Windows 8

It's the little things: Windows 8 both delights and infuriates

For Deb Shinder, the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 both delights and infuriates. She explains which features push what buttons.

Computer users, including Microsoft's strongest advocates, often have a long-standing love/hate relationship with the company's products. Windows in its various incarnations has always been capable of both delighting and infuriating the customer -- sometimes at the same time.

I've been working with the consumer preview of Windows 8 and have found that, so far, this experience is no exception. One moment I'm in awe over how cool a given feature is; the next I'm scratching my head and wondering "Why in the world did they do that?"

All in all, I'm excited about Windows 8 -- especially its potential on tablets -- and, of course, I realize that a consumer preview by any other name is still a beta, so I don't expect the software to function perfectly. So I'm not complaining about things like the occasional random app crashes that throw me back to the Start screen, or sometimes to the desktop, for no apparent reason.

What infuriates me are what seem, to me, to be basic design flaws or an egregious dysfunction in some of the features that should have been a focus for showcasing the coolness of this first chance that most of the public will have to get their hands dirty with Windows 8. And in many cases, it's the little things that make or break the operating system experience.

Keep up with all the news about Windows 8.

What time is it?

Okay, this is a very small thing, but it's a lot of small things that add up to the total user experience. The Windows 8 lock screen -- the one that you swipe up to see the configured accounts and pick one to log on -- has a nice, big clock that displays over a picture of your choosing. I like that.

What I don't like is that when I'm on the actual Start screen, the time is nowhere to be found. Oh, if I swipe the charms bar out from the right side of the screen, then a clock displays temporarily, but I'm used to having the time in view all the time. I have that on my Windows 7 desktop (or Windows 8 when in desktop mode). I have it in the notification bar on my Android phone.

I figured that should be easy enough to fix. Just install a Clock app, right? There are dozens of them in the Android Market. Unfortunately, even though it would seem to be one of the most basic of all apps, I couldn't find one in the Windows Store.

Shop 'til you drop ... out

Speaking of the Windows Store, my experience with it has been one of the more infuriating aspects of using Windows 8. I'm not talking about the fact that there are so few apps available, although I would have expected more to be released in conjunction with the consumer preview.

I think the Store is a good idea. Consumers have grown accustomed, due to their iPhones and Droids, to having a centralized place to get applications. As long as Windows 8 will still run software from other sources, I'm all for the Store. But the Store doesn't work very well for me in the consumer preview. Sometimes when I click to install an app, it does, but sometimes it doesn't.

Sometimes it's the apps themselves that are disappointing. For example, I installed the WordPress app, expecting something like the WP app on my Android phone, which has a really nice interface for writing blog posts, creating and editing pages, changing blog settings, and uploading photos or videos to my WordPress site.

The Windows 8 WordPress app is just a bunch of links to some "featured" WordPress blogs, with no way to interact with my own blog. I kept it because it has a pretty live tile that displays graphics from those featured blogs, but I'm hoping we get a full-fledged WordPress app by the time Windows 8 is released.

I expected a "real" Facebook app to be one of the first things available, too. The People app connects to Facebook and it's interesting, but the way the information is presented is awkward to navigate and gives me both more and less than what I want to see if I'm checking Facebook.

There's a solution (but once again, it's not immediately obvious to everyone): open the IE app, go to your Facebook page, tell IE to remember the password, then select the "Pin" option on the bottom address bar and pin Facebook to the Start screen. This will take you directly to Facebook (using Bing). So maybe a Facebook app isn't so important, after all.

While you were looking for that elusive Facebook app, though, you might have discovered that how to search the Store isn't obvious at first; you have to invoke the charms bar (pretty easy with a touchscreen, not so much with a non-touch monitor), click the Search icon (or charm) there, then scroll down to click "Store" in the list. It actually works well once you know what to do, but in the beginning it's not intuitive, and I anticipate some yelling and screaming about there being no way to search the Store when newbies start using this.

Searching for Search in all the wrong places

Speaking of search, people coming to Windows 8 from Windows 7 will miss the Start button with its Search box (in Windows 8 desktop mode, choosing Search from the Start right-click menu dumps you back into Metro). People who are used to pre-ICS Android phones (and let's face it, most Windows computer users aren't using Windows Phones) will miss the Search button at the bottom of the screen.

