Well apparently, Microsoft wants to have some Canon tech in their imaging stuff now. Unfortunately, I guess nobody told them that it's not exactly the same thing to transfer from system camera level imaging to mobile imaging. It does make me wonder whether when Nokia imploded the people who really knew the details of Pureview technology jumped ship... As far as I know, Nokia lost a ton of talent at the moment when Windows strategy was announced.
Gotta back claims like that up, Mika. There have been no mentions of a mass of talent leaving the company since Microsoft acquired it. There shouldn't be, either, as it should be business as usual...Microsoft owns the Lumia unit now, that doesn't mean they are going to change everything right off the bat (or change anything...Lumia is the most successful Windows phone, and it's driving the growth of Windows phone in the market...best not mess with something that works.)
PureView is the best camera technology in a phone right now. Why your complaining about that now that it's in Microsoft hands, I cannot fathom.
Anyways, Microsoft hate is not because Windows 8 didn't work, or had underlying issues. The hate is because Microsoft doesn't listen to customers or just does business moves that people see are going to cost them more in the long run. And that they are trying to push their monopolistic software attitude to other business areas where they have no foothold. Or backstabbing their hardware buddies with releasing Surface to begin with.
This is again a scrap out of the 1990's. Microsoft has been directly listening to customer feedback for many years now. They have been an extremely open and cooporative company, vs. a monopolistic company, since the whole anti-trust suit. This very deal is a PERFECT example of the NON-competitive nature of the Microsoft of today. Your once again living in the past.
As for Surface...Microsoft's future is dependent upon the entire Microsoft ecosystem being directly competitive with Apple products, specifically. To be quite blunt, Microsoft's hardware partners SUCK ASS. They NEEDED a big, fat, PAINFUL kick in the rear end to knock some sense into them. The mobile windows hardware market has been failing for years...products have gotten cheaper and cheaper, and the quality of those products has tanked right along with price and profit margin.
I just purchased a brand new Dell XPS 15, with an i7, 16GB ram, 512GB SSD, and a 15.6" 3800x1800 pixel QHD+ screen. For less than two grand. This thing is built like a MacBook Pro, and it runs circles around one. It is a BEAUTIFUL device, with a backlit keyboard and a construction quality like I've never before seen in the Microsoft ecosystem. I also am 100% ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN that it would have never existed if Microsoft hadn't entered the game and produced a driving incentive for their own business partners to one-up them. Microsoft's strategy with Surface worked, IMO. Their PARTNERS, who are now also their competitors, are building better products. They are building competitive products that no only compete with the Surface (which is a good device, I have a Surface Pro myself), but also compete directly with Apple products.
The Dell XPS 15 is a beautiful example of the genius behind Microsoft making themselves a competitor in their own ecosystem...it was an essential move to revitalize their industry. No one sees that...because everyone is stuck in the late 1990's and an anti-trust suit that wasn't satisfactory to their hateful expectations. Times have changed...time to get up to date.
Vista with Office updates that forced non-customizable Ribbon was bad enough, and on top of that, the companies had to pay to get people on courses how to use 20 year old tools again.
Now, add another Office change (2010), the UI didn't remain constant, although I think it was a general improvement to 2007. Add on Windows 8 screwing the operating system UI again with Microsoft marketing trying to push it as a "vast improvement" where real world experience was completely different. Especially when beta testers WARNED the company about this.
The ribbon was a DIRECT response to years of customer feedback on the Office UI. People hated having to dig multiple levels deep within menu systems to find features in Word and Excel primarily. Microsoft designed the ribbon in an effort to solve that exact problem, based on explicit CUSTOMER feedback about the problems with their old Office design. Ribbon was a success in that it brought everything right to the surface, one level deep in a series of tabs.
The problem, again, is that people simply don't seem to like change, if that change is coming from Microsoft. (If it is Apple changing something, everyone hails it as revolutionary genius...such as in the iOS 7 change...which, ironically, was simply to make their semi-3D rounded corner icons mostly flat rounded corner icons...oh, and to add a little bit of translucency in a few new places...flat...which, ironically, was largely pioneered by Microsoft with their Metro UI design). Change is the focal point of progress. Everything has to change at some point to be improved. Microsoft has made REASONABLE changes to things like Office, such as with the introduction of the Ribbon UI, and usually in direct response to customer feedback.
I've seen changes made to the Zune desktop player and XBox Music UIs based directly on my feedback...I asked for a couple explicit features directly to Microsoft over the phone, based on an issue I was having. I referenced a number of threads on Microsoft forums where the same feature was being asked for. Within maybe a month, an update was pushed that added the feature and one other change I'd asked for.
Microsoft's ecosystem is huge. For as many people as use iPhones, Microsoft's installed base of Windows computers is well over a BILLION now. The majority of those are Windows 7 and Windows 8.x (and the server counterparts), with a rapidly fading presence in XP. When you have an installed base in the billions, it's impossible to make any change that satisfies 100% of your user base (not even Apple could accomplish that...iOS 7/8 has had it's fair share of detractors, sometimes audible in the throng of brainwashed fanaticism.)
