621st post: Perception of Windows 8 before RTM

Windows 8 (Consumer Preview) start menu screen
For those who have been follow me on twitter since at least for a few months, you would have saw me talking about Windows 8. More recently, I mentioned how frequent the blue screen of death (BSoD) appears on my Vista Laptop lately, and, indirectly, how long it takes to boot up with junk that has been accumulated over the years. To have a BSoD appearing this frequent on an OS newer than Windows 98/ME means that the problem is serious, but not helpful as to saying how to fix it.

I really wanted to reinstall the OS, but no, the manufacturer did not provide the OS installation disc that lets me do that. I'm using this Win8 upgrade to let me do that. (I have another laptop with Win7, but let's not talk about that now.)

Parent's Reaction
Had multiboot on the WinXP PC with Win8 RC and set the latter as the default operating system. This PC itself was bought recently, as used, to replace an older PC that is no longer functioning. Dad liked it, but not mom. Dad works at the office and likely to run a bunch of software (though tech knowledge is not as much as me), though mum is still on the basic level. Sometimes even asking me to help with something so basic.

Adapting to Change
Because Windows has been the dominant operating system for a long time, and the start menu being what it has been since Windows 95 in 1995, and a slight redesign in Windows XP and Vista, people have become accustomed to the start menu that is that thing in the bottom left corner that pops out as a selectable list.

Even as early as when Windows XP came out, I could start to see that people/companies are reluctant to adapt to change (staying in their comfort zone) by changing from the default theme to the "classic" style found in earlier operating systems. To make matters worse, there was a 6 year gap between the release of Windows XP and Vista instead of the usual 3 years. That gap is big enough to cause the people who had hardware older than what most people had (as there was no reason to upgrade during the gap) to not be able to run Vista. A contributing factor to its weak acceptance.

When Windows 8 came along, it introduced a brand new start screen and, at the same time, removing the code for the old start menu and introduced a new way of doing things. Most of which are easy, but only if you knew what to type and hard to explain to people who are used to the old ways that are gone in Windows 8.

Oh, I have also read comments on people criticizing it, so don't say I'm ignorant of what is going on. This brings me to my next point.

People criticizing things on something they only heard from others / used only for a short time / was fixed later on
You might have heard people criticizing about how bad Windows Vista was to the point that people would downgrade it to Windows XP. However, how many of those who complain about it actually use Vista? Sadly, when one person say "Vista is bad" to another, the person who heard/was told about it would also think it it's bad without even trying it out, and telling it to others. Sometimes, not going into detail as to why they say is bad is enough to convince others to not use it. The problems most people talked about, like taking thousands of days to transfer files (which, if you paid attention, was calculated wrongly and actual transfer was only a few minutes), were fixed in Service Pack 1 (SP1). In fact, the underlying structure of Windows 7 itself is the same as Vista SP1.

Why was I talking about Windows Vista when talking about Windows 8? Well, the same level of criticism has come, and labelling it as "the new Vista". People are complaining because they expect the old ways that they are so used to on a new (and yet-to-be-completed) operating system.


SakuyaFM said…
I'm really not a fan of it. I've used Win8 since the developer preview, and installed the consumer preview as well, and Metro just feels cluttered. For a power user such as myself, it's really hard to let go of the simple yet very effective Start Menu. Having to dig for an "All Programs" option in Metro was pain.

All in all, this is made for touch interfaces, not mice. Plus, making everything run through WinRT is just a sign of their attempt to compete with Apple in the wrong way. Even bigger companies like Valve know this.
@SakuyaFM: I use the search option in the start menu instead of the "All Programs", which you can start typing the first few keys right after opening the start menu to find the program you want to run, which is also available in win8.

However, I do have to agree that using Win8 without knowing what to do and used to earlier versions of windows can be confusing.

BTW, Metro refers to the visual styling, not the start screen.

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