Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

Got to play around with the February beta of Windows 8. It is terrible. It is beyond terrible. It is so bad that I’m a little panicked about the future of Windows. People won’t use this.

I could have teams of people working full time to develop products to fix it but we’re not in the business of making a terrible experience good. We’re in the business of making a good experience better.

No sane person, will consider the user experience of this beta acceptable. Even a die hard Windows advocate cannot be pleased. It’s that bad.

I’m all over adapting to new UI conventions if they’re as good or better. But that’s not the case here. This is just terrible.

I have confidence in Microsoft in delivering innovative technology (Windows Phone is excellent). But something went terribly wrong here.


Start button: Gone.


Everything is in a corner. Type in top right, move to far left.


This is the new “Start” menu.  Note: Fresh install. Luckily, no one installs anything right?


and…be taken here:


But someday, everything will be metro right?

That’ll be the world of:


The 2560x1440 weather widget. Microsoft Window 9 (we can dispense with “Windows”).


Everything requires lots of clickity click click and lots of mouse drag. Less of an issue on a mobile device but on a desktop? If they didn’t force you to live in-between worlds (you’re not allowed to live in just the desktop remember, you have to come back to the Metro-tablet like experience).


What’s really a bummer is that Windows 8’s desktop is really good. Better than Windows 7. But you’re not allowed to live here. They treat the desktop as a kind of DOS box equivalent even though, for desktop users, it’s a vastly more productive experience.

Update 1:

It's not just that they got rid of the Start button -- on the classic desktop. Navigating around is just a pain. Getting to your stuff is a pain. It's lots of clicks and drags to do anything, even basic stuff. 

Remember how annoying the UAC prompt can be when it darkens the screen interrupting your flow? Well going back and forth between Metro and classic is far worse and far more frequent.

Let me put it this way, this is bad enough that there will almost certainly be YouTube videos demonstrating some of the absurdities of use. We're not talking nit-picking type issues here, we're talking fundamental, baffling user experience choices. And that's without touching on performance (10 seconds to load up the mail program?).

Update 2:

You be the judge:

Bear in mind, this is on a clean system. Imagine how this system falls apart when you have dozens of programs installed -- some metro and some Win32.  I can't even imagine trying to explain how this works to a typical enterprise customer or mom.

Update 3:

Here’s a quick stop gap solution for the Start menu issue:

Comments (Page 4)
on Feb 29, 2012



I was running Litestep in 2k no explorer GUI or file manager - the latter was Powerdesk.

The BSOD could be hacked to change the colour [in particular] so you could always be able to boast "I never get a BSOD" [cos it was a GSOD or RSOD, etc]...

on Feb 29, 2012

Cool....I never used it, but

on Feb 29, 2012

Win2k was indeed rock solid for business/productivity apps.  I was reluctant to move to XP for awhile.  We still have 2 Win2k machines manufactured May 1997 running on our network, though both are special-purposed now and neither touches the internet.  Another stray dust mite & they'll be gone, I'm sure.

That aside, I can't see the Metro UI appealing to businesses, at least ones that need to get real work done efficiently.  Which must mean MS is targeting government contracts, I guess.  Yeah, that must be it.

on Feb 29, 2012

Yea, I did think IE 9 was bloated.

How's IE 9 been working out? Market share of IE:

I was a die-hard IE fan until IE 9 came out with that ugly UI, among other flaws. Now I use Firefox.

on Feb 29, 2012

I'm still using IE9 ....the only thing that's screwed is Canon 'webprint' anything that needs printing of receipts, etc.  I use Chrome.

on Feb 29, 2012

I also have Chrome here, and actually find it to be better looking than Firefox (love those non-square tabs).  But for now I'm kind of committed to Firefox, so...

on Feb 29, 2012

I thought it wouldn't come down to this, but i'd rather run Vista, or even the ever-so-outdated XP over this load of crap.  Metro shouldn't even exist.  All Metro "apps" could of easily been ran in Desktop mode instead.  If Microsoft wants it's butt-ugly Metro interface, they should develop a separate Windows Phone 8 instead.

