My Review of Windows 8

Supercars?

Some of my favorite supercars are the new McLaren M4P-12C, the Spyker Aileron (shown here), the 1991 Acura NSX, and the Saleen S7.  The Porsche GT is also fabulous, or I could always opt for the Singer – a 1960s-era Porsche, made in California today out of modern parts.

Why am I talking about this? Because I am about to become a millionaire. Let me explain…

Episode IV: A No Hope

A few weeks ago, I downloaded the Windows 8 Preview. I planned on doing a review of it, just as I did with the surprisingly decent Windows 7. So, I wiped one of my computers clean and set upon the task of installing Windows 8.

In a nutshell, it’s prettier, sleeker, and maybe even safer than previous versions. But it’s so confusing, everyone in the world will be calling me to remove it very soon.

Here’s what happened upon my first installation attempt:

I tried again and for some reason it decided to work. So I used it for a few minutes and tried to give it the benefit of the doubt. New features? Cool. More secure? Possibly. Prettier? Somewhat. Install process? A bit more streamlined.

Check out some screenshots from the new interface thanks to Google Image Search. (By the way, you can now search for images by uploading another image as your reference point!)

Some Cool Things

After reading over Wikipedia’s objective information on Windows 8, there are some features that will honestly help me in my job – such as the Refresh/Reset features – saving me a bit of time whenever a customer’s Windows machine decides to eat itself alive. Also, mounting of ISO images is FINALLY available – something every other OS in the world has been doing since before 2001.

The Copy dialog is now very similar to a seismograph – it shows a needle recording your copy speeds and throughout the process of copying a set of files, shows the history of the speed. That’s sort of neat.

Finally, the animations are suuuper smooth and look super cool, at least on powerful computers. Yes you’ll have to learn a new move or two in order to get used to Windows 8, but one of my advisors has been raving over the user interface benefits… for power-users.

Good Business

THIS recent Reuters article talks about Microsoft’s Windows 8 “Surface” OS on tablets similar to iPads and Android tablets – and I honestly have to admit, the super-thin keyboard that doubles as a screen cover is brilliant – it’s the only thing missing from current tablet offerings. I HATE TOUCHSCREEN KEYBOARDS……. apparently more than I hate Windows 8!

Another very interesting thing – The article mentions Apple leading the way with “slick hardware” – whereas Microsoft sells software that runs on crappy plastic Toshiba and HP devices. Microsoft has begun specifying hardware features (such as the built-in tablet keyboard) to see if it can “push the ecosystem.” – this is a very, very intelligent business move.

Finally, a LOT of people are going to “downgrade” from Win7 to Win8 because of the price. Get this: Some intern at Microsoft brought in his Economics 101 textbook and announced that if you priced it low enough, more people will buy the product! (Either that or they finally noticed that Apple has been charging $29 for its OS since 2009.) So instead of the usual $129, Windows 8 upgrades will be around $29.

Right in Two (Bonus points if you get the reference)

Now look, Windows XP/Vista/7 were basically cob-job products with shoe-in market share and poor security. Sure they weren’t super-intuitive, sure their user interface could benefit from a little streamlining, but once you got used to them, it was easy to move around, and most importantly, [some] Baby Boomers are familiar [enough] with those products.

As usual, Microsoft plays musical chairs with all the controls and buttons you’re familiar with, so you have to re-learn everything. Fine. But it doesn’t end there.

Windows 8 has a built-in tablet software known as Metro Mode – think iPad style interface. Yes, this new tablet-like interface is plopped ON TOP of the normal desktop computer interface, effectively cutting your computer into TWO HALVES – one more confusing than the next. Some programs run in Metro. Other programs run in the desktop-computer mode, EXCEPT you’re not allowed to have a Start menu anymore. How do you get to your programs? You go into Metro and click All Apps.

You’ll be able to buy both desktop computers AND tablets with Windows 8. Windows 8 Tablets (called Surface) will run only the Metro part of the software, while desktop computers will present you with both interfaces. – That is, if the desktop computer has a good video card. Try explaining that to a mall customer!

Metro Apps

Windows 8 has a new App store – in the same vein of Ubuntu Software Center or the iPhone App Store. It is the only way users can obtain software for the “Metro” half of their newly schizophrenic computers. Undoubtedly the Windows Store is crawling with DRM – but that’s no different in most other app stores.

