My decade may be off by 5 years, but that still doesn't change the end result by much ~20% (1.78 instead of 1.96).
There's an interesting chart kicking around that shows wealth distribution/incomes from the 1930's to 2010. There is a decided shift that occurs beginning in the 1970's, but it is much more pronounced from 1980 onwards.
Prior to the shift, the total is split in 5 pieces Top-20%, Next-20%, etc. Each group has nearly the same rate of increase (wealth/income). At some point in the last 30 years that growth - that can be neatly split into pieces falls apart. One has to split out the top 1% or 0.1% and THEN break the groups down into pieces to see the catastrophic effect this redistribution of wealth has had.
My explanation is poor, but along with other economic indicators, including the nearly frozen minimum wage rate, things are not looking all that great for the bulk of the populace in North America.
Especially that last bit of the "elusive promise of a hire" - which just fucks the employee since they wont really be prepared for not having a job at the end of the choreographed BS.
Lets inflate that 2% per year over 34 years. ( x 1.96)
Merely adjusted for inflation, that should be:
~$59,000 (from $30,000) to ~$69,000 (from $35,000)
$5/hr was also the median minimum wage for student-like jobs in 1980-85 (~10,500/yr). Over three decades later most States don't even have a minimum wage at $10 or above.
MS has almost always had customizable toolbars, floaty-undockable, multiple toolbars and drop down menu's that hide unused features.
Vs. the Ribbons: Hide/Display and can't change.
If you try and make a custom Ribbon, you can't accomplish the same layout due to placement and sizing restrictions.
Performing an action via Toolbar or Drop-Down menu, doesn't change your menus or interface. Whereas the Ribbon requires - changing to a "specialty" ribbon, finding said function on the ribbon, clicking, changing back to "Home".
Conceptually the ribbon is good, but when it's implementation comes with the complete removal of previous functionality it completely goes against the flexibility that we've become accustomed to over the years, and feels like a slap in the face.
Opera would of been much better off either replacing their JS engine, or Hooking up with FF to bring out a browser that is stable with lots of tabs, and still has a usable (non-lagged UI). FF is getting their with the multi-process Nightly.
I think if Mozilla would stop pulling options out of the browser, and leave the infrastructure in place (Add-On Bar, Status Bar options) without forcing users to recover removed features via Extensions they could very well be on track to be the best browser: both in terms of Stability (with heavy tab usage) and customization --- the new "Customize" option is a page out of Opera's playbook, and its pretty damned cool.
e.g. After applying Win 8.1 update, you have to bounce around until you realize it *IS* possible to login without a fucking MSN/Hotmail/Live/whateverthehell login.
Or when you try to download and run an installer from IE... blocked outright, until you realize clicking on "details" will allow you a button to override that block.
Another poster mentioned discoverability and how Win8 basically shits all over that concept. On that I totally agree. Some things are just a complete pain in the ass.
The Start Screen - if it allowed SubFolders - when clicked open's a blank Start Screen that you could organize. Assign a hotkey to said SubFolder. Instead we have a single Start Screen, and horizontal scrolling bullshit.
Even Stardock's Fences allows for multiple "desktops" as such - although that too doesn't allow you to organize your Fenced icons at all, making it nearly useless. Along with it's "pin a folder view to the desktop, which sounded really awesome... except it's just a crippled directory view with - yep - no sorting option or any of explorer's Menu's/or toolbars.
I've been testing out ReviverSoft's Start Menu Reviver 2. It's decent, but lacks in a few key areas:
No "normal" right-click context menu on the replaced start-button - which normally shows most of the utilities/tools that a power-user would need to access.
No way to customize where it appears; with a TaskBar on the left, it appears to the right. If one could make it appear on top of the TaskBar, and change the left-column buttons, it would allow for two clicks - without moving the mouse to still open the Start Screen --- instead click the replaced start button, move the mouse to find the Start Screen "button" - if yer actually trying to get to the start screen, instead of Reviver's start menu. Or even allow assigning Shift+Win to display the Start Screen.
Other than that, I think it's probably better than Stardock's Start8 or even "classic-shell" which has far too many quirks.
If the 14" even has a SSD - and not just basic flash-ram, a 64GB SSD should be about equivalent with a 500-650GB HD. A touch screen tends to add nearly a $100 to a laptop... but with only 2GB of ram, and a standard dimension screen, I don't see how that can be worth much more than $250-$300.