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MarketWatch Slams Windows 8, Calls it Unmitigated Disaster

By - Source: Wall Street Journal | B 123 comments

The MarketWatch reviews the latest release of Windows 8, and it isn't pretty.

John Dvorak from MarketWatch recently uploaded his review of the current Windows 8 Release Preview, calling the upcoming OS an "unmitigated disaster" that could possibly hurt the company and its future as an OS provider. While this opinion may sound a little harsh regarding an operating system still baking in the oven, many of his comments echo remarks made by other journalists in their hands-on reviews, past and present.

"The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying," Dvorak writes. "It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, 'Why are they doing this!?' First of all, the system-software product is mostly divorced from all the thought and trends developed by Windows over the years, as if to say that they were wrong the whole time, so let's try something altogether new. No business will tolerate this software, let me assure you. As a productivity tool, it is unusable."

He goes on to point out that the blocky Metro interface is both more useful and wanted on a smartphone or tablet than a PC. Granted that AIO PC's sell rather well and sport touch-capable screens, do consumers really use this feature on a daily basis? Dvorak for one doesn't like finger smudges on his screen, thus preferring the old-school mouse-keyboard combo assumingly loved by most desktop users.

He also points out that there are issues with trying to use one GUI across every platform, and that perhaps not everyone will want a unified experience. Both Apple and Google have already pointed out this specific issue, saying that separate form factors need their own operating system due to their specialized hardware-based benefits.

"This is insanity, plain and simple. It’s even more nuts knowing that nobody is waiting in line to buy Windows Phone in the first place, and the tablet is untested in the market. So the company jumps ahead to the desktop?" he writes. "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. It’s that bad."

Dvorak predicts that the public and enterprise sectors will demand Windows 7 throughout 2013 until Microsoft abandons the "soulless Metro interface," and hires on a new design team fast.

To read the full evaluation of Windows 8 Release Preview, head here. For the record, he does admit that the Metro UI is "refreshingly slick-looking and modern," but then adds that it's "without any charm whatsoever."

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Top Comments
  • 26 Hide
    killerclick , June 7, 2012 2:29 AM
    I'm a Metro-hater so I think this is spot on, but in 1984 this guy predicted Macintosh would fail because it forces a mouse on users, because it has no cursor keys or a numeric keypad, because icons as a concept are unintuitive and because fonts are unnecessary. He also said the iPhone and iPad would not be successful, so... now I'm not sure. Let's wait and see. :) 
  • 24 Hide
    mman74 , June 7, 2012 2:11 AM
    Why do I get the feeling that this is the little boy in The Emperor's New Clothes? I have been feeling the exact same thing, weird cumbersome interface, nothing works and is out how you are used to, tries to hard to do two things but succeds on neither front. I was thinking that but didn't say it in case everyone thought I was dumbass who didn't know anything about progress! LOL!
  • 22 Hide
    bigdragon , June 7, 2012 2:46 AM
    I completely agree with John Dvorak. I don't want to read any more excuses to leave an unfinished product alone. I've been through enough beta tests to know how little actually changes between public release and final production. I've rarely ever seen positive change. I gave 8 a chance and the Metro UI is anti-productive on a desktop. The start screen is a poor replacement for the start menu. The traditional desktop is not sufficiently divorced from the Metro UI. Dvorak is spot-on and it's about time we started seeing more people pointing out the flaws. Microsoft can't fix flaws if everyone kisses their butts.

    8 is the next Vista. It's the next ME. I don't want my desktop to behave like a Windows Phone. I don't want full screen apps. I don't want UI solutions that take up more space than they actually need because they assume I'm not utilizing it. I can see myself sticking to Windows 7 like I did with XP. If 9 doesn't fix the problems with 8 then I'm jumping ship. I will jump ship to Chrome OS or even Mac OS. I already had to switch desktop environments in Linux due to what the idiots at GNU have done with Gnome 3.
Other Comments
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  • 24 Hide
    mman74 , June 7, 2012 2:11 AM
    Why do I get the feeling that this is the little boy in The Emperor's New Clothes? I have been feeling the exact same thing, weird cumbersome interface, nothing works and is out how you are used to, tries to hard to do two things but succeds on neither front. I was thinking that but didn't say it in case everyone thought I was dumbass who didn't know anything about progress! LOL!
  • -7 Hide
    asnorton44 , June 7, 2012 2:14 AM
    Lame
  • 7 Hide
    brucek2 , June 7, 2012 2:25 AM
    I don't understand the "hurt the company" part. While I could easily see Windows 8 going unloved (especially by desktop and enterprise users), the beauty of Microsoft's position is that even so, how would it impact their business results?

    Old computers will continue to age and need to be replaced. Most purchasers will find that their new desktop or laptop will come with Windows 8 whether they want it or not. And many enterprise agreements will include the right to "upgrade" to Windows 8. Whether they actually do upgrade or not, MS will combine the huge numbers from the upgrade-eligible plus the new-computers-sold pools and be able to report huge sales of Windows 8 no matter what, no matter how bad it is.
  • 26 Hide
    killerclick , June 7, 2012 2:29 AM
    I'm a Metro-hater so I think this is spot on, but in 1984 this guy predicted Macintosh would fail because it forces a mouse on users, because it has no cursor keys or a numeric keypad, because icons as a concept are unintuitive and because fonts are unnecessary. He also said the iPhone and iPad would not be successful, so... now I'm not sure. Let's wait and see. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    math1337 , June 7, 2012 2:32 AM
    Uninstall all of the metro apps(DO IT NOW) and you're left with windows 7 with pointy corners, a new start menu, and ribbons. It's not all that bad...

