013, 4:30 PM
windows, android, ces, microsoft windows, ces 2014

Microsoft could find itself in a precarious position at the Consumer Electronics Show early next month in Las Vegas. That’s because a number of computer manufacturers are expected to unveil systems that can simultaneously run Windows and Google’s Android mobile platform according to two different analysts as reported by Computerworld.

Tentatively known as PC Plus, these machines will run Windows 8.1 as well as Android apps. Tim Bajarin of Creative Strategies said the initiative would take place through software emulation and was being backed by Intel. He wasn’t sure what kind of performance could be expected but it is their way to try and bring more touch-based apps to the Windows ecosystem.

Patrick Moorhead, principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, independently said there were three possible implementations that could be used including dual-boot, software emulation or some type of virtualization-based solution. Either way, it would certainly make buzz at CES as OEMs will be trumpeting it.

It’s a desperate move by OEMs but as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. Manufacturers have seen the PC business shrink in size over the last couple of years as sales of smartphones and tablets have cannibalized the once-thriving industry.

If true, it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the initiative plays out. One scenario could see manufacturers move away from Windows for mobile devices like notebooks, instead opting for a true mobile OS. It’s no secret that Microsoft is working to further optimize Windows 8 to better meet the demands of all users but there’s still a lot of work left to be done.




User Comments: 31

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psycros psycros said:

Funny how everyone except Microsoft has seen this coming for ages. Guess they were too busy designing UIs that look like ugly European street signs.

Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

Funny how everyone except Microsoft has seen this coming for ages. Guess they were too busy designing UIs that look like ugly European street signs.

Are you talking about the company who not only has one of the top selling video game consoles but who also dominates the PC industry? Just because people are being more tablets than PCs (obviously because they are cheaper and more convenient) doesn't mean Microsoft is scared. They are being stupid though assuming they can ignore these changes and assume people will always come back to them. Between Linux become easier to use, ChromeOS actually becoming more popular and people wanting to stick with the Apple ecosystem thus eventually getting Apple computers; Microsoft needs to stop thinking that just because they are at the top of the world right now doesn't mean they can't be knocked off.

Chuck Cortes Chuck Cortes said:

I meant buying, not being.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

As I sit here reading this on my 8" dell venue pro, I see no reason for Microsoft to worry. For the price I paid for this device not many other tablets can come close to it. If Microsoft keeps there tablet market share growth rate up they could have 20% of the tablet market by the end of 2014.

Teko03 said:

Microsoft just needs to put more focus on modern UI app development, desktop integration, allowing the start menu / start screen to co-exist & killing off Windows RT. It serves no purpose with Intel's new Atom line. The only benefit if Windows RT is the completely closed environment, meaning no malware issues since everything must come from the Windows Store -- but that's also the biggest downfall..

Vrmithrax Vrmithrax, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Ironically, Microsoft's heavy-handed "me too" push into touch-enabled computing has probably been a major reason for this move. When you shove your software into a different niche and work hard at eliminating the familiar legacy things that separate it from everyone else in this new niche (like the desktop mode and start button stuff in early Windows 8), you end up blurring the lines between you and everyone else. Sounds good in theory, but eventually you start to realize that you have gone from being a household name with legions of loyal users, to being thought of as just another skin over the same generic user experience. If people can use a general (and free) version of a UI and get roughly the same experience as they would paying for yours, why would they stay with the one that costs them more up front, then forces obsolescence in and tries to get more money from you again in a few years?

These dual-boot models are a great wedge into the marketplace, showing those loyal Windows users that they can get a similar experience with other solutions... Seems like only a year ago that Microsoft had stated unequivocally that OEM versions of Windows RT would not be allowed to dual boot on ARM platforms, and then that all somehow changed when they started begging HTC to allow dual booting so WP would be available on some products... Microsoft seems to be veering blindly around a field of icebergs lately, maybe this widespread dual-booting mutiny from the OEMs will be the one that finally sinks them? (Not likely, but it's a fun analogy!)

TD_Baker said:

From my view point, Microsoft's intentions where to stay competitive with the convergence to mobile which I do not disagree with however what we all mostly can agree on is the strategy they used which ironically backfired as we know with Windows 8 and now 8.1 etc...

The PC market has been declining due to a number of multiple factors with tablets, smartphones, etc.. however one major factor that has contributed to it's major decline is Windows itself. By intentionally alienating Desktop users and changing the UI with Metro added, this extreme change angered and confused consumers which lead to the dramatic drop in sales which effected not only Microsoft but the entire the OEM PC Industry, as is the case with the recent upcoming change for CES from these OEM providers.

