I have been running Windows 8 as my primary operating system for quite a few months now and I have had mixed feelings over it. There are a number of new features that I absolutely love, like the new task manager and lock screen. However, there are a few things that I think need to be addressed before the final version is released. Here is a list of the things that I don’t like about Windows 8:
The Start Button
I don’t know what Microsoft was thinking by creating an invisible Start button, but there needs to be a Start button on the Aero desktop. Period. By integrating the traditional desktop interface into the operating system, the absence of the Start button does not make sense. It seems that Microsoft omitted the Start button in an attempt to make the traditional desktop look different from Windows 7, but all it does is make it harder to navigate your way through files and folders. (At least there’s a way to bring back the old Start menu in Windows 8.)
Left to Right Scrolling
Metro is all about scrolling left and right, rather than up and down. The new scroll system just doesn’t work as well on a desktop as it would on a mobile touch device. I, like many, have grown accustomed to scrolling up and down in Windows and it seems that the mouse functionality for scrolling left and right is limited. I can understand how it would work well on touch devices, but it doesn’t have the same effect on a desktop computer as it is hard to keep track of where you are reading when you scroll from left to right. Also, there’s the fact that a traditional mouse has a scroll wheel that rotates in an up and down movement.
Other than the awful name, the Charms menu is a poor substitute for the Start menu. Frankly, the Charms bar is an annoyance to use through a desktop computer and some of the settings found in the Charms menu don’t belong there. The Charms menu isn’t a great idea, particularly for a desktop operating system. Unfortunately, users have no choice but to familiarize themselves with the Charms bar because it’s not going anywhere.
The Shutdown Button
The idea of having the computer power settings hidden away in the Charms menu is absurd. Who would’ve thought hovering your mouse over the bottom right corner of your screen would open up a menu that contains the computer power settings? It’s like navigating through a maze just to switch off your computer. This needs to be addressed, because the lack of a prominent shutdown button is borderline insanity.
Microsoft’s attempt in creating a consistent operating system across devices is applaudable. But the integration between the two user interfaces (Aero and Metro) is just downright ugly. In fact, you would be forgiven for mistaking Windows 7 for Windows 8 because it seems like Microsoft has just slapped on a Metro user interface on top of the traditional desktop. The user interface seems incomplete and it is almost as if the Aero and Metro interfaces are separate from each other. It was always going to be a challenge to integrate two user interfaces in one operating system and, unfortunately, it seems that little thought went into the way in which the two user interfaces would be combined together.
No, I don’t mean the advertisements used to promote Windows 8. I’m referring specifically to the Video app. Upon opening up the Video app, you are greeted with a gallery of purchasable content from Microsoft. You then have to scroll through a bunch of advertisements to get to your own video gallery; this is unacceptable. I wouldn’t have a problem with a few small advertisements on the Video app, but it is hard to get past the fact that the advertisements are intrusive and dominate the app’s interface.
Interactive Tiles Limitation
The live tiles in the Windows 8 Metro interface are quite useful for receiving real time updates. However, the Metro tiles have a few limitations that need to be fixed. For instance, the Metro tiles aren’t interactive with older applications, such as Office 2007. Also, the information displayed in the live tiles is not customizable as only developers have the power to dictate what is shown on the live tiles. We can only hope that these limitations will be addressed before the final version of Windows 8 is released.
Before I end this article, let me make it clear that I think Windows 8 has a lot to offer and has the potential to be a successful operating system. Most of the things I pointed out are very minor and can be fixed before the final copy is released. So, I think that at the very least, a few of the things mentioned in this article should be addressed by Microsoft before the final version of Windows 8 is released.
What changes do you think Windows 8 needs before it is released? Leave a comment below!
CC licensed Flickr photo by magn3tik