As for a not-so-little thing that Microsoft did right, the ability to just start typing whatever you want to search for -- whether it's the name of an app, the name of a file, or a keyword you want to search on the Internet -- anywhere on the Start screen is a delightful surprise.

Take me back

Search isn't the only "missing button" that I fear will infuriate some users. When I first started using Windows 8, I kept looking for the Back button. If you're using a computer with a Microsoft keyboard, you soon discover that the Windows logo key performs this function -- sort of.

It takes you back to the Start menu. Some apps give you a Back button from some pages. (If you're looking at a category of apps in the Store, there's a back arrow at the top to go back to the Store's "front page.") Others don't, and you find yourself having to go all the way back to the Start screen to start over.

That's more a matter of poor design on the parts of the app developers than Microsoft's fault, and it's no doubt just a consequence of those developers not yet really being used to how the OS works. Still, some users will blame Microsoft if they have a poor experience with Metro apps, since after all this whole Metro thing was their idea.

Update: After working with the Windows 8 consumer preview a bit more, I discovered that there is the functional equivalent of a "Back" button, but it's not at all intuitive, so many users may not stumble across it for a while. If you hover in the upper-left corner of the screen, you'll see a mini version of the previous screen you were on, and clicking that will take you back to it. Kudos to the dev team for putting this in there, but I'll take a few points off for making it so obscure.

Infuriatingly secure

This won't be the first time Windows users have been frustrated by Microsoft's attempts to make its products more secure. UAC in Vista drove users crazy and was arguably one of the top reasons for that operating system's lack of popularity.

On the one hand, I'm delighted that with Windows 8, Microsoft is obviously taking security more seriously than its tablet competitors are -- even when the security mechanisms infuriate me. Setting up my email accounts with the Windows 8 mail app was a case in point. A bit ironically, setting up Gmail was a piece of cake. However, when I went to set up my Exchange account, it was a "no go." The problem? I needed to install the Exchange certificate on the Windows 8 device.

Now I knew that, because I know how Exchange works and I've encountered the problem many times before. But the infuriating part is that it gave no clue about what the problem was -- just said "cannot connect to the server." Would the average user have any idea that it was a certificate issue? After installing the certificate and rebooting the system, Exchange finally worked.

Here's the kicker: When I try to set up the same Exchange email account on an iOS or Android device, I get a notice that a certificate is missing and I get the option to go ahead and connect anyway. That's easy and convenient and delights the user, but it's not so great for security. Microsoft is doing the right thing here, but they need to do it in a way that won't infuriate the user and cause him/her to conclude that "this thing doesn't work."

Afternoon delights and sins of omission

There are plenty of things in Windows 8 that I unabashedly love. Those include the new Task Manager, the beribboned Explorer, side-by-side mode in Metro (a huge improvement over the one-app-at-a-time experience in Android and iOS), and the ability to configure the taskbar and wallpaper to work properly with multiple monitors without installing a third-party program such as MultiMon.

I also really like Internet Explorer 10 so far. It's fast, both in Metro and in desktop mode. I also like the zoom feature on the Start screen, whereby you can zoom out and more easily arrange your tiles.

There are also some frustrating aspects to Windows 8, things that feel too much like Apple and its locked down, walled-garden approach. I like those live tiles, but I'd like the ability to configure them more to my preferences. Instead of selecting one basic theme color, I'd like to be able to color code my tiles for better organization of my apps and pinned items. I'd like to be able to make some of them larger or give some of them graphic backgrounds, as the app developers can do.

It's all small stuff

When I was much younger and more prone to get upset about things, an older and wiser friend once told me there are two keys to a happy life: 1) Don't sweat the small stuff, and 2) It is all small stuff. Over the years, I've come to realize that he was almost right. About 99% of it is indeed small stuff.

And at least that percentage of the annoyances and quirks that I've discovered in Windows 8 are "small stuff," too. Many of them will undoubtedly be fixed in the final release. Others will turn out to have workarounds, or in practice, once I'm used to the interface, they just won't come up nearly as often.

Nonetheless, Microsoft shouldn't shrug off the complaints of testers and reviewers of this consumer preview. Small stuff matters, and to some people, it matters a lot. Attention to detail is an important factor in winning over consumers; the success of the iPhone and iPad proved that. I believe Microsoft has a potential winner in Windows 8, if they take care of the little things.

