Saturday, September 10, 2011

Michael Silver, Gartner, Windows 8, and time travel

John Brandon has a blog, but he's more famous for his writing in other places. On Friday, his blog referenced an article that he wrote for And the article included an exclusive:

Michael Silver, a vice president at research firm Gartner who studies personal computers, exclusively told that many companies have what he calls “migration fatigue” and will skip Windows 8 entirely.
"We ... expect most companies to skip it," Silver told "To the extent that the market expects companies to adopt Windows 8 in large numbers, it may be disappointed."

But Ed Bott noticed a teeny tiny issue with that "exclusive" claim:

Exclusively? Really, Fox News? Perhaps your reporters and editors need to take a class in how to use a search engine.

Let’s dial the Wayback Machine for 90 days ago, shall we?

It turns out that back on June 8, Computerworld's Gregg Keizer reported something that sounds eerily identical to the "exclusive" that reported.

"Yeah, there's a gamble here," said Michael Silver of Gartner. "This will be more likely to be taken up by consumers than businesses."...

Not that that's necessarily a bad thing. "Organizations will have a hard time with Windows 8, but then they're tired from their Windows 7 deployments," Silver said.

Silver argued that enterprises will skip Windows 8, just as most did with Windows Vista, and instead stick to Windows 7, a tactic that Microsoft itself endorsed when it recommended that businesses now deploying Windows 7 stick with their plans.

However, it turns out that this is not the first time that Silver's "skip Windows 8" views have ben expressed. Keizer himself quoted Silver back on October 25, 2010, saying pretty much the same thing.

Enterprises now in the midst of migrating to Windows 7 are unlikely to repeat that same work in just two years with Windows 8, an analyst said today.

"They would certainly like to upgrade only to every other edition," said Michael Silver of Gartner, referring to businesses. "If Windows 8 comes out in two years, I think that's likely to happen, that many [enterprises] will be very suspect about migrating to the next release."

So while Ed Bott has an issue with John Brandon, it may be that Michael Silver just spouts off the same "exclusive" to anyone who passes by. "Arianna! Hey, Arianna! Wait! Let me tell you about migration fatigue! Don't go away!"

Incidentally, even if Silver made his statement as late as September 2011, Onuora Amobi has a problem with it:

I don’t care what kind of research firm Gartner is but it’s the height of irresponsibility to speculate about an Operating System you haven’t seen. Period.

An Operating System you haven’t touched and used. An OS which hasn’t had a list price announced. An OS which may have value to the enterprise that you have no idea about.

But there are others who say that the problem isn't John Brandon, or Fox News, or Michael Silver and the Gartner Group. For Patrick Richardson, the problem is Microsoft:

Microsoft still hasn’t figured out that people don’t want the user interface to change every time they turn around. One of the smartest things Apple ever did was make sure that UI standards had to be uniform across every application that runs on their computers. Every open dialog box looks like every other open dialog box on MacOS. If Microsoft would spend as much time and effort on quality control and usability as they do trying to make things look pretty people wouldn’t be constantly grousing about their products.

In my view, Microsoft IS making sure that the UI standards are uniform, at least for their own applications - it's just that it's a slow rollout. The ribbon has been around at least since Office 2007, and now it's headed toward the OS.

And as for making sure that the UI is "uniform across every application that runs on their computers" - Microsoft doesn't exercise dictatorial control over third parties who want to sell software on its computers. Can you imagine how Fox News, ComputerWorld, and Pajamas Media would howl if it did?

About the only thing that all of the analysts can agree upon is that Fox News is evil. Exclusive? Hah! You never see any controversy about MSNBC exclusives, do you?

(OK, let me be fair and balanced about that.)
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