If there is one overabundant area of comments and criticisms about Windows 8, it is undoubtedly about the desktop user’s mouse and keyboard experience on Windows 8.

So many people – many of whom probably haven’t even used the new OS (operating system) – are already complaining about how much this will hurt desktop use and experience, how there’s too much disconnect between the desktop and the Metro UI (user interface) when you click on the Start Button, and how limited the Start Menu will become if it’s simply the Metro homepage.

Oh and many are also complaining about the uncomfortable prospect of touching your screen if you already have a keyboard and mouse.

Here’s the deal: Microsoft isn’t forcing you to install Windows 8 on your desktop.

On top of this, why would you even want to install Windows 8 on your desktop? Perhaps someone will develop Metro App that you can’t live without, or maybe Microsoft’s cloud service won’t be as well integrated into Windows 7 (which I highly doubt anyway).

These are the only possible reasons I would consider installing Windows 8 on my desktop, and I don’t see these reasons becoming any type of issue by the time Windows 8 is released.

Windows 8 is essentially the Metro UI with a desktop app that encompasses and represents what Windows 7 is now. If you don’t want the Metro UI and like the Windows 7 taskbar as it is, and if you prefer mouse and keyboard over touch screen, don’t buy Windows 8 for your desktop. It’s really that simple.

Will Windows 8 Be Suboptimal for Desktops

Earlier I was addressing those who were complaining about how Windows 8 won’t work well for their desktop experience. But will Windows 8 work optimally for some people’s desktop experience?

It’s a tough call. Microsoft is still tweaking Windows 8 at the moment, particularly addressing people’s concerns over the Start Screen regarding desktop experiences.

As more people are testing out the Developer’s Preview of Windows 8, some are actually finding interesting ways to navigate and areas of promise for the new OS. Many people are also using the toolbar of the Desktop App to pin programs they use frequently rather than navigating to the Metro Start Screen.

Microsoft still has a lot of time to perfect Windows 8, so maybe the desktop experience will improve massively, perhaps even making people want to switch from Windows 7 to 8 on their desktops.

Maybe touch screen monitors will explode in the next couple years, and everyone will wonder how they ever computed with just a keyboard and mouse.

People are naturally resistant to big changes in technology, so the current concerns of the desktop experience might just be the transitional phase of a whole paradigm shift in computing.

If not, we will always have Windows 7, and I for one am comforted by that fact.

The Bigger Picture

As far as I can reason, the biggest push Microsoft has going with their combined Metro and Desktop OS is the potential adaptability of future portable computing devices.

This, I believe, is also a contributing factor to the resistance I am hearing from heavy desktop users because desktops have no need (at least at the moment) for a mobile/touch screen interface.

However, a future in which I can really see Windows 8 thrive is one where people carry one computing device on them always, perhaps the size of a phone or tablet. On the bus to work, they can use their device as a reader or perhaps send some emails.

Once at work, they may need to do some meticulous spreadsheet or proposal writing (both of which are horrendous in touch screen UIs), so they dock their device to a desk with a keyboard and mouse (and perhaps a bigger monitor depending on the device size).

Later you might undock you need to meet a client. Your device can then give you directions to your client and have the data that you need available for when you meet your client.

Having this type of flexibility on one device is a novel, forward-thinking idea, perhaps one that many desktop users can not wrap their minds around. I do believe that Microsoft should make Windows 8 as flexible as possible, catering to both tablet and desktop users (and all the in-betweens).

But I also believe that many desktop users should not be as resistant to change as they currently are. If Windows developed yet another desktop-only OS, they would probably go bankrupt.

Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.


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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  • Project Mayu

    The Enterprise version will install in desktop mode, so it will not look any different from Windows 7, this can already be achieved via a registry setting.

  • walkergw

    Hmm, this is a tough call for me. On one hand, I totally agree with the call for desktop users to stop complaining. On the otherhand, your articles seems to basically say Windows 8 is not really for the desktop. On that point, I whole heartedly disagree. A call I often hear in the complainers is the likening of Windows 8 to the ribbon debate. I personally whole heartedly agree with the connection. People who dislike the ribbon have not given it a fair shake. Those who have will undoubtedly say they didnt like it at first. as they had to relearn everything, and nothing was in the right place. However once you get used to it, it makes its own sense. Now I would never go back. I think Windows 8 may very well be the same way. So stop complaining, give it a fair shake, use it until you know it well and can perform everything. Then evaluate whether you like it. And most of all realize this is an Alpha things will be very different at release.