Bing Travel is sort of cool – at random it’ll display pictures of the Jesus statue in Rio, or the Pyramids, on your Metro homepage. However, your Metro homepage also features a slideshow in the corner, displaying photos at random from your collection. I am NOT looking forward to watching Metro dig up and parade porn across my customer’s screens…

Bad Touch

Some say Windows 8 is very intuitive once you read the instructions. I could’ve sworn intuitive meant user-friendly without having to consciously learn something?

Windows 8 introduces something called mouse gestures – “I’ve got a great idea! Let’s make users move their mouse in order to perform touch-screen gestures, yes, pretend the mouse is their finger! Then we’ll expect them to know what gestures to perform to make the computer do what they want.”

EVEN I couldn’t figure out how to shut down the computer. Apparently you have to hold the mouse button down and push the mouse forward, thus “swiping” the screen upward. If counter-intuitive means the result is opposite than expected, then I suppose this is anti-intuitive.

Here’s what VentureBeat said about Windows 8:

The upcoming Windows 8 operating system has some serious challenges ahead of it. In changing how Windows has fundamentally worked since Windows 95, some consumers are looking at this new OS and thinking it’s too radical a change. … I’m starting to like Windows 8 better and beginning to see how Microsoft could convince more people to adopt it.

If somebody at Apple suggested they come out with a product and try to convince consumers to accustom themselves to that product, they’d be executed. Couple that with the fact that people are already intimidated and confused by computers, and Windows 8 just digs Microsoft into a bigger hole with consumers.

Imagine you’re eating a good meal in a restaurant, and the chef comes out and takes it away from you and puts a different meal in front of you for no reason!

The Spongy Cornerstone

So, after only an hour of using Windows 8, I promptly removed it and my blood pressure fell back to normal.

Imagine buying a house that was made entirely out of mold, lead, asbestos, and stale Chips Ahoy cookies. Instead of knocking down the house and building a nice one, you decide to get the shiniest metallic paint you can find, and splash that all over the walls.

The truth is, Windows 8 is still built upon old, rotten, unsafe 1980s computer code. Why didn’t they just re-build the OS from the ground up? They were planning on doing so, in a project codenamed Midori that I wrote about a few years back. What happened to that? If you’re going to change everything, you might as well dig up the foundation! This product is unreliable and unsafe, just like previous versions of Windows.

Remember when Bill Gates debuted Windows 98 and it crashed on stage? Well…….. Windows 8 decided to crash during its debut, in homage to its predecessor:

So there you have it, folks. The future of computing, the headaches you have to look forward to.

Postscript

You think my article was critical? Look at this guy:

http://www.extremetech.com/computing/120497-windows-8-wont-kill-the-desktop-but-dont-worry-were-still-screwed

“It’s not ugly. It’s what happens when Ugly and Stupid get drunk and make a baby…”

UPDATES

1:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/07/26/gabe_newell_windows_8/

Ex Microsoft exec says Windows 8 will be a “catastrophe” and is trying to make games from his company available on Ubuntu! He also talks about Windows 8 when used on a non-touchscreen interface.

2:

My predictions have come true… Microsoft Surface is a Windows 8-powered tablet a la the iPad. While Apple sold millions of iPads, some Microsoft retail stores tallied Z E R O Surface units sold. Z E R O.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/11/26/microsoft-surface-tablet-apple-ipad/?iid=HP_MPM

3:

I’ve had a few Windows 8 victims call me crying when they bought their new computers… the first one took me THREE HOURS because I didn’t know how to USE THE COMPUTER! What I’ve realized is that every copy of Windows 8 requires a fix to restore the “banned” Start Menu. “StartW8” is a free program (feel free to donate, and watch out for “download managers” on the third-party download sites) that restores your long-lost Start Menu, so you can feel like you’re using a computer again.

http://www.areaguard.com/startw8

4:

A computer journalist describes the torture chamber known as Windows 8, and why DOS was easier:

5:

Samsung exec gives Windows 8 the worst insult possible: He compares it to Vista

http://www.slashgear.com/samsungs-memory-business-president-compares-windows-8-to-vista-08273157/

 

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3 Responses to My Review of Windows 8

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