Windows 8: Have you decided yet?


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?

Posted in:
About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

16 Comments

  1. I absolutely hate it too, it is too far removed from being a proper operating system and more aimed at the tablet market in my opinion, I for one will be staying with Windows 7 as long as humanly possible in the hope that Microsoft take the user’s opinions seriously enough to rethink it’s strategy, if not then I am afraid it will be Ubuntu all the way for me.

  2. Thanks for sharing your thoughts / feelings Paul. Watching the demo was enough to save me the agony of installing and trying out Windows 8. Like you, I might be forced to find shelter away from Microsoft. This might be the beginning of the fall for Microsoft if they don’t smarten up, Mindblower!

  3. Windows 8 ? Huge clunky icons just like win 3.1 and All over the screen. Who in the world that does real work sticks there nose up close to the screen. It’s bad for your eyes. Lots to dislike. Windows 8 . Not me. Go to ubuntu.com….Order the disk for ubuntu 11.10 You’re going to Like it 🙂 Cost about $6:00 and you get 5 disk . Takes only one disk to load everything. If you know how to work with iso files and have a fast connection you can download it to your hard drive. Enjoy 🙂

  4. I have been using Windows 8 on a number of different hardware platforms, and I must say that it doesn’t impress me at all on any of them. On a desktop, the keyboard/mouse navigation is just plain weird. On a digital tablet, it is also difficult to make things work the way they should. My overall opinion is that although programs run faster in W8 and things seem to load much faster, I too am in the camp of leave my desktop OS alone and keep it separate from the tablet “toy” interface. If I want to play, I can buy a tablet. My desktop and laptop are for work. I suggest MS should deploy two separate W8 OS versions: One for real computers and one for the tablet toy crowd. This would satisfy both and could be developed in different directions to keep everyone happy instead of pleasing no one.

  5. I just got windows 7, so win 8 is not even on the horizon.
    From what I’ve seen of the win 8 GUI,(desktop) I’d stick to the Win 7 version.

    There is no great gain ) compelling reason) to go that way for me.

    Who can afford to change O/S’s on a whim? I keep my O/S for a minimum of 3 years -. More if there is no compelling reason.

    Businesses that I’ve worked for, keep their O/S for 3-4 years. So if you’ve just made the change on hardware, with Win 7, you
    wouldn’t even consider ANY O/S change, period!!

  6. I’m a little disappointed in the wording some are using. It’s a switch to Linux, but the word “Ubuntu” is being used. I have nothing against Ubuntu, it’s just that the operating system is Linux. Ubuntu is more widely recognized, and there are other excellent Linux brands (if I cause use that word) worthy of consideration. Having tried and used several brands, I found that they either worked (out of the box), or did require some tweaking. Windows (and I’m an XP fan), worked properly immediately. Till such time Linux is able to deliver the same, many who attempt the switch might just have to eat their words and return to Windows, Mindblower!

  7. I have played with Windows 8 for probably 10 to 15 hours over the last month, and I just don’t get it, I simply don’t see the appeal or the logic, and I literally hate the interface. I am a big Windows 7 fan, and we also have three Windows XP computers in the family. I think what I am going to be forced to do over the next few months is replace the three XP computers with two new Windows 7 ones and just live with them as long as they last. And if Microsoft continues down the insane Windows 8 path, then I guess maybe Linux will be in my distant future, I have had a Ubuntu guest running for several years, I find that far more palatable than Windows 8.

  8. I too have played with Windows 8 on the desktop and will be sticking to WIndows 7. I have 2 Desktops and 2 Laptops with Windows 7 and like it a lot. I also have Ubuntu running on one desktop and in a VPC on my main destop along with Windows 8 in a VPC just to get the feel of them. I tutor seniors in advanced PC use and like to keep across all the mainstream PC OSes. Windows 7 is the best to date as far as I am concerned.