Also read:

About

Debra Littlejohn Shinder, MCSE, MVP is a technology consultant, trainer, and writer who has authored a number of books on computer operating systems, networking, and security. Deb is a tech editor, developmental editor, and contributor to over 20 add...

44 comments
jmbaynes
jmbaynes

I agree on alot of your points. I think this will be great on tablets, but it still certaintly has a long way to go. However the fact that it is a general release beta might suggest they think they are closer then they really are. While it is a great beta, I think the "small stuff" could drive enough people crazy to keep them from upgrading to this product when it comes to market. I'm a long time MS product user, and have been loyal to them over the years. However if the interface doesn't become as natural as it has for Apple devices Microsoft may really start to loose market share. Let's hope Win8 doesn't go the way of the Microsoft Phone!

petin_y
petin_y

I don't know what the fuss is all about. I'm not a geek, I'm just a retired old man but have no problem using Windows 8. Since I don't have a touch device, I installed it in my desktop so I'm using keyboard and mouse with my preview. The only thing that I couldn't find in about twenty seconds of searching using Windows 8 for the first time was the shutdown botton so I Binged it and in a few seconds knew where to look for it. So in about 30 seconds, I had already shutdown the computer. In any case, I read somewhere how to make a shortcut for it and pinned that in my start screen.

david.hunt
david.hunt

I've just lost interest in even looking at Win-8 any time soon. With luck I'll never have to, as it will be like Vista and skipped by most corporates. I hate "The Ribbon". It takes too much screen real estate and to get to some of the common useful stuff, you have to click the little corner thingy to open the old dialog. With that exception, I'm quite happy with Win-7. Oh, and the extra complication of "Libraries" in Windows Explorer, does nothing for me except ensure that sometimes I find new files saved or copied to the wrong place, and thus with the wrong security applied. Many applications have not yet caught up with this fundamental change. I must say, I enjoy going back to using Office 2003 after a session on 2010. I run Linux, WinXP and Win-7 concurrently and am used (courtesy of Linux) to having multiple windows open and overlapped on multiple desktops, on the one monitor. Ok, I'm not an average user....but I don't want a PC that works like my phone. May as well use hedge shears to mow the lawn! Oh!, hang on *there's a mower for that!*

Cynyster
Cynyster

I have been testing out the new windows 8 for neary 2 weeks and I love some of the changes they have made. Namely the Task Manager & Windows Explorer. Both were in serious need for an overhaul, Windows explorer still can be improved (nothing seems to beat Directory Opus so I will probably continue to use it on my home PC's) but the Ribbon on windows explore.... about dang time! Here is the BUT! and it is a huge BUT! The Metro interface goes out of its way to hide things.. not make things easier to find and get to. That interface might be fine for a touch screen but desktops and laptop it takes extra time and wild mouse movements where their was none before. The start button was an absolute awesome application launcher and general "Start" point for everything you needed. Without to much trouble you could organize things into a concise application launcher. And the best part was, it did not steal the entire screen. The Metro interface assumes you will be operating all your apps in full screen mode. There are only a few types of individuals that operate in full screen for all their tasks, and they are usually those that only have one task open at a time (ie casual users or simple users) power users and business users tend to have many overlapping windows (and some of us actually utilize dual monitors or virtual desktops (some use both)). Full screen apps is not the way to be productive. They hide gadgets, widgets & windows that many are coming to rely upon. I certainly hope M$ comes to their senses and allows users and admins to choose between which interface is most appropriate to their needs. I for one can not see the Metro interface being remotely useful on anything except lightwieght touch devices.

mswift
mswift

I'd like to see tiles that allow for sub-menus. If the tile has a submenu clicking on it flips the tile and shows those choices. The panel approach for frequently used programs will be great for us. Naive users won't do things not on the punch panel.

deICERAY
deICERAY

M$ is no exception. I use Lose7 as a 2nd OS in case something doesn't still work in XP. To have an 8 gives the number a whole new association: "useless".

