8 Reasons Why Windows 8 Sucks


win823

Let’s face it, Windows 8 is a hybrid operating system which, by definition, is something that is formed by combining two or more things. Or more graphically, a car with a petrol engine and an electric motor, each of which can propel it along.

One could also suggest that Windows 8 is probably the result of a Microsoft brainstorming session circa 2009, when top executives came up with the bright idea to slap a Windows/Android/iOS touch-screen-hybrid on to your desktop computer, but no one had the audacity to put their hand up and point out some of the reasons why most Windows users would think the idea was completely barking.

Well I am that someone and here are a few of my reasons why Windows 8 sucks.

 Charms

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This utterly useless feature of Windows 8 somehow escaped from its cage and made it to our desktops, confusing everyone bar none. The very name entices you into a world of fairy dust and magic spells, instead of which you get a bunch of clunky dead ends that achieve absolutely nothing. Even invoking the thing is a hit and miss affair and enticing it out of its lair is nothing more than an irritating chore. Numerous machines have come my way for attention and getting the mouse cursor within millimetres of the exact position in the corner of the screen has been a major fail. I could have perhaps accepted anywhere on the right of the screen or in fact any screen edge at all for it to work in much the same way as Stardock has successfully managed to outdo Microsoft without even breaking a sweat.


Apps

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If we’d wanted a cut down kiddies’ application to check our email, talk on Skype or be constantly informed of who just posted a picture of their pet hamster, we’d turn to our smartphones or tablets. A desktop computer is not a mobile phone and most do not have a touch screen.Desktop computing is simply not geared towards a live touch environment and many of us would prefer to escape to the serenity and relative privacy of our PC’s, knowing that we’re not being bombarded with endless social updates and pop ups, most of which are of little significance anyway.

Take the Skype and Facebook apps for starters. The Skype app has zero configurable options, so you’re stuck with all the default options whether you like it or not and the Facebook app simply doesn’t work for many thousands of people. It’s installed and logged on, but totally bereft of anything related to the account and therefore unusable, so I removed both apps and reverted to desktop use as I did with Internet Explorer.

Set up a Microsoft account

The first thing that greets you with a new install of Windows 8 is an invitation to sign in to your PC using a Microsoft account. Yeah, like everyone has one of these of course. You can sign in with a non Microsoft account or a local account for that PC, but those options are far from obvious to the new user and in particular someone who isn’t au fait in the use of computers in the first place. The reasoning here is pretty clear in that Microsoft simply wants you on board, using the STORE, synching with Sky One Drive and any other PC you may have the OS installed on.

Once signed in with a Microsoft account, Windows 8 is in the habit of nagging for a verification of the account and dealt with by the input of a security number sent by email, which never works, with the delightful message ‘something has gone wrong’.


 Stripped out features

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When upgrading from Windows 7, one of the most noticeable aspects is the amount of features that have been stripped away in Windows 8. The list of missing, disabled or hidden features is far too long to itemise here, but suffice to say that many users are up in arms as to why such seemingly harmless and lightweight goodies have bitten the dust. Here’s a few as a reminder:

  • Desktop gadgets
  • Classic games
  • Media center and DVD playback
  • Aero Glass/Flip 3D
  • Windows sounds
  • Backup and system image recovery
  • Messaging
  • Network map……

We could expand on this list ad nauseam of course and those who have adapted to Windows 8 quite happily will tell you that either the feature isn’t necessary or you can achieve the same result with a registry hack or a third party add on, which misses the point entirely. If you were trading in your car for the newer GTi with go faster stripes and the salesman told you they’d removed numerous comfort features you’d grown accustomed to, you’d ask yourself why you were upgrading in the first place wouldn’t you? I know I did.

Windows on a diet

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Not only has Microsoft robbed us of numerous much loved Windows features, but it now seems to have claimed every pixel of your desktop real estate in some absurd and misguided effort to rid us of clutter. Well some of us like a bit of clutter; we like our scroll bars thick and juicy and we like the way Windows Explorer had big chunky navigation arrows and easy to find features using the command bar, instead of the click-centric ribbon explorer which I loathe.

