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NEW YORK – They’re the original fanboys.
Bill Gates and Paul Allen, who co-founded Microsoft Corp. on a snowy day in Dec. 1974 at the tender age of 21, both left the company they created for other pursuits. But both have stayed in the loop on technology -- and recently weighed in on Windows 8.
“It’s a very big deal for Microsoft,” Gates said last week during an interview with the Associated Press. “I’ve been using it and I’m very pleased with it.”
“The hardware partners are doing great things to take advantage of the product,” Gates added.
Not to be outdone, Allen, who left the company in 1982 after becoming seriously ill with Hodgkin's lymphoma, published a full review of Windows 8 later that day.
“The new tablet features in Windows 8 are particularly bold and innovative. A few minor issues aside, I'm impressed,” Allen wrote on his website.
Allen admitted that the new operating system may prove confusing at first. Windows 8 is heavily slanted towards tablets and other new computing platforms, and adds a new interface mode with colorful tiles that launch into full-screen apps.
“There are a number of things introduced to Windows by the tablet aspect of the bimodal user experience that I found puzzling, especially for a traditional desktop user like myself,” he said.
Allen’s not alone. A recent poll by Computerworld found that fewer early adopters have taken to the new OS than installed Windows 7 in 2009 in the weeks before it launched.
Just 0.3 percent of computers running Windows used Windows 8 in Sept., the tech news site reported, while at the end of Sept 2009, Windows 7 accounted for 1.64 percent of all Windows PCs -- that's five times as many influential, early-adopter types.
And in the past week, one analyst slashed sales expectations for Windows 8 powered ultrabooks while another said the company was taking a “big gamble” with the new OS.
Still, despite a few complaints about the interface, co-founder Allen was optimistic.
"I'm confident that Windows 8 offers the best of legacy Windows features with an eye toward a very promising future," he wrote.