    Edit:
    It literally takes less than 2 minutes, then you'll be free from "metro" forever.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJnutLKIzzU
  • 18 Hide
    illfindu , June 7, 2012 2:33 AM
    Math kinda gets it but you also should consider what i said about better resource use windows 8 can run on some REALLY bare bones set ups that even windows 7 cant run on.
  • 0 Hide
    professornob , June 7, 2012 2:36 AM
    Cue apple fanboys.
  • 12 Hide
    danwat1234 , June 7, 2012 2:36 AM
    Good ole Dvorak. He was great on that 1 episode of computer chronicles. Anyway, why doesn't he describe his experience with Windows 8 once you apply the simple reg edit to disable Metro?

    EDIT: Apparently the new versions of win8 after Developer preview has disabled this registry trick to disable Metro? That's pretty stupid of Microsoft.
  • 7 Hide
    killerclick , June 7, 2012 2:37 AM
    math1337Uninstall all of the metro apps(DO IT NOW) and you're left with windows 7 with pointy corners, a new start menu, and ribbons. It's not all that bad...


    A bigger problem is what Windows 9 will be like. Will it have desktop mode at all if Metro is a success? And "success" for Microsoft might mean losing like 30% of the desktop market to gain 10% of the mobile market. That would be a jackpot for them, so they might throw a lot of us under the bus to gain a foothold against Android and iOS.
  • 20 Hide
    killerclick , June 7, 2012 2:38 AM
    danwat1234Good ole Dvorak. He was great on that 1 episode of computer chronicles. Anyway, why doesn't he describe his experience with Windows 8 once you apply the simple reg edit to disable Metro?


    You could only do that in the Developer Preview. Microsoft took the trouble to make sure you can't do that anymore. Think about why they would do that.
  • 9 Hide
    husker , June 7, 2012 2:42 AM
    "First of all, the system-software product is mostly divorced from all the thought and trends developed by Windows over the years, as if to say that they were wrong the whole time, so let's try something altogether new."

    That says it all.
  • 14 Hide
    Spanky Deluxe , June 7, 2012 2:43 AM
    Unfortunately all the OS developers seem to have got it into their heads to make their desktop operating systems as similar as possible to phones and tablets. Microsoft isn't the only one here although Metro looks to be one of the 'worst' forced implementations.

    Mac OS X Lion has had loads of iOS forced into it - the launchpad sits unused on most desktops and the castrating of Expose to make it work better on ultra low resolutions displays has forced them to add back functionality from Snow Leopard. Several Linux distros have created even worse solutions than Metro with Ubuntu, Fedora etc forcing UIs that are only barely suitable for netbooks onto high resolution desktops.

    Alas, Microsoft has the worst to move from this kind of forced GUI change. Apple's Lion didn't go too far and is stepping back a little in many areas with Mountain Lion - besides which, they can basically do no wrong in consumers' eyes. Linux can benefit from this kind of change as their main area of growth PC wise are low powered netbooks with low resolutions. Microsoft has a lot of corporate users who will dig their heels in. Not only that but an uniformed buyer looking for a new computer in a store could well be put off by Metro and lean more towards an Apple computer - purely because Mac OS X's GUI is more familiar looking to a Windows user than Metro.
  • 13 Hide
    math1337 , June 7, 2012 2:44 AM
    Quote:
    A bigger problem is what Windows 9 will be like. Will it have desktop mode at all if Metro is a success? And "success" for Microsoft might mean losing like 30% of the desktop market to gain 10% of the mobile market. That would be a jackpot for them, so they might throw a lot of us under the bus to gain a foothold against Android and iOS.



    I figure that the "Metro" part of windows 8 will flop, while the desktop part will flop less. On the off chance that metro actually succeeds, we're screwed.
  • 22 Hide
    bigdragon , June 7, 2012 2:46 AM
    I completely agree with John Dvorak. I don't want to read any more excuses to leave an unfinished product alone. I've been through enough beta tests to know how little actually changes between public release and final production. I've rarely ever seen positive change. I gave 8 a chance and the Metro UI is anti-productive on a desktop. The start screen is a poor replacement for the start menu. The traditional desktop is not sufficiently divorced from the Metro UI. Dvorak is spot-on and it's about time we started seeing more people pointing out the flaws. Microsoft can't fix flaws if everyone kisses their butts.

    8 is the next Vista. It's the next ME. I don't want my desktop to behave like a Windows Phone. I don't want full screen apps. I don't want UI solutions that take up more space than they actually need because they assume I'm not utilizing it. I can see myself sticking to Windows 7 like I did with XP. If 9 doesn't fix the problems with 8 then I'm jumping ship. I will jump ship to Chrome OS or even Mac OS. I already had to switch desktop environments in Linux due to what the idiots at GNU have done with Gnome 3.
  • 0 Hide
    wigglerthefish , June 7, 2012 2:54 AM
    I'm buying an Asus Zenbook Prime, and I shall have Windows 8. It seems fine for me! I might even get one with a detachable screen (not the same series).
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