 Service Pack or Update?

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One has to wonder if Microsoft were asleep at the wheel when they decided to roll out updates to Windows 8, with 8.1 being a case in point. Is it a service pack, an update or a brand new version of Windows 8? At nearly 4Gb, 8.1 is a hefty size and since Microsoft in its infinite wisdom hasn’t seen fit to make an ISO available, you’re forced to download through the Windows Store, regardless of how many PC’s you need to upgrade, which makes the whole exercise a long and tedious affair.


Then came the beautifully named Windows 8.1 Update 1, which could have easily been named 8.2 or SP1 or even Harry and we’d all have understood. It then transpires that Harry is such a critical update that if you didn’t grab it by June 10th 2014, you’d be screwed for all further updates to your shiny new OS and to further muddy the waters, actually identifying the update ended up as a game of musical chairs. Way to go Microsoft!

The DIY Operating System

diy

It’s pretty much an accepted fact that geeks, PC enthusiasts and technicians love to crawl under the engine and tweak systems in ways that are not normally printed on the box.

However, if we use the GTi analogy once more, most Windows users, including tech geeks, consider that bolting new seats and headrests into our shiny new acquisition, is a bridge too far. I’ve already mentioned the features that have gone AWOL and yes, some of those features can be either brought back to life or tweaked in Windows Registry, which is a dark, forbidding place and not recommended for casual users.

One has to beg the question therefore, why knobble and strip down certain features with the inevitable result of alienating a huge customer base who would otherwise stay loyal?


Which segues nicely into geek topic of the decade………………………………

Start Screen or Start Menu?

If there is one feature that’s argued about more than any other, it has to be START.

How many times have you tripped over seasoned geeks cowering under their desks, reduced to sniveling wrecks and mumbling incoherently ‘Where’s my Start menu?’ It’s a sad, pitiful sight and not to be taken lightly.

Glass half full or glass half empty? Myopic? Actually, none of the above and it’s surprising to read such disparaging remarks thrown at people who detest the hideous new start screen.


menu

‘The START screen IS the Start menu, so just get used to it…’ is an oft used retort in the ongoing Start Wars, but again, the point is totally missed by a very wide berth.

The bleeding obvious of course is that the fundamental design of START and its menu structure has remained unchanged since the venerable Windows 95 and this is because it’s beautifully simple and just works. It’s hardly surprising therefore that users have been installing third party solutions in their droves, in spite of the fact that Microsoft gave back some limited START functionality in 8.1 as a half baked, halfway house on the road to Windows 9.

‘So don’t use the START screen then!’

All well and good, but how to find all those programs you’ve just installed? Put shortcuts on the desktop for ALL of them? Or pin them to the taskbar ?

Either way, since START is such an integral and fundamental base upon which Windows 8 is built, you’re going to find your way back there sooner or later, whether you like it or not.

And therein lies the rub. In another article I wrote on this subject, I mentioned I was dual booting and I asked if I would be binning Windows 7 on a permanent basis.

No, I won’t. So what will you be doing?

 

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About the Author

Marc Thomas

Marc is an avid traveler, motorcyclist, entrepreneur, and gamer from Buenos Aires, Argentina. His interest in computers and technology began in the early 1990's when he was introduced by a friend to a Zenith Data Systems computer running DOS. In the years following he has experienced all versions of the Windows operating system, built hundreds of systems, and fixed many more for his customers. Marc also has an interesting forum you might like to check out at Argentina Expats

42 Comments

  1. I got windows 8 when they first put it out for trial. I think it took me about 5 minutes after installing it to determine that it was a piece of junk that I just paid for. I work on a desktop and I still can’t figure out why they (Microsoft) would require a touch screen, other than to make money on the screens. My arms are just not long enough to be swiping across a screen to go to another location. So I am glad that there are others that think Windows 8 SUCKS. Thanks for listening

  2. What a nightmare W8 has been! The only reason I upgraded was that my old Dell machine died when the mother board packed up. The new ASUS machine had windows 8.0 installed. I would never have upgraded in a million years unless I had to. Luddite? Maybe but the software that I purchased for XP actually worked! I had inordinate difficulty in installing Visual C++ 6.0 on the new machine but eventually got it working after a fashion. Why is this important to me? I am retired and am learning to program in VC. It helps the brain cells ticking over. I naively thought that Micro$oft might have a deal to upgrade. FAT CHANCE!!

