When the Windows 8 Customer Preview was released I was waiting for the download link to become active. I have spent a good deal of time getting to know Windows over the years. This is just another beta in a long list of Windows betas that I have ran as my primary operating system. I have to be honest, I struggled with the new UI.
I am one to figure things out on my own. That’s exactly why I run beta software hot off the press. But here I am practically running an IT department at times and I could not find the shutdown button. Using the mouse felt awkward because I can’t use it like my finger. Do I seriously have to use the scrollbar? Why not click and slide? Once I did find the shutdown button, I could not find the log off button. It also felt awkward to pull out the charms bar to search the start menu.
I found myself using Powershell to shut down or reboot the computer because I knew the command. It felt silly that I eventually had to google for these simple things. I eventually made my desktop shortcuts and set up my pinned apps. Then something amazing happened. The fact that I was running Windows 8 faded into the background. Once I stopped using the start screen, I found myself working the exact same way I worked in Windows 7.
The building windows 8 blog did a very nice write up about the design and ideas that inspired the new design. It was a wonderful read that gave me a lot of insight. I deleted all but 8 items from the start screen and was content to use it as needed.
When I got my hands on the RTM, I decided to give it another shot. I took everything I knew and ran with it. Things felt good at first. I was checking email, doing social media, and browsing with IE 10. I found the Metro IE 10 to be an interesting experience. This worked for a while.
Once I stopped playing with things and started using my system, I kept falling back to the desktop browser. I tried to stick with IE10 as much as I could. It is very hard to resist using Chrome though. So I am basically using 3 browsers. This is making my experience very fragmented. I flip into Metro for Twitter, I flip into Metro for Facebook, and I flip into Metro for email. But I’m getting tired of flipping. I’m done flipping.
I’m sorry Windows 8. I wanted to see the start screen succeed, but I can’t force it. I may not install a start menu replacement, but Metro is not going to be my main workspace anymore. I’m going back to the desktop and I’m going back to one browser.