Take a Deep Breath: Windows 8 Isn’t That Bad

I know: a ringing endorsement, right?

But after spending a few days with my new desktop computer that runs Windows 8, I have to say that it’s not bad.  Strange.  Different, yes.  But okay.

There’s been lots of polarized discussion about Windows 8, ever since its debut last fall.  (Just today, I read one blogger who is vocally abandoning Windows 8 for Mac and another blogger who is cautiously supporting Microsoft’s evolution.)  So when I bought Windows 8 for a desktop, I wasn’t sure what to expect.

And that’s really what it boils down to: expectations.  If you assume that Windows 8 will be buttoned-down and “normal,” just like the beautiful, stable Windows 7, then you will be disappointed that it’s got all these charms and live tiles—and that it doesn’t have a stinking Start button!  And if you assume that Windows 8 will be a totally new, seamless OS that is the same on a phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop, you will be disappointed that the desktop still looks a lot like Windows 7 (and Vista, for that matter).

My main observation (concern?) is that Windows 8 is forked—like it has a dual personality.  In the Metro UI, it’s got the cool, colorful, flat style that Microsoft has been cultivating of late.  But in desktop mode (and when using the Windows Explorer), it looks pretty much like Windows 7 and the traditional Windows model.

If I have any feedback, it’s that Microsoft probably should’ve gone fully one way or the other: either develop the OS totally around the Metro idea, or just perfect the traditional Windows look—but not split the difference.

Otherwise, we should probably just relax.  Take a deep breath.  Windows 8 works just fine.  It’s solid.  It’s functional.  It’s okay.  It isn’t that bad.

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