  3. Micro$oft has done it again! I suddenly posted previously without any input from me! Or was it Sky (my ISP).
    Coming back to my narrative (rant?). I finally managed to find a telephone number for M$ and had a pleasant trip round the world. I started off in the UK and went via India, China?, and the USA before I got parked in an endless loop of musiqe concrete before I lost patience and hung up. The guys I talked to were very pleasant but about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
    Then I tried to install Micro$oft office 2002. Again not the most up to date version but I had paid good money for it and it suffices for the odd letter I send or keeping track of my finances with the spreadsheet. No matter how hard I tried I could not get it to install. I thought it might be worth a few quid to purchase the latest version even though I wouldn’t use much of the functionality. I’m still frothing at the mouth at the cost so I now use Kingsoft Office. Incidentally, this is almost identical to my version of Office 2002. So because of the greed of Mr Gates et. al. they have got nothing!

    Some of you might have recognised my log in name as the assassin in Verdi’s Rigoletto. I wish! Let me into a room with these dunces at M$ and i could wreak havoc.

    Rant over.
    Spara

  4. When I was forced to migrate from XP to Windows 7 (only because MS stopped all support for XP), I first went to a public library and spend the better part of half a day with a stack of at least a dozen books on Windows 7 in front of me. The one I finally purchased was David Pogue’s 900+ page “Windows 7 – The MIssing Manual”. After at least a dozen hours over a month of using 7, the information in that book told me what I needed to restore my computer and desktop to look and function the way I wanted it, instead of the way Microsoft insisted I have it.

    Pogue has a new book out — also over 900 pages — that’s focused on the same theme; tweaking 8 for people who want to do serious WORK on the computers instead of seeing them as pretty toys to use for social media, for watching movies and for gaming.

    I’m dreading the day when MS stops support for Windows 7 and tries to force all of us into another upgrade, and from what you and dozens of other professional people I know who agree with your review, I will finally give up Windows completely.

  5. I will endure my Windows8 computer that I was essentially forced to purchase because Windows XP is no longer supported. This was easily the biggest waste of my time to update and tweak so that it could be functional in a way that made this computer comfortable to use. Unless Windows 9 is given away free, my next computer will be an Apple.

  6. I remember last year getting a new Nokia smartphone loaded with Windows 8. It was so horrible that I sold the phone soon after and got an Android. I have never looked back. I’ll throw in the fact that Apple IOS sucks as well.

    With operating systems it takes Microsoft a long time to get it right. And for anyone who pays attention, they know that the last place you will find any real support for a Windows operating system is on a Microsoft “certified” website. Those retards don’t know sh*t about it. You’re better off going to a hacker or “geek” website. They know alot better. After all, they are the ones that show us that its easy to crack Bill Gates software.

    Remember Windows Me? Remember how it was promoted by M$ as the latest and best? Remember how it turned out to be the worst OS in history? Windows 8 has landed in the same pile of goo. It’s interface is of the worst kind. People hate it tremendously. Its unstable. Unpredictable. And just plain confusing. You can’t ignore the fact that most businesses that are nervously leaving XP behind. They are upgrading to Windows 7. Smart move. It’s been around long enough to be better than XP. But Windows 8 would need to be around another 10 years before it’s passable. But that aint gonna happen because Gates loves money too much to keep it around. He knows its a flop. When’s the guy gonna learn that he needs to fire all those certified morons and hire REAL IT guys that don’t have the brains of a stepford wife?

