Why is Windows 8 Causing a Panic?
At PC Pitstop, we have a very unique view of the upcoming launch of Windows 8. On one hand, we are part of the Windows universe, and to the extent that Windows 8 is successful, then that is good for PC Pitstop. On the other hand, PC Pitstop and PC Matic exist to fix and repair many of the bone headed ‘features’ in Windows.
Over 6 months ago, our team began its analysis of Windows 8. Microsoft provided us with quite a few keys so everyone including our developers, support and simply the curious downloaded and installed the product. And the verdict is in! No one is very impressed. Here’s why.
The under pinnings of Windows 8 has really nothing to do with computers as we know it such as laptops, desktops, and netbooks. Microsoft is trying to play catch up by leveraging the Windows world in to tablets and also smart phones. Their goal is that all of your devices will run some sort of Windows and Windows 8 is the entry point.
Therein lies the problem. There are literally billions of Windows users, and they are making an operating system that is entirely not for us. To make it more clear. If you are a Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 user, there is really no reason to upgrade to Windows 8.
The problem, however, gets worse. If you are one of the billion or more Windows users, many of the intuitive and comfortable parts of Windows will be missing. GONE. You can spend hours trying to make Windows work like you are accustomed and it is all for naught.
There are two key things missing. The START button is gone. Forever. I know that you are used to it, and you probably click START 10 times per day, but it is gone. On top of that, the search box after you hit START has been moved. Then it behaves differently. There are lots of other differences but these two are the most obvious.
Our contributor, Chris Pirillo, documented how difficult the transition to Windows 8 will be by making a video of his father suffering through the changes.
But here’s the view from the inside. We are old PC veterans at PC Pitstop, and many of our former colleagues have gone off to work at HP, Dell, Acer, Lenovo, Toshiba and others. There is almost a consensus. There is a panic. All of them have made the trek up to Redmund begging them to put back the START button.
One of the larger PC OEM’s actually did a full focus group of real customers to go through the pain of switching to Windows 8. Each customer would be compensated and they would be video taped. Many of the customers after trying for a while left in frustration without being compensated.
Another PC OEM decided to hack into Windows 8 and put back in the start button. Guess what? They succeeded. Except Microsoft informed them they would be in violation of their contract. Ouch.
After all this, however, I am optimistic. The PC OEM’s understand what we the billions of Windows users want, and they are fighting for us. Microsoft makes an outrageous amount of money on royalties on new computers, and it is my sincere hope that they will stop ignoring them.