Windows 8: First Impressions (From a Mac User)
I am not new to The Verge, but this is my first forum post and I wanted to make sure that I opened with something meaningful, so — since they seem to be popular around here — I'd like to share with you my first impressions of the Windows 8 Release Preview, which I recently installed on my Macbook Pro (replacing the Consumer Preview) and have been using alongside my OSX installation for the past couple of weeks. I should state that I have used Windows my entire life, even after I switched most of my daily computing to Macs about 4 or 5 years ago.
Rather than dump a huge wall of text in here, I'd prefer to link you to where I originally wrote the article on my blog:
Hopefully, it will offer some food for thought and maybe even spark some discussion for others who, like me, feel that they are defined more by their love of technology in general than by irrational loyalty to any specific brand. I'm not hoping to draw any definitive conclusions, simply to offer my first impressions — they matter.
For the TL;DR club, here's the excerpted conclusion to the post:
For now, the accelerated push to adopt Metro has resulted in a Windows 8 that is splintered, unfriendly to many devices, and awkward for anyone outside its narrow Goldilocks Zone. The worst part being that it’s unnecessarily so — they could have avoided these problems with simple design decisions that kept the desktop and Metro feeling like they’re working together instead of against each other; decisions that would encourage us to see the best in both rather than sow the seeds of an internal battle between two sides of the same coin.
Windows 8 is shaping up to be a strange beast, and it will certainly be polarizing, but there is still time for Microsoft to correct some of the inconsistencies I mentioned above. If they do so, then it will be easier for people to adopt and love their new paradigm. It would only take a bit of time spent exploring to realize that, at its core, Windows 8 is great. It’s very very fast, rock solid, and is displaying glimmers of genius in the design of apps like Travel, which lets you research, plan, and book a trip all from within a single app. A unified experience done right.
Ironically, it seems that Apple is the one taking the patient approach to the inevitable unification of the desktop and mobile experience. Mountain Lion is introducing more iOS-like features, but it’s doing so in a way that doesn’t compromise the core identity of OSX. It’s a slow merge rather than a head-on collision. It is only over the course of the next few months — as we meet iOS 6, as Windows 8 and OSX Mountain Lion hit the market — that we’ll be able to appreciate which approach works better.
I can’t wait.