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MIT Professor: Windows 8 is Xmas Gift for Someone You Hate

By - Source: Philip Greenspun | B 66 comments

Disruptive change is rarely welcomed with unison cheers.

More than likely, Microsoft was very well aware that the Windows 8 UI would be very divisive and would require a massive change in the way a user interface is perceived and what it is supposed to do in various ways.

Following what seemed to be a reasonable balance between positive and negative reviews in the media, there is a noticeable uptick in negative commenting on Windows 8, some of which lack the type of balance we typically need to make a purchase decisions, but the type of commenting that clearly influences our perception of what Windows 8 is and what it is not.

An blog post that caught our attention was published by MIT computer science professor Philip Greenspun, who suggested Windows 8 as a gift for people you hate. It is one of the least flattering opinions of the operating system published to date, comparing the UI of the operating system to a "dog's breakfast." His conclusion is that "Microsoft has had since October 2008 to study Android" and "since June 2007 to study iPhone", but "they did not figure out what is good about the standard tablet operating systems."

Greenspun also chastised media for given Windows 8 positive reviews: "My theory is that journalists love anything new, different, and complicated. Windows 8 is all of those things." The only positive note was given to "some of the supplied apps", which "are wonderful".


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  • 28 Hide
    kog91 , December 7, 2012 10:12 AM
    how is this news?
  • 19 Hide
    faster23rd , December 7, 2012 10:19 AM
    While I agree that Windows 8 has problems and understand that Microsoft is a key player in the tech industry, I simply do not understand the point of this article. This tiny snippet of opinion, by a relatively obscure MIT professor, is what makes for news in Tom's now? :(  This is more like the showbiz segment in primetime news.
  • 15 Hide
    killerclick , December 7, 2012 10:46 AM
    I don't hate anyone that much.
Other Comments
  • 28 Hide
    kog91 , December 7, 2012 10:12 AM
    how is this news?
  • 19 Hide
    faster23rd , December 7, 2012 10:19 AM
    While I agree that Windows 8 has problems and understand that Microsoft is a key player in the tech industry, I simply do not understand the point of this article. This tiny snippet of opinion, by a relatively obscure MIT professor, is what makes for news in Tom's now? :(  This is more like the showbiz segment in primetime news.
  • 4 Hide
    xurwin , December 7, 2012 10:20 AM
    as a matter of fact, windows 8 is not that bad. need some time to get use to it. also windows 8 has the fastest boot time. i would gladly accept one too. just the metro ui is annoying but still it looks like windows 7 with a new start screen. a dumb one for desktop. its much better on touchscreens. but hey it still is good. its not that bad
  • 4 Hide
    archange , December 7, 2012 10:37 AM
    Win 8 is still Windows and is as such an evolution of the previous iterations. Some aspects have been fine tuned compared to 7, just as 7 did with features from XP / Vista.

    Case in point: I just bought a Creative wp-350 Bluetooth Headset. I have not been able to use the headset mic under 7, no matter how much I tried, the BT stack just doesn't activate the function and "Recording devices" does not show the BT hardware. So the VoIP functions were a bust. Win 8 just does that seamlessly and with no headaches. As of yet, I haven't found any show stoppers in 8 - that doesn't mean I'm not searching. :p 
  • 7 Hide
    assasin32 , December 7, 2012 10:37 AM
    I've read the actual article even that was pretty pointless he kept comparing Win 8 to iOS, Android, Win 7, OSX, and kept trying to state that it should be more like those. It's not it's win8 if you want one of the other operating systems you use it but win8 is something different and he couldn't get that past himself. That was he major grip he didn't want to learn a new OS, there was actually nothing of actual value in the article from what I recall that gave me the impression that it was anything other than someone getting out their anger.

    And for the record he tested it out on a high end desktop which he states at the end of his anger filled rant.
  • 8 Hide
    mforce2 , December 7, 2012 10:39 AM
    I really don't give a ***t about Windows 8, MS can sell it to whoever wants to buy it, I'm good with Windows 7, Linux and Android. An XP VM is also still very nice to have, especially in Linux.
    While I could probably get used to and maybe even like Windows 8 I see no reason whatsoever to try it out. Only thing good I've heard about it is the faster boot but .... I rarely boot into Windows anyway and I can get a SSD to fast boot into both Windows and Linux.
  • 0 Hide
    tomfreak , December 7, 2012 10:44 AM
    hate me now, and give me a win8 pro for free.
  • 1 Hide
    Anonymous , December 7, 2012 10:45 AM
    Windows 8 isn't all that different. I bought it, and installed it, expecting it to be totally disorienting, after all I heard, but is not. It should have been called "Windows 7.1". It really isn't all that different.
  • 15 Hide
    killerclick , December 7, 2012 10:46 AM
    I don't hate anyone that much.
  • 0 Hide
    drwho1 , December 7, 2012 10:48 AM
    after installing the START BUTTON right after installing the OS, Windows 8 looks and behaves just like Windows 7. I only saw the stupid tiles ONCE and never again after installing the START BUTTON.
  • 1 Hide
    ojas , December 7, 2012 10:53 AM
    Quote:
    Greenspun also chastised media for given Windows 8 positive reviews: "My theory is that journalists love anything new, different, and complicated. Windows 8 is all of those things." The only positive note was given to "some of the supplied apps", which "are wonderful".


    Which is generally true, especially of you.

    But i think criticizing Win 8 on tablets is a bit unfair, though i'll have to read his post.
  • 4 Hide
    arnoldlouie , December 7, 2012 11:01 AM
    I hope people that hate me reads this article. To the author Wolfgang Gruener, i would assume you are going to receive a lot of windows 8 tablets..lol
  • -1 Hide
    ojas , December 7, 2012 11:06 AM
    I just read the thing. What he's said is mostly valid/makes sense. He's using a Dell AIO. Plus he's a computer science prof, that too in MIT, his views are likely to be harsh towards something that's not well designed. After all, how an enthusiast, programmer and a standard consumer will evaluate software is likely to be very different. He doesn't appear to be a fanboy, he seems to have used Windows for a long time, and worked/used android and iOS. For someone like him, i understand his position.

    There were a few things that he seemed to have misunderstood, which have been adressed in the comments below.

    Wolfgang seems to be butt-hurt about his closing comments, but unfortunately for Wolfgang, what the prof. says is true.
  • -7 Hide
    suture , December 7, 2012 11:15 AM
    He's like my oldman when i gave him the first nokia phone with a small colored screen a few years ago.
    - "this is too complicated to handle". he said.

    Its different but its still good. So live with it.
    Most ppl are so boring they cant even accept a slight change in their lives.
  • -2 Hide
    stephenkendrick , December 7, 2012 11:17 AM
    killerclickI don't hate anyone that much.


    No? "Merry Christmas, Mr Ballmer"...
  • 2 Hide
    may1 , December 7, 2012 11:20 AM
    So if I hate myself, i should get a windows8?
  • -2 Hide
    zzz_b , December 7, 2012 11:28 AM
    I think MS did not do the right thing with RT. Why is the OS 16GB big? :o 
    iOS and Android do the same thing and what is the size of thoe OS'? Less than a 1GB!

    I guess the code must be very inneficient, as everything from MS.
  • 4 Hide
    dimar , December 7, 2012 11:37 AM
    Toms need to do a full review of available Start Menu programs that can be used with win8.
  • 3 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , December 7, 2012 11:59 AM
    ct1615let me guess, he is an apple fan boy


    He mentioned both Android and iOS, maybe he's a Fandroid or neither ...
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