8 Reasons Why Windows 8 Sucks


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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

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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

26 Comments

  1. I do believe a lot of Windows 7 users will change over to Windows 10, especially if one is using an UEFI mobo, because of the speed of the OS. Daniel.

  2. When you find someone said Win8/8.1 “better” , most of them were Microsoft backed or their relations.

    very funny, the win8 have large metro icons when everything would able to fix into single screen, you have to scrolling to the right for no reason or to please the microsoft.

    i have tried to manage those metro icons, it just like ‘want your life’ metro icons ,
    no selection, drag selection, select all, nothing at all, no much you can do rather than manually done it one by one.

    most of the default apps are useless , end up with full screen and stuck with their apps logo.

    win8/8.1 seriously suck !!!

  3. I was using Ubuntu for a long time on my very old PC and I loved it. But it was one step from death so I got a laptop I could afford and it came with Windows 8.1. I HATE IT. I have tried to put Ubuntu on this thing and so far, no luck. But I’m still trying.

    God, I miss Ubuntu!

    • A little more info about your laptop and the hardware and the good people at DCT might be able to help. Are you trying to dual boot?

  4. Just got a new laptop with windows 8.1, I am extremely disappointed with this piece of time consuming junk.
    I am so sorry I invested in this.
    To me its just an advertising scheme to empty your pockets.

  5. Also, can no longer zip with a password. Why? Why remove that? Just stupid.
    And, I upgraded to Windows 8 hoping my ATI TV card would work better and the Total Studio stop crashing. It didn’t. If anything, it fails to load the driver 2/3 of the time now. So, Microsoft made its reputation with all the hardware vendors doing the real work (making hardware actually work with it). Now that the hardware market has moved on to tablets, looks like Gates needs to get his sorry tail back to work and do some real work making his stuff work. I get sick of spending hours on some stupid thing. But that’s “The Windows Way”!

    • Also, can no longer zip with a password. Why? Why remove that?

      Totally agree with that one Max. You’d think these operating systems should be getting progressively better, how stripping out such a useful feature reconciles with that prospect is beyond this mere mortal.

  6. This is the worst operating system ever. I’m giving it one more week (maybe) and then it is physically being thrown from my second story living quarters…and I do not give a fat rat’s if I’m arrested. It will all be worth it. Satisfaction guaranteed.

  7. Good article. I personally liked WIndows ME & I love Windows 8/8.1. It is like picking what flavor you want of ice cream. Everyone will have their opinion and we can all agree to disagree. All good points made here but I stand firmly as a Windows 8 fan

  8. I’m a long time Windows user as my preferred operating system. And for the most part Windows has been reliable for me. I’m a gamer and most of the games I play are Windows based. The Unixies until recently have had very limited support for gaming and that community is wonderful.

    I have I have multiple computers/laptops running in my home all of them gaming class of their purchase time . With Windows OS from Win XP to win 8.1.

    My reasons for dislike of windows 8 are the same as many others posted here but I don’t see the technical reason why people don’t like it.

    I get infrequent notifications (system level) when gaming that the system is out of memory only to look and I have more then 1/3 of my memory available (>2GB). Now this might be understandable if the games were new but the most common one I get the error with my win 8.1 box is speced at about double the system of recommended requirements.

    Also I have found the networking in windows 8.1 (note windows 7 does as well to a lesser extent and XP is solid) to be lacking with the biggest issues being related to the handling of DNS and by the look of it that’s largely a simple registry entry dealing with timeouts and techs and technical support tend to blame these issues with the router / modem and replacing the device may or may not help. Now for an operating system that wants to be cloud connected this is a huge downfall in my opinion.

    I do hope that Windows 10 is more reliable and friendly interface then my Windows 8.1 box, as soon as it is available to update my to Win 10.

    Now another detractor for me is the modern interface now the modern interface is I suspect is fine on the touch devices. For me I live in a multi tasking environment so apps like chat clients don’t need to use my full screen.

    Now quite a few of the interface issues could be taken care of with questions on setup of the system which would allow the end user to configure the system. Questions I would like to see include how to structure the file system, look and feel.
    Also in the age of SDD’s has been here a while. SSD’s are becoming primary boot device and are frequently installed with a secondary drives. During the personalization of the system Microsoft should ask how you want the data distributed. As SSD’s have limited disk space unless you spend big bucks. So I would like to be able to let windows know I want the users directory on the HDD and program files to be and program files (X86). This can be done with more complex scripts and registry entries.

    thank you

  9. Your observations are perfect, I’ve cursed over every one of them. And I love the link provided by one reader – Start 8 – you pay 5 bucks for an app that allows Win 8 to look like Win 7 – lol. I can’t find printer settings to save my life.

