Wow, we have seen Microsoft release some dodgy operating systems in the past e.g ME and Vista but this latest release is nothing short of embarrassing and unsurprisingly the lead developer has left Microsoft as a result of it. In terms of failures, this is an almighty cock-up that has caused mayhem amongst windows users.
Our advise to customers of W.E.B.S Ltd
Avoid it like the plague! Run away and don’t look back 🙂 Switch to MAC, Linux or stick with previous version 7 which is just fine.
This advise is aimed squarely at users of desktop and laptop users. I can not personally comment on the use in tablets, although I suspect it is far more functional and quite possibly ok. Personally, I choose to use mac OSX which is just a joy to use, but that’s another story.
Our reasons for warning customers about Windows 8
Well, it’s evident that Microsoft developed this OS with absolutely ZERO thought of desktop users. We all know and accept that mobile devices are the modern way of accessing the internet, BUT they don’t replace the desktop completely. I myself use an ipad and iphone and whilst they are great for browsing the internet, getting my emails and generally enjoying the experience, I can not possibly work on them. For that, I need a desktop computer.
Windows 8 from the very moment you turn it on, is nothing short of terrible. The log on has now been made invisible. When you boot up, it displays a screen with no obvious sign of how to actually sign-in. It only becomes apparent when you fumble around the keyboard or bang your head against it, that a login becomes visible. You need to click a key or tap the mouse button …. ah, there it is (thanks for telling me while windows 8 set up Microsoft) 🙁
OK, I am now in and presented with a collection of colorful boxes on the desktop. Welcome to Metro! This is the new presentation of your programs (or are they apps?). Each box represents an app or program that you wish to access. These can be customised to suit your needs, displaying the apps you regularly access e.g mail, browser etc, but where is the desktop? Ah, there it is in a button called Desktop. Clicking this takes me to what looks a bit more like it, a classic windows desktop but wait …. where is the start button and menu? Microsoft in their wisdom decided that you don’t need that anymore, so they didn’t bother putting it in ….. (nice idea …. NOT!) Blundering around the system, i quickly find myself in an app (skype in this instance) and rather than a normal small window which you are used to, I am presented with a full screen app that has no apparent way of being closed. For several moments, I am sat there scratching my head, wondering what I need to do in order to shut this down. There is no evidence of any minimise or shut down with the usual X in either corner of the screen. There is nothing at all. It takes a quick google on another computer nearby before I establish that I am supposed to grab the top of the screen with my mouse and drag it to the bottom of the screen, which closes the app. Wow, this is intuitive ….. NOT!
Now, I like technology and I am used to windows having used it since 3.1. I also use Linux and Mac OSX on a daily basis. I have seen and used many operating systems and most are fine tuned to make the user experience friendly and easy, but none of that is evident here whatsoever.
As I am finding out how windows 8 is set-up, bouncing between multiple computers in order to find the answers to my queries, I am left wondering how many people just hold the power button and bail out a program in order to re-start their new OS and start again. It turns out, many people are doing this and it really isn’t a surprise.
OK, the charms bar. This is a clunky, un-usable hidden menu on the right hand side of the screen. This is just hard to access. Should i throw the mouse at the right hand side of the screen, or make some kind of circular motion to get it to show. Even then, once it’s there, I am left pondering how to get access to the areas I require. Ah, each corner is now some kind of hot spot, but my mouse clumsily falls over it and I am wondering what it does, as it’s simply not clear. Are these hotspots helping me or adding to my experience in anyway. Is there actually any charm, with the charm bar? No, it’s frustrating me even more and my blood is continually bubbling as it reaches boiling point.
Making Windows 8 act more like Windows 7
Almost certainly, the first thing you should be doing is looking at ways to bring a bit of normality into this terrible OS. The first thing is to add the start-button but sadly Microsoft don’t want you to have this, so we have to go 3rd party to get something installed. Go and grab a copy of ‘Classic Shell‘ which will re-introduce the start button and menu system.
When Windows 8 first loads, you’ll notice how it defaults to the new Start screen. If you’d rather go straight to the traditional desktop we all know and love, download a free tool called Skip Metro Suite. Once installed, launch the program and verify ‘Skip Start Screen’ is ticked.
Cnet have reviewed and written about this on their website. Rather than re-creating it, take a look at the link here.
Possible light at the end of the tunnel
There is no doubt it’s caused mayhem. Some may claim to like it, or at least be able to tolerate it, but I question whether these are users who work on a PC rather than just use it for pleasure. For work users, which applies to almost all of our customers, it’s useless. If you are considering upgrading, our advise is don’t do it. If you are looking to buy a new computer, you will find it hard to get one with windows 7 on it, so your options are as follows :-
- Request a downgrade to windows 7 from your supplier (Dell, Lenovo etc ‘might’ do it)
- Look for slightly older models, refurbs or factory outlet deals
- Switch to MAC … once upon a time, this was reserved for photographers, musicians or die hard mac enthusiasts… Not any more. It’s great
- Switch to LINUX … breath some life into your old PC with Linux Ubuntu. Easy to overwrite your old OS or even dual boot. There is even a live trial mode. It’s great!
Take a look at our review of Ubuntu as an alternative. It’s FREE and easy to use and very secure.
If you have already bought a computer with windows 8 and you are struggling with it, there is a new release planned called ‘Windows Blue’. This supposedly aims to rectify some of the issues and introduce the sadly lacking support for desktop users, but it might be a couple of months before it’s released. Even then, how much it will improve, we don’t know and personally, I won’t hold my breath.
In my opinion, it’s time to leave windows for good. As soon as my PC’s require replacing, I will be putting in MAC or Linux computers to allow the level of productivity I demand from a computer