Windows 8

Does Windows 8 make you furious?

It appears that any article about Windows 8 invites a lot of commentary from TechRepublic members, much of it negative. What's your gut reaction to the OS?

I remember the day when I could write a blog about sexual harassment in the workplace and get a vitriolic discussion going among TR members who either wanted to back up what I said or wished I would fall off a building, hitting every window ledge on my way down.

Now, at least this week, it appears that Windows 8 is arousing the same kind of emotion from those in the TechRepublic community.

Patrick Gray wrote a piece called Should Windows 8 be in your future? Part 1, and the discussion following it really illustrates the angst people are feeling in regard to Microsoft's latest OS.

TR member Palmetto_CharlieSpencer cites some of the prohibiting issues of upgrading to Windows 8, including the steep learning curve for end users, "the high cost of purchasing it. Of training people to use it. Of upgrading hardware to run it. (I had to upgrade the BIOS on both of my test systems before I could install it. That's free, but it takes time to find those upgrades and install them.)" Mikifinaz says he resents the price tag of yet another half-finished OS: "Yes, I said half finished. Downloading patches has become the excuse for not getting the OS even close to ship." Ramnet says he has not found W7/W8Beta to be better or faster than XP and "frankly doing old tasks new ways is not efficient nor does it lead to increased productivity."

All these statements are valid and are things to be considered by IT pros who are going to be expected to make the call on the upgrade as well as do the work to make it happen.

What I'd like to do with this poll is just to get a gut reaction to Windows 8.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

24 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm not furious. It's just a piece of software, one that's not even out of beta yet. Mostly I'm confused. Confused by why MS thinks this will be an adequate replacement for W7 on desktop, laptops, and other 'traditional' systems with no touch interface, especially since it brings few improvements over W7. Confused by how to use it effectively when most of my previous Windows skills seem to not apply. Confused by conflicting reports on how to do things or even if old actions are still necessary (shutting down, closing apps). Confused by a lack of information regarding what Metro means for future releases of MS's server and back-end products (if anything). Confused by what future 'traditional' products will look like when shoehorned into the Metro format. Too many unanswered questions.

Slayer_
Slayer_

In the dev preview, the start menu launched metro, this was better, I could get used to that. And in the dev preview, you had the option to completely disable metro and all the useless tablet features and use the system they way we want to use the system. The consumer preview took away these "Correct" things. MS seems to be fighting with itself. On one hand, they understand users don't use the OS, they use the programs on it. Metro supports this. On the other hand, they have forgotten that users need all their programs to work, and work the same way they did before. Users aren't interested in the "Experience" they just want to get work done.

rhonin
rhonin

When Windows 7 came out I had been using it for a while and really looked forward to its release. Not so with Win8. I have been using it but overall I am not getting that "need" feeling like I had for XP and Windows 7. As of this moment, will I get it?: Phone - tbd Tablet - yes Notebook - only if forced Desktop - only if forced Not feeling the luv at the moment for Win8

bkindle
bkindle

I share a lot of the same sentiments. Businesses I support are just now making the Windows 7 switch and now it's making IT pros everywhere look like they are deploying old tech. I tried the beta Windows 8 for about 10 minutes, and was nothing but confused. I do not understand Balmer's thinking on this one other than they are looking for a way to seem "fresh" again. The metro UI is polished touch screen garbage IMHO. In a way, it seems to mock the Google Play app store on my android phone. I say they need to concentrate more on making the most of Windows 7 for the time being, barring any major technological advancements in OS's, I think Windows 7 is going to be my XP for the next 10 years.

Mike Lonewolf
Mike Lonewolf

Hey Slayer, just download "Vistart" will give you back that feeling again.

B.Kaatz
B.Kaatz

Well, that might mean a new influx of users to the Apple and the "end-user linux distros" (e.g. Ubuntu, Sabayon, etc.) platforms. The key argument that I hear from *any* Windows user about why they stay in Windows when they have had a major issue with one of their apps is: "Well, *most* of the time, it just works." If that isn't true anymore, then what does Microsoft have to offer in their OS'es?

crostron76
crostron76

Wow ... you managed to learn all of this in just 10 minutes! ..... way to give a product a fair go before starting to rubbish it and sprout your uninformed opinions for all to see. In saying that at least you tried it, that's more than what most of the blogger trolls have done before jumping on the anti-Win8 band wagon. I'm now running windows 8 on my Tablet PC, work desktop (at home), kid's workstation and my wife???s netbook. The whole family loves win8 and whilst Windows 7 was great, Windows 8 adds that something extra .... there have been no murmurs from anyone in the family about wanting Windows 7 back.

