What Do You Really Think of Windows 8? [You Told Us]

Dave Parrack 18-07-2012

What Do You Really Think of Windows 8? [You Told Us] You Told UsThe 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 My First Hour With The Windows 8 Consumer Preview - A Snap Judgement [Opinion] I want to be surprised by Windows 8; I want to be pushed into a new paradigm of home computing, one that feels futuristic with it's bold colors and simplistic interface; I'm fully prepared for... Read More ) 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?

What Do You Really Think of Windows 8? [You Told Us] windows 8 logo

We asked you, What Do You Really Think Of Windows 8? Is Windows 8.1 Done After This Unspectacular August Update? The much anticipated August Update for Windows 8.1, formerly known as Update 2, has arrived and it's not what we expected; but then we already knew that. Is it even worth bothering? In short: YES! Read More 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 won with this comment:

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.

Related topics: Microsoft, Opinion & Polls, Windows 8.

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  1. Kenice Noel
    October 10, 2012 at 2:52 am

    I've tried every public preview version of Windows 8 and I am lucky to have the final version as a DreamSpark premium user. Windows 8 is a radical shift away from Windows past, but it's daring and as a tech junkie I welcome the change.
    For folks who use the computer for general purposes, it WILL take a little getting used to (and require digging deeper in to the os to get some simple tasks done) but in the end, I like where Microsoft is going with Windows 8 and their other services.

  2. suks
    September 2, 2012 at 9:16 am

    I tried the RT version of windows 8 and it looked astonishing. Although the RT version lacked some features and certain others were disabled, but when everything is out there working. IT IS GOING TO ROCK THE WORLD!!!

  3. Wojtek Swiatek
    August 13, 2012 at 11:29 am

    "People invariably don’t like change"

    This is not a rule, particularly for geeks. I was glad to move from NT to 2000, then to XP and then to Win7 - very much positive changes to me.

    Metro (or the newUI or whatever it is called now) is different in the sense that it does not help me to work better on a desktop. Maybe on a tablet (I do not own a Win tablet). This itself should have led MS to either keep the Win7 desktop version or make Metro more useable on a desktop.
    Otherwise it will be a fail for desktop users, and particularly enterprise desktop users.

  4. Timothy Liem
    August 4, 2012 at 1:34 am

    IMHO, the tile UI sucks. so disgusting and annoying to see your desktop filled with huge boxes that move on their own. I personally will stick with 7 as it's best windows release so far. look how beautiful Aero is (although it definitely is a copy of KDE). much more stable than trashy Vista and keep a low requirement as XP (well, a bit more of course). but still, I dislike Windows because of its security issues, freezing overtime, fragmentations, and so on. so I will switch to Ubuntu soon while I keep 7 only for gaming.

  5. Charlie Player
    August 2, 2012 at 3:37 am

    not that bad.. i tried it

  6. Andrei Bogdan
    July 27, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    Might be good , I just hope it won't be another vista .

  7. rolex
    July 25, 2012 at 4:14 am

    After reading "Why I'm Done With Windows", I have to say, I'm really afraid of it and will stay with 7 as long as I can while getting very familiar with Linux Mint.

  8. Frank ScanMan
    July 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Most annoying is the UEFI lockdown of the pc (hardware) one buy's! I anticipate an anti-trust lawsuit in Europe soon (again)!! For good reasons! UEFI keys should be served by an independent company NOT an unreliable/deceitful/mendacious company like Microsoft!

    As a customer I want to have the choice to run ANY OS, not ONLY Win8. Thus I shall never accept Win8 its EULA!

  9. truthmonger
    July 19, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Microsoft thinks its being very clever with Metro, rolling us back to the days of large, bland, monocolor by ANSI at the time, and now bland by design. We've being told that regressing to a full-screen DOSshell with "dual-tasking" is somehow the way forward. The reasoning lof Team Ballmer probably goes like this: "Well hey, everyone is playing these simple, throwback casual touchscreen games and the majority are women - let's give them a casual operating system! tailored for chicks and metrosexuals. Saaaaay...!" Behold Metro, with design stolen from a JC Penny's ad circa 1993. It doesn't have windows - it has a left and right page, like a book, wink wink. It doesn't have icons, task bars or controls, but tiles, panes and "charms". Its not a UI, its a home interior shop! We'll all accept this devolution and then over the next decade they'll slowly reintroduce more color, more detailed icons, true multitasking, etc. Somehow they expect us to forget about our XP and Windows 7 installs, our iPhones and Android devices and other superior gadgets that already exist. Their really that out of touch. The guy who said to sell your Microsoft stock now might be onto something.

