A week with Windows 8

Well, I gave it a fair chance, I’ve worked with Windows 8 for the entire week to see what kind of OS it really is and whether or not it could win me over. So far, Windows 8 fails to impress or inspire. It’s a completely underwhelming rehash of Windows 7 with one of the ugliest Interfaces I’ve ever seen.

Right off the bat I didn’t like Windows 8. I like the Start bar and thought that was a good way to interact with installed apps. A desktop full of icons that you can’t seem to get to easily isn’t my idea of an upgrade. And quite frankly I’m sick of people telling me I need to press Windows-X in order to make things happen. If I’m not mistaken, this is Windows, the interaction is supposed to be with a mouse. But moving past that there are just too many thing I dislike about this new OS and I stick with the statement that I will never update my home machines to this new version.

First off, this is Windows 7 with a Service Pack and a different UI. Just like Windows 7 was a Service Pack to Vista, 8 is a Service Pack to 7. For most people there is absolutely no reason to upgrade.

The UI is horrid. It looks awful, it feels stupid. It looks like it was designed by a 7 year old with half the colors in the box of Crayons missing. It’s flat and dull and ugly to look at. The icons are even worse. It’s like a horrible billboard you’re forced to stare at all day.

Getting to the system applications is cumbersome and when do you find them, low and behold, they look exactly like they did in Windows 7 and Vista. Why all the change when it’s the same damn Control Panel?

The file explorer is still the same useless thing it was in all the previous editions.

Task Manager is a little better, but considering how many wonderful replacements are out there, this isn’t a win.

The install is the same as 7, which is a good thing, but it’s still the same.

It didn’t run or load any faster than 7 on the same hardware.

To get to most things you want now days you have to go to Windows-X and start typing. All this time and effort into using the mouse and Microsoft forces you to use the keyboard.

After decades of using Ctrl-Alt-Delete, the Enterprise version is absolutely inconsistent. It’s truly annoying. It’s not how you unlock the machine, but it is how you lock it. Come on, make up your mind.

To be honest, there isn’t a single thing about Windows 8 that makes me say it’s better than what we had before. It’s different, but it’s not better. Things have been changed, but without a good reason. It’s not more intuitive and discoverable. It would have been better for Microsoft to load the old Program Manager as the desktop rather than the way they’ve done it. Just to tolerate the new way it works I immediately loaded ObjectDock and Start 8. And I’m not the only one.

A new version should offer new features and fix issues. Windows 8 doesn’t do any of that. In my opinion it just makes Windows harder to work with and harder to look at. People have given me arguments that users and their interaction has brought about this iteration of Windows. People prefer to go to Start – Run and start typing. Who are these people? I’ve never used Windows that way. The only time I go to the Run command is to type in CMD to get to a Command Prompt. I never launch apps that way and I’ve never seen anyone do it. That seems like justification after the fact if you asked me. Who the devil launches Word by going to Start – Run – winword.exe ???

But anyway, Windows 8 has failed to impress me in any sense. At the core it’s still Windows 7, but the window dressing is horrible. Full marks for trying out a new shell and mixing things up a bit, but perhaps next time you could mix it up and still make it better.

So seriously, what did I miss with Widows 8? Who believes it’s a really good OS? What major new features will the masses get a benefit from? Yes, I know Hyper-V is there, but that’s a small subset of users. Xbox Streaming is wasted on me since I don’t have an Xbox. There has to be something excellent and new that makes Windows 8 worthwhile. What is it?

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