Wednesday, October 03, 2012

I'm sorry Windows 8

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.

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