It seems like Microsoft messes up with about every other major release of Windows. First it over-reaches, and then it corrects. Windows 98 was good, Millenium Edition was not. Windows 2000 and XP were good, Vista was not. Windows 7 is good, Windows 8 … well, I’m going with not.
It’s not that there’s anything technically wrong with Windows 8. It’s just that it’s, well, annoying to the point of frustration for the average user. Somebody needed to reign in the technicians and work with more real users.
The root of the problem with Windows 8 is philosophical: it violates the prime directive of Windows – to provide desktop services. PC and laptop users specifically did not buy a tablet device, so they don’t need or want the “App Mode” “Start Menu” that Microsoft has imposed with Windows 8.
Unless you are using a touch-screen device you won’t need App Mode at all. Even though you can bypass the Start Menu on Startup, even though I can put icons on the Desktop to avoid the need to use it, people still end up stuck in App Mode unexpectedly.
For instance, if you don’t install Adobe Acrobat Reader in Desktop Mode, then you try to read a .PDF file, you’ll end up reading it in App Mode. Then you have to figure out how to close that and get back to your desktop.
Another set of peeves: the Log Off, Shutdown, Restart, and Show Desktop buttons are all in different places than they used to be. Some keystroke combinations, like for selecting files, that have worked since the beginning of Microsoft time are now different.
Programmers might have good reasons for changing these things, but programmers are not the customer – people are. I wish Microsoft would learn that once and for all. Maybe Windows 9 will be better, but I’m not holding my breath. I see they’re continuing down this touch-screen path.
Windows 7 will be supported until 2020. I usually purchase PCs and laptops with Windows 7, available from suppliers like Dell, have them shipped to me, and pre-configure them for my clients when they arrive. Then they work like people expect them to, and everybody’s happy.