A new video showing an underwhelmed civilian looking at Windows 8 for the first time highlights the risk that Microsoft is taking as it makes the shift to Windows 8.

The person sitting at the computer is Chris Pirillo’s dad. Pirillo is well known for being the founder of Lockergnome. He decided to film his dad using Windows 8 for the first time to demonstrate to Microsoft the issue, and it clearly shows an existing Windows user struggling to do anything. He isn’t a power user, but neither are the majority of Windows 7/Vista/XP users.

Since testing the Windows 8 Developer Preview last fall, users have been warned that it would be a big adjustment for longtime Windows users, with the new tile-based interface replacing the traditional desktop as the default opening screen.

The lack of a start button seems to be where the civilian (Chris Pirillo’s dad) runs into problems in the video above. If he had moved his mouse to the lower left or any of the other corners, Windows 8 would have called up different menus and commands to help him navigate, but there were no visual cues to prompt him to do that.

Microsoft’s Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows User Experience Team, allegedly has said that the company hadn’t ruled out the possibility of putting navigational cues into the interface to help newbies figure things out when they’re first using the new operating system.


About the Author

Onuora Amobi is the Founder and VP of Digital Marketing at Learn About The Web Inc. Onuora has more than a decade of information security, project management and management consulting experience. He has specialized in the management and deployment of large scale ERP client/server systems.

In addition to being a former Microsoft MVP and the founder and editor of EyeOnWindows.com, he is the CEO of a Pasadena based online marketing education startup - Learn About The Web Inc. (www.learnabouttheweb.com) and The Redmond Cloud (https://www.theredmondcloud.com).

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  • http://profiles.google.com/vhaakmat Vincent Haakmat

    Even though it was a bit funny from an onlooker point of view, it is a huge problem MS will have to fix. When I went into explorer the first time, I naturally hit the WinKey. However not everyone will think about hitting that key when they want to go back to the start screen

    • Andrew Morgan

      Heck most typical day to day users don’t even realize they have a Windows key.

  • Daryl Kane

    microsoft is off there heads put back the old start menu and this video is evidence

  • Dennys

    “They’re trying to drive me to Mac.” 

    I’m beginning to think the same way.

  • ECM2

    This video is an eye opener. Hey, Microsoft give ’em all back the Desktop START MENU !!!  It’s the only way most normal people can start using Win8.

  • Ethan Howard

    here’s an idea!  Why doesn’t Microsoft make a tutorial you have to go through to teach you the new ui.  The XP tutorial was great!

  • Robert Kegel

    All Microsoft might have to do is put a representation of the start menu like they did with the Developers preview.    When you clicked it it had some options but for the most part it was just there so you knew where to press to go from Metro mode to Windows mode and visa versa.