Thoughts on the Upcoming release of Windows 8

by Peter Marus

I don’t get the idea behind Windows 8.  By that I mean I don’t get why Microsoft is taking such a extreme and desperate move for their operating system.  They’ve admitted that they are a cycle behind everyone when it comes to mobile and desktop, but what they are doing-trying to “unify” the software so the experience is the same mobile and on a desktop-is almost “too fast too soon” feel.  

This is a company that prided themselves in keeping older software working on newer versions of their OS (which is what was the problem with a couple iterations-bloat of emulators and converters in the OS slowed it down.  As a person who uses primarily Apple products, I understand the allure of the “one OS type for the entire line” approach, but how Microsoft is doing it is wrong.

I always thought what they are doing-cutting off older software support in the OS should have been done after Windows XP.  It was a perfect time to do that since Vista had a lot of newer stuff in it (not fully complete or good, but new nonetheless).  I respect Apple in that sense where each new OS update gradually makes older stuff obsolete.  My computer is four years old and I am sure the next Mac OS won’t work on it.  But Windows should have done this years ago to get people onto Vista/7 OS, and especially should have forced enterprise/companies to move from XP.  Yeah, I know the headaches of doing that, IT people, but at the same time staying on XP made people-Microsoft, Developers, IT, etc. lazy and complacent.  There was no extreme innovation during that time, and since no one in the enterprise market was moving, the software developers sat on their asses and didn’t innovate.  Had Microsoft had the balls to stay with the plan and kill XP years ago, better corporate software and experience would be here now, rather than seeing everyone scramble trying to catch up.  this also would have possibly made Microsoft’s gap in enterprise stay big, and Apple not eat at it as it has.

I have played with Windows 8 preview, and I don’t like it.  I have played with 7 a lot and I think it’s an awesome OS.  I’m thinking of building a gaming PC in the future, and I'm just putting 7 on it.  Windows 8 seems “jack of all trades, master of none”, and I think that’s the plan.  It has to serve several masters-Mobile, Tablet PCs, and desktops, which means there are limits for everything.  The “modern/Metro” interface seems like it would work well on a tablet, but as a desktop thing, it looks stupid.  I'm not getting into the hornet’s nest of the hardware differences between the phones, tablets, and desktops, but the OS itself seems...bland.  

I'm sure there’s a level of “THIS ISN’T WHAT I’M USED TO” here, but form what I’ve seen and used, I'm not impressed.  I’d stick with Windows 7 until you HAVE to get Windows 8, there isn’t a ton of difference once you get past the garbage interface.