Fear and Loathing and Windows 8

Windows 8 worries Michael Mace:

Be sure to read his insightful (and lengthy) article on Windows 8 too:

Windows 8 is very different: attractive in some ways, and disturbing in others. It combines an interesting new interface with baffling changes to Windows compatibility, and amateur mistakes in customer messaging. Add up all the changes, and I am very worried that Microsoft may be about to shoot itself in the foot spectacularly.

Fear and Loathing and Windows 8 →
Download the Windows 8 Release Preview →

UPDATE: Having seen the movie above was quite helpful before I started playing with Windows 8 myself; I would ‘ve been quite lost without it to be honest. However, some of the old habits still worked and helped me to struggle through my first start screen experience:

  • Use ALT+TAB to switch between apps/desktop, no need for that upper-left corner thingy
  • Pressing the Windows keys allows switching between the start screen (the screen with the tiles) and the Desktop (*)
  • Start typing at the start screen and it starts search your stuff (documents, apps)
  • Use ALT+F4 to exit an app (instead of that not so usable “drag the top to the bottom”)

(*) The start screen is quite confusing at first, yet it’s easier to wrap your head around it if you consider it being a replacement of the start menu. This explains why you can access it by pressing the Windows key. Only difference is that it’s been completely revamped and that it doesn’t have a dedicated button in the lower left corner anymore.

Whilst these things are somewhat familiar to me, it’s not the kind of stuff my mum knows (she isn’t an avid keyboard user, it took me quite some time to explain CTRL+C/CTRL+V to her). In the end she’ll be confused and become frustrated with the OS, which could indeed lead to Microsoft shooting itself in the foot with Windows 8 — the switch from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is too steep for the average user. This steepness could easily be fixed by bringing back the start button (only the button, not the whole menu) which upon a click would procure the start screen with a dedicated (and non-hidden as it is now) search box on it.

Sidenote: I found using IE10 accessed via the tiles (by which it enters some sort of kiosk mode) a horrible thing to use on a desktop (although it would work perfectly fine on a tablet). Accessing it via the (good old) Desktop made it usable.

Published by Bramus!

Bramus is a frontend web developer from Belgium, working as a Chrome Developer Relations Engineer at Google. From the moment he discovered view-source at the age of 14 (way back in 1997), he fell in love with the web and has been tinkering with it ever since (more …)

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