glitch177k
glitch177k

It does work for the most part. But it's a BETA. Hence, it's clunky and beta-like and has minor issues that are being worked out. For the most part it DOES work. It works really well on a tablet and appears that they have been designing it specifically for a tablet. Now they just have to iron out the wrinkles on the pc side. It doesn't seem like anything devastating to me. I've adapted to it really quick and only find it inconvenient in a few fixable ways that I fully expect to be resolved once it goes live. But the real gem is the full experience of using your windows live ID between the phone, desktop and tablet. That's where people that don't have a win phone or a tablet are going to think that most of Win 8 is just unnecessary and, for them, it is. But once you buy in to even 2 of the devices in the ecosystem, it gets really slick. I expect Xbox to be fully integrated into this ecosystem as well by go live.

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

I'm not sure what your point is. Are you saying that having more options is a bad thing? I guess you didn't know that the option to install Windows server as the "core OS," without the Windows interface has been an option since Windows Server 2008. Rick

B.Kaatz
B.Kaatz

... you really can't stop them from drinking the kool-aid! If some people wish to turn a blind-eye to hard-learned past lessons, you gotta let them walk off the cliff so they might learn the lessons again. It *might* stick this time. But, back to Win8 for a moment: We just tried the preview of Win8 Server in a test environment and found that they have a "console/text-only-install mode" now??? So, now you can have Windows with no windows??? Errr... "Ummm... Yeah! That'd be great...! Did you get a copy of that memo? Well, you go ahead and make sure you do that, and I'll make sure you get another copy of that memo..."

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Tell me, what addon application could give Windows XP 64 bit support? Yeah, I know there was a 64 bit version of XP, but no vendors ever made software or drivers to support it, so it was pretty much useless. And what addon application could give XP the impoved security that Vista and 7 have over XP? What addon could give XP full support for AHCI disk controllers, having more than 3 GB of RAM, etc.? The bottom line here is that you are probably one of these people who only uses his computer to check email, surf the web and maybe play a game of solitaire. You find that it is too difficult to learn anything new, so you are happy to stay in the past. You criticize people who want new features and new capabilities to help them get their work done as a way to compensate for your inability to understand how to use the new features to your benefit. Rick

tomi01
tomi01

There is nothing that has provided a good strong desktop system since Panther and XP. Everything since has been razzle dazzle that primarily any addon application could have given the system. There is truth to the saying: Software continues to improve until it ultimately becomes unusable.

vucliriel
vucliriel

... that it's doing EXACTLY what it was designed for: hold user's hands and keep them in the sandbox like the obedient kindergarten kids they're supposed to be. Why not get plugged in Microsoft's Matrix directly while you're at it?

vucliriel
vucliriel

"I know this steak doesn't exist. And I know that the Matrix is telling my brain that it is juicy and delicious. After 9 years, you know what I have learned? Ignorance is bliss."

rick@Hogans-Systems.com
rick@Hogans-Systems.com

Maybe what it comes down to is that there are too many old farts posting here? Old geezers who have reached that point in life where they simply don't want to even try to learn something new? My mom is 91 years and still going strong. I believe that part of what keeps her going is the fact that she still tries to do new things and learn new things. She recently bought an Android phone - not because she needed it, but because she wanted something new to learn about. She's gone through Windows 95, 98, XP, Vista and now 7, without breaking a sweat. Oh, sure, it took her a few days to find her way around the changes between versions, but it was never a huge struggle for her. From the tone of your message, I'm guessing you are also the type of person who likes to experiment and try new things. Maybe all the people who complain so much about needing to be "completely retrained" to make the transition from XP to Vista or 7 are just people who can't handle picking up something new? Rick

