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."
Heh, bad conspiracy theories aside, I'll reserve judgement until I use it.
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.
It literally takes less than 2 minutes, then you'll be free from "metro" forever.