It doesn't help that Windows 8.1 removes a part of the forced stupidity (though I wouldn't cross my fingers), the version name is already tainted. It has to be Windows 9 and an attitude change to recover from this. The point is, if the most downloaded third-party application is Classic Shell, the UI was ****ed to begin with. Note that this holds for the business side experience when using desktops with large screens.
Unfortunately, Microsoft also started to push for cloud integration in Office, and at this part of the world, there's not a lot of businesses who would like to upload critical information to servers based in the US given the current legislation that can confiscate the data at any point. I'm pretty sure Microsoft's plan is to start forcing cloud services down on our throats gradually to charge the usage basis for monthly services, and that I don't want.
Now your just speculating about Microsoft forcing anything on it's customers. You can still, and will always be able to, buy Office stand-alone. I did. I own a couple stand alone copies. I opted for that, instead of the much cheaper $99/yr Office Cloud standard edition. I prefer to store my data locally...but not everyone does. Some people, some corporations and smaller businesses, much prefer to offload the once-necessary costs and complexities of managing their own computer networks and systems onto a larger business entity that has more talented and effective resources for managing such things.
The Cloud, as far as Microsoft is concerned, isn't about the end consumer. The cloud is about the enterprise and the business user. Microsoft's cloud business is actually one of their more successful business units, as well. They have been seeing consistent growth in the Azure cloud and cloud-based service offerings. A lot of people and a lot of corporations WANT cloud offerings. With social and search services like Google and Facebook coming under fire for a lot of misuse of customer data, Microsoft has just been plugging away doing what they do...enterprise systems and support. They offer a truly viable alternative to Google that is more secure and untainted with a history of data abuse or spying or controversial "social experimentation" on an unknowing populace of users or anything like that.
Cloud is Microsoft's strength. Their biggest competitor there is actually Amazon, and they are making headway, helping spur a competitive market in the cloud services business.
I also definitely don't like the Microsoft store integration of the computer UI, and from what it seems, neither did the entertainment industry. Ask how bad it had to be if Valve switched on to developing their own operating system!
The way app stores are run isn't really a Microsoft thing. Apple started that trend, and in many ways, it is essential to the protection of consumers. Just look into how many problems and security issues can and have occurred on the Android platform, with it's open app store, vs. how many of those kinds of issues occur on Apple or Microsoft devices. There needs to be some level of buffer, some small barrier to entry, to help weed out the apps that are designed by data and identity thieves for the purposes of data and identity theft, fraud, etc.
The other issue here is costs and revenue. Microsoft runs the server farm that manages their app store, just like Apple does. It is also a key source of long-term revenue, for both companies. It's a business choice those companies made. Again, when you have such a massive ecosystem, you cannot make decisions that satisfy 100% of your customers.
The Valve problem would have been the same if Steam wanted to do it on the iOS platform. Valve did not want to share it's revenue with Microsoft. Ok, fine. That's the business decision Valve has made. That doesn't make it some kind of a referendum against Windows 8. It simply means that Steam doesn't want to share their revenue, and that's certainly a decision they are allowed to make. It doesn't matter in the end anyway...Windows 8 is still Windows 7 when your on the desktop, and Steam has always worked the same as it always has. There is no loss for Valve here...there is no requirement that they move to an app store model.
There is also no reason that Valve couldn't work with Microsoft on a deal to have a Steam metro app that worked in a unique way to support Valves needs. Microsoft worked with the VLC media player team to help them create a version of VLC that would operate under the (necessary, for security purposes) sandboxing and library limitations of standard Windows 8 apps. VLC makes use of some key low-level C libraries for the kind of performance they require, which are normally not allowed in metro apps. And yet...the first version of VLC for Windows 8 was released a number of months ago.
This is, of course, from my point of view. If you ask me, Windows 8 could've worked had the preferred UI been a simple question in the beginning. Ribbon would work better if it was customizable. Microsoft's name would look better if it wasn't seen nowadays as a potential competitor with their customers and so on.
You have clearly never been part of a software development project, certainly not on any large-scale project that had a large installed base of users. You have to START somewhere. You have to make the decisions of what things your going to include, so you can allocate the resources to implement those things, then send em through the long and complex pipeline of proper testing, QA, refinement, patent generation, pre-production testing, release preparation, stock production, and final release to the storefront shelf and consumers. Microsoft made their decisions about where to START with Windows 8. They have been making progressive updates and improvements that, once again based directly on customer feedback, are greatly improving the product. It's a process. Processes take time.
(BTW, Ribbon IS customizable...highly. You don't quite seem to have your facts strait about Microsoft or their products...probably because you abandoned Microsoft a decade ago, and have simply been regurgitating the same old drivel about mean, predatory, hateful old behemoth "Microsoft the Monopoly" for the same amount of time. Things have changed...and your seeing everything through a lens that keeps you stuck in the past.)