According to Wikipaedia,  dogfooding, or Eating your own dog food,  is a slang term used to reference a scenario in which a company (usually, a software company) uses its own product to demonstrate the quality and capabilities of the product.  What foes that have to do with Windows 8? Well, an article on ZDNet tells us just what the experience of using Windows 8 for months – day in and day out – is like.

Many of us . . . well, Some of us . . . OK, A few of us – including Dr. Data – installed Windows 8 in a Virtual Machine or on a test PC in the run-up to last month’s launch of Windows 8. At ZDNet, six columnists installed Windows 8 months ago and used it on a daily basis. So what was that like?

Well, half of them ended up preferring Windows 7 so that should give you some idea right off the bat. Some of them tweaked Windows 8 in various ways. With regard to the loss of the Start Menu, only one columnist did not miss it and three of them installed Start 8. Half of them are using the interface formerly known as Metro while the other half go straight to the traditional Windows desk top. Most likely, they are the ones who installed Stardock Corp’s Start8 add-on. The story goes on to discuss preferences for other aspects of using Windows 8.

From this, Dr. Data can deliver his own conclusion. You may remember him reporting on a survey which revealed:

  • 52% of the respondents in a poll had never even heard of Windows 8
  • 61% had absolutely no interest in buying a tablet, etc with Windows 8 pre-installed
  • 69% did not think that Windows 8 was an improvement over previous versions

When he looks at Microsoft and Windows 8 together, Dr. Data hears in the back of his mind the singular sound of a B-17 bomber losing an engine somewhere over Germany. In other words, it’s going to be a long trip home and the crew may have to bail out over the Channel.  When half of an admittedly small sampling of long-term users – and these are folks who are really into technology – are twiddling Windows 8 in order to make it work like Windows 7, that cannot be good news. Indeed, Windows 8 is starting to look like Vista Redux.

The above conclusion has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Dr. Data’s upgrade to Windows 8 was a spectacular failure and Microsoft has yet to deliver the upgrade DVD he ordered in an attempt to salvage at least some of his $39.00 investment. He is now out a total of $55.00 and he is not amused.


  • Dogfooding Windows 8
  • [intlink id=”5560″ type=”post”]Digest: Nov 5, 2012 – Windows 8 & The Surface RT[/intlink]

One Response to Windows 8: Dog Food

  • Howard says:

    By way of counterpoint, ZDNet published an article today by Mary Branscombe rebutting Dogfooding Windows 8.

    Windows 8 isn’t two operating systems in one. It’s one operating system that you can use in various ways, depending on your PC hardware.

    In Dogfooding Windows 8? I have a bone to pick, Mary expounds upon her history of using Windows 8 as well as how she uses the operating systems on her collection of PC’s. (She does have one Windows 7 machine left.)

    Apparently for Ms Branscombe, Windows 8 is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If she can find a Windows 8 edition of a Windows 7 app., she will have nothing but Win 8 on all of her hardware.

    The debate will rage on and on for months to come. In the final analysis, defeat or victory will be determined by the number systems upon which Windows 8 is actually installed and used as well as how long Windows 7 continues to be used after the course of operating systems has moved on. Remember, a large segment of PC users – including business organisations – still have a death grip on WIndows XP. Meanwhile, Mary Branscomes article is worth a read.


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