Ok, so the new and excitement has worn off. I am back to using Windows XP on my Laptop. Windows 8 is still there on a second partition but I’ll probably recover that space once I bother to figure out the best way to remove Windows 8’s bootloader.
I have no major issues with it, it runs pretty quick and all and looks, mostly nice. There are just a lot of really annoying minor issues that all sort of meld together into enough justification to say why bother. Most of these issues are with Metro, which is of course “the cliché”. People argue that “it’s just different” blah blah blah. Guess what. That’s great. Just because something is different doesn’t mean it’s useful or better. After previously working some in IT support (secondary to being a TV Engineer) and doing support for family etc, I can say, that for the most part, I can tell what is going to frustrate people.
I think what really sealed it for me, was some conversations on the Windows Weekly podcast. It’s kind of funny, because it seems to me, listening to his deflection and comments, that Paul Thurrott doesn’t really care for Windows 8, but he sort of faux supports it because he needs to keep good with Microsoft. Anyway, I already wasn’t using the built in IE Metro browser because switching tabs is cumbersome. When Thurrott made the assertion that they are encouraging people away from Bookmarks towards just pinning a handful of regular sites, this pretty much was the last little point that made me realize I’m totally fooling myself by “giving this a chance”.
Don’t mistake what I’m saying though, Metro, is neat. I think it will be fantastic for a tablet, it kind of makes me want a Windows Tablet or a Windows phone. It seems like it’s doable.
Mixing this crappy Tablet interface with a desktop, is terrible. It is a terrible idea. Great great, people who use iPads want their lame single tasking and huge buttons and flippy crap. Guess what, on the desktop, that is inefficient. When my browser takes up the entire screen, that’s a problem.
“But Josh, you’re a power user, normal epople don’t care”. I watch my family use the computer, these people are NOT power users, hell my wife still calls the PC itself the “modem”. I did finally get them to realize that the monitor is not the computer, etc etc. All of them know how to navigate tabs and do things like, run Youtube in the background, or my daughter opens multiple tabs when browsing for books for her nook. Then there is the part where they all know how to drag and drop music/ebooks/photos/whatever between two windows for sorting or putting it on an Ereader or MP3 player.
Doing this is not obvious in Windows 8, and it is the sort of thing that’s doable but will frustrate them. Hell, I can barely get two Explorer Windows open at the same time and I know what I’m doing. The expected action: Open Explorer, Navigate to Folder A, open explorer again, navigate to Folder B. Windows 8 seems to just re-bring-up Window A when you try to open a second Explorer Window.
It’s little crap like this.
Also, Metro is really inefficient for a mouse and keyboard. I have to admit, I barely use the Start Menu anyway and keep most of what I use pinned to the task bar. Now, when I need the start menu, instead of a list of programs right there next to the mouse, I get this huge ugly ass list of icons that are hard to read and see the more I add. I get to scroll through mutliple pages of this junk too.
Then there is annoying little features like the stupid sidebar task switcher, which half the time seems to just close and reopen the app making it hard to quickly jump between two apps. The apps themselves all look similar in Metro, so it’s difficult to tell which thumbnail I want to start with. One thing that may factor in to this, I have always hated these pop up Window thumbnails and generally disable them in Vista/7 anyway.
Enough just random bitching. It’s nothing new that others have not already complained about all over, everywhere. It just sucks. Good for a touch interface…
I had the chance to try Windows 8 on an HP Touchsmart PC recently. Maybe the drivers just aren’t there or the Touchsmart isn’t properly compatible but I could not figure out how to make any of these annoying pop out side menus work on this PC using touch. I still had to flip the mouse over to bring up the menus. So all of this ludicrous stupidity doesn’t even seem to work in the interface method it was intended for. Also, Solitaire was still laggy as hell, which is pretty lame because it’s Windows Solitaire.