Column: Stop the Windows 8 Hate

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tekknyne

My Windows 8 has the words "Test Mode Windows 8 Pro 9200" at the bottom cause I had to put it in some bs mode in order to install unsigned drivers to root my android devices. That, plus a few beers killed a good evening. I still use it though.

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anc51699

I agree with Gordon 100%. My first impression of Windows 8 from the beta was "what the f*** is this?", but I stuck with it. 1 week later, and my opinion changed from hate to love. It's because I realized that it really isn't all that different from the concept of the original Start Menu at all. Besides the apps and charms bar (which you don't even have to use if you don't want), it does all of same things if not exactly same, better than the Start Menu. Rather than a small list, you have a ton of space for common shortcuts, and the exact same All Programs list is still right there, if needed. Live tiles are also very useful for quick info. Same for the notification system. I haven't seen a single increase in mouse clicks, and the Power User Menu is extremely handy.

It's gotten to the point where I don't even read the Windows 8-related article comments on here anymore because they just anger me. In my opinion, a website/magazine whose readership is supposed to be full of tech-lovers should have no issue with Windows 8 at all, yet for some reason most cannot handle the fact that it looks different, yet does the same things. Nevermind the fact that it has numerous benefits over Windows 7 like some of the changes that Gordon mentioned, but god forbid their beloved Start Menu look any different. If it weren't for changes in GUI every now and then, we would still be on the command prompt, or worse. Heck, we wouldn't even have computers at all, since no one would want to switch from pen and paper.

I believe that all of the frustration with Win8 stems from not doing a great job at showing users how to navigate it. Could Microsoft had done a better job with this? Absolutely! Have they ever put any kind of help documentation beyond F1 in Windows before now? No. Luckily, they've realized that, and that will be fixed in 8.1, but if you don't know how to use something, take the time to learn it. Especially if the readers on here are as tech-savvy as they should be, that shouldn't really be that difficult.

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TheFirstRuleAbo...

The same old, tired "If you don't love Windows 8 you must hate change" drivel. But you're right. People who switch to Linux hate change. I changed my OS, methods of program installation, many of the programs I use, the ways in which I secure my computer when connecting to both the internet and other computers in my home - because I just can't stand change.

Or maybe I just hate changes that make no sense. All the changes I went through with Linux had a discernible upside to them. No apparent upside presents itself with the Metro interface.

But continue to trash us all you want. After all, you're a misunderstood, unappreciated trendsetter, and we're all just killjoys because we don't want to join you in pouring money down the drain buying your Edsel.

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PCWolf

"If you don't love Windows 8 you must hate change" , the verbal weapon of choice for Windows 8 Fanboys. These people normally buy Macs & own every i Product Apple puts out.

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riopato

That's a generalization that came out of you ass. Even though, a windows 8 user won't have any issue using an Apple product because they know how to adapt to new concepts. Can't say the same for those who can't move on from windows 7.

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opticallog

Windows 8 does not merely "look different, yet do the same things" as Windows 7. The search feature built into the Windows 7 start menu is more functional than Windows 8, because it doesn't unintelligently filter my search results for me. Press the Windows key and type the name of any "setting" or "file" in Windows 8 (ex. Power Options), and your search will return no results. You are instead forced to arrow down multiple times, press enter to select a different category, then find your desired "setting" or "file."

I also have no need or desire for a full screen experience in 99% of the programs I run. Even in the programs that wouldn't be less functional in a full screen metro app, I'd just as rather not subject myself to ads from Microsoft built-in to an OS I purchased.

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riopato

I found power settings in 2 seconds. If you don't know how to use it maybe the the problem with windows 8 is due to the user.

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opticallog

It's not that you can't find Power Options or similar settings, it's that it requires twice the key strokes to accomplish the same task in Windows 8 as it did in Windows 7.

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Leo Scott

I like the Windows 7 type start menu. I also like being able to run apps in a completely sizeable, moveable window. Windows for a long time has been about giving users, especially power users, the choice of how it looks and feels. I purchased 2 $5 programs that facilitate what I wanted, Start8 and ModernMix, both from the same company. It is unfortunate that Microsoft shoved their idea down everyone's throat. They could have easily put in the functionality mentioned in the article without making everyone pretend their desktop machine was a tablet or smartphone. Pox on Microsoft. Maybe a new CEO will pull their head out.

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Renegade Knight

I tried one of the beta's and hit the "WTF" stage in 30 seconds flat. I had to use the power button to turn it off. The lack of a start button was a PITA. The concept of a start screen while in my face was alien.

By the time it was released I got several copies and converted most of my machines over. Now I still think the Desktop/Metro combo is kludgy but I've figured out everything else and re-discovered Alt-F4.

Overall I wouldn't go back to 7. If metro and the windows store only world leaves desktop behind in 9. I'll be looking for alternates when it's time to upgrade.

