My View on Windows 8 … and why I will NOT be immediately upgrading.

The release of Windows 8 is imminent and though I am a fan Server 2012, I am not so much a fan of Windows 8 (for a few highly and hotly disputed reasons). ¬†Normally I really like to stay up with the software and such, usually running beta / dev releases of a lot of software, but in this case, I probably won’t be. I was an early adopter of Vista and I’m not one of those people who are still stuck using Windows XP and just can’t give it up. I was also an extremely early adopter of Windows 7 (for one good reason, and it’s called “Vista”). I like Windows 7 – since I can’t use Linux 24 /7 (no SSMS / VSphere client – and I’m not one of those people who is going to spend a ton of time setting all that up on wine), I do use Windows more than any other operating system and I have to say this about Window 7 – not only am I pretty content with it, I rather like it. It’s not my favorite thing in the world, but I don’t mind it all. I would gladly choose it above OS X for pure usability purposes and administrative purposes.

My experience with Windows 7 has been more positive than with most other operating systems (save for Ubuntu 10.04, CentOS 5.8 / 6.3, and Debian 6). Not to mention the history of Microsoft doing “Awesome Release >> Total Flop >> Awesome Release >> Total Flop. What I mean by that is look at the history of Windows. Windows 98 = Awesome. Windows 2000 / ME = Total Flop. Windows XP = Solid Gold. Windows Vista = Total Flop. Windows 7 = Awesome. Windows 8 = ??

In any event here are the reasons I don’t think I will be upgrading.

1. In my opinion, Windows 7 is not broken. Therefore, why try to fix it?

This sounds like a moot argument. One could say that about just about anything. My point is that it works great with the hardware I have been using with it. I don’t need a super fancy dancy desktop environment. I need usability and compatibility, not a sleek new GUI – and that’s not to say that all the programs I currently use will not work on Windows 8 – I’m sure they will, but my issue is that I am comfortable on Windows 7, I like it, and I’m fine with it just the way it is. I don’t need any “cool new features” to make it any better than it already is.

2. I don’t really care for the new GUI (the GUI formerly known as Metro).

Seems to me like a lot of operating systems are going for “touch screen” motif. Gnome 3 (which I hate to say has been growing on me), Unity, and Windows 8 all have this feel to me that they would be better served on a tablet. I have a tablet and I love the thing, but my computer is not my tablet, nor can my tablet replace my desktop or my notebooks. My notebooks are faster, can multitask more, I can type on a keyboard far faster than I can on a touch screen, I’m faster and more accurate with a mouse than I am with a touch screen, and I generally don’t care for trying to work my way around a GUI that is seemingly designed for a tablet and touch with a mouse. I can’t really explain why developers would abandon the “desktop” GUI – especially in light of how much faster and more powerful desktops and notebooks are becoming. I used to think it would sick to have a quad core notebook. Now that is totally a reality and the sky is the limit on these (once they get cooling under control anyway).

3. I work in the IT field and most non-powerusers are just getting comfortable with Windows 7.

If you ever have worked in the IT field with end users, you’ll find that some people have an extremely hard time with computers. This sort of stuff comes naturally to myself and maybe to you as well, but a lot of people have just gotten comfortable with Windows 7… and then Microsoft turns around and totally redesigns the entire GUI. This sort of thing may backfire on them (I don’t really care what happens with Windows 8, nor do I really care about anyone else’s idea of it – this is merely my view).

4. I’d like to see how it fares with other IT users first.

Like I said at the beginning here – I’ve always been very fast to rush and adopt and evolve with new releases of software and OSes – but in this case, since I have seen what it looks like and used it for a few weeks, I’d like to see what other people have to say about it before I put all my eggs in that basket. Maybe all these issues will become non-issues when other users find workarounds to these issues.

5. I really don’t care for the new “Start Menu”.

That line says it all.

6. It is slowly becoming OS X / iOS.

I think that Microsoft has been working on this for a while – but I don’t particularly care for the DRM side of Windows 8. There have also been some startling claims by game developers about how that might affect their industry and their adoption of Windows 8. The “Metro Store” as it’s called now will be the primary place to “Buy Applications”. Sound like iOS anyone? The problem I have behind this is that like iOS, unless you want to install third party apps, you are stuck with the App Store. I like being able to go to filehippo.com and download any application I want, install it, and bam. I think Microsoft it would be extremely foolish to try and control that. Furthermore, for every developer to have to pay Microsoft to even get their app in the Metro Store is somewhat sickening when the internet is (at least now anyway) a free and open place. I’m not 100% certain Microsoft will go this route, but I hope for the sake of themselves that they do not.

These are just my opinions and they are subject to change – but for now, I’ll just stick with Windows 7 until something better rolls around.

UPDATE: Windows 8 Could Baffle Customers.

… You don’t say.