  10. Karl Gephart
    July 19, 2012 at 6:01 am

    There's another point to be made here, too. In the last couple of OS's, MS has been making more use of the taskbar, thus allowing (perhaps even encouraging) people to migrate away from the desktop. Now, in Win 8, they're ramming the desktop down people's throats, largely for Internet notifications. On Win phone, I get it--even on a basic tablet. But on a higher-powered machine (such as the advanced tablet hybrid "Surface," a laptop, or a desktop), the OS needs to allow more. It needs to be multi-functional in nature, easily allowing (without registry tweaks) the cosmetic features it had (especially for desktop users). Microsoft's mission is correct--capture the tablet market while making a multi-device OS--but their implementation is, for the most part, incorrect.

  11. Whorehay M
    July 19, 2012 at 3:39 am

    I tried the Consumer Preview and found that my laptop would randomly freeze. I chalked it up to it being such an early version of the OS. I just installed the Release Preview and it's STILL happening. I've tried it with just the original drivers and with the manufacturer's drivers with the same result. Anyone else running into this?

  12. Keefe Kingston
    July 18, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    These are exacly my thoughts! It's nice to know I'm not the only one who feels so strongly against being forced to change like this. XP

  13. Ira Brandstein
    July 18, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    You would think that Microsoft would have learnt with Vista! XP, although not sexy, was solid, and Windows 7 somewhat addressed that. I used the preview copy of Windows 8 for three weeks and was so disappointed, that I actually used my pc less in my spare time. Microsoft is not Apple and vice-versa.

    • Matt
      July 18, 2012 at 7:34 pm

      Just would like to point out that using your PC less in your spare time is not necessarily a bad thing *gasp*

  14. Christian Caldwell
    July 18, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Ugh. I hate change.

  15. Ben
    July 18, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    What I don't get is why there is no Java support. What is the deal here?

    • Mihovil Pletikos
      July 18, 2012 at 4:14 pm

      there is java support.... all you need is to go or try to run some java thing online and install it....

  16. Mihovil Pletikos
    July 18, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    w8 is simply faster and improved version of w7 with one difference it removed classic start menu and replaced it with metro start screen and direct access to different menus when you left click lower right angle....

  17. Vanja Gorgiev
    July 18, 2012 at 10:53 am

    it's very similar with windows 7, the UI is different and in the beginning it's interesting, but after it iritates, so i went back to windows 7

  18. Marvine
    July 18, 2012 at 8:40 am

    not bad.

  19. Robert B.
    July 18, 2012 at 4:34 am

    Truth be told this is a very dangerous gamble for Microsoft, for one thing the world is not ready to make the switch to HTML5 as it will prove to be very expensive for everyone and it is not mature enough in development to be reliable. Secondly releasing a locked down product that won't allow the use of Adobe Flash Player or even Oracle Java will inevitable terminate over 70% of all internet functionality from social networking sites to game sites and also banking sites as well, and that's not all - this operating system won't allow the installation of other web browsers for double browsing purposes or for the sake of having a choice of which browser is used for what purpose. Third, and most importantly, this new operating system wont have the use of a typical start button for those that prefer a standard desktop environment for their home computer's and lastly let's not forget about the hardcore gamers that sink thousands of dollars on new hardware every other year for the latest and greatest gaming experience only to find out that Windows 8 doesn't support the fundamentals required for PC gaming!! ( Refer to Secondary point.)

    • Nick Bruce
      July 18, 2012 at 5:43 am

      I agree this is a dangerous gamble for Microsoft, but I disagree with a few of your points.

      I have no fear about HTML5 standard adoption. While you are right in that it is still immature, it is being adopted at an alarming rate across the Internet. (check for the HTML doctype on your favorite websites, its becoming quite common).

