Windows 8 'bad' for desktop users - Gartner's one-word review
Enterprise users laugh at nice-to-touch, frustrating-to-click-on OS
Analyst firm Gartner has chosen just one word to describe Windows 8 for desktop users: “Bad”.
Research Director Gunnar Berger put the imminent OS through its paces in a five-part review which found that Windows 8 is pretty good when used on touch-screen devices. Microsoft loaned Berger a Samsung slate device and he found that Windows 8 gets around some of the problems he's seen when others try to get enterprise apps running on a tablet.
Windows 8 also impressed him with a seamless, all drivers present and correct sir installation process on a variety of hardware, “crazy fast” boot time and pleasing appearance. Berger also felt that the slate he tested means he can ditch his habit of travelling with a laptop and iPad, as it does the job of both devices more than tolerably well.
But there's also bad news for Redmond in the review, as the first of its five instalments drops this little bomb:
“We recently did a large field research study and specifically asked all of our interviewees if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed. The fact is most enterprises are still trying to get to Windows 7 and few enterprises are ready for Windows 8.”
There's another nasty lurking in the third chapter, wherein Berger asks “What is the experience like on Windows 8 when the end point isn’t touch enabled?”
“In a word: Bad.”
Berger's justification for that assessment is that “Extremely important menus in Windows 8 are hidden off screen, easily brought in when using a touch and swiping with your thumbs, are absent when using a mouse … Prior to this incident, I can’t tell you the last time I had to ask someone how to do something in a client OS.”
He also found remote access to a Windows 8 computer to be a nightmare, as the Metro interface on the remote PC would not accept input from the Windows key on his local keyboard. All sorts of keyboard calisthenics ensued, leading Berger to predict Sysadmin scowling.
Overall, Berger says Windows 8 is very fine on a touch device and gives Microsoft a real crack at the tablet market.
But as a desktop guy, he feels the OS will have a hard time on the business desktop.
“Unfortunately, my area of expertise is enterprise desktops, and those desktops have a keyboard and a mouse; and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, it seems to me that Microsoft forgot about this when they designed Windows 8.” ®
So they came to same conclusion as most desktop users who tested Windows8. Why am I not surprised.
History repeats itself
Back in the day when MS realized they missed the Internet boat all sails were set at getting up to speed, the keyword being internet. Even up to a point where they rendered the desktop totally unusable ('active desktop'; no icons could be placed on screen). The masses roared and it eventually got rectified.
Now MS seems to be under the impression that they missed the touch / tablet boat. Everything is cast aside to make sure the OS is touch friendly, even up to a point where its honestly rendered unusable for common desktop usage.
Add up the Metro lock in (read: MS tries to get all 3rd party software cut off and instead channelled through their marketplace) and one has to wonder how much of a desktop OS is really left ?
There is however one major difference between the two periods; back then we had no competition on the desktop, now we have some. MS has already grossed in a huge sales loss over the last quarter of 2012, one can only wonder how much more is about to follow (if any) ?
How long before Ballmer starts to wonder if there are still some people around who can program a start menu from scratch ?
Re: @h4rm0ny - Shock Horror
I love how you assume that because you are willing to poke and prod an OS every which way just to see what happens, that everyone else must as well.
Microsoft knew this new OS would be radically different. Yet they have made zero effort to educate people on how to do even the most basic things. When Apple reversed the behaviour of two-fingered scrolling, you had to go through a tutorial and then demonstrate that you understood the change before you could even log in the first time. There was nothing stopping Microsoft from doing something similar, but they didn't. Instead they left everyone to the mercy of a completely new and foreign interface that isn't even remotely similar to the previous one.
The vast majority of the world will take one look at the interface, not have the foggiest idea how to even START (pardon the pun), and conclude it's crap. And as far as I'm concerned, not to mention virtually every person I've spoken to, that is a completely reasonable attitude. People like you are an overwhelming minority in this world. Windows is there to get work done. Not to play "Where did Microsoft hide the function I want THIS time?".
And before you jump to the inevitable "Well I can't help it if you're too dumb..." line, let me point out it has nothing to do with ability or lack thereof. It has everything to do with not giving a rats posterior. Between work, family, and a myriad other obligations, it boils down to the simple fact that the majority of people flat out don't CARE. I have work to do. I have a family to worry about. The computer in front of me either facilitates that work, or it doesn't. If it hinders my ability to do work, then it's crap. PERIOD.