Is Windows 8 The New Vista?

windows-8-surface-proWe tend to be early adopters at Synthtopia, so we followed the beta of Microsoft Windows 8 and upgraded one of our PCs as soon as the new OS was available. Overall, we’ve been impressed by its speed improvements, lack of cruft and the new options offered by its implementation of multitouch.

Musicians have been slow to warm to the new OS, though. And now a series of executives are blaming Windows 8 for declining PC sales, calling it the ‘new Vista’.

“The global PC industry is steadily shrinking despite the launch of Windows 8,” says Samsung’s Jun Dong-soo. “The Windows 8 system is no better than the previous Windows Vista platform.” He joins leaders from Asus, Acer and Fujitsu in blaming Windows 8 for sluggish sales.

What do you think – is Windows 8, despite its performance improvements, an upgrade that musicians can skip?

77 thoughts on “Is Windows 8 The New Vista?

  1. I’m skipping it. Mostly to give program developers time to catch up with multi-point multi-touch.
    Don’t really like with they did with the ‘new’ desktop features either. Hopefully that will get axed in a newer OS version.

  2. I must be one of the few that actually like windows 8 and the new start screen. It seems pretty fast and reliable to me.

  3. Vista was a disaster because the OS was a bit wonky. Considering how well Windows 8 actually runs, I blame internet hysteria for scaring people away. That and the rise of Android/iOS tablets and Macs as fashionable accessories.

    1. I just don’t want tablet interface junk on my PC, and I feel suspicious of a company who thinks that’s a good idea. At least make it a switch on/off setting so I could disable and never see again

  4. Yes, Windows 8 is the new Vista, because its the one where Microsoft is trying out new stuff which they will tune and refine for their next version of Windows.

  5. Hmmmm… I’ve only used it for a few minutes at Fry’s, but those minutes weren’t as fun as the people in the commercials made them seem they would be. I’ll blame it on using OS X for the last few years, but I was bewildered by Windows 8. It seemed to do nothing well and everything mediocre.

  6. I love windows 8. Only a few non important applications I used to use no longer work, but who cares, windows 8 runs better for me.

  7. I have it, it’s different, takes a moment to get used to the lack of a start menu, but the reason PC sales are slow if the fact that people just don’t have the extra cash to upgrade on something like a new computer. Peoples homes are underwater financially, work for me is way down, less clients, less hours. I have a number of long time major TV composers as well as movie composer calling it a day after 20 years. Same thing, no work, or if there is work, the budgets are 1/6th of what they were, for all but a few, and even their payments are MUCH smaller.

    So blame the economy for the crappy PC sales, the OS is just fine.

  8. If Samsung, Asus, Acer and Fujitsu are worried about sluggish sales, instead of blaming Windows 8, they need to stop putting low resolution 1368×768 displays in all their tablets and laptops. Asus released a few new models recently, and even the 15.6″ models still have that crappy low resolution screen. Nobody’s gonna want to buy that, especially now you can buy phones with 1080P HD screens.

    And Windows RT, they should avoid that altogether and stick with Windows 8 Pro.

  9. Being a REAL MUSICIAN, thank god I don’t have to worry about Windows 8.
    I still rock a MCI JH24 24 TRACK RECORDER like a real musician does it.
    All you wannabe’s keep using your nerdy computers though.

    1. If you were a “real” musician you’d be using a Studer or Ampex multitrack. And 24 track? Oh, dear. 16 track 2″ is where it’s really “at”. Mci tape machines are for wannabes and losers too poor to even afford crap like an otari.

      What a weird comment yours is. Why pick the mid 1970s as the zenith of music making?

      Nostalgia, plain and simple.

      “Proper” musicians don’t give a fish’s tit what technology they use. They care about the music they make.

    2. If you were a “real” musician you’d be using a Studer or Ampex multitrack. And 24 track? Oh, dear. 16 track 2″ is where it’s really “at”. Mci tape machines are for wannabes and losers too poor to even afford crap like an otari.

      What a weird comment yours is. Why pick the mid 1970s as the zenith of music making?

      Nostalgia, plain and simple.