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Thresher

If you remember, when Vista came out, the default action for the shutdown menu was "Standby". People hated it, they wanted their computers to shut down, not go on Standby. You had to do a little tweaking to get it to default to shutdown.

I believe Vista SP1 brought that back, but it was definitely not a part of Windows 7.

You would think they would have learned not to mess with the shutdown process.

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LatiosXT

(This is a post for another comment)

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Biceps

Sorry, Gordon, but I don't know a better way to put this question...

Did Microsoft get on the phone and threaten you or your boss? Did they bribe you? Did they offer you a job?

Sorry to imply that ypur article comes from anywhere but an honest place, but after all the justified rants about Windows 8, this article is a full 180.

No product should be designed in this day and age with the level of user frustration Windows 8 has built in default. No company should be allowed to get a pass on ignoring UI because they are too tunnel visioned to create something intuitive.... particularly a company with the history and resources of M$. You said these things and now you take them back???? WTF, man? Gun to your head or what?

I hope the next version of Windows is better, but considering my main reason for using Windows has been flexibility and gaming, I am very much looking forward to Steam OS and giving Windows the finger forever.

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JosephColt

This conspiracy and paranoia...

Do you honestly thing Microsoft would want or make some very little known guy on a half dead site bother writing positive statements about Windows 8 to a less then 0.005% of the Windows user base.

No, if they would do it on more important and established sites.

You're simply a moron in simple terms. The only real change has been "Metro." I didn't know clicking a large box then shifting through a long menu was so hard. While "Metro" needs improvement it's not bad.

Only reason people are complaining is because people don't like change, they want familiarity.

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Carlidan

Wow Biceps, I wouldn't have thought you would of gone there. You really think Gordon was coerced my Mircosoft because he change his mind about an OS. Just because a person has a change of heart about something doesn't mean they must have a hidden agenda to it. So if I used Steam OS and I thought it sucked. Then couple of months later I liked it. I must of been paid off by Steam, right?

You might not like it or never will doesn't mean other might change their minds later. It's call adapting.

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Biceps

Wow people get bent out of shape around here. I am simply pointing out that after writing 6 months of scathing reviews and podcast rants on how bad W8 is, without warning we get an article saying that actually W8 is pretty awesome and sorry for the 6 months of hate. It is frigging odd.

Do I really think Gordon was threatened by M$? No. Geez. Do I think this articke is a complete 180 and an overt sponsorship of the halfassed and non-consumer-centric rollout of W8? Yes, yes I do. And I am disappointed.

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Carlidan

If you read the article, his rants was in his denial and/or depression phase. Now he's in the acceptance phase. :/ Don't think W8 was half assed as you say. Just a diffrent UI that people didn't like at first. Becasue W8 did have major improvements mentioned by people in this website.

I myself used W8 before and don't see all the crazy rants are about. Is it diffrent. Yes. Only reason I didn't upgrade is becasue I have already have Win7 Pro and have all my programs up already don't really feel the need to. But when I do a fresh install, I'll probably will or when I build a new gaming rig.

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Biceps

@Carlidan, yeah I got the whole denial phase thing. My point still is that a well-designed product that is essentially a new iteration shouldn't have such a steep learning curve. A truly good OS wouldn't piss off reviewers for months before they recant after they move through 15 steps of evil and despair. It is like having a friend who is 'really nice once you get to know her'... what it really means is she is a bitch. W8 is a bitch. And she isn't hot enough for me to want her to be my friend in spite of it.

My apologies for the loaded term, making a point.

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LatiosXT

Would you question the Valve and Gabe Newell, the elusive god of gamers, when he did a complete 180 on the PlayStation 3? 2007, he said it was the worst console ever. 2010, Valve is gushing over the thing to the point you can use your PSN login on Steam. Maybe you should start saying Sony bribed Gabe into loving the PlayStation 3.

The man had a change of heart, and this article was published months ago on the magazine.

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Biceps

@LatiosXT - yes, I would question Gabe Newell, too. I stopped my subscription to MaxPC recently because I didn't feel I was getting the bang for my buck I used to, so I must have just missed this in the magazine. My sole financial contribution to MaxPC is now through creating increased page views by pissing off people in the forums, apparently.

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burntham77

There was a bit of relearning when I first installed it, but I am all in with Windows 8. I have it on my workstation, my gaming PC and my tablet. I am even thinking of getting a Surface RT because I have noticed that the Store has all of the Modern UI apps I could want and I never use x86 apps on my tablet.

I still have 7 on my HTPC only because 8 does not yet support boot to desktop, but I hear that will be a part of 8.1.

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JeffDenver

Gordon is confusing "Resignation" with "acceptance". They do not mean the same thing. Some of us have simply given up on Microsoft caring what we want. That doesn't mean it is ok...it just means we are willing to put up with these annoying flaws that Microsoft is pushing on us.

