Windows 8: a Monkey with Four Asses

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Windows 8: a Monkey with Four AssesIt’s good that many people are in love with their Windows 8 experience. I don’t want to take away from that, and my perspective should not be any reflection on your choices. What you like is what you like, and I respect that.

I just can’t get over the blended UX — and I keep trying to do just that. I am trying to accommodate Microsoft’s decision to keep its feet on both sides of the riverbank. I simply am not having a great time with this new version of Windows. It’s not that I’m “biased,” it’s not that I haven’t tried, and it’s not like I’m comparing it to anything other than what it’s trying to be. I’m just confused with Windows 8. What is this supposed to be?

So, great, I’m glad you’ve found something that works well for you. I am happy to hear you singing its praises (Microsoft appreciates it, too). But slapping the beautiful, touchscreen-optimized Modern UI atop the classic Desktop makes me see Windows RT / 8 as… a four-assed monkey.

That’s my perspective. That’s my experience. If we don’t see eye-to-eye, we don’t. Obviously, you might see it as the best thing Microsoft could have done — but I see it as one big usability compromise. “You’ll get used to it” sounds like a cop out.

I think I’ve figured out what the best possible Windows 8 PC is (for maximum usability):

  • Portability (Lightweight)
  • 5+ Hour Battery Life
  • Not Plastic
  • Touchscreen
  • Keyboard
  • Around $1,000
  • Crucial: Trackpad

Given that we have to put up with Microsoft’s decisions, I’ve set out to find the optimum Windows 8 computer. I’m wholly frustrated with the bifurcated UX (it’s schizophrenic, at best). When you use Windows 8, you quickly realize that Modern is nothing more than lipstick. But, as it turns out, the lynchpin for my disappointment in other Windows 8 configurations was not having a trackpad (sounds stupid, but that’s the only way I can effectively navigate on the classic Desktop while still being able to touch the tasty Modern experience).

Looks like Surface Pro might be it, unless you know an OEM that’s making a PC that fits the bill?

One thing’s for sure: at $1,000, Windows 8 will never be an iPad killer. And, as much as Microsoft believes a Windows RT PC can kill the iPad or stave off Android tablet experiences, RT is not up to the task today.

I’m trying, here… I really am.

Image: South Park Studios