      “Proper” musicians don’t give a monkey’s cusp what technology they use. They care about the music they make.

    3. *YAWN* aint I a realmuso….yeah man…*YAWN*…why limit your incredible self to a 24 track recorder…*YAWN*

      1. Don’t look for Windows 8 or 7 or Vista or XP based PC or Laptop if you are serious about music production.
        Apple is the King in this territory regardless of any amateurs on this board saying otherwise.
        Ps; Macs these days are not as expensive as they use to be 3 or 5 years ago – they are actually affordable these days πŸ™‚
        Btw; Any pro Muso I can think of is using Mac in their studio, hmm I wonder why πŸ˜‰

        1. Only “amateurs” use PCs? Ha ha. I’ve been a professional since the early 90s, and I can tell you that if you sit down at a workstation worried about what OS it’s running — you’re NOT a professional. In fact, when we interview techs to work at our studio, if they can only function on one OS (or one production software suite, for that matter), they need to have some truly exceptional other skill to even be considered.

          I ripped all the Macs out of my studio because they were too slow, and I don’t regret it one bit. But my laptop is still a Mac, because Apple is better at that. If you are hung up about OSes or packages, you can’t make flexible “best tool for the job” choices like that. And that’s not very professional.

        2. LOL. As a professional musician and a professional IT worker (Mac and PC), you have no idea what you are talking about. The fact you really think it makes a difference proves you aren’t a professional anything.

          1. Pardon me, but I’m the one who said it doesn’t make a difference. You now appear to be ridiculing your own point. Which is good, because your original point was daft.

            All OSes, DAWs, etc. basically work the same. If you don’t believe that, you’re what we call a “package jockey” and are overspecialized on a tool rather than a task. Everybody has favorite platforms on which they’re personally most comfortable, but which one you’ve chosen is ultimately irrelevant and arguing about anything other than measurable defects (crashes, slowdowns, incompatibilities) is just pub banter.

              1. However, the point was far from “Daft.” I believe the point I made was suggesting that using a hardware only setup, or using one particular OS over another if one is using a computer isn’t any more professional than other methods. And, as you and I pointed out, true professionals know this. People who get the job done using the method that best suits them – I threw the IT pro thing because I’ve spent years as a PC and MAC tech and I know from experience Pros use both and really it makes no difference at all.

  10. I have to say that I do use Windows 8 Pro with both Ableton & Maschine, many VSTs, and various other high-profile applications. I can’t give any raw data, but I honestly feel like the entire system performs better than it did on win7. I have yet to find ANY sort of disadvantage with this platform. I really don’t know what everybody’s afraid of!

    1. I find it interesting that every post coming from people who are currently using Win 8 and it works really well for them, automatically get a ton of down votes. What exactly are you voting down? You have musicians in here who are using Win 8 and having no issues, what is the problem? Are you people so ideologically driven that you can’t stand the fact that Win 8 actually works quite well for a lot of people???

  11. I like Windows 8, it runs better on my PC than 7 and I find it faster to access stuff without the old fashioned start button.
    However Microsoft have completely overlooked the audio market with RT. There is no way to get reliable low latency on an RT device so add this to Android with another audio platform fail.

  12. Haven’t tried it yet. Primarily a Mac user and so far, MS have not shipped anything compelling enough to make me want to switch. I always do take a good look at each version of Windows though and do use it from time to time when I have to. I was disappointed (but not surprised) to discover how easy it still is to screw up a Windows install (Win7) when I installed a software utility, decided it was not what I needed, uninstalled it, restarted and found that it would not boot afterwards – had to re-install Win7 to get it up and running again. This is the kind of thing I have not ever run into since OS X on a Mac but have seen far too often on all flavors of Windows up through Win7. I suspect nothing has changed as far as this sort of thing goes with Win8. Unless this has finally changed with Win8, Windows still requires more support, more troubleshooting, more expertise to install and keep running than does OS X. As of Win7 at least, it still has not achieved that “it just works” level of reliability that has been achieved with OS X and iOS.