Craig_B
Craig_B

So far in my testing Windows 8, simply seems like a few enhancements to Windows 7 plus a complete overhaul of the GUI to make it a phone/tablet OS. I use traditional desktops and I don't use tablets or phones (except a traditional phone, you know the one where you actually talk to people). Win 8 simply causes more confusion for desktop users who were used to Win 7, Vista, XP, 98, 95, 3.11. With all the previous versions you stepped your way through them. They made some changes but after a couple days you figured them out. Win 8 is like starting from scratch, what used to work doesn???t and you now have to learn something completely new. It???s frustrating to have such a drastic change (which users did not ask for) as someone in IT, just wait until I try to explain something to a basic user. It just seems like Microsoft is dictating where to go instead of asking where do you want to go. Linux is looking better each day, at least you have choices.

sborsher
sborsher

Just push the power button.

za5g
za5g

We all have te spend hours and budget to learn! And for old tech on desktops win Win8 you can try WinKey+Y und WinKey+X. Regards

pappanoodles
pappanoodles

Shoukd have read:- I dont think so if what many clients have told me holds out to be true.

martin.f.walsh
martin.f.walsh

I've been using Win8 Dev Preview on an HP Touchsmart600 and rather liked it since it integrates well with the touch screen. However, since "upgrading" to the Consumer Preview, things went down-hill! It no longer recognises the NVIDIA graphics card (tried updating through Nvidia too and doesn't recognise it) and so have fallen down to the generic driver from MS - so 1024x768 on a 23" full HD screen really is a shame and not pretty at all... The calibration of the touchscreen didn't work well (doesn't like close to the edges of the screen) but worked fine in the dev preview, it refuses to remember my keyboard layout, etc... Same player, play again :-)

pappanoodles
pappanoodles

Quiote: "I think the Store is a good idea. Consumers have grown accustomed, due to their iPhones and Droids, to having a centralized place to get applications. As long as Windows 8 will still run software from other sources, I???m all for the Store. But the Store doesn???t work very well for me in the consumer preview. Sometimes when I click to install an app, it does. Sometimes it doesn???t." Windows 8 is an OS that is supposedly world friendly. iPhone and Droid users are not the majority so why are we being pushed down that route? Simple! Its all about money. I've used DOS and all forms of Windows. I personally hate Apple because it is so restrictive. Felt the same recently about Linux but now considering it as an option. In the present economic climate will we really see business embrace Windows 8? I dont think so if what many clients holds out to be true.

Kevin.Legrande
Kevin.Legrande

Would it kill Microsoft to give me a real start button? How about a search function that can actually find files? There are times when I will not be in the mood to even access Metro. Can I have that option? Some power users will not appreciate the "cute" factor. Is it not cool to give an icon to let me intuitively do stuff like go directly back to where I was? Oh, the edge pictures are nice but labels with them would be even nicer when you have a lot of stuff open. And how about a nice off/restart button where I can find it without stabbing for the lucky charms? I'm not crazy about the cheap, flat look of Metro but that's a minor point. On the plus side this puppy is fast! But dude...

clarnT
clarnT

I've been using Windows 8 for real work now for three days. It's in a Parallels VM on an OS X 10.6x machine. I have some issues about how many clicks it takes to move from here to there, but on the whole I really like it. I'm especially impressed with the Microsoft Store where two clicks install an app. Take away as much of the internal goings on from the average user as possible I always say, and Windows 8 is going down that path. Let the IT experts worry about the under-pinnings, remove them from the user.

rocketman67
rocketman67

I tried out Win 8 for two days and got totally frustrated with it. Sticking with Win 7.

Slayer_
Slayer_

To quote GlaDOS. He???s not just a regular moron. He???s the product of the greatest minds of a generation working together with the express purpose of building the dumbest moron who ever lived. That sounds exactly like Windows 8.

jfuller05
jfuller05

The small stuff blinds common users from how awesome an OS is and can be. I installed Windows 7 on a lady's PC a few weeks ago (she previously had XP) and she complained about how bad the OS was and how XP was much better. I asked her what it was she didn't like; she replied that 7's opening files from Word, Excel, etc. was confusing. That was her only complaint, but that complaint made her want to go back to XP. I trained her on 7's new file organization and windows for about a hour and then she loved 7......

ddarshan
ddarshan

Press Windows+R to get Run on desktop.