      Second of all, Adobe Flash is certainly dying, and for good reason. It is bloated, inaccessible and not user friendly in the least. Apple got away with it on its devices, so there's no reason why Microsoft cannot pull it off on the Desktop (or tablet for that matter). I do agree, however, that the lack of support for Java could be quite dangerous, even though I don't use Java in the browser very often, that doesn't mean others don't. I also agree that the lack of the ability to install other browser could be quite detrimental to the experience and brings to mind the 90s and an anti-trust case in the future. But it is also important to remember that the version most people are going to be installing on their desktops (Windows 8 Pro) will have the full desktop experience, even if it is hidden behind the new Start screen.

      Lastly, I really see no reason for Windows 8 to not support gaming. After all, the full "Windows" experience should be available if they are using Windows 8 Pro.

      That being said, Windows 8 will be a massive gamble for Microsoft because of the massive change in interface as well as the qualms that experienced users are going to have because of the new systems put into place (i.e. the Start Screen, the favoring of touch screens over keyboard and mouse).

    • Mihovil Pletikos
      July 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm

      java and flash are supported and i have absolutely no problems running anything in w8...
      i didn't find any game or any program that didn't work with w8.... and i have ie10, chrome, waterfox and opera working on the same w8 system, without any problem.....

      • Robert B.
        July 19, 2012 at 4:27 am

        Which version are you running as I have tried the first release of the consumer preview and it would not allow the installation of any necessary programs and I also have a direct press release from Microsoft that states and I quote Windows 8 will not allow the installation of third party add ons such as Adobe Flash Player, or Oracle Java in an effort to prevent the inclusion of non supported software that could lead to malware or virus attacks.

      • Andrew
        October 29, 2012 at 4:12 pm

        It's not a matter of it running things well it is a matter of windows 8 and the horrible Metro interface that gets pushed down everyones throat. What the hell is wrong with Windows XP's or Windows 7's interface? why go totally backwards to a system that reduces flexibility and customization? So they waste all of our lovely video card memory and video card GPU time on a GUI instead of using it to run the applications that you need to run quickly. Thus reducing gaming performance etc... Not to mention all of the wasted video and system ram to run the horribly bloated Graphical user interface. They will probably force us to go with Windows 8 so we can play the latest DirectX 12 games, but honestly Windows 7 versus Windows 8 gaming performance and FPS is way down. Sorry gamers, Windows 8 is NOT for you. (Until they make Metro optional.)

  20. Mani Ahmed
    July 18, 2012 at 4:32 am

    I have a very simple rule; do not fix anything until its broken; because this unrequired fixing would cost me an amount i am not aware of. I do not intend to use windows 8 until:

    1- At least two years after its comercial launch
    2. It has network/ file/ compatibility which would obsolete my current system when i send/receive files from windows 8 user (like in Office 2007 docx files)
    3. It has a feature which is just irresistable - the worlds easiest cloud setup or something really Global
    4. I am sure that all the bugs, fixes have been established and have a safe environment to use other apps like .Net Developer suite etc

    I am very happy with windows xp, i know it, its pretty fast, i know the environmental softwares and its issues, it has wide range of softwares and even cracked ones installed.

    • jamesbirtwistle
      July 23, 2012 at 11:16 am

      I disagree with the "do not fix anything until its broken" mindset as it discourages innovation. Why would I buy a Prius? My Flintstones car hasn't broken yet!

      • Andrew
        October 29, 2012 at 4:07 pm

        Yes and the 10,000$ LEAD/MERCURY batteries you have to replace every 5-10 years is soo healthy for the environment... or sooner if you go from hot to cold too often. Until the battery technology catches up all electric cars are simply a tool of the rich or idiots who don't do their research. Plus the batteries aren't made from recycled toxic waste, they are made from ALL NEW waste that gets dumped into the world for us to breathe and drink once it breaks down into mercury vapor and lead which loves to congregate around water sources. If they finally turned on all of the Tokamak(Fusion) generators around the world we would be nearly fossil free. Fusion generators can be made cold and small enough to fit into a car... cars that run forever.