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.

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Start button: Gone.

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

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

Click…
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and…be taken here:
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But someday, everything will be metro right?

That’ll be the world of:

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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).

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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 worse..my mom.

Update 3:

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

http://www.stardock.com/products/start8


Comments (Page 7)
on Mar 02, 2012

starkers, what Microsoft is not telling us is how many of those 'over a million downloads' of Win 8 were uninstalled/deleted off the computer once folks looked at it.    

on Mar 02, 2012

tazgecko
Looks like Microsoft will releasing 9 versions of Win8 -  http://windows8beta.com/2012/03/exclusive-windows-8-sku-revealed-in-consumer-preview

I hope one will allow you to 'turn off' the Metro UI ... but I doubt it

Really, nine different versions of an OS, sounds like overkill to me.  You would have thought that atleast one of the versions would be for Desktops without Metro.  I guess Microsoft didn't want to allow for that. 

Of course this can change between now and the final release.  We can only hope.

on Mar 02, 2012

Philly0381
Really, nine different versions of an OS, sounds like overkill to me.

In fact, there is only one version of windows each time... in these case, maybe the Windows server 8 ( http://www.computerweekly.com/photostory/2240111146/Windows-Server-8-Preview/1/The-Start-Menu )... for the next version down the list, some features ( by example, the new windows 8 resilient file System is server version only ) are disabled and you something like the windows 8 enterprise... some more features removed and you have a ultimate version... and so on... 

Philly0381
You would have thought that atleast one of the versions would be for Desktops without Metro. I guess Microsoft didn't want to allow for that.

If the server version is with Metro ( see screenshot via the link up ) don't dream about it for desktop... if professional are obligated to use the metro interface, win 8 server will be a disaster... power user don't need these fancy desktop, they need a OS... and they are the guy who pay thousand of license due to their server center or computer farm having thousand of processor...

on Jun 30, 2012

I have to agree with a lot of users views on Windows 8 as well - It looks very PAINFUL to use.  Windows 8 should be kept to tablet devices only and not the desktop.  I work at an internet provider and do phone support for our customers - people are having enough trouble now with Windows 7... how the heck is anyone meant to provide support over the phone for Windows 8! "Yeah move your mouse down to the bottom right corner to bring up an invisible menu".. It's just going to be phone support nightmares to try and get internet set up or mail set up over the phone.  Something else that no one else has brought up is RSI - Things are meant to be getting easier but with the amount of extra wasted clicking and moving the mouse around that's gonna have a big impact on RSI.  Come on Microsoft get your act together seriously and split Windows 8 up into a tablet version and a desktop version.

on Jul 01, 2012

weathermon
Come on Microsoft get your act together seriously and split Windows 8 up into a tablet version and a desktop version.

It isn't going to happen... at least not in Win 8.  Microsoft pretty much painted itself into a corner with this iteration of Windows, having decided already on the major components, but one can always hope for Win 9.... IF Microsoft is still a major player in OS development.  Who knows, the failure of Win 8 could very well compromise its reputation and viability in that market, though I hope not.