For literally my entire life, Windows has been a Start button, a taskbar, and a desktop. And for many people, that’s all the computer has ever been. Now with Windows 8, Microsoft is making consumers learn a whole new experience with no video tutorial or help at first boot besides a video on how to go to the Start screen. It’s a confusing mess for people who just want familiarity when they use a computer.
For some reason, though, I like it.
In terms of the UI, the majority of users are not going to understand how it works. The idea is that the “Modern” experience is the same across all Microsoft products, so people with an Xbox or a Windows Phone can pick up Windows 8 on a PC easily. But not everyone has an Xbox, and most people aren’t willing to give Windows Phone a try. Now I don’t have an Xbox, but back in September of 2011, I gave Windows Phone a try. It was a Samsung Focus that cost a penny on Amazon. That gives you a feel for how many people aren’t buying Windows Phone. Instantly, I fell in love. It was the only phone I’ve ever owned that didn’t drop frames when loading information in the background, and it was never slow. Unfortunately, I cracked the screen when it fell out of my pocket, so I had to use an old iPhone 3GS. If that had never happened, I’d still be a happy Windows Phone user. It was that experience that made me excited for Windows 8. I had grown up and dealt with the general slowness of Windows; I couldn’t wait for the fast Modern UI, and I wasn’t disappointed.
At first boot, it seems Windows loads up slower than before. I use a Lenovo IdeaCentre K320 with an i3 processor and a keyboard and mouse. On my desktop, I dual-boot Ubuntu. First it loads the boot screen, then I have to choose Windows, and then it finally loads into Windows. When I log in, the computer is never slow. Apps load up quickly and there are no dropped frames when scrolling. The Modern UI gives Windows a more stable feel. I’ve never had a Modern app crash (I can’t say the same of classic apps). Sure, with my dual display setup, I get both the classic desktop and the Modern UI on two screens, but I don’t mind it. For me, it’s easy to adjust, and that way, I can keep TweetDeck open on the desktop and have the other desktop or an app open on the other screen. The Modern apps, with the Windows Store, are what I really like about Windows 8. They’re all beautifully designed, and all work the same way. If you want to open up a menu of options, you right-click. If you want to change a setting, you put your mouse in the top or bottom right corner, and click settings. It maintains familiarity with the apps, and a user knows that all apps work the same. Now, the user may never figure that out because, again, there are no instructions on how to work the Modern UI, but if they ever do, it becomes easy.
Windows 8 certainly is not easy out of the box; for most consumers, it’s a whole new experience to learn. But for people like me who don’t mind a confusing dual interface in exchange for a more stable feel, it’s worth it.
For as long as he can remember, Anthony Guidetti has been fascinated with all things tech. He also likes graphic design and media production. At his high school, he runs the video board for the closed circuit network, and won a scholarship for his book cover design work. Oh, and if you came here to find out how to pronounce his last name, it’s Jah-Dead-Eee.