rhonin
rhonin

Been using it on a UL notebook for a couple of days now. It is different. Some things are intuitive, others not. Biggest issue I have is the OS seems tablet centric - by that I mean it really limits what you can do. I do everything from surf / games / email to work. Work stuff I use a lot of ie, MSO, SQL and other work apps (ex: SAP). On Win8, I find I cannot open and run everything I am used to at the same time. OUCH! WTH?!?! OMG!!! I can positively say at this time WIn8 is not very useful from a work pc perspective. Time will tell, for now, it's a hobby.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Copied from http://www.techrepublic.com/forum/discussions/102-389028?messageId=3646895 DOS was more intuitive. Windows 8 needs another 5 years of development before it will be ready, damn thing doesn't even tell you to right click in metro to access your programs, or that you have to hover over the right of your screen to access anything. Or how about when the advanced options errors, the error is stuck open, or how about you now have two task bars, metro tasks and normal tasks, or how about new IE which is the ugliest thing I have ever seen, or the fact that metro apps seem to randomly "roll" away and minimize. Or the fact that they don't even give you an easy way to access your files (unless you turn on your desktop icons). The only way I have found so far is to use the run dialog which still pops up when you hold the windows key and press R. How do you even access your documents folder? This should be painfully obvious but I can't find it... There are so many problems its crazy. The metro task bar that activates at the top left, but doesn't let you use it until you keep your mouse on the edge, and move down tot he middle, then the bar turns completely black and you can now interact with it. Even the new IE makes no sense, you have to right click on the border of your screen for anything useful to pop up? And it still keeps randomly rolling away on me, maybe I'll figure out why. What is the purpose of that thing at the top that lets you grab the desktop or metro app, whats the point of that? Anything I like? I actually kind of like having the ribbon in Explorer, the new explorer view is far better than Windows 7's.

Skruis
Skruis

I have my portable desktop (bluetooth kb/mouse, bluetooth headset, etc) and a slate pc all in one! If you're a user that doesn't need expansion (tons of USB connections, high end video card, 3+ monitors), a slate PC can do it all for you. You can dock your slate and use the desktop to get your more intense stuff done with your 'legacy' windows apps and when you're on the move or sitting on the couch, you can switch to metro and use it's touch friendly interface. Sure there are tons of small improvements and small steps backwards but my favorite thing about Win8 is that I finally have 1 device for the desk and the couch.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

What delights you in Windows 8? What infuriates you?

recording
recording

if MS could come up with a simple on/off switch!

bknight4
bknight4

I don't appreciate the "cute" factor either. This is obviously written with teenagers and their smartphones as the target market.

l_creech
l_creech

Tablet users may find it very simple to move into Win8, it operates in much the same manner as IOS and Android. Layout isn't intuitive though, I would have left things like the start button around (Thank you Stardock for fixing that), and made it easier for 22 years of education in how to use Windows (95 to now) menus and features to stay relevant. All of us in IT will now have to waste untold hours retraining end-users in how to do anything. I wonder if our managers have budgeted for this yet? Or for that matter if our managers have budgeted for a few long term temps to cover real work while we retrain our end-users?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

The only difference I've noticed between XP and W7's file organization was an abundance of added folders and libraries I don't want.

Skruis
Skruis

Cannot find and run everything...? Curious for examples.

Darren B - KC
Darren B - KC

...was the only part of your post that I read because it automatically says, "Nothing I say after this has any merit or value to anyone except me." Nice job.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

When I move the cursor to the bottom left hot spot, a button is displayed to return to the Start screen. However, when I move my cursor out of the corner to click that button, it disappears. How do I close a Metro app? The upper right hot spot activates the icon bar, but don't let the cursor stray from the edge when you move down to one of the icons or the bar goes away. I can't find any rhyme or reason to the upper left hot spot, the Escape key, or the Alt-Tab sequence. I suspect the Win key will not work because the logo matches previous versions of Windows. I'm sure MS is already working on stickers with the new logo for you to put on the Win key so it will work again :D

AgetroNairb
AgetroNairb

The biggest pain that I've had with Win8 is there isn't many options for right-clicking the icons in the Start Menu. With icons that large, I figured there'd be a lot more that I could do. I pinned the Computer icon with the hope that I could right-click and go to Computer Management like I can with it on the desktop, but it only allows me to remove the icon. I'd also love to be able to close the metro applications that I open. I've only found the option to close them by using the slider on the left side, right-clicking the app, and then telling it to close.

jfuller05
jfuller05

Lack of folder up button, loss of "my" in front of documents, all of the extra stuff on the side of the open file window. She was complaining about small stuff.

