Thoughts on Windows 8

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A few days ago I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. A few hours later I reinstalled Windows 7 Ultimate.

Windows 8 is a train wreck. A mess. A disaster. Its user experience is completely disjointed and confused. What was Microsoft thinking? Windows 7 is, to date, the best OS they’ve ever released. I would expect version 8 to build upon that success.

Instead, like Frankenstein, they sew on a tablet OS, Metro. Now, Metro is slick. The Windows Phone 7 experience is refreshing, unified, and completely usable. But it has zero business being anywhere near my Windows desktop experience. It just feels wrong interacting with the Metro elements with a mouse pointer. When I’m on the desktop, it feels natural. I’m doing all the normal things I’ve always done with my keyboard and mouse, and it works great.

Until I have to start some program that isn’t pinned, or access any system settings. Then things get ugly.

First off, there’s no visual indication on the desktop for where I can access these things. How the hell am I supposed to know, let alone my completely tech-ignorant extended family, that hovering my mouse in the lower left corner let’s me access my programs, or that doing the same in the lower right corner lets me access my settings.

This is going to be a tech support nightmare. Not just for Microsoft, but for the millions of tech-savvy computer users who are the de-facto tech support for their friends and family.

“What the heck is this?”

“It’s called Metro, dad. It’s the new way of working with windows”

“Can I get my old desktop back?”

“Sure, but..”

“How do I do that? Give me my desktop back..”

Multiply that by about a million, and that’s what’s going to happen when Microsoft releases Windows 8.

Metro is a great tablet experience. Windows 7 is the best Windows desktop experience ever. They’re two completely different worlds, and should remain separate.

I guess I’ll be skipping another even numbered Windows OS, yet again.

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