    • I hear what you’re saying there Joe, but I would take issue with your comments about the founder of Microsoft, being churlish, naive and frankly, we’ve heard it all before.
      It’s also worth noting that Bill Gates wasn’t even at the helm during or after the launch of Windows 8 and he and his wife Melinda, have given away, yes given away, more millions in US Dollars, to charitable causes than you and I could possibly imagine.
      I stand by the technical aspects pointed out in my article, but am not prepared to stand aside when I read such nonsense written about one of the most generous philanthropists on the planet.

        • Bobster,
          How, exactly, do you have the slightest idea who, or what, Mr. Gates has funded? Judging by the pictures available on his Gates Millennium Scholars Program site (https://www.gmsp.org/) it appears he has provided scholarships to a wide variety of talented individuals.

      • I couldn’t let that go by. Bill Gates “contributes” to the Gates Foundation which is controlled by Melinda. He gets the power of the money and evades whatever tax he hasn’t already slithered out of, The Gates Foundation is required by law to disperse at least 5% of its assets per year which is better than paying ~20%. The only value money has beyond a certain point is POWER. What else could he buy with 79 billion.

  7. This is a good article. I am not a fan of Windows 8 at all. I don’t like it. My mother in law has it. Looks like a cell phone screen. Confusing as hell and all around lame. I love win 7. If Microsoft stops supporting Win7 and all that Microsoft has available is Win 8, I will go Linus or Mac.

  8. I’m seriously considering a Mac on my next computer purchase. Windows has just gone way too childish and unreliable. Can’t take Microsoft seriously.

  9. Now that window 8 and its kind will be the new computer world, is there something out there for senior citizens who don’t want to spend their dwindling days on games and gadgets? Since we’ll probably never see the like of windows 7 again, are there any other computers out there that are meant to allow people to send emails, surf the internet, and word process (not with Word but something like the old Microsoft Word of days gone by when you could type letters, mail merge, do tables, have spell check, etc. without pulling your hair out with trying to figure out how. Should we switch to Apple or is it getting as bad? I used to be able to use my old Microsoft for so many things. Now, I usually give up in frustration. Grandma PS We used to be able to play solitaire or a few other games without having to sign in and be bombarded with games that cost.

      • Thanks for commenting. Wish I could have my XP back. Our old computer (with XP died) and my son in law said that XP is not going to be covered by Micro Soft. So I now have a laptop with Windows 8 which I detest.

        • Grandma
          I wouldn’t suggest going back to XP on your current laptop, but if you are that unhappy with Windows 8, then you may wish to consider having Windows 7 installed on it.
          You’re not alone in disliking 8 and whilst my position on it has softened a tad, I still use Windows 7 as the default operating system on my main PC’s.

        • Grandma does your laptop have Windows 8 or 8.1? Windows 8.1 is a little more user friendly and can be tweaked without a third party app to act more like Windows 7.

    • Grandma, you can try Ubuntu even without installing it – directly from a flash drive or CD, and see if it works for you.
      Or you can check it in Youtube first.
      My mom prefers it over Win8. She mostly browses internet and uses Facebook 🙂

  10. I literally cringe each time microsoft releases a new version of windows. By definition an upgrade should be exciting and helpful, therefore I don’t call them upgrades.. I refer to them as “experiments”

  11. Windows 8 really sucks!! I would surely take Windows7, Windows XP, Windows 97, or Windows 95 over that crappy Windows 8. The more I use it the more I hate it. “KISS” – (Keep It Simple Stupid) should have been learned by M.S.!! It really sucks!

