I have just completed a few frustrating days trying out the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The day that I installed the Windows 7 preview is still fresh in my mind. That moment of bliss when you knew that the dark days of Windows Vista were finally over and you could get on to using your PC properly again. So I was looking forward to the next great leap forward.
Having seen some of the demo videos of Windows 8 I expected that one would have a bit of a learning curve. Combining a tablet UI with a mouse & keyboard UI isn’t a mean feat afterall. So I was prepared to re-learn my ways around Windows a little bit. The same way you had to get used to the new task nav in Windows 7 for example. But nothing prepared me for this.
I installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview on top of a freshly installed Windows 7 on my Lenovo Thinkpad X100e.
If you have the Windows 8 desktop in front of you right now, try these few very simple tasks:
Task 1: Open a Word document
Yes, it’s that simple a task that will set you over the brink alrady. Where are my documents, where are the programs. It’s so not intuitive that it must have taken quite a few user interface designers and usability specialists to engineer something that simple into a complex endeavour
Task 2: Closing a program
So how do you actually close a program, other than with a super lengthy procedure to manage the left hand task nav to open up, right click on a program and select “close”
Task 3: Changing the temperature from F to C in the weather app
I failed to to this altogether
Task 4: Changing your status to Online in the messenger app
Now this one I failed to do as well
I am quite a techie geek and like to try new programs in beta version or whatsoever. I am usually installing the latest version of Ubuntu just to see, am someone who installed the latest hacked developer OSs for a mobile phone etc. So I am not entirely unfamiliar with learning some new ways of using a computer. But what Microsoft have dished up here is totally, 100%, absolutely unacceptable.
The last major advancement from Microsoft was certainly Windows 7 after the Vista disaster. But moving from Windows 8 feels like more of a step backward than going from XP to Vista. I can already see how this turns out. Most users will shun Windows 8, unless it comes pre-installed on a tablet where it might somewhat work, only to wait for Windows 9 as the OS that Windows 8 should have been right from the start.
Welcome back to the future.