domiles
domiles

When I tried some libraries, thinking it would make my genealogy stuff more convent I discovered I would need to maintain duplicate files for every jpg, tif and gif file for each family, with over 12,000 of these times 10, there goes my disk space, not to mention the time to maintain 10 copies of each! But then I still dislike the Users files because you have to waste time with search to find anything that ends up in them! Windows 8, it took me nearly an hour hunting for a blog or something to tell me how to close the bloody thing and shut down my computer for cleaning! I am still trying to find my way to things I want and need rather than the mostly useless, to me apps, on the screen. I want my file manger at my finger tips, several browsers and several programs running at the same time and even with 8 gig of Ram plus the 2 gig from the video boards, I run out before i have edited, published and checked a new web page. But when it comes to customizing my OS Windows 7 wins hands down. Yes it took me a while and recently when I had to reformat and re-install 4 computers I had to do it all over again, but the freedom to do so is what makes me like Windows 7. Customizing 8, forget it. I have work to do. Windows 7 64 bit is much more stable than XP 64 and I need the memory and speed. I used Xp 64 bit for one week and had more blue screens and freeze ups than all other OS combined over decades. Enjoy XP if you want, enjoy W8 if you want, I will stick with W7.

HAL 9000
HAL 9000

It was [i]On Win8, I find I cannot open and run everything I am used to at the same time.[/i] Open is a lot different to find. ;) Col

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

You don't close Metro Apps - Windows will close it when you stop using it or when it needs the memory. That is a strange thing for me to get used to and I suspect it will be for many of us.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Top left shows the metro apps task bar, if you keep your mouse on the left hand of your screen and move it downwards along the edge, eventually you will notice the side bar extend to the bottom of your screen, this is a sign that you can now leave the edge and select or right click and close metro programs.

Skruis
Skruis

What can't you OPEN and run?

mudpuppy1
mudpuppy1

I have with Win 8 (aside from that hideous Metro thing). I don't want an app I am finished with to be sitting there open. I want it closed. I don't care if it only uses .001% of system resources (or whatever it uses), I want it closed. I'll open it again if I need it. I agree with Slayer that keeping unneeded apps open is unacceptable. And I'm not a gamer. Slayer is right about that roll away thing. That is infuriating. And try to stay to the right edge of the left monitor on a dual-monitor system to get that "Charms" bar. What a stupid name. Is this the "Barbie" OS or the "Bewitched" OS? I do like the enhanced Task Manager and the other improvements. Still not sure about the ribbon in Explorer. By the way, there is a program called vistart that adds the Win 7 start menu to Win 8. Haven't had the time to try it yet though.

jcbronson
jcbronson

Taking your question a step further, will Windows ever learn that I changed to another window for a reason and that I probably want to stay there? I haven't had a chance to look at the new version yet, but the one problem everyone hates that has rippled through every version of Windows - stealing focus. On this style of interface, I don't know if that will still happen, but I can see it becoming even more infuriating than in previous versions!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

as opposed to temporarily doing something else? Say I'm using an app, and start IE to get more info on that app. How does W8 determine that I'm not coming back? Is it the app's responsibility to save my work when Windows forces it closed, or is it Windows' job? If I can't close it when I'm done, how do I get it off Alt-Tab? (That was one of the confusing Alt-Tab behaviors I mentioned earlier. This may explain why apps I've tried to close keep showing up when I Alt-Tab.)

Slayer_
Slayer_

The audio players keep going, etc. And when that stupid roll away thing happens, you need to use the metro task bar to bring the application back to the front. As a gamer, leaving a bunch of programs open is unacceptable. Every one of them processing in an endless loop listening for OS messages.

Slayer_
Slayer_

I would have said Win7 except for its DOS missing the edit command. That's been annoying me.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Where's the instructions to show us how to do in W8 all those behaviors MS spent years indoctrinating and ingraining in us with previous versions? THAT'S the article or reference I'm really looking for. If I could find it, I'd be better able to develop an informed opinion. I have no experience with touch devices, Windows Phone, or Apple iToys; I've had no reason to use them and don't have those skill sets to draw on. I'm approaching W8 strictly from a 'traditional' Windows background, with a smattering of Linux. It looks approaching W8 with a bag full of XP / 7 power user experience only leads to frustration and disappointment. Speaking of Linux, it looks like W8 requires the same mindset as transitioning to Penguinistics: forget everything you already know. If that's the case, I'd rather spend the time learning Linux. There; I've said it.

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