Windows 8

This article was originally published on July 2, 2012. In the summer of 2014, the hardware running my Windows 7 PC failed spectacularly, prompting me to buy a new pre-built PC, something I don’t normally do. The new PC runs Windows 8, so I was forced to start really using that O/S. Surprisingly, once I figured out how to avoid the new UI, I found it to be not all that bad. In fact, Windows 8 improves on earlier versions in some useful ways. I plan to update this post based on my recent experiences.

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The release of Windows 8 is just around the corner.  Given my problems with Windows 7, I had hoped that 8 would be an improvement.  But then, this is Microsoft, right?

What jumped out at me when I started reading reviews of Windows 8 preview versions and betas is that Microsoft seems to have completely abandoned power users and system administrators, in favour of consumers.  This is most noticeable in the lack of a Start menu or anything recognizable in terms of a desktop.  The new interface is similar to the latest XBox 360 interface.

What?  If Microsoft thinks a PC can be operated just like a game console, they have lost their collective minds.  Sure, I understand what they’re trying to do: a consistent UI across multiple platforms is a laudable goal.  But early reports showed that the new interface cannot be easily bypassed.  I don’t mind if Microsoft experiments with new UI concepts, as long as us power users can skip that crap and get straight to the meat of the O/S.

This is a colossal blunder by Microsoft.  Even if Joe Consumer ends up liking the new UI (which is not even remotely certain), those users account for only part of the overall market for Windows.  And they will, for the most part, work with whatever crap is running on their OEM PCs.  The rest is made up of business and power users.  These are the people who really use Windows – for more than just web surfing, email and downloading music.  They run hundreds of different programs from day to day.  They are also the people who review, evaluate and make recommendations on software, including Windows.  These people don’t really care how stoked consumers will get over the consistent user interface.  All they will see is a stupid screen that they have to get past every time they log in.

Anyway… as I find out more about Windows 8, I’ll post it here.  Lengthier topics will end up in their own post, which I will link here.  Let the fun begin.

Elsewhere on this blog:

Windows 8 Reviews

Windows 8 Issues

Rants and musings on topics of interest. Sometimes about Windows, Linux, security and cool software.