Reactions to Windows 8

However this thing turns out, the reactions as Windows 8 rolls out are a great sideshow. The first steps with Windows 8 are demanding for users familiar with older versions as some things are different and some things worse than before. Some things are better, too, but getting over that initial hump can be a problem. I am starting to collect some of the reactions that caught my interest, and will update this post with further links as I find them.


This distinctly non-PC blast from Igor Ljubuncic is based on the Consumer Preview but I quote it because it does a good job of presenting the “no way never” perspective:

Would you sacrifice your entire user base in a rich and profitable tier for the sake of a feeble chance that you might hold a small share of a new market segment that has significantly lower profit margins? Sounds like stupidity to me. … Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a technological, ideological and functional failure. It’s hard to see how no one lost their job over this.

Here is Tim Edwards in a piece with a number of inaccuracies – but remember, first impressions are still first impressions, even if some of the assumptions one makes turn out to be wrong:

Windows 8 is the worst computing experience I’ve ever had. As a desktop operating system, it’s annoying, frustrating, irritating, and baffling to use.

First impressions from Krishnan Subramanian

This is a great user interface and the underlying platform changes are pretty good. However, this interface is not suitable for desktop (Laptop) experience. … with all the “steep learning curve” factor and the fact that many enterprises just upgraded to Windows 7 makes me wonder if Windows 8 will be a flop show in the enterprise space even with their $40 pricing strategy

Windows 8 a Cognitive burden says a usability expert

Windows 8 is optimized for content consumption rather than content production and multitasking. Whereas content consumption can easily be done on other media (tablets and phones), production and multitasking are still best suited for PCs. Windows 8 appears to ignore that.

Mary Branscombe who knows Windows 8 as well as anyone outside Microsoft has a thorough review concluding:

Keep an open mind, spend some time getting used to the charm bar and the Start screen. Once you do, we defy you not to be impressed by Windows 8.

Another from the long-time-watcher Windows camp (but not always pro-Microsoft; he was the one who proclaimed Longhorn “a train wreck”) is Paul Thurrott who says:

For all the whining, hand-wringing, and ivory tower opining over Microsoft’s decision to wed an awesome new mobile platform with its superior desktop OS, few of these critics ever paused for a moment to consider an awesome possibility: This time, more really is more.

Balanced read but not convinced by the system: Preston Gralla on Computerworld:

With Windows 8, Microsoft is making a bet that it can please both tablet users and traditional computer users with a single OS. That bet didn’t pay off for me. On a tablet I find it an excellent operating system. On a traditional computer, it doesn’t work nearly so well.

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