Will Windows 8 catch on?

As most people who read this post will know, Microsoft have released a Windows 8 Customer Preview. At the moment there is no official release date (not that I’m aware of anyway), all we know is that it is due ‘sometime in 2012′. I’ve installed the Windows 8 customer preview on an old machine and have been playing around with it on and off for a while now. From what I have seen, the general consensus within the online community is that Windows 8 is probably going to be a flop. So I thought I would add my thoughts on the subject…

After installing the customer preview and rebooting into Windows 8, I was confronted with the new Metro user interface (UI), my initial thoughts were that it looked a hell of a lot like my Xbox and that isn’t a good thing for a desktop computer. So I continued to dig around and it soon became apparent that the Windows 8 UI had very little in common with any other previous version of Windows. You can load up the ‘desktop’ and be greeted with what looks like a very cut down version of the Windows 7 UI, but with one huge different…there is no start button.

The Metro UI in Windows 8

Windows 8 'desktop'

I couldn’t believe that they had left out the Windows Start Menu. For those that don’t know, the Start Menu is where access to pretty much everything on the machine is found. Instead I reverted to using the Windows button (super key for you Linux guys) on the keyboard. Upon pressing this, Windows 8 re-opened the Metro UI…this is the start menu!

After playing around for a while, I found that if I jammed my mouse cursor right into the bottom right hand corner of the screen, I got a little tooltip saying ‘Start’, so the start button is there, kind off, it’s just right in the corner of the screen with no visible button. Now, I am a Windows ‘Power User’ and I really struggled to find my way around Windows 8, I couldn’t even workout how to shut Windows 8 down and the ‘start button’ took a few days to find. So if a ‘Power User’ like me is struggling so much then how are ‘Normal’ users going to cope?

I think it’s important to say at this point that this is a customer preview from Microsoft, so although this is pretty much what the final version will look and feel like – changes aren’t out of the question. I really hope the guys at Microsoft see sense and add the Start Button back to the ‘desktop’.

Well, all in all I found Windows 8 to be pretty much a nightmare to navigate around and use. There are many things I’ve struggled with that I haven’t listed here, mainly because I don’t want it to seem like I’m totally against Windows 8 – I’ll make that decision when it gets released, but with romours flying around that there will be an extra charge for Media Centre and other browsers are being blocked, I really can’t see Windows 8 being a success, maybe on touch devices… I’m more than happy with Ubuntu and I really can’t see anything in Windows 8 that will make me want to switch back to Windows.

I think short video sums up how easy Windows 8 is to use perfectly:

How real people will see Windows 8

Have you used Windows 8? Did you struggle like me? Do you love it? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

If you want to try the Windows 8 Customer Preview, the download link & preview License Key are below:

Download Win8

License Key:

Will Windows 8 catch on?
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