Editorial: Windows 8 bashers and a trip down “Claim Chowder” memory lane

It seems the popular thing to do these days is bash Windows 8. Last week we heard it from Gabe Newell of Valve saying: “Windows 8 is a catastrophe.” Today we’re hearing it from Minecraft creator Markus “Notch” Persson. He says: “If Microsoft decides to lock down Windows 8, it would be very, very bad for Indie games and competition in general.”

I don’t necessarily disagree with Notch. Locking down the OS is not a win for developers. But that’s one of the few legitimate complaints we’ve heard. Most bashers seem to think Windows 8 will fail just because it’s very different from Windows 7. I think Microsoft is finally betting on the right horse. A more mobile-centric operating system is absolutely the future. When a product that’s ahead of its time comes along some people just can’t see the vision. Those people usually give us some Claim Chowder.

What’s Claim Chowder? It’s a term coined by John Gruber of Daring Fireball. It’s when someone makes a claim with the utmost certainty that turns out to be completely wrong. There are a lot of quotes out there right now about Windows 8 that could eventually become delicious Claim Chowder. Let’s take a look at a few famous Claim Chowder quotes about a product that was similarly ahead of its time.

On the iPhone:

2006 Palm CEO, Ed Colligan

“We’ve learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone. PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They’re not going to just walk in.”

2007 Bloomberg, Matthew Lynn

“The iPhone is nothing more than a luxury bauble that will appeal to a few gadget freaks. In terms of its impact on the industry, the iPhone is less relevant… Apple is unlikely to make much of an impact on this market… Apple will sell a few to its fans, but the iPhone won’t make a long-term mark on the industry.”

2007 Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer

There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.No chance. It’s a $500 subsidized item. They may make a lot of money. But if you actually take a look at the 1.3 billion phones that get sold, I’d prefer to have our software in 60% or 70% or 80% of them, than I would to have 2% or 3%, which is what Apple might get.

2007 Microsoft Senior Marketing Director, Richard Sprague

“I can’t believe the hype being given to iPhone… I just have to wonder who will want one of these things (other than the religious faithful)… So please mark this post and come back in two years to see the results of my prediction: I predict they will not sell anywhere near the 10M Jobs predicts for 2008.”


Quotes via: The Loop

  • spicymeatball

    There’s too much expectation on the Windows 8 OS being for mobile and desktop. Pulling it off is a technical achievement and not a end user advantage. The Cloud is connecting the world more and more every day which changes expectations of consumers and frees us from platforms.

  • JasonEnzoD

    It’s not just popular to bash Windows 8, it’s important to do so if you want to see a continuation of the PC culture as we know it. It’s not about the new interface, but the business model that lies behind it. Right now anyone can develop for Windows and sell their product, or give it free, or whatever they want. Under the Metro (or similar) platform, that all stops. Developers must pay M$ for the privilage of being a developer via a subscription; and then pay 20% of the revenue from sales. I don’t think freeware is even allowed – even if it were viable. And then all the development is subject to approval by Microsoft, and only they are allowed to market it.
    The only operating systems that seem not to be taking this direction are free ones like linux, but as hardware and software become more and more interdependant, then even the future of linux is threatened.
    All this, from a single move by Microsoft.