  12. It really does suck. At first, I didn’t want to dismiss it just because it was different. I thought I’d get used to it. The truth is I did get used to it, but that doesn’t mean that I like it. Don’t know if this is a problem just with my laptop (which is very new), but I’ve experienced a lot of crashes. I think everything got worse when I updated it to 8.1….Anyway, I hate it and would not recommend it to anyone. Oh how I long for Windows 7…

  13. Windows 8 and its updates is the biggest piece of crap to ever come out of Redmond! I’m sick of Microsoft forcing things down our throats and their huge blunders that seem to get larger as time goes on. Microsoft will soon be irrelevent in computing with alternative OS’s growing in popularity and I highly recommend everyone download and install Linux Mint, as that is a fully featured, turnkey modern OS that works and looks much like Windows XP. It even comes with fully compatible versions of Microsoft Office applications (LibreOffice) that have the pulldown menus everyone liked before that stupid ribbon interface was introduced in Office 2007. Linux Mint is free, comes with everything you need when it’s installed and just works. Don’t be scared that it has “Linux” in the name — it’s as close to Windows XP as you can get and it’s all totally free!!

    • I don’t like the interface and that it connects to the internet for everything but my biggest problem is that I use a 2003 program that is 16 bit. Without “compatibility mode” I am unable to run this program in W8. I am retired and cannot really afford a new version of the program at $4000. I am forced to run it in an XP shell. Really inconvenient. I think like many others I will be installing Linux sooner than later.

  14. Windows 8 was obviously rubbish from day 1. It was the most confusing and tedious interface I’ve ever used; my Android phone is better than Windows 8.

  15. Being a cheapskate by nature, I’ve been running a laptop with XP and a desktop with Vista for quite a few years now, never really wanting to shell out the cash for an upgrade on the operating systems. When my laptop recently died, I did go and purchase a new one with *shudder* Win 8 and it has to be the most user unfriendly version of Windows to date and this is coming from someone who regularly uses VISTA! Between the lock screen (WHY do we even need this when booting up a non-passworded machine????), start, the metro screen, useless apps that take an eternity to load, missing features, etc., I’m wishing I had just went to the pawn shop and picked up something that had Win 7 on it instead. I’m just thankful that something like Classic Shell exists – it’s made the os somewhat bearable, but I can’t even fathom what Microsoft was thinking when they developed this mess.

  16. I’ve been using windows for 20 years or since Win 3. I hate it and always have. Unless you are a rocket scientist and have all day to spend making it work its just a pain in the ass. Its time for Microsoft to take a page from Apples book start offering a OS that works and stays working. I was excited to see Win 8 and until it became the same ol same ol, works for a couple of months and heads south. Now I cant use the whole metro side of the OS “App can;t Open” and unless I’m prepared to roll up my sleeves and reinvent the rocket engine its going to stay broken because as the author has said these apps are a load of nonsense anyways, not to mention as the author has also stated “distracting” . Microsoft, you are blind. Donnie

  17. Oh yay, a place to whine. So… why has a multi-billion dollar corporation that markets its ‘vision’ in ‘user experience’, has the resources to gather the best and the brightest (hey, i once attended a design layout presentation of some early windows given by this genius phd computer designer that looked and talked like James Earl Jones – and the functional block diagram he showed looked like an aerial shot of Manhattan) — why do they CONSISTENTLY miss the mark with their product – updates, hahahahahahaha – right – those are fixes – pure an simple and by now with the bowl of spaghetti code that windows has become – i am actually impressed the bloated patched animated corpse boots at all – so why? Because they can. They have NO competition, and guess what, they know it.

  18. Everything that is being done in the past decade is either Bill’s Revenge or is being done to control and reduce the population by p*ssing us off. Planned Obsolescence, Planned Intentional Regress etc. all are tools of the New World Order. Boycott all those products and corporations that are regressive.

  19. Just bought a new computer from Best Buy and darned if it didn’t come with W8. Hate it! Hate it!. Can’t wait to blow it up and install W7.