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Hackworth1006

I've tried every version of Windows 8 since its earliest preview release, and I still hate it. The changes in 8.1 do little to improve my feelings toward the boxy winking-and-blinking interface.

A tablet interface on one's primary computer is about as useful and logical as a cow with fins. (And no, installing a third-party solution to make it work like Windows 7 is not my idea of a fix.) A tablet OS with a desktop environment is equally ridiculous.

I'm in the process of moving myself and my family over to the *real* dark side: Apple. The iPhone and iPad are awesome, IMHO, and our primary computers will now be either iMacs or Mac Minis (depending on each person's needs).

With Valve's support of Linux gaining momentum, even my gaming needs will be satisfied.

I feel betrayed by Microsoft, and now I'm done with them for good. Sadly, after reading since the early Boot days, I have also just canceled my Maximum PC subscription, as I won't be building anymore of my own boxes. (What for? Just to put Windows on them? No thanks.) I don't like where Microsoft is taking Windows, and it doesn't look as though they're going to change their misguided strategy.

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Xenite

Simply no real practical reason to switch. Windows 7 is a better product with a better UI. The ONLY reason to upgrade to that abomination is DirectX and personally I hope Mantle destroys it.

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PCWolf

This a thousand times!!

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dbqfan

I have no interest in Windows 8. I would like to know how Microsoft concluded that Windows 8 would be so much better than Win 7. All Microsoft has done is slow PC sales and send a lot of Windows users to Apple or Lunix. It is surprising how many vendors are offering new systems with Win 7. I think a vendor that only offers new computers with Win 8 is shooting themselves in the foot. I will stick to Win 7 unless Microsoft wakes up and makes some changes. Microsoft brings out crap like Vista and now Win 8 and expects us to buy it. I would not use Win 8 for free.

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Eagle70ss

Man they got Gordon now..Windows 8 you are quite the seductress....Come see my chicklet tiles and my titillating clunky interface... *pulls the curtain back*...RIP Gordon...He gone.

I keep Win 7 on dual boot for a whipping boy....But run Manjaro Errr day...On server & desktop...Gracias Linus!!

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PCWolf

Windows 8 is nothing more than a attempt to make PCs more appealing to the "I love touch on Tablets & Smartphones" crowd. Thinking that if they make a PC look more like a Tablet/Smartphone, that sales will skyrocket. this attempt has failed badly.

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ilfipian

for me. I'll be moving to linux from here on out as I fully disagree with the path and increasing incremental lockdown MS has pursued since Vista.

They'll have to reinvent the OS for me to give them another look.

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vrmlbasic

Been using Windows 8 for a while now (off and on) on an ultrabook and I still detest it. Win 7 forever.

BTW, referencing the white cat from the CatZilla screenshot in this article, does this mean that Windows 8 is the white cat? If so, what does that make the underaged seifu girl with the gas mask?

Windows 8 should have been the tanks and such that were smashed by the black cat.

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w2ed

I never really hated Windows 8 - I hated some aspects of controlling it (Still do for trackpad control on the laptop - still a WTF?), but a lot of the apps designed for Metro work great in a media center setting, and it makes getting stuff done for class a lot faster as well. 8.1 improves some things drastically (It's a big reason why the only real complaint IS the laptop trackpad issue), and with the tricks I am learning, many of the headaches of getting used to the new setup are gone. I agree with Bucket_Master (sorry if I get the name wrong) that it's nothing for people using 7 need to rush out and get or upgrade to, and unlike many of you, I'm perfectly happy with Metro and the Start Screen, not needing a "Start Menu." I didn't go through as many stages as this article described - I was never confused or depressed by the OS, and I never went through denial - but part of that stems from a healthy dose of "how does this work?" and "Let's see what this does..."

So yes, young master Dedgar, I'm fully entrenched in the dark side. LOL I do understand where a lot of people are coming from - there should have been better bridges between the interfaces for people to set up to how they want to use - but as far as I'm concerned, a lot of the griping has just become silly.

I think I'm going to pull an Obama in saying this: Windows 8 is the OS. Accept it.

(My apologies if you can't find the humor in my last line - just as I find some of the Windows 8 whining silly now, I also find the whole government shutdown as confusing. I no longer care who's right or wrong there, I just want people to get back to work!)

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Granite

Here are the stages I went through:

1. Something new! Cool! Let's check it out.
2. Okay, this is kind of different.
3. Hmmm...not much in the way of apps I'm interested in, but the rest looks pretty much like Win7. All in all, though, this thing runs better than Win7.
4. Not a bad OS for $40. Satisfaction.

