Philip Greenspun’s Weblog » Christmas gift for someone you hate: Windows 8:
“A reasonable user might respond to this dog’s breakfast of a user interface by trying to stick with either the familiar desktop or the new tablet. However, this is not possible. 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.”
Windows 8 is quite possibly a bigger mess for Microsoft than was Vista. And Vista, at least, was relatively easy for the company to extricate itself from.
Techpinions’ Steve Wildstrom ponders if Microsoft will make a successful transition like IBM, or a failure like AT&T:
“The question is, which model will Microsoft follow, AT&T or IBM? Will it emerge as a chastened, perhaps smaller, but very competitive company? Or will it just slowly fade away? The money gives it time to fix things, but it has to make key decisions about what sort of future it wants soon, and whether the leadership the company now has can get it there.”
IBM, under Louis Gerstner, shredded many sacred cows and emerged leaner, stronger, and able to grow. AT&T made failure into an art form. Microsoft still has the chance to succeed, but it needs to start working hard: much harder than Windows 8 would suggest it’s capable of doing.
Steve Wildstrom of Techpinions tries to set the sleep timer on his Windows 8 laptop, and finds it’s a little harder than he thought it would be:
“The best I could do to stay in Metro was: From the Start screen, bring up the Charms bar and select the Search charm. Pick Settings as the search domain and start typing ‘sleep.’ ’Change when the computer sleeps’ pops up; click it and the control panel opens. Of course, at this point, you are back in Desktop. Again, this method to perform a simple task seems totally unintuitive, especially since if you type ‘screen’ or ‘display’ in the search box you are not offered the sleep option.”
Windows 8 is a mess. Not because Metro is bad, but because Microsoft has bolted two operating systems into one, which makes the entire thing confusing.