Windows 8.. I just don’t get it…


First the caveats:

  • Remember I said Apple iPad… I just don’t get it… Then promptly went out an bought one. I now use it most days for surfing and checking my emails from bed. 🙂
  • Windows 8 is pre-beta, so hopefully a lot will change between now and then.

I totally understand the concept of the new front screen and the whole Metro thing. Trying to keep a consistent experience between a Windows phone and a Windows touchpad is sensible. Just like the iPhone and iPad. What I don’t like is the fact the tiles are massive and take up loads of space. It just seems a bit silly to me. Why make me sideways scroll when all the initial options could be seen on my 24-inch monitor anyway? From a desktop computing perspective, it is so much worse than the Apple Launchpad (which I also despise) or the GNOME3 Activities screen.

Since I’m running it on a desktop machine, my biggest concern is getting a regular desktop to work with. I can do this by clicking the “Desktop” tile. The resulting desktop is basically Windows 7, which is fine, *except* there is no regular start menu. Clicking the Start button takes you back to the crappy tiled front screen, or hovering in the bottom-left corner presents you with the new menu. What is on this new menu? Bugger all of any use! The search screen is like a really bad GNOME3 “Activities” screen. It requires so many clicks and mouse moves to get where you want to go. It’s wretched. If I were a regular user I think I would probably pin a whole bunch of apps to the taskbar and maybe define a few folders on desktop containing useful shortcuts. Surely the ability to run the old Windows 7 menu would be a welcome addition for the vast majority of users!

Every dialog now has a ribbon instead of a toolbar or menu. This may prove useful for the newbies as it displays functionality that may have been hidden in sub-menus, but for me it is a disaster. The top inch of very window is filled with a bunch of crap that I don’t care about most of the time.

Typically the early releases have lots of tracing code enabled, so I don’t expect the production release will be as slow as this developer release.

So what is the future of the desktop computer? The rumors are that the next iteration of Macs will be essentially running iOS. It looks like the next generation of PCs will be running Windows 8. Although both these OSes seem fine for phones and touchpads, neither of them seem appropriate for a desktop computer. Now I realize that I am by no means a typical PC users, so maybe the vast majority of the PC users of the world will be happy with these changes, but I for one think it is a massive step backwards. It is starting to look like the future of desktop computing is Linux. 🙂 Luckily, I’m already there.

Let’s hope a little sanity returns between now and the production release of Windows 8. If nothing else, just give us a proper menu, or fix that God awful search screen.

Update: Check out these hacks to restore the Windows 7 style menu.



PS. Let’s see if I end up contradicting everything I just said in a few months time. 🙂

Author: Tim...

DBA, Developer, Author, Trainer.

9 thoughts on “Windows 8.. I just don’t get it…”

  1. When I saw Lion and the thought process to mix Mac with iOS , my first reaction was that its going to be a disaster. We (people who don’t use the system just to watch youtube or checking emails or Facebook) do not fancy stuff but a system which would work and combining hand-held device computing system with mouse-driven system computing platform is complete nonsense. Apple lost it with Lion and now MS is on the same track. Not sure what we are going to be getting in the next series of laptops(if they would be still around after 5-6 years) , may be we would just get lost in clouds 🙂 .

  2. Nope… you’re right on Tim. It sucks … thought you can resize the tiles which would hopefully shrink the Metro UI to something manageable for the desktop. Also, have you found the power button yet? ALT+F4 … only way to shut it down.

  3. Hi.

    I did ctrl+alt+del and clicked the shutdown button on the bottom right.

    I tried that hack earlier and my VM died. Had to reinstall. Maybe it was just a coincidence. 🙂



  4. The one thing that really kills me is the Windows Explorer. I liked the one in 3.1 and NT and they changed it in later versions. With Vista and 7 it’s such a pain in the rear that I wish I had a blunt instrument and 5 minutes alone with the designer that thought it was a good idea.

  5. …and back in the real world, the majority of [corporate] users are still using Windows XP – so who cares !!


  6. Rui: I tried that registry hack again. It worked this time, so I guess the trashed VM last time was a coincidence. 🙂

    Rob: Point taken, but sooner or later they will be forced to upgrade. Probably…



  7. OK, here is my issues with Windows 8. Metro and its connection to Tablets. When Microsoft has such limited success with phones and coming to the Tablet market way late. Why emphasize Touch on a PC OS? RIM is already discounting its Playbooks, HP has dropped its Tablet and Acer has said its tablet are not doing so hot. So why does Microsoft think its Windows Tablets will be any better? I personally think Tablets are a Apple thing and that’s it. I think the Tablet market potential for others was way overstated. So in the end Microsoft will flop with Windows 8.

Comments are closed.