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MiGreen

good, same here

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Bucket_Monster

For me, it's not that I hate Windows 8, it's just that Windows 7 is perfectly fine and I see no real incentive to upgrade. Yeah I know, there's the increased performance aspect, but honestly, I'll gain far more performance by simply upgrading to an SSD. After that, I'd imagine what little performance boost I'd get would be largely moot since it would already be leaps and bounds faster than my HDD. Add in the fact that MS already stated Win 7 will receive support all the way to 2020, and I'm good for now.

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PCWolf

+100 Internets

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r3dd4wg

You may have done "Denial. Confusion. Anger. Depression. Acceptance." but following is the sequence I went through:

"Cool - That's different"
"Confusion"
"Anger"
"F*** this"

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Jademan

About that metro interface: why not callin' it 'medro' or 'MADro', since is drivin' ppl mad?

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stradric

My biggest complaint is that when I open any file (like a PDF) that opens in some built-in Modern app, pressing Alt+F4 to close it brings me back to the start menu instead of the Desktop where I was just at previously.

There are plenty subtle and not-so-subtle improvements all around that make it actually pretty nice. I'm big on keyboard shortcuts so the lack of a start button and other issues like how to power down haven't bothered me much.

New Task Manager is great. New Windows Explorer is nice. The ability to choose file associations is very streamlined. Search indexing actually works really well with the dreaded Start Screen and it's hated layout so I tend to like it all.

The Windows 8 hate is pretty overblown just like the Office 2007 hate was. Many people simply fear change. Fear turns into hatred pretty quickly.

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LatiosXT

From what I've seen, the only users that this severely affects are those that primarily use a mouse to navigate Windows. I primarily use the keyboard whenever possible and Microsoft has so far not messed with keyboard usage. So for me, Windows 8 was fairly painless. There were a few hiccups (like how to shut down/restart and find control panel) but after getting over those, I don't feel a need to go back to Windows 7.

The problem I have with the Start Menu is that it's clunky. The one major problem with it is application installers arbitrarily populate the Start Menu, creating a bloated mess after a few months of use. At the minimum for most applications you get is a folder with the program itself and the uninstaller. I guess that's fine considering a lot of users don't touch the control panel and realize there's a feature for uninstalling apps "properly".

But my biggest issue is not only does the Start Menu become a cluster-buck, making navigation annoying, but the targets are small. Yes you can tell me "point better", but when your target sizes are 24 pixels tall versus 128x128 in the Start Screen, missing targets gets kind of annoying.

I still think Microsoft needs to work on the app repository UI, but the Start Menu either needs to go, or get another overhaul. Hell I consider Mac OS X's app repository schema to be better than Windows. And even Gnome and KDE are better in this regard, despite being menu based.

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Pixuhl

One thing that I feel should be brought up is performance. When I am running any application, and especially games, it just feels quicker on Windows 8. My rig seems to find a few extra frames to play around with.

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majorsuave

I jumped in on Win8 to upgrade my two aging XP licenses to 8 Pro (when the launch promo allowed me to own two legit licenses for 60$).

If I knew I would probably update even some of the Win 7 PCs I have.

Because, frankly, the touch UI can be dismissed easily: I use Classic shell which offers me between XP, VISTA or 7 Start menu!

All of the rest of the OS has been made better. I would do it again for sure.

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firefox91

At any point while writing this column did you consider that a consumer shouldn't have to go through these stages at all? If this was required for every new car Ford put out, would anyone buy Fords anymore?

Windows 7 had 1 stage of adoption... Awesomeness.

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PCWolf

A Winner!! It's you!

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Its_Not_Me

Amen, brother!

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Damnlogin

Agreed 100%

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Biceps

Ding ding ding ding ding!

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Scatter

Once I installed a Start Button replacement (StartIsBack) I honestly haven't had any problems with Windows 8. I don't even see the horrid new Start Menu. That being said I'm not nearly as accepting as you are. If my Start Menu replacement didn't work so well I'll definitely still be running Windows 7.

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Eoraptor

Pretty much this. the core functionality of the "operating system" equals or surpasses 7, to be sure. better memory use, better start-up, better power management...

but then you stick in that @#$%^&*(*&^%$ interface, and it's a non-starter. the only "acceptance" I have for windows 8 is by forcing it to act like windows 7 via third party applications like ClassicShell.

I'm sorry, but when you have to istall something to make a product work the way you expect it to, there is no accepting it.

It doesn't help that some of my peripherals dislike how Win8 handles USB3 and nor do some older games and peripherals I have which were working under 7, but that's a separate matter.

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FireGarden

Ditto.

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RandomInt

What were you angry about before that you're not angry about now?

I was annoyed that it took three steps to get to the power menu, so I created shortcuts to Restart, Sleep and Shutdown. Did the same to get to the Apps screen.

The typo in the subtitle: "Or how I learned to stop worring..."

Worrying or warring?