A Power User’s Review of Windows 8
A few weeks ago, I decided to treat myself to a new laptop (with my wife’s permission, of course!). I had heard all the bad press about Microsoft’s Windows 8, but had never actually experienced it myself. So I played around with a laptop that I saw and liked, and realized that while Windows 8 was different in a few ways, it was the same Microsoft product we all know and love (or hate). There was only a learning curve that took about 15 seconds to get over. Once you figure out how to use the controversial “Start Screen” (that screen with all the colorful squares and rectangles that looks like it belongs on a tablet) and then get past it to the familiar “desktop”, the whole OS operates just like it always has (for me, it has operated well – I’ve been crash-free going on 5 years). Honestly the only big changes were entirely cosmetic – the Start Screen functions exactly like the Start Menu “under the hood.” In other words, Windows 8 was classic Microsoft fare: “give it a bunch of new eye-candy, and if the nuts and bolts of the product work at least half the time, don’t do anything to them.”
For most of their history, Bill Gates and Co. have made products that try (and sometimes fail) to appeal to everyone in a middle-of-the-road approach, at a price that is fairly reasonable. Windows 8 is no different. It works OK and does its job, no more, no less. If Microsoft wanted an all-new, revolutionary product, they didn’t quite deliver. But Windows 8 shouldn’t be the death of Microsoft either- it just isn’t that awful. We all have our gripes when new technology comes out, then we adapt, learn, and realize that things aren’t as bad as they seemed.