How Real People Will Deal With Windows 8

Have you tried out the Windows 8 ‘Consumer Preview’? I skipped it as I have enough other stuff going on, but have heard generally good things from the tech press and other tech-centric friends. And perhaps that is the issue – everyone I know who has played with the so-called ‘consumer release’ isn’t really a consumer. The results of having people who are too skilled evaluate a product are that your end result is designed for those people.

That is the thesis of a video that accompanies an article about the importance (or lack thereof) of Windows 8:

After playing with Windows 8 on the desktop for less than an hour, my dad didn’t really understand how this would be any better than Windows XP (his current OS of choice). He tried the same “Consumer Preview” version of Windows on a tablet PC at the local Microsoft Store and was taken aback at how much better it was. Still, feeling Windows 8 on a tablet wasn’t enough to drive him to abandon the traditional PC desktop environment. More importantly, perhaps, was how he explained to me what I’m explaining to you: Windows 8 is trying to be all things to all people in all environments.

And to prove his point he has his father – an avowed Windows user – mess around in Windows 8, starting off in the Metro interface. It is only a few minutes long, but rather instructive:

Source: Lockergnome via Neatorama

Categories: Gear Bits

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9 replies

  1. I am NOT a  consumer and even I hate the new interface.  What is worse I download the beta of Windows Server 8 and it TOO has the new metro interface.  It sucks REALLY bad in a windowed environment like you might use when remoting into the server or when running it in a virtual machine.  Getting the start menu to pop up is a trial in a window.  

    The only saving grace on server is it’s text interface only install.

  2. The question at the end is priceless. =P

  3. When Microsoft did a major redesign for Vista/W7, I was amazed because the Start menu–which had been a major new part of the interface at its introduction in, what, 1995?–was now completely gone.  Totally!  So they had spent *10 years* training (essentially) their customers to expect something, to know where to look and what to look for, and they had removed/replaced it!  That struck me as simply stupid.  Make changes and innovations, sure, but leave familiar stuff around to help users navigate.  After all, the little Apple logo menu has been there for something like 25 years–all those changes and updates, but still a user has something familiar to grab onto.

    And don’t get me started on the individual application redesigns.  Like the ribbons in Word, for example.

    The “Metro” screen reminds me of (obviously) Apple’s “Launch Pad”.  Now, I personally don’t use Launch Pad, but getting to it and out of it is insanely easy.  Leave it to Microsoft to figure out a way to make that kind of thing less useable.

    • The Start menu has been around since Windows 95.  That would be 17 years of clicking the start menu and I think you mean Windows 8.  Windows Vista and 7 had modified versions of the start menu but it, as you know, is still there.

  4. The thing that really strikes me is the ‘all things to all people’ idea.  I have read numerous things – even by reasonable people – that Win8 will destroy iOS tablets because Win8 can run all Windows apps … but not on ARM.  And since most tablets will run on ARM, that kills that notion …

    • It’s funny…I have a couple friends who are hard core Windows users and they are both repeating the Microsoft marketing mantra which is a no compromise interface and that I DO NOT agree with.  Pirillo is right: it’s nothing BUT compromises.

      Microsoft would be better served by PICKING ONE.  If they want to include WinRT apps, then they should do that in a manner similar to how Apple did the Dashboard.  Imagine Metro as a interactive intermediate screen saver or a “lunch/play mode”.  Bring up Metro at lunch and get news feed updates, weather and some light web browsing.  Then I could see it getting some use maybe.  Replacing the start menu with it is shortsighted.

      • I think the willingness to believe is because it is a panacea we all want … work on something on our desktop, save, re-open with same functionality on the same app license running on our tablet, and so on. The problem is that it isn’t reality – look at what has happened on the Mac shifting from 680×0 to PowerPC to Intel, and from the traditional Mac OS to OS X … with each jump LOADS of programs were totally broken. That is the reality of making this sort of leap. And any sort of ‘fat binary’ like the sort used to work on both 0x0 and PPC causes bloat and slow-down .. and Windows programs already have enough issues with that!

        • The only OS that came close is Linux.  I was able to get some traditional desktop apps working on a tablet when I had a Nokia 770 and then the Nokia 800 after that.  Even then, it wasn’t optimal but it was much closer than Windows has ever been.