In order for Microsoft to gain momentum and market share back, they need to acknowledge Windows 8 was a complete mess and one of the worst OS they ever did. Second, they need to SPLIT up the OS between Touchscreen devices and PC Devices, I would phrase it as Mobile and PC Windows OS versions. Third, on the PC Windows OS version take out Metro entirely, include both the Start Button and Start Menu. Fourth, ensure the OS retains the same look and feel as Win 7 with Aero along with bringing back a compatibility mode where users can use the control panel instead of charms. This will provide a gradual change for end users to manage rather than a complete overhaul as done in Wind 8.

Just my two cents..I am sure some may have other thoughts however we all can agree Win 8 was a flop and needs to change.

stateofjermaine stateofjermaine said:

Why does this matter to Microsoft? If all of these machines are natively running Windows, does it matter if they're also running Android or Linux or a bakery? Microsoft still gets its payday, and remains the industry standard. Is Android really perceived as an alternative to a desktop OS? I dunno, seems kind of alarmist, to me.

GeforcerFX GeforcerFX said:

Why does this matter to Microsoft? If all of these machines are natively running Windows, does it matter if they're also running Android or Linux or a bakery? Microsoft still gets its payday, and remains the industry standard. Is Android really perceived as an alternative to a desktop OS? I dunno, seems kind of alarmist, to me.

I agree android is the free OS being put on there all the OEM's had to buy there windows license. Its like Ubuntu is also going into a dual-boot situation with Android, android to deliver the mobile solution then when you get home or to work Ubuntu to give you a desktop environment. Windows 8 and 8.1 can already to all of that in the same package though.

amstech amstech, TechSpot Enthusiast, said:

See? It's not just me pissed off at Microsoft.

Gamesinner said:

I just bought a new laptop for my daughter for Christmas with Windows 8. She gave windows 8 a chance but it sucked really bad. I even gave it a shot but it's very user unfriendly and to much of a departure from the windows we all know and love. I wiped the HD and installed Windows 7. Much better. Bad Microsoft! You really should listen to your costumers.

2 people like this | NuguPabo NuguPabo said:

Okay, here's some advice for the new CEO: stop pussyfooting around, grab your sack and do the following things. Start by getting rid of all the duplicate bs programs from the past (I.e. windows live, coinciding with outlook, multiple picture and video programs, etc., force the demise of everything except windows 7 and 8.1). Finish the project of one os which can run on tablets, phones, and pc's; this is the right direction, ignoring the doomsayers. Follow Apple and create a closed system and actually utilize the new Nokia purchase and put windows phone on Nokia exclusively. Along with the latter, step away from all the pc company partners who are abandoning Microsoft anyway and use Xbox as the new Surface, utilizing all of the capabilities it already has to make it the new and one and only MS PC. Stop selling your license to all other pc manufacturers and create your own monopoly of Nokia widows phones, Surface tablets, and Xbox pc's. Let everyone else go android, linux, etc., and compete with Apple against all of the free, but second rate operating systems. This will take you down a long, hard road, but in the end you will triumph because there are still and always will be many people who are more familiar with windows and many people who are loyal to MS and will stick with it over the other two options. There, I've had my say and welcome all the bashing which is sure to follow from all the MS complainers and haters.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Not a good idea. Give MS Nokia exclusive windows phone while OEMs are possible writing VM software to run Android apps in Windows? I imagine as soon as Android run on Windows desktops and tablets, the benefit of a cheap Android phone running the same apps will be a hell of a lot more enticing that buying back into a Microsoft closed environment with the Windows marketplace and it's limited app choices.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Nugopabo, you must be trolling or uninformed. MS makes the most money from businesses. SQL. Office products. Azure. O365. Loads of other corporate stuff. If the latest version of Windows only came in a closed ecosystem version on Xbox hardware they could kiss goodbye to billions of dollars overnight. It would be a disaster. Unfortunately MS have made the Windows marketplace unattractive to develop for by forcing the metro ui to be separate from the desktop. If they had made them live side by side like it sounds may happen in Windows Threshold then they would be in a better place to promote their marketplace to developers but now with Android vms on the horizon, it may be too little too late.

pmcardle said:

Just my two cents..I am sure some may have other thoughts however we all can agree Win 8 was a flop and needs to change.