rfrederick_pmp
rfrederick_pmp

Thank you for this comment. I was a 20year Macintosh user (we owned a software company which developed Workflow Automation robots for the MacOS) and I recently switched to a Windows Phone from an iPhone 4s and I will probably not go back. Here's why: My Windows Phone (HTC Titan) is configured with my Microsoft (Live) Accounts. The Metro UI acts like a "live" dashboard of information that updates in Real-Time. Everything I need is right at my fingertips and updates all the time. All my social graphs; Facebook, Linkedin, etc. are built directly into the phone. Much like Palm's WebOS, everything is integrated through "contracts." When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview came out, my 12 year old son and I setup his notebook with the software. Because he was the previous owner of the Titan (we traded phones cause there are WAY MORE GAMEs on iOS than WinPhone), all of his social graphs and his Xbox were configured with his MS Live Account. After we logged-in with his "Live" account, the Dashboard (Start/Metro) populated his data from the cloud (including is Xbox avatar). He was BLOWN away to say the least. He LOVES Metro and says it is WAY easier to understand the Windows 7. Afterwards, I setup another account on his notebook with my Hotmail account, and my data populated my Dashboard from the cloud...AMAZING. Two profiles, two completely different sets of Dashboards. Then I loaded Office 2010 and it ran like a charm, this on a 6year old cpu with 2GB of Ram and 80GB HD. For Beta software, this stuff is very good technically. Anyway, as a Tech Professional, I am excited to give my Executives a tool which allows them to configure a corporate Dashboard, yet still allows them to get "real work" done. As for my users, they will appreciate a system which keeps them "up-to-date" and lets them navigate to Start using only the Window's key. Basically, the complaints that I see are from people who either don't share Microsoft's vision or have not configured their systems properly to take advantage of that vision. As someone who has designed User Interfaces for a living, what Microsoft has done is nothing short of brilliant. If you are reading this, don't listen to the naysayers. "Dive In, the Water's fine."

glitch177k
glitch177k

If you're in a windows environment, the cloud may be able to be stored on your local company equipment still even though you're using a cloud service like skydrive. Windows server 8 has a lot of baked in cloud services like this that will likely let you redirect this behavior via policy in some way. Still, my main reason to use my home machines as guinea pigs is that I can be highly experienced in the product before it even hits which gives me a leg up in my career. It also enables my company to be more swift and move with the times quicker than most because I'm keeping pace with the technology rather than waiting for others to work out the kinks. The old days of waiting for SP1 so all of the bugs are worked out are gone. SP1 for Windows 7 was completely insignificant and those who waited gained nothing and missed out on a great, stable OS.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I don't install beta software outside test environments, and I don't consider my personal home systems as test environments. I've been burned too many times. Heck, for deployment I usually follow the 'Not before the first Service Pack' policy! Back to W8, however. You and yours have an advantage many (most?) of us trying W8 do not - a Windows Phone background. Others neither have nor want Windows Live accounts, so those 'advantages' don't apply to us. (From a workplace point of view, we don't allow any company data to be stored off company equipment; the cloud isn't a factor.) But even if I had a web-based account of some kind, I'd still wait on the release version before slapping it on the home machine. Just me, I guess.

glitch177k
glitch177k

I just wrote a lengthy post above outlining how my family uses it.

glitch177k
glitch177k

The moral of the story is we are fully on board with Win 8. When we have to upgrade and re-install, it will be a simple re-install and 5 minutes after logging in they will have everything back again with no downtime. After installing mine, everybody else wanted it and seeing this made it a no brainer to install it everywhere.

glitch177k
glitch177k

We have windows phones. After install, you make a user id. If you use your windows live ID, it pulls your info down from the cloud. After being logged in for 5 minutes, ALL of our contacts and calendar events were synced up. Our facebook and linked in accounts were live in the people pane. Our photos were propagating and I clicked my skydrive and was able to get to all of my documents. 5 minutes out of the box and it was a fully usable machine with almost zero configuration. After some theme adjustments, I was able to log on to another machine and experience the same effect only with my backgrounds and color choices following me. It's by no means perfect and has a few things to work out still, but this is awesome. As an IT guy, I have 5 computers that my wife, two kids and I use. I was a full time IT guy at home hooking up things for whoever and re-saving links to desktops and whatnot (my kids are 2 and 5). Now, they can log in on their own with their 4 digit code and it pulls their updated stuff down automatically no matter where they are. It's very slick and everyone loves it.

glitch177k
glitch177k

I agree...I've done the exact same and everyone really likes it. The roaming profile really enables each user to use whatever computer they want and feel right at home which is cool. My five year old has mastered it already and she's running on a 10 year old PC. That blows my mind in of itself.

nwallette
nwallette

All of your existing applications require a paradigm shift ... all the real work is done behind the tile facade. The applications that are Metropolized are enormous wastes of screen real estate and don't offer anything that, e.g., Weather Bug couldn't have from your system tray. Are you sure it's not "better" just 'cause it's new and different? Does it do anything a $30 shareware shell replacement couldn't have done?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Oooooo-kay. I don't get why people would load a test OS across multiple personal devices, but whatever floats your boat. You realize you'll eventually have to either upgrade to the release version (and pay for it) or downgrade back to whatever you were running before, right? Care to share what that 'something extra' is?