    1. Sorry but i don’t buy this.
      There is no way to cause such an issue in the operating system by uninstalling a program.
      This is definitely a user error.
      What software utility did you uninstall, and how did you uninstall it ???

  13. I bougt a Asus G55V just after christmas, and I choose win 8 just to test it out. I though I could take that chance since I allready own a license for 7. In the start I was really pissed of. The fact that I could not choose between only ordenary windows and the Metro, was extremly irritating. I mean, metro is useless unless you have touch. Well, first of was the factory intallment. It was faulty, so I coudn’t shut down my machine only put it to sleep. After many mails to Asus and the store, I found out that I couldnt download the OS to install it myself be course the lisence id only existed in the root. Oh bugger! So then it was just to ship it of to have what I always do myself, done by others (oh and did I mention that no one told meg to make a backupdisk form the clean install to fix this my self? Well, no one did).
    Well, got it back after a few days. And it worked as i should. Still irriteted on the whole metor startscreen/program-closedown crud, I started to look for ways to get the start button and line back. Happy days When I found Classic Shell ( ). This little program runs un-notecisable and gives you the start button and line back. And it starts up _without_ the metro startscreen πŸ˜€ And that was actually all I needed. Since then I feel win 8 runs fine. So in it self, win 8 feel good to me. No hickups or slowness until now.
    So all in all for me, I sincerly hope Microsofte will do the two following: 1. bring back the start button. 2. give us the opportounity to _choose_ betwenn Metro style, classic windows style or both.
    Both things should be easy for them. But alas. They are planning a new update called Windows Blue, but rumors says still now start button πŸ™

    1. Forgot to say. I have tryed out my DAW (Studio One) a bit also, and find it workes smoothly. Same with all the vst’s I have tryed aswell.

      1. Again with the downvotes for nothing. Geir has tested the OS, it works well for him, and that’s worth a bunch of downvotes? Why? A good portion of you are nothing more than Mac fanboys, or Windows users who are so angered by the lack of a start menu that you can’t see past your own hate. If it works for us (those of us currently using WIn 8 for music making and for work), and works really well, what the hell is the problem?

  14. It’s a news site. The most interesting developments in electronic music (in sheer volume terms) are coming from iOS. OS X, windows, are not doing much more than step changes to existing tools.

    Naturally, every opinion about iOS is “fanboyism” whereas any opinion about android, windows, etc is the purest, most rational approach to the data available.

    Stop all the whining and get back to making music, however you choose to do it

  15. if your doing music – don’t you want –performance improvement- ?
    if that is ALL win 8 gives it is worth the upgrade

    you don’t have to use the other features

  16. For the same reason it took me a loooong time to give up on XP, I’m going to stick with 64-bit Win 7 for many years. I’ve finally got a totally stable setup that works perfectly for everything I do, from gaming to graphics to sound. There is nothing I’ve seen in Win8 that makes me want to jump back on the upgrade bus.

  17. Windows 8 gave me a good reason to switch to OS X from PC.

    Windows 8 is an M$ try to push stupid big color touch tiles into desktop workflow. That’s not gonna happen in pro environemnt.

  18. Seriously, Windows 8 aint that bad. Only reason that people don’t like it is because they removed a fucking start menu button. Removing that one little button and making the start menu bigger has caused such enormous amounts of butthurt I don’t even know what to say.
    Giddyup people! Was that button really so important to you?!

  19. I bought a 4.99 program from Stardock called “Start8.” Now I have an OS that works just like Win 7 and is faster and more stable.. I haven’t had a problem yet, on my work machine or my home studio machine.

  20. WIndows 8’s speed and stability improvements are great. It was definitely a worthy upgrade for the desktop. Just factor in an extra $5 for the Stardock app (Start8) and you’ll have your start button back and never have to see that tiled UI stuff.

    Microsoft made a big mistake by FORCING desktop users straight into that UI without giving a choice. It may be nice for tablets and smartphones, but absolutely unproductive for desktops. But once you get past the shock and just learn how to hide that crap, it really does perform better and you can still do things the way you always have…

    I’m glad I took the chance!