Here's to all Windows 8 haters. You keep saying "W8 is made for touch devices and they are forcing it on non-touch users". You're absolutely correct, W8 was made to interface with touch devices. The part you don't get is that it work like every other non-touch OS too. I've been using W8 since beta form on a desktop with a 30" non-touch monitor. Whenever I use W8 on my "touch" device, I always use a mouse and keyboard too. Rarely do I ever touch the screen and when I do it's usually when I'm showing something to someone else or I'm holding the device in one hand and navigating with the other.

Oh, and let's keep crying about the start menu. Give me a break. Most people install programs and either have an icon on their desktop or task tray. If that isn't good enough, MS places a Programs Folder on the desktop. When opened it looks just like the old start menu (and it's a lot easier to quickly edit). This works in W7 too. On my W8 desktop, I dragged the folder to my task tray right next to the Metro Start button. I know, I know... that's a pretty difficult task. If you would like to see it just create a desktop shortcut with the following target.

"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"

Some folks says that MS doesn't listen to their user base. Why in the world would MS ever listen to the rant of a bunch of people who are clueless about Windows 8?

One last thing; if you're still hanging on to XP and think it's the greatest OS since sliced bread, please don't respond. You're only showing your ignorants when you do. It's either that or you're too poor to afford to upgrade. Either way it's pretty sad.

cliffordcooley cliffordcooley, TechSpot Paladin, said:

One last thing; if you're still hanging on to XP and think it's the greatest OS since sliced bread, please don't respond. You're only showing your ignorants when you do. It's either that or you're too poor to afford to upgrade. Either way it's pretty sad.
Don't forget about the other end of the stick. The end of the stick, where people can afford to upgrade and was denied cosmetic features, because the OS was designed to be run on a tablet.

And as for the Start Menu, I don't need it back. I do however want something other than the Start Screen. And no, I don't want to pay extra for something that was removed from Windows, while I have no option to pay less for the OS. I've been there and done that a few times in the past. I'm finished paying MS for removing things I want and use in previous versions.

Microsoft is playing it smart by packaging everything together. If they started separating their applications, they would be forced to enhance their applications or close shop in that department. As long as they are packaging everything in with the OS (of which everyone wants), they can continue creating halfa_s and/or bloated applications. And in the process continue to run blind to what consumers want, because in the end as long as they make a sale the don't care. Truthfully I don't blame them for it, I can however turn my loyal back because alternates can be found.

Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Just my two cents..I am sure some may have other thoughts however we all can agree Win 8 was a flop and needs to change.

Here's to all Windows 8 haters. You keep saying "W8 is made for touch devices and they are forcing it on non-touch users". You're absolutely correct, W8 was made to interface with touch devices. The part you don't get is that it work like every other non-touch OS too. I've been using W8 since beta form on a desktop with a 30" non-touch monitor. Whenever I use W8 on my "touch" device, I always use a mouse and keyboard too. Rarely do I ever touch the screen and when I do it's usually when I'm showing something to someone else or I'm holding the device in one hand and navigating with the other.

Oh, and let's keep crying about the start menu. Give me a break. Most people install programs and either have an icon on their desktop or task tray. If that isn't good enough, MS places a Programs Folder on the desktop. When opened it looks just like the old start menu (and it's a lot easier to quickly edit). This works in W7 too. On my W8 desktop, I dragged the folder to my task tray right next to the Metro Start button. I know, I know... that's a pretty difficult task. If you would like to see it just create a desktop shortcut with the following target.

"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs"

Some folks says that MS doesn't listen to their user base. Why in the world would MS ever listen to the rant of a bunch of people who are clueless about Windows 8?

One last thing; if you're still hanging on to XP and think it's the greatest OS since sliced bread, please don't respond. You're only showing your ignorants when you do. It's either that or you're too poor to afford to upgrade. Either way it's pretty sad.

Ooo! Touchy... Get it through your head that the vast majority of desktop users don't like W8 and you trying to foist it in their faces by throwing a tantrum won't change their minds one iota, in fact it'll just serve to amuse them. I use W8.1 (but mostly W7) and it grows on you, just like warts do and I don't know if that's such a good thing.

Phraun said:

Ooo! Touchy... Get it through your head that the vast majority of desktop users don't like W8 and you trying to foist it in their faces by throwing a tantrum won't change their minds one iota, in fact it'll just serve to amuse them. I use W8.1 (but mostly W7) and it grows on you, just like warts do and I don't know if that's such a good thing.

