With Windows 8 finally on the market for a little while now, you’d think the crazy mixed reviews would settle down a bit. You’d be wrong. Since the very first days of Windows 8 Developer Preview, there has been a lot of articles, blog posts and forum entries about Windows 8. Some of it has always been very positive, others have been the polar opposite.
Windows 8 is different, I get that. Being this different isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t easily win you friends or fans. That’s not to say Windows 8 won’t eventually make its way to the top and put all the criticism behind it for good.
But WHY is there so much criticism? Is it that there is a Start UI and desktop UI? I can’t think that would really be such a drama-starter. I think it is more about the the charms, the fact that you shut down differently and that there is a learning curve.
We’ve become accustomed to Windows pretty much working the same since 1995. Sure, there have been changes, but things like shutting down or using the control panel have evolved, but not fully changed until now.
With that in mind, here comes a new very, very anti-Windows 8 criticism from MIT professor Phillip Greenspun. According to Greenspun, Microsoft Windows 8 is the perfect “Christmas gift for someone you hate”.
He says that the device is confused and doesn’t quite get anything right. He asserts that no tablet has been this confused since the BlackBerry Playbook. Further, Greenspun asserts that they had years to watch Android and iOS but still couldn’t build a usable tablet experience.
“Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone… you will have no idea how to use Windows 8,” Greenspun writes.
He continued, “Some functions, such as ‘start an application’ or ‘restart the computer’ are available only from the tablet interface. Conversely, when one is comfortably ensconced in a touch/tablet application, an additional click will fire up a Web browser, thereby causing the tablet to disappear in favor of the desktop. Many of the ‘apps’ that show up on the ‘all apps’ menu at the bottom of the screen (accessible only if you swipe down from the top of the screen) dump you right into the desktop on the first click.”
He did point out that Microsoft’s included apps like Bing Finance are quite good, but otherwise hated everything about the OS. Honestly most of his argument reads to me like this:
“I don’t like Windows 8 because it isn’t enough like iOS, Android and legacy Windows. I don’t want to learn something new and different”.
I will say I can understand that at least a little, but that doesn’t mean that Windows 8 is awful, which is what Greenspun is basically saying.
What do you think, is the learning curve for Windows 8 just too much or did you find it wasn’t too bad once you actually gave it a real chance?