  10. Why is MS Windows so mentally abusive and have such a weird rotating disposition. More specifically why is Microsoft corp itself going so insane? Also after decades of Mac vs PC commercials and PC standing it’s ground they go ahead and make Windows 8 to deliberately mimic Smartphones? Isn’t that pretty much admitting defeat? And even then MS did a horrible version of the smartphone. Also instead of LOGICALLY producing a product that has a rational ratio of MS changes and that of what the public needs MS goes all pretentious and dictator and shoves constant freakish OS own everyone’s throats. Even Windows Vista was horrible but nothing so mentally and emotionally abusive as Window 8. And I do not believe that it’s because the public or business are stupid and won’t accept the glorious vision of genius because Win 8 is actually retarded. Trying to force everyone to use tablets and give no one choice anymore of desktop or laptops etc was rather arrogant, short sited, and pretentious. Windows is seriously obnoxious to use. Everyone knows that Microsoft leaders have seriously smocked too much crack. The funny part is that Windows looks like a poorly constructed version of the SmartPhone that Apple produced half a decade ago so Windows 8 is not original and in fact it’s pretty much admitting that Apple is superior. If anything people at Microsoft should feel embarrassed. I strongly believe that since Offices and Businesses have been disgusted with MS Windows rotating disposition and obvious Identity Crisis that by 2020 it won’t be used anymore. But for now most offices and businesses simply don’t know where to turn.. some are going back to older versions of windows, some are switching to Mac, some to Linux etc, and some are currently working on their own. The seriousness of this is like a metaphor.. in which an office worker 1 year is very helpful efficient and more humble, and professional. Then he or she gets better at their job the 2nd year. By the 3rd year they are trying to make changes in the office setting that doesn’t really affect the boss or customers and even though these changes are annoying people just figure it’s the way that employee works. The 4rd year they suddenly change their disposition, acts rather pretentious, random, and awkward but still shows up for work. Years 5 and 6 this person is not reliable and each year he or she comes in no one recognizes their multiple personalities and instead of helping people, instead of working, instead of functioning he or she becomes like a pretentious arrogant control freak. By then the boss an others have no one on hand to replace this awful worker with and is so used to having him or her around they can’t bring themselves to fire them but are seriously thinking about it. Finally the last year he or she is so high on his or her own ego they act more like a childish thug than a logical, rational, and caring member. They become demanding and belligerent and egotistical.- At the end he or she is slowly replaced not by just 1 person but several workers that can clean up the mess and work logically. Sensing they may have gone too far he or she tries to cover up their mistakes and pass them off as fixes, changes, compromise, or being new (Windows 10). They try to rearrange their mistakes rather than fix them because in their delusional mind they believe they are right an that everyone in the office is stupid.- In the end they get FIRED for being unreliable, untrustworthy, and frankly their psycho crazy disposition makes people feel unsafe and scared. This person is fired and looked at like they are some sort of sociopath or psychopath. Or at least someone addicted to crack. ha ha

    • Adam, your summary of Microsoft execs designing Windows 8 whilst smoking crack is not something I had considered, but it could be the basis for an interesting script for a new Broadway production.
      Microsoft abusive, pretentious and insane? There’s a lot of material there.

  11. Recently retired and bought my first at home computer that came with Windows 8.1. I am struggling with it. Why does it update so often? My old dog desk top at work was faster than this. I am disappointed as I thought it would be more convenient to use but I am actually staying away from it.

  12. Will windows 10 run 90 background processes without permission like windows 8 does and install unwanted apps? if not then i wanna switch to 10 now

    • At the last count, my Windows 10 was running 5 apps (programs) and 37 processes, but then it is a clean install.
      Your comment was probably meant in a humorous way, which is encouraging and if you wanna switch to Windows 10, have a look around DCT for plenty of articles on this very topic.

  13. i THOUGHT all these new updated Windows 7 to 8and to 10 was to make it easier to use. so many people are NOT TECH SAVVY~!!! WHY screw with all the new non savvy customers. W7 was good. I didn’t mind that. I could figure out everything. I am soooooo angry I downloaded 8.1 . My laptop is a damn mess!!! I can’t find anything. Can’t use my printer anymore and hate picture files. Just dumb crap. I don’t get it. OK I”M PC STUPID!!!! I want my W7 back . Do I have to buy a new pc to get W7 back. You should warn people if they are not tech savvy maybe they should not change if they are ok with what they are using!!!!!!! This has made me sooooooooooo angry. I felt pushed to add this. I want my W7 back and don’t understand the jibberish when they tell you what to do. So frustrating. HELP!

    • Hello Kat
      If you want to revert to Windows 7 from Windows 8, there may be a way.
      Alternatively, why not take advantage of the free Windows 10 upgrade. It’s much more like Windows 7 and much easier to navigate around than 8.
      Start a new topic in our forums if you wish.

  14. i`ve notice no one has said anything about the other bad things about w 8 like when i barely swipe my mouse even when i`m on the internet w8 takes me back to the start menu then i play hell trying to get back to the internet why does it do that ?..and while on the internet it keeps cutting me off and reset the browser it`s like a car with a broke steering linkage it`s not as solide as windows 7 and i get more viruses with windows 8 and that is part of the problems..to me windows 7 is 100 times better than windows 8..the only thing i like about windows 8 is the refresh and the built in cam..

  15. I found only one use for Microcrap 8.1. I used to hate…no dislike W7 and now I love it. Luckily I still have my W7 until Microcrap pulls the rug out and stops supporting W7. It couldn’t be about money?

  16. I just installed window onto a ssd drive.. took 4 hours.. and 6 restore disks.. not including crappy update program. installed ubuntu off a usbkey on same drive as a dual boot less then 20 minutes.
    it took anther few hours to remove crapware thanks acer…
    Now I know why every other system i have runs linux

  17. Since getting Windows 8.1 pro on my laptop (HP) I am unable to use the secondary screen that I have.
    It doesn’t detect the secondary screen/monitor.

    Any solutions?