My Problem with Windows 8
OK, I have been using Windows 8 RTM on my Dell laptop for more than a month.
I have read a lot about Windows 8 and the Metro interface in particular in the media but no one seems to be mention some of the basic interface design choices Microsoft made that were plain wrong IMO, especially when running on a desktop/laptop.
I am not going to rant about the new Start screen as it has been discussed extensively. Below are some of the issues I see with the Metro design (mostly running on a non touch Laptop, but some of these are equally applicable on a tablet as well):
1. Metro apps run in Full screen. This is just plain ridiculous on both Laptops and tablets. Remember we are talking about devices with a minimum of 10" screen real estate. There is no way you can design a UI like that. I expect information like Time, connectivity icons(Wifi or Cellular), and any notification I may have missed to be available in a dedicated status/notification bar at all times. This is something every GUI designed over the last 30 years have done.I shouldn't be forced to hover my mouse over the right edge to see the freaking time.
2. Most Metro apps scroll sideways. This would work fine on a tablet where side-scrolling simulates page turns on a book/magazine, but won't make sense on a laptop. One of may examples proving Windows 8 is a tablet OS first and foremost without too much consideration given to existing desktop/desktop users.
3. While I appreciate the fact that two Metro apps can be run side by side, the proportion of screen areas divided doesn't make sense. The best way to run apps side by side would be to give each app 50% screen real estate, but in Windows 8, it is more like 70/30.
4. Some of the general Metro UI design principles don't seem sound to me. Of all the major OSs (both desktop and mobile), Metro UI has the least information density and in Windows 8 in particular a lot of functionality is hidden from the interface and can only be invoked upon clicking the screen corners which may not be apparent to tech illiterate everyday users.
Windows 8 does offer some benefits over Windows 7 and I should point these out. It has faster boot times, a better file manger and task manager. I also like the idea of a centralized Marketplace to download apps. But, with all the issues above, I don't see myself upgrading to Windows 8. Maybe Microsoft will come to its senses when it launches Windows 8. I sure hope so.