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.