Richi Jennings

Windows 8: Is it really terrible and weak?

November 20, 2012 6:20 AM EST

A usability guru, Jakob Nielsen, loudly slams Windows 8, calling it weak and terrible. Will Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) fans take this lying down? You must be kidding.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers line up to take sides.

Windows 8

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

 
Preston Gralla can't help but agree with Nielsen's rating:

...his conclusion is a stark one: Windows 8 is bad on tablets, and even worse on PCs. ... He has a lot...to say...essentially all of it bad.
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I think many of his criticims are on target, although I don't agree that Windows 8 is "weak on tablets." ... I've said from the first time I looked at the earliest versions of Windows 8...that it was a mistake to have a single operating system for both tablets and PCs.  MORE

 
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols plows a similar furrow:

[I hate] the new Windows 8 interface. ... It replaces the windows, icons, menus...we've known for decades with those annoying tiles. ... [The] Desktop...works like the old Windows...except it's uglier and harder to use. ... Metro is change for the sake of change.
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Microsoft not only dumped its old desktop interface, it also changed basic functionality. ...what was so wrong with the Start button? ... Years of development, over a year in open beta, and this is the best they can do?  MORE

 
Jakob Nielsen trolls Redmond:

From a traditional...style that emphasized powerful commands to the point of featuritis, Microsoft...now smothers usability with big colorful tiles. ...having two environments on a single device is a prescription for usability problems.
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There's a reason GUI designers used to make objects look more detailed and actionable than they do in the Metro design. ... This is no doubt a retort to Apple's overly tangible..."skeuomorphic" design style in iOS. ... I think a compromise would be better.
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[Don't] accuse me of being an Apple fanboy or a Microsoft hater. ... I switched from Macintosh to Windows...and have been very pleased with Windows 7. ... [I] hope for better times with Windows 9. One great thing about Microsoft is that they do have a history of correcting their mistakes.  MORE

 
But Danny Hooverdoqz just shakes his head:

People. If you can't learn to use this go and find your crayons. ... It's like throwing a MacBook at someone who's used nothing but windows. It will take time.  MORE

 
So is this what's depressing new PC sales? Paul Thurrott analyzes:

...what’s really holding back the OS is an issue that plagues every Windows release: uninspiring new PC designs. ... For over a decade now, every single Windows release has been marred by the slow and uninspiring reactions of the firm’s PC maker partners. ... PC makers haven’t risen to the challenge. Again.
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I do expect PC makers to recover, trim down their lineups to the models that people actually want, and begin to truly innovate [but] I can’t believe that none of them could do better right up front.  MORE