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Doug's Mailbag: Not Excited for Windows 8

One reader shares why he is not looking forward to the next Microsoft OS:

We would be excited by Windows 8 if Microsoft would do us the favor of detecting if the computer is a tablet or not before forcing us into the Metro interface. The underlying features of Windows 8 would be a real boon to us. However, the Metro interface we have seen in the Developer Preview is so awful it would almost certainly be a deal killer for us despite our having a campus licensing agreement that provides the latest version of Windows whenever it is released.

I cannot see our students, let alone the faculty, willing to try to stumble through the new interface. When we installed Office 2010 onto Window 8 the Metro Start menu became so cluttered with helper applications as tiles that it was utterly unusable. The situation reminds me of early Windows 95 users I once saw who had installed entire applications directly to their Desktop rather than Program Files.

Brass tacks: Windows 8's Metro interface feels like a giant leap backwards for desktop and laptop computers. With no Taskbar visible and applications filling the entire screen it is difficult to multitask at all. Just try and close the Remote Desktop Connection. It fills the screen and has to clear option to close it. Worse yet, applications appear to close while continuing to run. At least Apple has the decency to give some visual feedback when closing an application actually just minimizes it. Windows 8's interface is like a melding of the worst part of DOS and Windows 3.1 -- which may be just what a person needs when their input method of choice is as precise as their fingers. But, in reality, it is horrible for productivity in a more traditional environment. So far, Windows 8 strikes me as the biggest misstep Microsoft has made since Bob.
-Mark

Share your thoughts with the editors of this newsletter! Write to dbarney@redmondmag.com. Letters printed in this newsletter may be edited for length and clarity, and will be credited by first name only (we do NOT print last names or e-mail addresses).

Posted on 01/06/2012 at 1:19 PM


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