Hold on, where is my programs list?
I am a big fan of innovative and intuitive user interfaces. Or hell, anything that’s new. I always tinker around with different browsers; although I eventually come back to Google Chrome (nothing beats it! Yes, I am a fanboy). I am always installing (and uninstalling, for that matter) all sorts of different softwares to replace the regular ones I use, no matter how good they are, I just want to try something new.
But I draw a line when it comes to how my Windows should look. Maybe I am scarred by the various “theme softwares” I used when I had Windows XP. I was so young and naïve then. Maybe it’s the gamer in me screaming at me for wasting resources. But when it comes to Windows, it has to be the default, normal looking one, with icons placed exactly where I want them, divided between empty space for general use, game icon space and work icon space.
So when we got Windows 8 up and running on one of our systems, I was curious yet slightly apprehensive. I like Windows Phone 7, so I knew Windows 8 shouldn’t be too much of a problem, they are basically identical, anyways.
But it’s way off from what we are used to – for more than two decades now. And I am not sure if I like it or not. To start with the good, yes it is indeed new, fresh and intuitive. It boots fast, which is a relief. And the UI is clean, uncluttered and doesn’t distract from you want to do immediately after you booth up your PC. There are a series of icons ready to launch the moment you click them. I am assuming you can create icons for your favorite programs once you install them.
And as I realised, there was no way to do a print screen.
But that’s where the problem starts. How do you install softwares? Where exactly do you download them since there is no desktop anymore? How do you create and add icons on the new interface? Plus, just where the hell is the program list?
I am aware that you can do back to the normal Windows, but it just has IE and Windows Explorer. No My Computer, no control panel, no recycle bin. How do I access device manager? Where do the deleted items go, anyway?
Do programs run in the background? Do programs always run in full screen? If I am downloading a completely, totally legal torrent, will it be done if I ‘exit’ the ‘app’?
The interface also leans towards touch-based devices. It’s highly unnatural with a mouse. Some of mechanics, such bring up the side menu, requires a gesture from right to left. You can’t possibly do it with the mouse, or not as smoothly. Internet Explorer 10 almost demands a touch-screen to be used correctly. We had the HP TouchSmart all-in-one we reviewed earlier still lying around, so we were lucky in that regard that we could try out the OS with touch. Not everyone has a touch-screen. And I am not sure how many prefer to use Windows part touch and part mouse and part keyboard.
Internet Explorer 10 and it's tab interface.
It’s going to be a long learning curve for everyone, not just for the average consumer. Convincing corporations to adapt to the new UI, pouring in time and resources into learning an entirely different operating system will be a daunting task for Microsoft.
It could work. I like what see, as long as it retains what Windows did before. But as of now, if this is what we will get in the final product, I am only installing Windows 8 in a separate partition. But that’s only till Microsoft drops support for Windows 7…