So I played around with the Developer Preview of Windows 8 for the past few days. Honestly can’t say I’m all that excited about Windows 8 as of this post. It’s not horrible, but it’s not dazzling to me by any means. If I had to choose right now, I’d take Windows 7 over 8 without thinking twice. Though it is not even a public beta, so there’s still time for Microsoft to change things for the better.
If Microsoft is banking on everyone running out and buying new computers with touchscreens or replacing already costly big LCD screens with touchscreens just so folks can use Windows 8… Then I’m thinking Microsoft is going to be terribly disappointed. Especially with the threat of gas prices rocketing upwards of $5 per gallon this year. I know I’m not planning on many hardware upgrades in 2012. Certainly not touch screens for my desktop and I don’t need a new laptop yet.
It seems that’s the only thing Microsoft is gearing Windows 8 for, is touchscreens. So for those of us not planning any upgraded hardware this year, it’s going to be a very hard sell to us. Not having a touchscreen makes using Windows 8 a royal pain the ass.
First you are greeted with what looks like a digital picture frame for a “lock” screen.
This you have to swipe up to reveal the actual login screen behind it. Without a touchscreen, you have to drag it up or use your mouse’s scrolling wheel. It would appear that this year, green is the new blue.
Finally you get introduced to Metro. Over all, it’s a bunch of rectangles that you can use to launch programs or view weather or interact with your social networking life. Again, I need not express how much I’m not into the social networking crap. I’d rather use a phone or hang out in public in real life rather than…. never mind, don’t get me ranting.
As you can see, it covers a lot of useless things that may appeal to others. As well as any programs you install yourself end up as squares on the far right. So if you have a lot of apps and programs installed, you could end up scrolling forever just trying to find what it is you want to run. Again, without a touchscreen, you have to scroll your mouse wheel or click and drag a slider that appears on the bottom.
Over all, Windows 8 seems like it’s just a slightly updated version of Windows 7 with this Metro thing slapped on top of it. Metro merely appears to “hook” into certain programs to make it feel like it’s new when really it’s just an obscured view of what you already have. You see, if you have a program that isn’t Metro ready (such as Firefox 9.0.1), you click on it and it throws you to the normal desktop where it opens the program to run there. Making Windows 8 feel terribly clunky.
Also you can see while in “windows” mode, you see that the explorer windows got an upgrade to the ever popular ribbons.
Here’s what I mean by “hook”. Metro acts like it’s just the first program to run. It’s not actually part of Windows. It overlays the screen or runs in full screen mode and launches apps specifically designed for it as well as “hooks” into programs that allow it to hook into. My example is running Internet Explorer from the desktop looks like Internet Explorer as everyone knows and hates.. er loves it.
But if you open IE from Metro, you get an even more horrifying version of the exact same program. (makes me wonder how toolbars will get bastardized)
Scary isn’t it?
Thankfully I was able to find a “hack” that makes Windows 8 play like every other version of Windows since 95 essentially. It turns off Metro and gives you a slightly fancier version of Windows 7 which would be Windows 8 without the stupid shit.
Although it has a side effect of killing the ribbon menus in Explorer.
So, all in all it’s really like Microsoft is not only banking on touchscreens, but also that you’ll rush out and buy what you think is a new operating system when really its more like just a few tweaks and fixes and this new interface that merely runs on top to make it look completely different when really it isn’t different.
Although if Microsoft were to see it in their slightly bent hearts to add the ability to turn off Metro like that “hack” does, I’d actually be into buying it. It’s sure to have more improvements over Windows 7 right? Or will it be like every opposing version of Windows, and suck royally? I’ll revisit this when they make a public beta available (if they do).
Millenium Edition = Sucked | XP = Rocked | Vista = Sucked | 7 = Rocked | 8 = ….. ???
Anyone else see a scary ass pattern forming here?