  9. YEP GUYS MICROSOFT MADE A FLUNKY HERE :” WHEN THEY MADE THE CRAPY WIN 8 ITS A DISASTER AS FAR AS IM CONCERND ,IT HANGS UP WHEN I BOOT MY PC ,AND ITS PUTING PRINTER ICONS ON MY DESKTOP THAT SHOULDNT BE THERE ITS ABSOLUTELY GARBAGE ,THERES NO DOUBLT IN MY MIND IM GOING TO SOMETHING ELSE WE NEED TO PUT THAT MICROSOFT OUT OF BIZ… ALL THEY DO IS TRY TO SLIP JUNK LIKE THIS IN ON US AND IF YOUR UP IN AGE LIKE MYSELF , , ARE IF YOUR JUST A YOUNG KID ARE MIDDLE AGED MAKES NO DIFFERENCE ITS STILL A JUNK SYSTEM , IVE TRIDE TO FIX MINE FROM HANGING UP ,,AND WHEN I BOOT UP I C ANT EVEN GET INTO MY EMAIL , OR EVEN EXIT OUT UNTIL ITS DONE DOING WHAT EVER WIN 8 IS DOING ,DURING THE HANGUP PERIOD ABOUT 2 TO 3 MINUTES EVERY DAM TIME… ,AND ITS EVERY TIME I START MY PC ,IVE SENT MICROSOFT NOTES AFTER NOTES ANS UNTIL TODAY THEY HAVE NOT SENT ME ANY TYPE REPLYS ,THEY ARE A HONORY BUNCH ,.THE WORSE IVE EVER SEEN

    JT KY ,

  10. @ mindblower,

    I don’t disagree with your statements about the apparent inaccuracy of using the term “ubuntu” when “Linux” may be more accurate or vice-versa. Ubuntu is indeed only one of the many flavors of the Linux OS (which is the kernal for ALL flavors). And, I agree that Ubuntu is probably one of the more well known . . . primarily because it is one of the easier to master for those making the transition from Windows . . . though Mint is giving Ubuntu a run for it’s money in terms of ease of use.

    Yes, there are some who have had problems with Ubuntu and gone back to Windows for that reason. I was almost one of them.

    But I stuck it out and persevered for a couple of weeks, and now I’m glad I did. So I’m not sure I’d say, “many who attempt the switch might just have to eat their words and return to Windows”. Yes, for those that try it for just a few minutes and make the judgement that “this is much harder than Windows”, they probably WILL return to Windows.

    But I would encourage those that want to ‘speriment with a transition to give it more than just a cursory try . . . maybe a few weeks or so. You can’t really make an accurate judgement on an OS if you just try it for a day or so.

    OTOH, if after a few weeks of trying you still have the opinion that Windows is better for you, then by all means go back to Windows. (I’m not a Ubuntu/Linux fanatic, it’s just that I like the Linux OS better than Windows . . . big deal . . . you like white wine, I like red . . . nothing says that one is better than the other, it’s just a matter of personal taste.)

    In my case, after about two weeks I was VERY frustrated and just about ready to go back to Windows. But I wanted to give it a good shot and be able to give myself some concrete reasons beyond “it’s hard” as to why I didn’t make the switch. And after another day or so things began to make more sense and after about a month I was sold on Linux.

    Now granted, if you can’t even get Linux (no matter what flavor) to install right out of the box, then that’s probably reason enough to go back to Windows. And, as I said, if your not comfortable with Linux AFTER TRYING IT AT LEAST FOR A FEW WEEKS, then you’re likely justified in going back to Windows.

    As far as “eating words” goes, my guess would be that those who fall in that category either just flat out couldn’t get a flavor of Linux to install PERIOD (and there certainly are some who through no fault of their own meet that wall) or just don’t give it enough time.

    As far as “giving it enough time” goes, each of us has their own tolerance level. I was just a bulldog about it . . . I was bound and determined to make it work, or if I gave up I wanted to be firm in my reason for doing so.

    I’m glad now I persevered, because I’m now 100% Linux. It was “touch and go” there for a while though.

  11. I am very sorry to see Microsoft chasing the impossible dream.Please give The Tablets a different place,and stick to the desktop as such. A desk top should remain a desktop.

  12. HATE is a pretty strong word. i can’t hate win8 because i haven’t tried it NOR DO I INTEND TO. hell, i’m still using vista. change for no reason makes no sense to me…but hey that’s just me.

  13. Having embraced Win 7 and placed it on all three of my desktops [ plus a couple of Linux distros as well]. I gave Win 8 a go expecting the same sort of step up that I experienced when I upgraded from Internet Explorer to Win 7. Now I didn’t hate the experience but I was dissapointed that there was no significant improvenment to be gleaned by the “upgrade”
    Sorry but I for one will not be writing off over £220 quid just to stay in the same place.

  14. Have you seen Windows Server 8…… you think the metro tile user interface is bad on windows 8 desktop…. why the hell would they do it to a server operating system. I have no idea what Microsoft is thinking. Tiles on a phone or mobile device work well. Desktop or server… hmmm… get them out of my way and let me get my work done