  20. When the Office 2007 came to being thanks to Mr. Jensen Harris, it delighted all school students (they love fancy pictures and learning something new, useful or not) and infuriated all those who had to do their job and had to relearn virtually everything but space key location. IT admins, however, proved to be real ribbon heroes: instead of a flat refuse to abandon Office 2003 they launched a race for upgrade regardless of what other employees were thinking and thus convinced Microsoft that putting a new product down customers’ throats is the best way to make a profit. That time Mr. Harris has got a proof that the best way to treat patients is to base treatment solutions on the average temperature in the hospital (including all those suffering from fever or dead). The logic he employed is: everything can be improved if we obtain relevant statistics and place features accordingly. He disregards completely the fact that features can only functions through the ways people use them and if most of us are accustomed with them – there is no need for improvement. If it works – don’t fix it. Therefore, his attitude was: “Statistics says that people use spoons more often then other cutlery. Thus we need to set the spoon in the upper left conner of the table and replace it with a ladle! The fact that people are accustomed to have a fork on the left and a knife and a spoon on the right means nothing – when they learn the new way, they are doomed to be happy”. The “success” of the ribbon interface led directly to the disaster of Windows 8, and I am so glad to have an Open Office suite on my Mac today :)))

    • That’s an interesting perspective Mikhail and one only has to cast one’s mind back to Windows Vista to be reminded of a similar hole that Microsoft found itself in.
      Far be it for me to sit in my ivory tower tower though and throw bricks, but it does seem that the Redmond giant does love to lob a rock in the water and watch the ripples, which later become waves.
      Seems to me that Windows 10 will be the new Windows 7 if they play their cards right and all the indications are that, that in fact will be the case, because whether you or I like it or not, Windows does rule the roost.

  21. Hey Marc haven’t heard from you lately. Ya’ll still bashing W8 and I’m very happy booting into XP and then I run either Linux Mint or W10 in my VM’s. Mostly I run LM it has made a very good setup. Merry Christmas. Daniel.

    • I’ve been travelling Daniel, which may be the subject of a future article.
      Mind you, there’s only so much Windows 8 bashing one can do, before we have to look over the fence and see what’s next.
      Seasons greetings to you too!

  22. Great article. Glad to finally see somebody acknowledge many of the short comings of the last MS OS release.

    I’ve tried to explain to many the OS is there to allow you to store and manage programs and data, hopefully easily and securely. The analogy of the car is great for W8. I have had to use many third party programs and utilities and registry hacks to get W8 systems back to a form many are comfortable using. If you buy a new “improved” OS why do you have to spend several weeks finding all the controls now hidden or disabled?

    MS has totally ignored the screams of the masses and ignored declining sales, and are forcing many to adopt this OS by removing support for tried and true (and generally liked) OS’s. What needs to be reported is not how many copies of W8 were sold, but how many copies of W8 are being used.

    I’ve begun the migration to Linux, it works well with older hardware, and does what I want easily. I was an advocate of MS for many years and wish that windows would return as something more useful and get away from the eye candy.

  23. Wow, it took a while to read all of the comments here. I’m 60 years old and have used a laptop for most of my working life. Us old people are going to go away soon (hopefully not too soon). I just bought an Asus 2 in 1 and am dealing with the same issues that everyone is complaining about. It’s really sad what Microsoft has done to the 8.1 operating system. It would have been nice to give the user the ability to choose a good screen (Desktop or Start) to use but in their haste have created two really bad choices. I’ve switched back and forth between the two many, many, times and have come to the conclusion, there is no good choice to use. You would think that Microsoft would get it right after all of this time but they continue to stumble again and again…………..so sad!!! I don’t think Biil Gates loses any sleep over any of this.

    • Strange that you should mention the Asus 2 in 1 Bob, because that’s just the sort of configuration for which I believe Windows 8/8.1 is best suited.

      Just bought an Asus T100 Transformer Book for the grandson, had great fun setting it up and Windows 8.1 suits the tablet/laptop combination to a tee.

      We are all different I guess.

    • Which is why most desktop users of Windows have found it such a pain in the rear.
      Having said that, I’ve downgraded numerous brand new laptops, including some touch screen variants to Windows 7, if indeed you could call that a downgrade.
      Without wishing to flog a dead horse, there’s no doubt that Windows 8 is fast and when configured nicely, it does fly along, which no doubt leaves many of us previewing Windows 10 in keen anticipation.