You can't change the minds of the close-minded. A large component of the negativity surrounding the OS comes from the results of vociferous knee-jerk alarmists setting up a large part of the computing world for a bad case of confirmation bias. People were told "HEY THIS IS MASSIVELY DIFFERENT AND TERRIBLE" and approached the OS expecting that to be the case (because change is to be feared, dammit!) and got as much out of it as they were willing to put into it. First impressions are a hell of a thing to overcome, particularly when the onus is entirely upon the person crafting the impression.

But just watch, Microsoft will release Windows 9, nearly identical aesthetically, throw in a few performance boosts and re-arrange a menu or two, and people will rave about it as though it were the second coming of christ. It's happened before, it'll happen again, and it will continue to provide endless amusement to those of us that have already caught on.

Guest said:

For those who complain about Windows 8 being user unfriendly, you simply just don't know how to use it and didn't take the time to understand it. Under the hood, windows 8 is better than 7. It's the UI people didn't and still don't like. If MS would have just kept the old UI, people wouldn't have been so hard on MS.

It's been said when Thresold comes out in 2015, MS will be going back to the old UI. Meaning you'll see the start menu and some other stuff come back.

There's nothing really wrong with Windows 8. It was more for mobile devices than an actual desktop OS. As I said though the under the hood improvements are better than W7 and better for gaming. A lot of the issues will still come back to the UI, which is what the average person complains about.

If you take the time to learn W8, you will like it but it will take some time to learn. Some can use it right away and be fine, the average person, well that will take a few weeks to get use to and learn.

Guest said:

So, yes, there is a learning curve with this ASUS T100-Windows 8.1, but with the extra storage, 64GB flash, I can use all sorts of portable apps (the entire suite). If I really get bored, I can install Bluestacks and have mobile apps galore. What's the point? Easy enough to install VBox and have Linux as well. But . . . I don't think the idea with tablets is to run Enterprise operations--time wasters on the plane or enroute, maybe. I can do a lot with 64GB and 64GB, but not Photoshop.

Guest said:

I guess most people still don't understand. People don't like change, why should they? I'm not gonna change every time someone tells me to, especially when there is no need. Windows 8 changes are for the worse, not better, why should people adapt when they can save money and leave 7 on their PCs, it's more functional anyway having the start menu. Why should I adapt to W8 and not W8 to me? Only thing that 8 has is performance improvement which is miserable. But their logic is: If something is new, I must have it. Doesn't matter if it works or not. It reminds me of Apple dolts, and even I would consider buying macbook over this terribly made Windows 8.

2 people like this | Paul Deemer Paul Deemer said:

Funny how everyone except Microsoft has seen this coming for ages. Guess they were too busy designing UIs that look like ugly European street signs.

The Funny thing is that Microsoft doesn't understand one basic fact. While there are many people out there who would enjoy the simplicity of Windows 8, there are also power users like me. I don't want a Tablet Touch screen OS on my $3,000 gaming Rig. I want Windows 7 64 bit. If Microsoft is to survive they need to stop thinking that 1 Operating system will meet everyone's needs. They need a full blown power OS for Desktops and Mobile OS for Phones and Tablets.

Railman said:

Funny how everyone except Microsoft has seen this coming for ages. Guess they were too busy designing UIs that look like ugly European street signs.

The Funny thing is that Microsoft doesn't understand one basic fact. While there are many people out there who would enjoy the simplicity of Windows 8, there are also power users like me. I don't want a Tablet Touch screen OS on my $3,000 gaming Rig. I want Windows 7 64 bit. If Microsoft is to survive they need to stop thinking that 1 Operating system will meet everyone's needs. They need a full blown power OS for Desktops and Mobile OS for Phones and Tablets.

But the real issue is MS making changes for changes sake rather than considering users. When MS introduced Excel 2007 many people discovered certain Excel macros created in Excel 2003 no longer worked. To me that is a demonstration of their lack of commitment to either business or home users. It is ironic that they are expecting XP users to switch to W8.1 who by definition are using older kit but W8.1 does not include DVD player!

Mbloof said:

The "chain" is broken.

People forget that MS Operating System releases are hit and miss. 95' sucked and 98' was better. 2000 crashed all the time and XP was better. Vista sucked and WIN7 was better. Win8 is another story.

The problem with MS is that they think they can do no wrong. Having a monopoly in desktop OS's they figured that whatever they did - people had to follow.

The "chains" that tied me to MS-Office got broken when they subjected the world to Office 2007 and the "ribbon". "Open Office" works just as well for my use and is FREE. No more M$Office licenses for me thank you.

