Following on from my rambling about Windows 8, I decided to gauge in more detail about what the market was saying about it. The people who live, breathe and write about technology for a living, from reputable websites. The following is a handful of choice quotes from less than 15 minutes of Google searching. If I had to give a number, I’d say the vast majority of reviews and opinions (around 80%) of search results were negative, with the remainder being neutral or cautious (including mainstream newspapers like USA Today, Guardian or Telegraph).
Now admittedly, the people who are willing to download a pre-release version of an incomplete OS are most likely technically-inclined and thus more likely to be power users whom have been shunned, but many of them still stake their online reputation on providing as accurate and unbiased an assessment as possible. Also, see videos at the bottom of this post for some less-technical users trying out Windows 8.
Adrian Kingsley-Hughes (of ZDNet):
“I’m now ready to sum up my Windows 8 experience with a single word: awful. I could have chosen a number of other words — terrible, horrible, painful and execrable all spring to mind — but it doesn’t matter, the sentiment is the same.”
Farhad Manjoo (of Slate):
“In my time with Windows 8, I’ve felt almost totally at sea—confused, paralyzed, angry, and ultimately resigned to the pain of having to alter the way I do most of my work.”
Paul Thurrott (of WinSuperSite):
“Windows 8 is very much like Vista because it represents a sea change, a huge platform bet that will confuse and confound some, even while it sets up Windows for another decade of expansion. Maybe there will be a Windows 9 that will clean up the mess, like Windows 7 cleaned up Vista’s mess.”
John C. Dvorak (of Marketwatch):
The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying. It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, “Why are they doing this!?” … This is a problem for Microsoft investors. The potential for this OS to be an unrecoverable disaster for the company is at the highest possible level I’ve ever seen. It ranks up there with the potential for disaster that the Itanium chip presented for Intel Corp. INTC -0.50% It’s that bad.
Todd Bishop (of Geekwire):
“Speaking purely for myself, it’s not instantly intuitive. It feels like a forced mashup of a desktop operating system and a tablet interface. (Maybe Apple’s Tim Cook is right about toasters and refrigerators?) Microsoft will contend otherwise, but that’s how it feels to me as a user.”
Matthew Murray (of ExtremeTech):
“Windows 8 represents an unconscionable, and barely comprehensible, rejection of the values Microsoft has spent the last 26 years perfecting in its visual operating system. It doesn’t make computers easier to navigate and understand, it makes them more difficult, paradoxically by making the interface so brain-dead simple that it can’t do anything someone with a brain might actually want.”
Michael Mace (of MobileOpportunity):
Microsoft has worsened the risk that people will migrate away from Windows 8, by disabling some key features of Windows 7, and mishandling the consumer “preview” program … Apple could provide the best alternative if it chooses to. This might be Apple’s best chance ever to stick a fork in Windows.
Troy Wolverton (of Phys.Org):
For PC users, Windows 8 is a major misstep. Perhaps its biggest problem is that it has two separate and largely incompatible parts. It feels like Microsoft took a nice dress and attached it to an equally fine pantsuit and tried to pass it off as one garment. It just doesn’t work.
Tim Anderson (of ITWriting):
Displeasing your customers, remember, is mostly the wrong thing to do. Windows 8 may fail, and Microsoft, already a company with shrinking influence, may go into an unstoppable decline. Bill Gates was right about the tablet taking over from the laptop, history may say, but Microsoft was incapable of making the radical changes to Windows that would make it work until it was too late.
On top of that, there are a couple of videos going around of less tech-savvy users using Windows 8 for the first time – the very people whom the colorful, tile-based interface is intended to be intuitive and easy to use. It’s almost painful to watch.