Disclaimer: Windows 8 might still turn out to be a good operating system, these thoughts are based on my initial impressions based on the developer preview. I’m not anti Microsoft, nor Anti Windows. I am what you might call a so-called power user of the Microsoft Desktop Operating Systems. I’m currently running Windows 7.
It is clear to see Microsoft did not develop Win8 to provide their desktop users with the best possible experience. Instead Microsoft created Win8 to be primarily for tablet devices and desktop users will “have to adjust”. We have to ask ourselves why would they do this, and the answer is fairly simple, they want to sell tablets and they want to dominate that market place. Microsoft’s greatest “weapon” or influence is the Windows operating system. Windows 8 is more than an OS, it is a marketing tool for tablet devices tied to the pockets of Microsoft.
They try to deceive the public with their clever marketing videos demonstrating the “cool” features of Windows 8, but unless you actually own a tablet or a touch-centric device, Windows 8 will make you wish you had one. Indeed you might very well now own a laptop, and think to yourself “Well maybe next time around, I’ll get a tablet”. If you are a desktop user, you’re left wondering where did the operating system go!
The truth about touch:
Touch devices have their place. And they may be suitable for certain types of users and applications, but for those of us working in IT (Developers, Designers, CAD Designers, 3D modellers etc, hell even secretaries) when it comes to getting any work done, we require a keyboard and mouse, this is because touch is a slower and less accurate form of input. Touch also requires more labour over long periods of time. It could in the loooooooong term future be possible to interact with computers by just using your voice, but we are not there yet. To date for pure productivity nothing beats the keyboard and mouse.
Windows 7 was a desktop OS, Windows 8 is for tablets, Where is the new desktop OS?
There isn’t one. We’re expected to adopt to an OS designed for a touch device or …. To be fair Microsoft assure us that Windows 8 will run just fine on a desktop, but I have come across some features in the developer preview which makes me think otherwise.
To log into windows 8, you need to click and drag your mouse from the bottom of the screen upwards, emulating a finger action. JUST TO LOG IN! It doesn’t end there. Metro apps have no traditional close buttons, instead the apps are designed for mobile computing, and using it on a desktop feels awkward.
As a tablet OS Windows 8 is going to be great. But I’m not interested in the tablet aspect right now.
I had a Win7 desktop OS, and it seems logical that the next version of Windows I update to should be a desktop OS right? So why am I now being presented with a tablet OS? I have REAL WORK TO DO, like zounds of other IT professionals, we rely on Windows as a operating system that allows us to do our jobs. Why would I use an OS designed for a tablet?
If Microsoft continue on this path, and if (at launch) Windows 8 doesn’t feel like a REAL desktop OS, I will most likely abandon using Windows as a client side OS. Instead I will install Linux (designed for desktop productivity), and most likely RDC into Windows 8 servers (Which I’m pretty sure won’t have the tablet features). I’ll be using Windows 8 server for productivity work via RDC from Linux.