My Experience with Windows 8 and what needs work
First let me say, I was really looking forward to Windows 8. I saw it as the future for Windows and possibly how desktop interfaces would look like in the future.
So I got a Lenovo Z500 and used it for about a month (I still have it).
But then came the issues, almost immediately.
Windows 8 is extremely bug riddled.
Upon restart or boot, it says installing Windows updates and it gets stuck at 15% and tries again, fails, then reboots. I had to dig through the support website for a long time to find a fix. It was not a good first impression on me. But given that Lenovo's bloatware was causing the issue and not Windows 8 itself, I tried to accept it nontheless.
The Lenovo was a family computer so obviously my family used it too. And on certain blogs, posting a comment wouldn't auto update the thread and it had to be done manually, which never happened on previous versions of Windows.
Then there's the Wifi issue. I can't seem to solve this one. Every few days, the Lenovo drops the wifi connection and I often have to reboot to fix it. This is extremely frustrating and keeps me from doing anything web related for too long.
Windows has 2 separate rules.
I was excited for not-Metro until I realized that MS essentially just stapled it on top of the desktop. There's no cohesion.
I downloaded the Amazon app from the Windows store and thought it would be an actual app. Instead it throws me in the desktop and opens up the browser to amazon.com. There was just no predictability on what would throw me into the desktop.
There's Metro apps and desktop apps all mixed into one pile in the start screen making it very disjointing when opening apps.
In desktop, there are actual windows and a task bar. In metro, there are full screen apps that require gestures to close or see tasks.
The file browser is only in desktop and some of the desktop apps don't have an icon on the desktop. And since there's no start menu I have to go to the start screen just to find the desktop app.
MS should have put desktop and metro in one interface, added some kind of taskbar, and have simpler to use (snapped but with a grid of 16 x 9 squares) windows. These two different rules drive me crazy and I end up using desktop 90% of the time.
Windows 8 is hidden, mysterious, not good from a user perspective
Let me explain that. I saw all these gestures in the commercials and heard about them too. So I was excited.
Until I discovered that there's no indication at all what gesture will do what.
The swipe from left gesture was mostly used accidentally. When I'm typing something, the extra sensitive touchpad would suddenly open Netflix, or the weather app, and it was very frustrating. I disabled the touchpad, but for some reason, it reactivates in a few hours! And I can't find any setting to turn off the gesture.
The swipe from right was also used accidentally a lot and when I would go to tap somewhere else to close the Charms Bar, it would just act like I tapped the start button. I had no indication of how to stop this behavior and it really irritated me.
How to close apps? I had to look that up. There was no indication of how to do that in Windows itself. Pull down from top is not intuitive at all. And when I do it, I find it's much less efficient than clicking an X or even two finger swiping a thumbnail from a multitasking menu.
How to bring up the list of running apps? I tried swiping in left and going back. Didn't work. I tried clicking on the sides. Didn't work. So I had to look it up. I never would have guessed go to the corner and slide mouse up.
Windows 8 hides everything under gestures. It leaves the user alone without any clues on how to do what.
I really really wanted to love Windows 8, but until it fixes the UI and the numerous bugs, and the inconsistency of 2 interfaces, I don't think I can recommend it.
My suggestion to MS? Combine the desktop and start screen. Allow snapping windows in a grid not just one dimensionally. Bring back the taskbar and just have the icons of running apps on it. A small "^" symbol to pop up a list of favorite apps pinned to the taskbar. And the charms bar icons should be down in the taskbar. Kind of like Android's system back/home/multitask.