If you search around the internet, you’ll get the idea that Windows 8 is the poison, not to be played with, and infact you should just regress to Windows 7 and wait for Microsoft to fix their “mistake”.
The chief complaint? No traditional start menu.
That’s it. There is no button in the lower left corner to click.
Let that sink in for a moment. Sounds stupid, right?
“OH THE HORROR!!! NO START MENU BUTTON!!! HOW WILL I SURVIVE!!!!”
Oh, you’ll survive. The start menu isn’t gone. It’s still there. Calm down and have a lollipop. Feel better? Ok, on to the next complaint.
The second complaint is some vaguely worded gripe about a “touch screen UI”.
“But it’s a TOUCH UI and I don’t have a TOUCH Screen! OH THE HUGE MANATEES!”
I kid you not but there are people, people who have been using and adapting their computers for decades, that figuratively wet themselves of this thought.
Only… it’s not a “touch UI”. It’s a UI that can be used on either device. Using the updated interface on Windows 8 is not rocket science, brain surgery, or rocket surgery or brain rocketry. In fact, it’s really no harder than learning to turn on the computer in the first place.
Tired of me making you feel dumb? Well, sorry, honesty sometimes means reality slapping you in the face like bird poop at 60 MPH on the back of a motorcycle. And it tastes about the same.
Yes, you probably are dumb
But not for the reasons you may believe. The reason you probably are dumb: listening to other people’s childish rants about something you haven’t tried yourself, then moaning repetitious about it everywhere.
Let’s start with what is really, fundamentally wrong with with Windows 8. Guess what it is?
Training. When you first install or upgrade to Windows 8, Microsoft has provided a little intro. Only, rather than telling you what you need to know, they show you more crap about Windows 8 and how it’s “better” in their eyes. Microsoft missed the opportunity to train users on the differences and make the transition easier. That is where Microsoft failed.
It does take some work, though. Yes, work. You can’t just boot up and expect it to be everything you wanted and more, otherwise it would also come with an infinite craft beer dispenser. Microsoft has, as it always will, set it up how IT wants to be setup. Their shit first and foremost. To the perpetually pessimistic, this is something to hate. However, consider this an opportunity to make your PC YOURS and at the same time flip the bird to Microsoft Execs.
The start menu – The crutch for the weak and feeble minded
So, technically speaking you’ve never actually needed a start menu. You technically don’t need a mouse either. The start menu was, and I do mean WAS, a nice way to jump to what you want. It’s a lot less obtuse than Apple’s Dock, which frustrates me to no end.
If you’re still using the start menu to access, well, anything, you’ve actually been living in the computational paleolithic days anyway. And for a while. Between Windows+R, Windows+F, and the search box in the Windows 7 Start Menu, getting to the program or file you want is much faster than click-click-click. And windows 8 brings the search menu to the forefront, by itself, in the hot sidebar. I find myself using it every day.
What I like about Windows 8 most of all though is that when I boot up my computer, I’m not graced with a empty (or cluttered) desktop where I then have to find what I want. No, the start menu is opened for me, and BEHOLD!, the programs I access the most are RIGHT THERE. I want to show off my desktop? I just click Desktop. But usually I want Chrome. It’s right there. I have saved 1/2 of the minimum clicks needed to get to Chrome without having a cluttered taskbar or desktop.
When I think of you, I Touch UI
The second point of contention is the “Touch Interface”. I too was under the impression that “Balderdash! You can’t have a phone/tablet UI on a desktop/laptop! That’s just craven!”
Only, I was wrong. So has been every other person out there touting some sort of “Touch UI” complaint.
Calling it a Touch UI is boiling interfaces down to a black/white model. It’s either desktop, or mobile. It’s KVM or it’s touch. It’s both, and it’s neither.
The vast majority of your experience on a Windows 8 computer will be similar to that on a Windows 7. You have windows. You have a task bar, and a system tray. And you have a Start menu, it’s location and look has changed, but it is there. Your menus in Windows Explorer have been updated to a much more user-friendly Ribbon, similar to Office (yes, there are complaints about the ribbon too, and frankly, those are tired and old. Other than a few minor beefs, most are just whining). The big difference is your programs in the Start Menu are no longer these small, dinky little items to click on. They’re marginally bigger. Bonus: you have less work to do in order to select the right program or file. The scroll up/down has been replaced with left and right, and if you’re using a scroll wheel, doesn’t change a thing. If you don’t, what the hell is wrong with you?
My whole point is the whole “Touch Interface/UI” argument is blown way out of proportion, from a bunch of whiny asses and their misinformed followers.
Honesty is the best policy
Let’s be just completely honest here. It’s the 21st Century. People have had to learn to adjust from telegraph, to rotary phones, to touch-tone, to cellular phones with buttons, to touch screens, and finally to voice activation. And, the transition from Paper/Pen, to the typewriter, to the electric typewriter and word processor, to the computer, to the mobile device with virtual keyboards. All in the last 100 or so years. Each time there was a group of people who staunchly stuck their noses in the air and insisted that this change was ridiculous. They ended up either adapting, or, finding themselves in early retirement. CHANGE HAPPENS. Whether you like it or not. You can whine, cry, and throw a fit, or you can learn and adapt. And the world of more streamlined UIs and cross-device integration is upon us.
You can get with the program, or you can get out of the way. Most of all, and I do mean most of all, you can quit making mountains out of a speck of dust. You have nothing to fear, but fear itself. Windows 8 is nothing to be afraid of… if you have a brain.