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Gartner Guru Retracts Windows 8 Criticism

Gunnar Berger is a research director at Gartner (the company has  a lot of research directors, trust me). Berger mentioned in his blog that when Windows 8 runs on a standard machine with a mouse and keyboard, it's "bad."

Berger retracted that statement -- it's unclear whether Microsoft or his employer exerted any pressure in the turnaround.

Here's the thing. According to many of you, the loyal and insightful Redmond Report readers, when run on a standard machine with a mouse and keyboard, Windows 8 is, indeed, bad.

Berger pulled the line from his blog and in a follow-up interview argues that Windows 8 is "actually really good."

What I learned from you, at least those of you beta testing Win 8, is the OS's worth directly relates to the type of machine you use. If you have a touch tablet, it's pretty good, though switching from Metro to the standard desktop interface, which you are forced to do, is (as Mitt might say) disconcerting.

Trying to use it with just a mouse and keyboard isn't just bad, it's terrible, some of you told me.

Posted by Doug Barney on 08/03/2012 at 1:19 PM

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Reader Comments:

Thu, Aug 9, 2012

To the commenter that said he found W8 is more confusing than learning DOS 25 years ago - you obtuse piece of flotsam. Because, a preview product doesn't run correctly virtualized in Parallels on your Mac, you believe Windows 8 is flawed?. I've run W8 on VMware Workstation, and physical hardware for 2-months straight on the latter w/o issues. I can't wait for GA October 26, 2012.

Thu, Aug 9, 2012 Darrick West Baltimore, MD

I've used W8 for 2-months straight. I admit the removal of the start menu on the desktop will be missed. But I realized I rarely use it once my applications are pinned to the task bar or desktop. If you haven't figured out how to create shortcuts on your desktop since Windows 95, then you'll be frustrated with the W8 desktop changes, but they're not insurmountable. I applaud the bold move to the UI changes to break with tradition. And to the commenter who complained about moving from corner-to-corner on the W8 desktop to access Charms, the running application chooser, and the 'utility menu' (as I call it) , we're already doing that and have been doing it for decades on ALL GUIs. We've been doing it with applications and the desktop.

Mon, Aug 6, 2012

So many comments to make.... :) @Phil, try using it exclusively and fighting through it like you had to with DOS. It isn't that hard, even though it is not good. Most keyboard shortcuts still work, including WinR for the run command (one you will quickly learn as critical as CtrlC/CtrlV/CtrlX set). The easiest way to shutdown is to go the the right and get the charms, then click on the bottom charm (the gear) and then there will be 6 icons at the bottom right, one of which is shutdown. @Kevin, I agree, Windows 8 is a much better OS, but I have to add it is crippled by one of the worst GUI shells ever concieved. I want Microsoft to decouple the GUI from the OS like they did on Server and provide a comprehensive API so others more capbable then their shell group can program a useable GUI. @Dave Oliver, I am amazed you have no issue with hidden menus and having to constantly move your mouse from corner to corner to corner. I am guessing you either have a microscreen or touchscreen. Or perhaps you use keyboard shortcuts exclusively and only use the mouse with mouse-centric programs. In that case, it may be fine. Ooops, that can't work with the Metro interface you are forced to work with though, can it. Without touch on an actual screen of any valuable size (and with mouse control fine enough to work with) it becomes annoyingly unfriendly to keyboard/mouse users.

Sun, Aug 5, 2012 Somebody USA

I attended a Gartner briefing for my company to discuss moving to Vista, and they pretty much trashed it and recommended that we stick with XP. I wouldn't be surprised at all if MS put the squeeze on them. We all know how Vista turned out.

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 Dave Oliver Australia

I don't see any issue with using just a keyboard and a mouse. What's hard? All it is, is a new way to navigate around the new OS. Looking forward it has been programmed for the future but still backward compatible. Really, I don't see an issue. So what if I have to learn to drive it in a different manner. I just think there are an awful lot of half empty glass people out there, instead of half full.

Sat, Aug 4, 2012 Stan New Orleans

I agree, Windows 8 on a standard Laptop/Desktop with a Keyboard and Mouse is bad. I want to use the OS, I tried to use the OS, but ultimately I had to stick with Windows 7. I am, however, excited about Windows RT or Windows 8 on a tablet. I love my Windows Phone over an Android or Apple Phone or Tablet. The Metro, oops, I mean Surface, or whatever the new UI will be called, is great for Touch. The only thing I prefer in Android or IOS is the horizontal movement of Virtual Desktops compared to the vertical swiping on the Windows Phone. I do not understand why we cannot have a Legacy Start Menu, Explorer Shell when 'Docked' and Surface when disconnected from the Keyboard and Mouse. Everyone has to agree, Surface is great for touch and the Explorer Shell is great for keyboard and mouse.

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 RHW Hendersonville, Tn.

I'm using Win 8 on a standard machine desktop and laptop and have had no trouble. I have install shortcuts on the desk of both computers. I have also installed classic shell on one of the machines which gives me a regular start screen. It boots direct to the desktop.It also works ok. I am looking forward to the release of this very good operating system. RHW

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 JT CALIFORNIA

Seriously, imagine yourself as an IT professional responsible for deciding what OS ends up on your end users desktops. Can you honestly recommend that any organization roll this thing out to all of their end users? And if you can honestly say yes to that, I want to know what benefit you think your going to get from it? Oh and I want a "realistic" training budget to train the users on how to use it. As I said before it's a complete non-starter in the corporate world. As far as being useful on a tablet I refrain passing any opinion on that until there is some actual shipping product that I can try. It might have some life in that capacity, but as a desktop OS it's atrocious.

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 Kevin Chicago

When I first started using W8 without a touch screen it took a little learning, but now that I have mastered it I find it as easy as W7 to use and much better overall.

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 JT CALIFORNIA

It's a train wreck in my opinion. Been an IT Professional for more than 25 years now and it's the worst OS I have seen yet. It's barely usable from a consumer perspective and from a corporate perspective its a total non-starter. Can you imagine the training issues trying to roll this thing out to employees? I unfortunately bought Windows on Volume License with SA. Not going to get my monies worth out of that anytime soon as this release is a total waste of my time. I thought they had set the bar pretty low with Vista, but apparently I was wrong. What's wrong with making a tablet OS that just runs on tablets?

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 Phil Kirsch Seattle

I've been running Windows 8 in Parallels, but I'm having more trouble learning it than I did learning DOS 25 years ago. I still can't figure out how to shut it down. I end up using parallels to stop it. I click on buttons and the programs start briefly, then they go away. Occasionally I can get something to start, but can't figure out exactly what I did to make it work. I've worked in IT for 15 years. I'm comfortable on the UNIX command line. I had my first iPad going in a matter of minutes. I actually liked Windows Vista. But Windows 8 the most confusing OS I've ever worked with. I think I'm going to wait to see if it catches on before I even try.

Fri, Aug 3, 2012 mil London

Correct, thank you for voicing your honest opinion.

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