Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Windows 8 Should be Called the Why Should I Operating System

A while back I was given a task.  Take an empty computer, install the latest version of Windows 8 on it, and write about it.

First impressions hadn't changed my mind.  After two weeks I'm looking for a reason, any reason, to dump Windows 8 and go back to my comfortable Windows 7.

The hardware is competent, it's certainly fast enough to do the job.  I won't go into fiddly numbers, this is one of those "Functional" things, meaning it's more important how something functions rather how you get it to function.

You know, "Don't ever learn how sausage is made if you enjoy it".

I'm accepting quirks like my USB devices forgetting that they actually work since I'm using all Windows 7 drivers to get the machine working.   Most manufactures aren't supporting Windows 8 officially yet.  To blame Microsoft for that sort of thing would not be fair.

The problem is that they took the beautiful Windows 7 with its "Aero" interface and lobotomized it.

It now looks like Windows 2.0 where everything is flat and hard to read.   Primary colors are back.  Although you can configure some of that away, Why Should I?

And that is the biggest thing wrong with Windows 8.  I keep asking "Why Should I?".

Things that worked on a laptop or desktop machine since 1995 with Windows 95 loudly proclaiming "Start Me Up", simply need work arounds.

You can't find any of the folders that you're used to having like the old "Start up Folder".  That means that if you have a program that you like to have running when you start your machine, either you have to start it, or literally create a shortcut on how to do that.   They removed the start up folder's link from the Start Screen.

Now think to yourself, You are Joe Average PC User.  You really don't want to learn how this thing works, you want it to "Just Work" and just work every time.  Not wanting to make sausage here, how exactly do you create a short cut in windows?

Right click where you want the icon.
Select New.
Select Shortcut.

Great!  Now you have a new icon on your desktop and with Windows 8 you happily find yourself presented with a wizard that says "What item would you like to create a shortcut for?" and a browse button.

Microsoft has forgotten that Mr or Mrs Average PC Guy doesn't know or care where that item has gone.

For me, the location for the short cut I had to browse to is (and here's a little sausage making):
"C:\Users\Bill\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

Ok, so ask yourself average person, "How would I have found that?"

I didn't, I had to look it up online with a search.  I found the article fairly quickly, but I had to ask myself "Why Should I?" yet again.

They really should rename Windows 8 "Why Should I?".

In other words, as a regular PC user, "Why Should I?" be replacing things (functionality) in Windows that were taken out?

That is just one small thing that they did.  I have been told that Microsoft has been wanting to remove that for years and just got around to it.  The reasoning is that "App writers should include the auto-start functionality in their apps and not depend on Windows to do that".   Problem is that the app writers generally don't.

So if you're considering Windows 8, this is just one small reason why you really want to hold onto your Windows 7 or good old trusty Windows XP for a while. 

The numbers coming in are apparent that Windows 8 will be widely disliked by the market.  The "Pre Launch Adoption" rates for Windows 8 are 1/5 of the rate of Windows 7 at this time.  You can read more about that in this article from ComputerWorld, if you're in the mood for more sausage.

I personally am going to bang out more articles on Windows 8 and try to get this project done quickly so I can remove Windows 8 from this machine and go back to Windows 7.  It truly has been a maddening experience.

I'm sorry Microsoft, you really do need to rethink this one.

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