On October 16 I blogged about the then soon-to-be-released Windows 8 operating system (“Windows 8—Here We Go Again”). At the time, I shared with you several apprehensions I had about the new OS. The new OS presents a radically altered user experience, the accommodations to selecting alternative user interfaces get clumsy, you cannot easily access multiple applications running simultaneously, significant hardware upgrades will often be required, and serious questions remain concerning how well current or even new software will run on Windows 8.
Now that Windows 8 has been released, some interesting consumer reactions continue to manifest. Tom Herrmann of Charleston, South Carolina, wrote into PC World magazine’s Forum (January 2013). His assessment of the situation so well mirrored mine, I just had to share it:
“Microsoft needs to wake up and realize that every device doesn’t need to have the same restricted OS. Desktop (and even laptop) computers have no need for an ugly, useless, and completely counterintuitive OS from a phone! I’m not even sure it will work on a tablet, but leave the desktop alone on the real computers! The tile screen should be something you can start if you want, after the regular OS comes up. Windows 8 will be an even bigger failure than Vista was, and version 7 will continue to rule for years, just as XP did when Vista was released.” (p. 9)
Tell us how you really feel, Tom.
Seriously though, I agree with Tom. He captures the fundamental reasons Windows 8 simply will not work for so many users. While I do understand we have recently crossed the threshold in which desktops and laptops are outnumbered by smartphones and tablets, that does not change reality for all those desktop and laptop users. To force a desktop user or a laptop user into the mold of a smartphone OS just doesn’t make any sense. One reader went so far to say:
“For desktop users, Windows 8 is a downgrade, and it will prove to be Microsoft’s undoing.” (p. 9)
Oh, well! We can’t change history (unless of course you are a historian). Nevertheless, it will be fascinating to continue to observe consumer and business reaction to the new OS. Perhaps consumer and business satisfaction with Windows 7 will prompt Microsoft to take an even closer look at how long it supports it.
In the meantime, if you are happy with Windows 7, I would stay put for the long haul. Windows 7 remains in my book the very best OS ever. When it comes to a desktop or a laptop computer, I just can’t see jumping into Windows 8. To me, that would only be a step backwards in your technological efficiency and effectiveness.
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