Gartner analyst retracts "Windows 8 is bad" claim

24 Jul 2012
Windows 8

Analyst says comment on desktop experience was taken out of context

A Gartner analyst has denied he called Windows 8 "bad", removing a line from a controversial blog post that criticised the desktop in Microsoft's new OS.

Gunnar Berger, research director at the consulting firm, wrote a series of blog posts summarising his thoughts on Microsoft's next OS. The five posts ranged from using it on a hybrid tablet/laptop to using it with a standard keyboard and mouse, and it's the latter that's caused the controversy.

In the original post - since altered by Berger - he described the experience of using a mouse and keyboard in Windows 8 as “in a word: bad”. That was picked up by blogs and news sites across the web, with one using the statement to ask why anyone in IT listens to Gartner anymore.

In response, Berger yanked the offending line from his blog post, complaining it was taken out of context.

Berger explained his full thoughts on his Windows 8 review to PC Pro, stressing "it wasn’t any official Gartner research", merely a way to share his thoughts as he got to grips with the new OS.

Q. The coverage of your posts have been quite negative - what do you think about Windows 8?

A. My overall opinion on Windows 8 is actually really good. That’s why I’m surprised at the amount of press – they love taking that one sentence and pulling it out of context. That’s driving me nuts. Overall, it’s actually a compelling product, combining a tablet OS and a desktop OS... I think that’s a very smart move.

I’m travelling on the road this week, with the tablet that Microsoft let me borrow, and I like it – it’s a tablet when I want a tablet, a laptop when I want a laptop, and that’s a very compelling use case.

Q. You do say in the blog post that the desktop experience is "bad," though.

A. 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.

Q. The UI for the desktop hasn’t been finalised – what changes would you like to see?

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.

Q. Many people have suggested Windows 8 is the next Vista, but you've said such a comparison is ridiculous. What do you mean by that?

A. That’s from me being on Twitter – listening to what people are saying, I've heard that comparison.

When Vista came out, it was buggy. I had a very difficult time loading Vista on something, if I did get it loaded properly the applications might not run – Vista had issues.

But Windows 8, I've installed it on just about everything I have access to, and it's running and the applications I run on top work. To compare Windows 8 to Vista is completely unfair to Microsoft.

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