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
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.