Tuesday, December 17, 2013

What's eating Windows 8

It's been over a year since the release of Windows 8, and with articles like this, one must ask, "What's eating Windows 8?"

It's actually eating itself.

If Windows 8 is reverting back to have the Start menu button, it sounds more like Microsoft is scrambling and doesn't really know how to handle the low adoption rate.  It's reactionary.  And because of the low response,  Microsoft is no longer confident in their design - since they haven't really committed to the Metro/Modern UI style despite producing hardware along with its new OS.

It's indicative of their Desktop tile, something I noticed right away when I was in awe of the tile beauty.  "Pretty squares," I call it.  When you have such a dichotomy in design, it tells your user that "we haven't really progressed, and this is an experiment [much like Vista] but please, we hope you like this [half-assed design attempt]", to put it bluntly.  It's like a dual-boot version of Windows in order to create embraceable change, but instead, you have two homes.  Or it's a new girlfriend giving you mixed messages.  But I digress.

To put it into context, I've owned the MS Surface tablet Pro (64GB) for almost a year now, and still, many of my friends who don't work in technology haven't seen the device before.  And there are some who work in tech who have never seen the tablet in real life.  People's first reaction is always, "Weird!"  But it stops there and they don't ask to use it for fear it might give them a disease.

The problem with the Surface is that there were so few apps, and the market is still very small.  I was looking to find use for this device for the past year and haven't really done so until I finally upgraded to MS Office 2013 and using Skydrive.  This means instead of using EverNote to take notes during meetings, I can finally use MS Word, save it to SkyDrive and then access is at my desktop or anywhere in the world (like I travel all that much).  And the keyboard serves it purpose, finally.

But in doing so, I'm running the Desktop version of Windows 8, not the Metro version.  And then they try to repeat this design paradigm in MS Word's File menu to create more confusion.  Let me just say, the experience is jarring and I don't like it.  So it's back to using EverNote for me!  At least I know the experience will be the consistent through and through.

The only advantage I see to carrying around the MS Surface tablet is when I am working at home because I don't want to carry my larger, heavier Dell laptop in a second bag.  And when my laptop fails, I use it to access my emails and reply to them using a semi-proper keyboard.  That's about it.  Beyond that and note-taking, or using it as a Skype device because all my other devices are being used for other purposes, the Surface tablet is left to being the backup.

Microsoft is still not clear on the purpose of Windows 8 and the Metro design.  They haven't thought this through.  When you hang on to the past (of the older Desktop), you don't let the present (Metro) shine.  They shouldn't exist together.

And that's as clear as that gets.