Like I said before, the interface looks like a step back in time from 1995.


on Feb 29, 2012

I hope they listen to feedback and make some changes.  I've always been an early adopter (Go FUG yourself WinMe) even if I don't expect big benefits.  I'm not super excited about some of the changes but will base my decisions on benchmarks (and sadly, they could easily ship a POS with better memory usage/boot time).  Oh well. Take my money please.

edit - thx for the vid brad.  I hate you for turning me off to it, but I do appreciate it.

on Mar 01, 2012

Apart from that this pretty much re-asembles what I think about Win 8 I never got why MS made such a mess of the start menu ever. Even on a fresh install the menu is a chaos of ungrouped shortcuts. Same as lots aof programms don't even give You a choice to install their shortcuts into Your own made groups (for me its Tools, Office Apps, Graphics, Games, Drivers...). Have to copy afterwards. I saw machines where the startmenu covered the whole screen. Geez...

Now it is even worse. Open the 'Start menu' and have the screen plastered with those tiles. And I still don't get why we have such good graphic cards just to have to look at plain boring rectangles with plain boring white icons. Step back to classic look, only not grey but pastel.

on Mar 01, 2012

I can't even imagine trying to explain how this works to a typical enterprise customer

"Does this have like a professional version without all this bullshit"

on Mar 01, 2012

I made a video outlining what I'm talking about

your own comment on you tube : "If they renamed it Window 8 instead of Windows 8 it might be more truth in advertising." ... so much true !!!


on Mar 01, 2012

I also have Chrome here, and actually find it to be better looking than Firefox (love those non-square tabs).  But for now I'm kind of committed to Firefox, so...
  GIVE pale-moon, a try  it does all that fire fox,does only faster.

on Mar 01, 2012

I have to agree with Brad here 100%.   As another "power user", I just can't see how this is the least bit useful in a professional, let alone multi-monitor environment.  

/begin rant

I see HUGE wastes of screen real estate with fullscreen weather widgets even on single, small resolution monitors.  But I'm running three 30" monitors as one desktop, so each screen is 2560x1600 (like Brad's).  Even if this garbage is restricted to one monitor, 2560x1600 to show the friggin WEATHER?!

I can't believe they are expecting grandma and grandpa users to figure out (let alone REMEMBER!) that swiping this invisible edge causes X to happen, and touching that invisible corner causes Y to happen, etc.

Let alone the fact that ALL of these apparently core UI memes will NOT work with more than one monitor.  Do I swipe the leftmost edge of monitor 1 (my primary for games and the leftmost monitor of the three) or monitor 2 (where my taskbar and start menu are located)?  And just how big is that invisible corner I am supposed to find without my mouse traveling over to monitor 1?  

And how do I any of this if I am running something like Multiplicity Pro?

More obvious questions for professional users:

Can I make the background of the metro widget page transparent, so I can see my desktop behind it?  

Can I make that page persistent, so that it's basically a "Tiles"-like uber widget, which I can leave up on monitor 1 if I really feel the need to?

Removing the start icon from the taskbar is ASININE.  On a touch tablet/phone, you have the home button to press, always.  Where is the matching mouse paradigm for desktop users?  And no, hitting the Windows Start button on the keyboard is NOT the same.  Windows should always have multiple vectors of utility.

But, on the bright side, since I run just about every Stardock customization there is on my uber-desktop, all I really need working in Windows 8 is ObjectDock (I can replace the start button/menu/taskbar, etc. with that), Deskscapes (because I need my animated backdrops on each monitor), and Multiplicity (because I actually have five monitors on my desk, driven by three computers).  

Sure I'd like to turn all my windows to pure glass with Windowblinds, organize my desktop icons with fences, and change all my icons to the gorgeous Marathon (black) set with IconPackager, but I can live without those for a while if I have to.

And while all of Metro makes sense in the touch tablet/phone arena, I think the following is how these Metro widgets should look and work in the desktop environment.

Maybe they will by the time the final version hits the airwaves.  But right now, I'm not seeing it...

/end rant

on Mar 01, 2012

Would a good analogy be similar to Office 2007 ? Where some main apps such as Word & Excel had the new fancy Ribbon interface yet others still had the Office 2003 toolbar ???


I would have expected Microsoft to have learnt from previous years as to perfecting (as much as is possible) their new Windows release before sending it out full of bugs..... Rumours are circulating it will be released late Autumn... if there are still bugs and niggly problems, they'd be better to hold off till it's as good as can be ... why consumers continue to have to deal with buggy software on release baffles me... not just Microsoft but all developers seem to do the same thing... don't make a deadline that can't be changed... or STFU if it's not ready.... **rant over**  Carry on!

on Mar 01, 2012

After using 8 for an hour I hate it.  I'm OK with Metro being all metro-y, but the desktop is too touch-centric to be usable.  The amount of mouse travel between actions was painful (even on a 17 in monitor.

I'll stick with Win 7 on my primary machine as long as I can if this is what gets released.