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June 15, 2012

Windows 8: My Opinion

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

Windows 8 It’s going to be ugly.

Not specifically the new Windows 8 “Metro” interface. It’s kind of pretty.

What’s ugly is the radical departure of Windows 8 from every dang doodle other version of Windows ever. Well, maybe not Windows 1, which used a tiled interface.

It’s no secret that Windows 8 is coming out soon. In fact Windows 8 is no secret itself; you can download a copy here:

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download

I would recommend that you avoid doing so unless you really want to experience total pain.

Windows 8 is basically what happens when Microsoft designs its own smartphone interface and, because Microsoft loves its own interface so much, it decides to foist it upon desktop users as well.

News for Microsoft: Your Windows phone sucks. It’s not selling. No one likes it.

Not being original, Microsoft is obviously aping Apple with its approach to Windows 8.

Apple has been working for some time on melding its desktop operating system, OS X, with its mobile operating system, iOS. They’re doing so slowly. They’re doing it right.

I believe that Apple fully understands that desktop (and laptop) computers are productivity stations. They are not designed for your ambling 20-something who listens to music while walking aimlessly in a big city, texts more than talks, and really wants to check into the bistro because, well, his whole life is online.

Sorry! I want to use my computer to work, thank you.

Microsoft misses that boat.

So Windows 8 is basically Windows XP wrapped inside a clunky smartphone interface. Here are the things that are going to piss you off:

1. There is no more Start button.
2. There is no more Control Panel.
3. The priority is apps, not productivity software.
4. Nothing works well, unless you have a touchscreen.

Specifically, I believe Windows 8 won’t survive in a business environment. That’s been Microsoft’s bread and butter for decades: The office environment. People use Windows at work. They get stuff done. That’s going to be far more difficult with the new “I’m a 20-something ambling to the coffee store” interface.

Specifically pay attention to my point #4 above: You need a touchscreen interface to get the most from Windows 8. The touchscreen on my Lenovo Tablet PC (a convertible laptop) is a one-point touchscreen. It doesn’t work with Windows 8. Nope, you need a five point touchscreen to make the Metro interface work.

Do you know how many five-point touchscreen laptops and monitors there are out there today?

ZERO.

So not only do you not really need Windows 8, you don’t even yet have a computer that handles its hardware demands. In fact, that fully runs afoul of my requirements for any operating system update: Does it have features you need or want?

Windows 8? Nope!

What can you do about this? Well, I’d recommend that you sell your Microsoft stock now! If you don’t have any Microsoft stock, then short it. Seriously. Windows 8 is doom for the company. It’s poorly thought out, poorly executed and, like all the odd releases of Windows (95, ME, Vista), it’s going to stink.

6 Comments

  1. Cool broken image 🙂

    Win + R -> control.exe -> or Computer -> Ribbon -> “Open Control Panel”. You’re welcome.

    Now, I quite like Windows 8 on the desktop. However I can agree with your reasons why Windows 8 may flop, primarily the major UI changes but especially the hardware support. This is the exact same thing that bit Vista so hard, is that little to no hardware designed specifically for the product was available on launch. Even existing hardware will be plagued by manufacturers dragging their feet – when the Windows 8 Beta (sorry, Consumer Preview) came out, both AMD and NVidia had proper graphics drivers out a couple days later. Yet Intel took TWO MONTHS getting their drivers out and they were so buggy they’re practically unusable.

    tl;dr Control Panel is still there, hardware manufacturers will drag their feet on supporting Win8

    Comment by linuxlove — June 15, 2012 @ 6:25 am

  2. Yeah, the new “metro” graphics interface requires that you type control.exe to get to the Control Panel. People will love that! Welcome to DOS. The other method is also non-intuitive.

    Just thank God Microsoft doesn’t design cars, or we’d be searching for the turn signals and brake pedal every time we bought a new vehicle.

    Comment by admin — June 15, 2012 @ 6:36 am

  3. That and the gas pedal would lock up and become unresponsive, eventually leading to a system crash.

    Hey wait a minute, do you think Microsoft and Toyota formed an unspoken partnership? 😛

    Comment by linuxlove — June 15, 2012 @ 7:03 am

  4. I did give the preview a run on a VM, just to see what it was like. I found that most of it was strange and I agree that it is not something that I would like to use (this from a person who likes the ribbon interface!).

    If they left the desktop alone, I might have liked it, but I am just too used to hitting the windows key and typing in a program name while still being in desktop mode. I feel they just should have made the crossover from Desktop to Tablet mode a swipe from one side of the screen (or a mouse drag) tto the other, while leaving the Desktop UI intact.

    I did fancy one feature though – if they were able to synchronize multiple machines online. So I can setup one computer just the way I want it, and all the relevant changes get reflected across my other machines. I can use dropbox for file sync, but windows sync would be sweet.

    Comment by sriksrid — June 20, 2012 @ 12:33 am

  5. Oh, I also just realized something. The one advantage I can see of this whole separation of apps and desktop is that if standard programs can be run in app-only mode, companies could really lock down what people can do on their computers. If you need only word and excel, you can only launch those two apps. No internet browsing, no playing around with the desktop, etc.

    While I am sure such things exist already for managing company computers, this would basically make your work computer be like a bank ATM machine. It might have the capability of doing a lot of things, but with an extremely restricted interface, you can do very little outside of the primary goal, no matter how hard you try.

    Comment by sriksrid — June 20, 2012 @ 12:54 am

  6. Sriksrid: If you log into Windows using your Windows Live account, then the desktop is synchronized across multiple platforms. I also assume that if you use a Microsoft Exchange server that the same thing happens.

    By making the interface modal — meaning that there are essentially two main screens for the OS, Microsoft alienates a lot of people. Perhaps there would be a way to switch off the new “Start button” feature? Regardless, I feel that once again MIcrosoft is listening to the dupes from their Usability Labs and not paying any attention to how people work in the real world.

    Comment by admin — June 20, 2012 @ 8:59 am

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