Outside of the tower system that I run games on most of my computing (at home and at the office) is done on laptop/notebook computers with smart phones and tablets filling in the gaps. When I had extra ca$h burning a hole in my pocket this holiday season and I looked to getting a ultralight laptop or notebook computer I bought a Apple instead of a WIN8.x powered device.

I figured "why not Apple"? At the high end of the ultralight space they are competitive in price, performance and there were native versions of the software I use most often (and already had licenses for) that I could use with it.

Come to think of it, there really is no reason for me to ever purchase a MS product ever again.

This afternoon I have an "IT date" with some friends which have aging XP boxes that have self destructed. (both the desktop and laptop are sporting less than 1GB of ram and ~40GB of HD storage space) Unemployed and cashless they won't be purchasing a new computer device anytime soon. They have no idea where their install disks are (of if they even have any). My "cure" for them is a Ubuntu CD I downloaded and burned for them last night.

The free Ubuntu install comes with Firefox, a (claimed) MS Office compatible office suite and antivirus+firewall built in. The Ubuntu site claims multiple year support for the free OS. I'll bring a roll of packaging tape so I can attach the install CD to the side of their case so its not lost in case they ever have to reload it.

The silly thing is that once buying the same brand/model so you don't have to relearn everything no longer works or is broken people realize that there are other sometimes more attractive options available to for them to learn instead.

Given a choice MS products are rarely if ever peoples 1st choice (or a choice at all).

Darth Shiv Darth Shiv said:

Why does this matter to Microsoft? If all of these machines are natively running Windows, does it matter if they're also running Android or Linux or a bakery? Microsoft still gets its payday, and remains the industry standard. Is Android really perceived as an alternative to a desktop OS? I dunno, seems kind of alarmist, to me.

It matters because it helps get exposure and acceptance. It would be hard to get exposure if the PCs were pure Android because if people aren't happy, they don't have a fallback (of windows).

If the Android use ramps up, suddenly they could have the option of pure Android. *Then* it is a problem for Windows.

NuguPabo NuguPabo said:

Nugopabo, you must be trolling or uninformed. MS makes the most money from businesses. SQL. Office products. Azure. O365. Loads of other corporate stuff. If the latest version of Windows only came in a closed ecosystem version on Xbox hardware they could kiss goodbye to billions of dollars overnight. It would be a disaster. Unfortunately MS have made the Windows marketplace unattractive to develop for by forcing the metro ui to be separate from the desktop. If they had made them live side by side like it sounds may happen in Windows Threshold then they would be in a better place to promote their marketplace to developers but now with Android vms on the horizon, it may be too little too late.

Yucka, just wanted to let you know that I posted a reply to you yesterday which so far Techspot hasn't published. A rather lengthy one which is perhaps why they didn't post it. Either way, I'm still sticking with my position and I am neither trolling or uninformed and I was unimpressed with your rather mumble-jumble response. Thanks

mailpup mailpup said:

NuguPabo, FYI, you have no unpublished pending posts and this thread contains no deleted posts from anyone (not yet, anyway).

Guest said:

MS took their userbase for granted. If they don't scramble and REALLY listen to what their users are telling them, they'll be history - at least insofar as home users are concerned. They'll still retain their share in the corporate world but that will erode too in the longer run.

Railman said:

NuguPabo, FYI, you have no unpublished pending posts and this thread contains no deleted posts from anyone (not yet, anyway).

What a relief! I can't say I am impressed by NugoPabo comments. Clearly he has never worked in a business environment were so much depends on legacy applications. For example Oracle at my workplace that will only work with an old version of Java.

yukka, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Yucka, just wanted to let you know that I posted a reply to you yesterday which so far Techspot hasn't published. A rather lengthy one which is perhaps why they didn't post it. Either way, I'm still sticking with my position and I am neither trolling or uninformed and I was unimpressed with your rather mumble-jumble response. Thanks

Sorry but your original post seemed crazy. MS money comes mainly from business and if they cut out the OEMs from producing computers with Windows on, it would all go terribly wrong. I can just imagine all the OEMs choosing their favourite flavour of Linux and pumping plenty of money into development while PCs become limited to a single flavour directly from MS. MS Laptops only. MS desktops only. Motherboard manufacturers going out of business. No more custom built Windows PCs. Unless Windows is sold separately but then thats what happens now.. No your post is definitely crazy and IF my response was "mumble jumble" then it was because your original post did my head in.

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