Windows 8 does Frustrate

  • Microsoft has one philosophy that seems to pervade their most widely used software, and that is the belief that users must occasionally forget everything they've learned about computers and start from scratch.  It is an unpleasant fact, but the average PC user is still trying to learn how to use the operating systems and productivity software from years ago.  I support them in their efforts, but Microsoft does not seem to do so.  Consider how they've replaced menus consisting of descriptive and well-organized text with buttons labeled only with unintelligible pictures.  Consider how they've buried often-used features so that newer and almost useless features are easier to find.  Any beginner would get the impression that computing consists of a few incomprehensible functions.

  • No Start Menu.  Need I say more?

  • They've turned our powerful desktop computers into tablets.  Of course, this does reflect the user base's trend toward doing little more with computers than surf the web and watch TV.

  • Windows 8 requires the user to manage his or her running programs across two different interfaces.  Thank goodness Alt-Tab still works, but try to find a list of your currently running programs.  Without a task bar or something equivalent, you're out of luck.

  • How do you exit or close an 'app'?  There may be some easy way, but so far all I've found is Alt-F4.  We're lucky the kids they've got working for them even knew about that key combo.

  • The Windows 8 Start screen appears to be about 90% advertising.  Also, they've contrived to trick most users into thinking that they need to sign up for an online Microsoft account just to log onto their own computer!

  • For more gripes about Windows 8, be sure to read Vista Venom, Windows 7 -
    Worried Sick
    .  They sure didn't fix any of that stuff in Windows 8.

  • The 'Charms' bar is far from charming.  It frequently appears and gets in the way when a user moves the mouse up to an application's 'Close' button.

  • No Solitaire or Spider Solitaire.  In fact, no games at all.  This makes even less sense when one considers that the whole point of Windows 8 was to cater to idiots who don't do real work on their computers.

  • More steps necessary to shut down the computer.  With the Start Menu, you just clicked 'Start', then 'Shut Down'.  In some cases you had to select 'Shut Down' from a list and then click.  Now, you have to move your mouse pointer to the upper right corner of the screen and wait for the 'Charms' bar to appear, then quickly (before the 'Charms' bar disappears) move your mouse down to the 'gear' icon and click, then click 'Shut Down'.

  • 'The Cloud'.  I wonder how many people have been tricked into storing their files in the cloud and then find out that they can't access their documents if their internet connection fails, or if they can't afford Internet access any more.  And by the way, who really owns intellectual property you store in the cloud?  Just asking.  Who will own it five years from now?  Whatever happened to the old folk wisdom, "There ain't no free lunch."?

  • Windows 8 was apparently designed to get Microsoft's foot in the door in the tablet market.  And this was done at the expense of completely ruining the personal computing experience.  I'm sure I've said this somewhere before on this site, but I can't help saying it again.  Would you want to fly in a plane that was designed on a 9" screen?  Do you want cancer researchers squinting at a smart phone and entering critical research data on a virtual keyboard?  Our banks, hospitals, and government agencies cannot serve us as well on tablets as was possible with personal computers.  If the PC is dead, then Planet of the Apes must have seen it coming.