Windows 8: Does Anyone Care?
Today I’m configuring a Windows 8-infested Dell laptop, and as I cursed my way through the interface, I had to ponder…
Is Win 8 even relevant? I know, they wanted the desktop to look like their cell phones (which own a pathetic market share. Sure, let’s emulate a failing market segment- that will encourage people!), so they’re forcing the new PC system to look just like it. I can’t tell you how many forums I’ve visited to address issues like :
1. No Start button. Yes, it was a joke that you had to hit ‘start’ to shut the thing down, but it was two mouse clicks. In Win 8, you have to bring up a menu by hovering the cursor in a corner of the desktop, then clicking through a few more buttons. Needless extra steps, and I’m not sure why.
2. There’s no obvious, easily-accessible file tree system to navigate. Want to go find that program you just installed? Good luck. If you find the search tool in the aforementioned magical desktop corner, you may or may not see it as one of the tiles/icons displayed. When I installed Chrome, it didn’t show, and I had to dig around to find it. Firefox showed right up, though. They must have paid the bribe money for front-page status.
3. Those damn tiles. Really, I want to bitch-slap someone. On a cell phone, some people may find it helpful to concentrate the few most often used tasks together in a cluttered and ever-twitching scene that takes up your whole damn screen. But this is a computer, with a big monitor. So, we’re treated to really big icons that fill up the screen. I don’t care what CNN’s headlines are right now or what you think I should buy on Amazon; I want to open up a browser to check a website and then start playing Call of Duty. How many steps does that need to take? Look at the thumbnail image up top- their start screen looks like a goat drank everything on the shelves at a paint store and then exploded.
4. Microsoft is taking cues from Apple in regards to dictating the user experience. I always rail at Apple for selling iPads that are incapable of viewing Flash based websites, crippled with tiny NON-EXPANDABLE memory (the high-memory models cost enough money to buy a Velocity Micro gaming laptop, and they’re still not expandable), and overall an operating system that dictates to ME how it is going to be used, not the other way around. Well, Microshaft apparently thought this was a great idea. There’s no way to force a Start Button/Power Button onto the display. They force you to switch to tile view in order to multitask, and you are also forced to start the computer in Tile View- there’s no way to tell it to just start right on the desktop where it should be.
5. I couldn’t even do the initial configuring without giving Microsoft an e-mail address! There was no way to complete the start-up without handing over an e-mail, but I guess that’s what throwaway free e-mail accounts are for. They’ll be sending spam to Bill.Gates.Eats.Goat.Butt@hotmail.com forever now. When I want to create a login for GMail or something, I’ll do it in the browser and keep Microsoft out of it.
Desktops and phones are two different things with different purposes, and one OS does not in fact fit all. I’ll admit my iPad is about 85% of a PC replacement, but there are things an iPad will never do, and for those I still love my big, powerful, energy guzzling desktop computer. I am getting closer every day to forcing my family to use Linux.
I hate to sound like Dana Carvey’s Grumpy Old Man (In my day, we booted off a floppy disk after adjusting the size of the expanded memory, then booted into DosShell and chose to run Windows 3.1, and we liked it!), but methinks Windows 8 has the potential to be another Vista: lots of hype and gimmicks, short on substance, and most importantly, not something we even wanted anyway.
Am I overreacting? Has anyone just jumped for joy at the new interface? Maybe I just hate change (quite possible, actually), but if you like the new OS, let me know!
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