Feeds

Windows 8

Apple iOS 7 makes some users literally SICK. As in puking, not upset

Excessive zoom and 3D-effect graphics in Apple's latest iOS is leaving some users reaching for the sick bucket

Windows 8 and the ‘Dad test’ stunts

Let's get real

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Comment Out and about shopping yesterday, I spotted a PC magazine in the newsagent advertising the ‘ultimate guide’ to Windows 8 in the form of a ’33 page special’.

As well as reminding me of reports that Microsoft is planning to spend over $1.5bn on Windows 8 marketing, it made me think of those horribly contrived YouTube videos in which some smart arse presents his Dad with a Windows 8 installation, offers no coaching or explanation, then records him struggling (examples here and here).

The purpose of such videos is to illustrate the unintuitive nature the Windows 8 user interface, making the point, either directly or indirectly, that Microsoft has got it totally wrong.

When I first saw this stuff emerging, I remember saying to a few a people how these were pure attention grabbing stunts that bore no relation to how things would pan out in the real world.

The truth is that users generally aren’t sat down in front a new installation of a new operating that someone has set up for them and just told to get on with it – that almost never happens in either a domestic or a business context. And even if users find themselves rocking up to an unfamiliar environment cold and asking someone for help, they are not just going to be told “You’re on your own; you work it out”.

Apart from the obvious clues on new features and navigation presented during the initial setup, Microsoft and OEMs invariably provide some basic documentation in the box to get users going with each new release of Windows (e.g. ‘quick start’ guides).

Beyond this bundled help, it was then pretty certain that for a few months leading up to and following the Windows 8 launch, we would see every self-respecting PC magazine publish extensive reviews and guides of their own, covering basic education along with tips and tricks to get the most from your new system. The one I referred to above is the first I have seen on the shelves, but you aren’t going to be able move for this Windows 8 awareness and educational stuff pretty soon.

As I have already reported, my own experience of Windows 8 is very positive on desktop configurations driven by a mouse and a keyboard, and my teenage daughter has had a good experience of a dockable slate running the new OS.

So is it perfect? No. Is there room for improvement on the initial release? Definitely.

But it really isn’t the disaster area that lot of people would have you believe, so it’s important to take a lot of the more extreme criticism you come across with a pinch of salt. ®

Dale Vile is the managing director of Freeform Dynamics, an IT analyst firm.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20
It was 20 years ago today, Marc Andreeesen taught the band to play
Sway: Microsoft's new Office app doesn't have an Undo function
Content aggregation, meet the workplace ... oh
Sign off my IT project or I’ll PHONE your MUM
Honestly, it’s a piece of piss
Return of the Jedi – Apache reclaims web server crown
.london, .hamburg and .公司 - that's .com in Chinese - storm the web server charts
NetWare sales revive in China thanks to that man Snowden
If it ain't Microsoft, it's in fashion behind the Great Firewall
Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER
First browser to protect networks' bandwith using official spec
Admins! Never mind POODLE, there're NEW OpenSSL bugs to splat
Four new patches for open-source crypto libraries
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.