A first look at Windows 8Written by Todd
I took home a laptop from the office loaded with Windows 8 for the express purpose of taking a look and writing about it for our clients. I am glad I can be here to write this blog post. For a little while, I thought Windows 8 was going to
Presuming you are reading this blog post on a Windows based computer. Take a moment and Give it a try. See how long it takes you to open up Internet Explorer, Notepad, Calculator and Solitaire on your computer. It's OK, I will wait.
About how long did it take you? I have never actually timed myself doing this before, but If i had to guess, I would say I could open them all in less then a minute. On Windows 8, I knew there would be a learning curve, and that is the reason for this simple challenge. What I am really gauging here is not how good or bad Windows 8 is, but how much of a learning curve people might face when learning Windows 8. I went into this challenge cold, without any prep or research.
Now, I have been opening these programs (well except for Internet Explorer) for over 25 years, since my days using Windows when DOS was still around. I figure I am an above average user. Sadly this simple task took me over 20 minutes to figure out how to open all the programs. I did a similar test when I bought my first Ipad. I opened the notes, the calculator, Safari and one of the included games. On the Ipad, I remember being impressed with just how intuitive it was since I was able to open the apps it in only a few moments, and I had never used a mac product before. It really convinced me to buy the Ipad on the spot.
I really wanted to be able to write something positive in my first blog post about Windows 8, but I am afraid I can't, at least not yet.
This simple test did not just test the learning curve, it demonstrated to me, how unlikely Windows 8 is to be quickly adopted by an audience looking for productivity gains. Lets face it, If businesses use a product, people will use it at home. Businesses only adopt change if it is going to save them money or make them money. Unfortunately, I don't see Windows 8 doing either. The cost of the upgrade and the hit to productivity for users will keep Windows 8 on the sidelines for at least 18 months after it's launched.
Windows 8 needed to be Apple "like" with it's user interface. It needed to be simple. It needed to be so easy to use my 80 year old Grandmother would find it friendly and want a touchscreen Windows 8 computer to check her email.
Instead of easy and intuitive Microsoft has got it all wrong. They took away the familiar start bar that they jammed down our throat with Windows 95 and regressed to a Windows 3.1 feel with "tiles". At least Windows 3.1 would load with all the tiles including all the default program icons on one screen and clearly visible. With windows 95 they hid stuff in the start bar, but eventually this was corrected when the start bar got smart and displayed your most used programs first. With Windows 8 metro I had to use the search feature to find the calculator, notepad. Before I could do that, I had to fumble around to find search. Internet Explorer and Solitaire have prominent placement, but lot of good that will have in convincing the IT manager to adopt the OS. I thought "perhaps metro is smart like Windows 7 Aero and can move my most used programs to more prominent placement." So clicked in and out of Notepad and Calculator several times each. I noticed no change in placement. Internet Explorer and Solitaire remained in their prominent place and Calculator and Notepad remained noticeably absent.
But wait.... there is a redeeming quality of Windows 8. I'm running the consumer preview on a nearly 5 year old Latitude D820, and it's Quick! More on this and other thoughts next post.
P.S. Did you figure out the graphic for this post?