I made up my mind about the new Windows operating system even before it was released for public review, and I am on record: Windows 8 – The beginning of desktops demise? That was back in September 2011 and nothing has happened since to alter my opinion – I do not like the hybrid, mix ‘n match concept one iota. For my desktop computer I want a pure desktop operating system. If I wanted a ‘play’ device powered by a mobile operating system I’d buy myself a tablet – to me, it’s as simple as that.
Now that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been available for over a month, I decided to take a look around the net and garner a consensus of opinion. One thing is totally apparent, users are divided squarely into two distinct camps, those who like Windows 8 and those who abhor it – there is very little in between. I deliberately used a stronger word for the detractors because that is definitely the way it appears – those who do not like Windows 8 are expressing their views in much stronger terms, the level of vehemence and vitriol is often remarkable. One computer writer went as far as to declare that he would abandon Windows altogether and move to Linux if Microsoft did not ‘fix’ Windows 8 prior to final release – that same writer being a long time Windows aficionado.
The ‘likes’, on the other hand, express their opinions in much less forceful terms, more in tune with a level of acceptance rather than a glowing endorsement. It’s impossible to definitively ascertain if these pro and con camps are equally divided, but I do get the overall impression that there are a lot more cons than pros. I can’t help wondering if perhaps the factions are also divided by age, I have no evidence to substantiate the claim but I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the majority of critics were over a certain age and most of the favorable comments were emanating from a younger group – it just makes sense.
The missing ‘Start’ button appears to be one of the main objections, and changes in the navigation system in general. One prominent blogger even published a video of his Dad trying to find his way around Windows 8 for the first time:
That is probably just a tad unfair, after all familiarity only comes with time and experience. Still, it is indicative that the changes are not merely superficial and will take some getting used to. I am definitely not averse to change, especially when it is for the better. We have Google, the ability to read and comprehend, so the learning process should not be too drawn out nor difficult for most. That’s not part of my disapproval at all, I simply want my desktop operating system to be a desktop operating system, the way it always has been. There’s no doubting Microsoft needs a mobile operating system, I just don’t see why it couldn’t be released as a separate entity – to paraphrase the immortal words of Pink Floyd… Hey Microsoft, leave our desktop alone!
So, have you tried out Windows 8 yet? What do you think? Will you be upgrading or not?