    1. I have to agree with you there, that interface on a laptop is a fucking nightmare and seems to me to be the biggest hurdle it has to overcome. I honestly think that if windows had had some common sense and actually trusted some of their better ui aspects from earlier versions, they’d be having a much better quarter.

  21. The potential quality of Windows 8 has nothing to do with it’s sagging sales. The problem with Windows 8 is that nobody “needs” it. Sure it’s a little better in performance, but not enough to warrant the time/money necessary to upgrade. And the Metro interface is generally unpopular with just about everyone because, again, it’s unnecessary and doesn’t provide any added functionality. And microsoft has such a bad track record for upgrades causing breaks, forcing new computer and software purchases for compatibility, etc, that why in the world would anyone buy a new OS, or let alone a whole computer, just to get the metro interface and all the other potential problems when what they have right now works wonderfully. And this of course excludes all the other users who now have tablets and phones and are never going back to desktops and laptops. The desktop PC/Mac is transitioning into a new category. You only need one if you do “workstation” level tasks, like editing audio or video, developing games, architecture, etc. Everyone else just needs a phone to communicate with and a dumb terminal in their cubicle to push a few numbers around on.

    1. Indeed. I’m running 4 Mac Pros with Windows 7 (on BootCamp) for my animation business and it’s really solid. I have no desire to tempt fate by “upgrading”. And I use OSX for audio. Win win.

  22. The issue with these commercial new OSes (and even some open ones…) is that they are made to sell new hardware, and not at all to speed up or imporve what the user experience should be. Then we all have to face slower, more buggy, bling-bling crapware, instead of efficent and powerful tools…

  23. I’ve been strongly considering a surface pro tablet FWIW. I love tablets but I want to run the same stuff I do on my PC (Ableton and the MTGO client mainly to be exact). I also love Apple stuff too, I have a macbook, several ipads, an ipod touch.

    Has anyone tried to run any kind of DAW on a surface pro yet? The small hard drive is somewhat of an issue, but the 128gb version with a 64gb micro sd should be pretty good. I was thinking about using ASIO4all and just running a really lightweight setup on the tablet , saving the heavy lifting like audio recording etc for my main computer with a decent audio interface.

    1. There dosen’t seem to be any rational pattern to the voting on this thread, I realize anything that brings up Mac Vs. Pc Vs. Hardware becomes heated, but me thinks there are some shenanigans afoot.

  24. I dislike Windows 8’s lack of a start menu. If it had that, i’d be much happier with it.
    I wish MS would stop saying “We know whats good for you now swallow this!” and bring it back. I also prefer office 2003 over any office made after as I cannot stand the ribbon either.

    It works ok if you mod it with the Start bar that someone made from Windows 7, it then feels like a faster Windows 7 with some off changes.

    I loved XP, didnt mind Vista, Loved Windows 7, and dislike 8.

    1. It would be okay if the new “Metro” part was the new start menu, but it’s like a whole other OS sitting in there that doesn’t play nicely with the rest. It needs a service pack that integrates it all better, and then once it’s sorted I would imagine it’ll be a lot easier to use

  25. I’ve been using 8 since the developer preview, and I got the “release” version about 3 weeks before it went live for the rest of the world (the perks of the MSDN Academic program).

    It’s got some major problems out of the box, but very few of them are to do with bad programming. 90% of the problems I’ve had with 8 have stemmed from the new interface and it lack of cohesion. It took me a lot longer to complete day to day tasks because of the duality of the new UI, but once I installed a start menu replacer and completely hid Metro I actually find it to be a very nice, solid OS. It’s got a few bugs and compatibility problems with my audio hardware, and it doesn’t like my Firewire interface, but it really isn’t a bad OS if you look past the tatty interface.

    I’ve kept 7 as my main PC OS for now because it more or less works as I need it to, and most of my audio work is done in OSX anyway, but I still play with 8 to get used to it.

  26. I want the start menu back and will buy Apple products until Microsoft replaces it …… and I hate Apple.

  27. Seems like the hardware people should be looking at improving their own products rather than blaming Microsoft for poor sales. I’ve not used 8, but it sounds like a solid upgrade. Faster with a better GUI, what more could the average user want?

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