This is the first of a multi-part series titled “Windows 8 Sucks?”. As I evaluate Windows 8, I’m sure I’m going to find plenty to like and dislike.
Windows 8: Already Irrelevant?
Everyone who is even remotely involved in the tech industry, whether through profession or as an enthusiast, knows that Microsoft is betting big with Windows 8. Some love to hate it, while others hate to love it. But whether or not Windows 8 is going to be a success or failure (of which I believe there will be no middle ground, either a complete success or utter failure) may be irrelevant. Why you might ask? Because Windows 8 itself may prove to be irrelevant.
I’m a big fan of Microsoft. Ive been involved in the tech industry personally and professionally since the days of DOS and Windows 3.11. Ive followed Microsoft faithfully through the years with every iteration of Windows, including ME and Vista, because I believe in what Microsoft does as a software company. Despite how badly ME and Vista were at release, I immediately saw the vision and potential in both products, and as such ran them both for at least a year, if not longer.
But with Windows 8, I struggle to keep the same faith. So, without further adieu, here is a short list of features that might just make Windows 8 irrelevant:
Metro (And the Start Screen)
Starting with the Start screen (no pun intended, I promise), the immediate knee jerk reaction for most is “wow thats interesting/pretty”, followed closely with “ok cool but where the hell is my stuff?”.
However, that’s just because it’s new. After using Windows 8 for a good period of time, I came to realize that the Start screen offered to do all these different things for me that can be, and are already being done, in the traditional desktop environment. An example is the Metro weather app. Suppose I’m browsing the internet and want to check the weather. Normally I would open a new tab for my favorite weather site and check the weather without ever leaving my already established environment of my browser. With Metro, Microsoft would have me shelf my browser to a back burner in order to bring up a full screen app, check my weather, then shelf that app to a back burner and pull my browser window back up. Why bother?
This same process can be applied to nearly EVERY Metro based app because it is the inherent design of Metro and the new Start screen.
Which brings me to…..
Full Screen Apps on the desktop and laptop
Microsoft has it backwards here. Everyone who uses a smartphone or a tablet knows the value of having apps full screen, running one at a time. This design is to compensate for the limitations of having a smaller, or lower resolution screen (or both for that matter).
Obviously today’s desktops and laptops have neither small nor low resolution screens. In fact, screen sizes and resolutions have increased over the decades because the extra real estate provides increased productivity. Very simply, you can fit more on the screen, and therefore get more done.
So why waste all that screen real estate on full screen apps that run one at a time? Microsoft failed with Windows CE in trying to cram its traditional desktop interface into small 3 inch form factors, thus requiring a stylus to effectively use them. Unfortunately it seems to be making the same mistake with it’s desktop operating system, only this time its reversed.
Microsoft doesn’t seem to understand that unification does not necessarily mean that everything MUST look identical.
Well, that was exhausting.
That’s all I have for today, and my kiddo is wanting my attention. I’ll update with part 2 as my Windows 8 evaluation moves along.
I saw the little presentation video for Windows 8, and I have to say, I’m not that impressed. It looks like a smartphone, but except its on your computer. I don’t like how the desktop is set up at all, and I’m wondering would it be possible to change your internet browser and such on that thing.
I’m sure it’s more to love about it, Windows 8. Like possible the inner workings and what have you, you know what isn’t on the surface. But as of right now, this makes me feel as if we are dumbing computers down so that people can understand how to use them. Personally I’d rather keep Windows 7, it’s working fine for me. =/ Though I guess Windows 8 is one of those things where it’ll grow onto you? I dunno…