The release of Windows 8 is, at the time of writing, a mere three months away. The time to make sweeping changes has passed, and Microsoft will be unleashing a version of Windows 8 very close to the preview versions we’ve tried and tested (and in some cases dismissed out of hand) here at MakeUseOf.
Microsoft has taken a huge gamble in its strategy for remaining in the game against Apple and Google in the emerging post-PC era, delivering an operating system designed to work on every device out there. This one-size-fits-all approach sounds nice on paper, but in reality it can lead to dissatisfaction and disillusionment. Leading us to last week’s ‘We Ask You‘ all about Windows 8.
What Do You Really Think Of Windows 8?
We asked you, What Do You Really Think Of Windows 8? The response was fantastic, with dozens of people weighing in with their thoughts about the forthcoming operating system. The discussion was wide-ranging and interesting, so be sure to click the link above to read the thread in its entirety. There were a couple of trends amongst the comments though.
The range of opinions was vast. Bob Henson hates Windows 8, concluding his comment with, “Final conclusion – sell your Microsoft shares now!” While Jon Butler loves Windows 8, calling it “by far the fastest, leanest version of Windows to date.” Most people were somewhere in the middle, liking aspects of Windows 8 while wondering whether it will succeed or fail.
Many people wish Microsoft had opted to release two different and distinct flavors of Windows 8; one for touchscreen devices and the other for keyboard-and-mouse computers. Trying to marry the two into one operating system is being seen as a gamble that could backfire by pleasing no one in particular. Even the option to permanently switch off the Metro UI would be enough of a compromise for most people.
Comment Of The Week
Comment of the week goes to Ben, who, as well as the respect of myself and hopefully everybody reading this, receives 150 MakeUseOf points to use for Rewards or Giveaways (or at least he will if he sets up a MakeUseOf user account within the next week).
Back in the early 90s, the majority of software people used was DOS based and so most people spent the majority of their time at the command line, and would start Windows (by typing WIN) and use it when/if necessary. It wasn’t until Windows 95, that things had changed such that people spend the majority of their time in Windows, and so Microsoft made it so Windows 95 booted straight away bypassing the command prompt.
The experience of running a DOS-based app under Windows at the time was just as “jarring” as running a desktop (non-Metro) app under Windows 8 is now. But just as before, as time goes on and more Metro software is written, and more touch-based hardware comes to market, it wont be an issue because people will naturally start to spend more time in the Metro environment (and it is pretty good!).
The issue for me right now, is the fact that you’re forced into the Metro environment when the reality is that 99.9% of the work I need to do, and probably will for the near future, requires the Windows desktop.
I just wish that I could choose which environment I see by default, desktop or Metro. Microsoft’s biggest mistake IMHO is that they’re forcing people to use Metro and I really think that such a dramatic shift, requires a much more gradual transition.
This is a great comment that ties Microsoft’s past with its present and future. People invariably don’t like change, and it often needs to be forced on them rather than merely offered as an option. The point made here is that Microsoft could have eased us into the Metro UI with Windows 8 so that we’d all be more willing to make the move at a later date. Windows 9 perhaps.
We will be asking a new question tomorrow, so please join us then. ‘We Ask You’ is a weekly column dedicated to finding out the opinions of MakeUseOf readers. We ask you a question and you tell us what you think. The question is open-ended and is usually open to debate. Some questions will be purely opinion-based, while others will see you sharing tips and advice, or advocating tools and apps for your fellow MakeUseOf readers. This column is nothing without your input, all of which is valued.