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Windows 8 Review – Not Your Mother’s Windows
Monday, March 26th, 2012 | Author:

I have spent some time installing and using Windows 8, Consumer Preview. After working with Windows 8, the bottom line is that Windows 8 is irrelevant to most PC users.

It is by far the worst user interface I have ever used, and I have used many of them including Windows 2, 3, 3.1, 95, 98, 2000, ME, XP, Vista, 7, Apple and even the GEM desktop.

Here are some of my highlights, or really low-lights.

Once you install Win8, you come up to a desktop called “Metro” that looks like this

Not your mothers Windows...

 It took me at least 10 minutes to try to find the start button. Then once you find it, (not really a start button per se) then you see a window pop up, you move the mouse to the little window to click on it, and it disappears. No, the huge Letters that Spell out S T A R T do not do anything, they are just pretty.

I tried this numerous times, getting madder by the minute. Then I figured out that you move your mouse down in the left bottom corner, nothing shows, then suddenly a mini window like above shows up. But you just click where your mouse is, you don’t move it onto the graphic, which is what you would think.

It is nearly impossible to figure out what the dorks were thinking that came up with this interface. Everything is so oddly placed and many things hidden with no clue on how to access it. I was lost, and frustrated within the first few minutes of using it.

I clicked on several of the child like blocks on the page, and many of them bring up a login to Windows services. Ah, now it is starting to make sense. Microsoft is trying to make your computer a “cloud” computer and everything stored on their servers (mail, photos, documents.)

This is something Microsoft has been trying to push for a while now and not everyone likes it.

From the hands on and all the reading I have done on Win8, it appears that this operating system is meant to move people away from PCs and get them into Windows oriented tablet devices.

As a computer support person, I hate the way they are doing this, and I think it is a big mistake for Microsoft. They are making an Operating System that is geared towards tablets, but I am sure Dell, HP and others will slap it on thier latest towers and laptops and will freak people out.

Check out this video of a dad trying to use the Windows 8 interface. This is exactly what I experienced myself.

I have done hands on tech support with customers since 1995, and have been teaching seniors basic computer skills in Adult Ed classes at the local college. I have first hand knowledge on how the average user thinks and uses a computer, and I promise, it is nothing like this. 

I am very open minded to change, and here is the point. One can pick up an Apple iPad and in minutes be surfing the Internet, looking at photos with very little direction. It is easy, simple, and really makes sense once you do a few taps here and there.

Apple created this device from scratch and all of their devices work the same, so you pick up an iPhone, iPod or iPad, and they all work the same and if you can use one, you can switch to any and use it just as easy.

That in contrast to Microsoft who has a pretty darn good operating system with Windows 7, decides to completely redesign the look and feel of their main product. People, including myself have raved about how well 7 works, and how it looks.

So, change it up. Confuse people, make them look for things that used to be there. Also make it so it is not really for a PC, but for a tablet, which not everyone wants.

The biggest flaw I see in this design is the fact that there is this “metro” interface and you cannot eaisly switch back to a Windows 7 menu interface, which would make complete sense. My thought is, when you install it, you should have to answer a question, “would you like the Windows 7, or the new metro interface? You can change it at any time”

But no, you are stuck with the Metro/Win 7 hybrid, which oddly switches back and forth, and neither work like you would expect.

Bottom line, I would not recommend Windows 8 to any of my customers, and unless they do some really nice changes and user friendly updates, I will not be installing this on any computers.

 I get the iPhone, and I get the iPod, very nice devices for phone and music. They work great, have all kinds of cool features.

But why introduce a little larger version of the iPod? It is not a phone, so it does not fill that need. But it is a larger iPod, with web browsing. Wow, so exciting…. (read sarcasm…)

If I was not locked up in the computer dungeon all day long working near computers all the time, I would get an iPhone (I am also still hesitant because I hate AT&T’s service, and you are forced to use it with iPhone).

But why would anyone want this iPad? I am not sure, and I honestly don’t see a niche market at all, except maybe to compete with the other book/readers like the Amazon Kindle. The Kindle screen is much better for books, and the cost is much less than the $500 bucks an iPad will set you back.

Have I tried one, or seen one in person, no. Do I care, no. Tablet computers have been around for 10 years or so, and Diamond Multimedia where I worked experimented with a model with wireless back in 2000, so it is not new technology, and people are just not buying into it. It is too big for your pocket like the iPod is.

Here is a great article, pretty much along the same lines as what I am saying. But hey, the writer is a respected pro and I have been reading his articles since the 70′s! The funny thing was, I wrote this, then looked for something on the iPad, and here was his article!

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2358684,00.asp

Here is a link to the Apple website so you can see for yourself.

http://www.apple.com/ipad/

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