I tried to like Windows 8. I installed it on the fastest computer in the house, made sure my devices were compatible, and chose the professional edition, which I assumed would be a good edition. I tried to like Windows 8, I really did. My first hint of things to come was when the “Windows 8 Compatible” network interface took a week off from working. The second hint was the start screen. I am sure that this is a great screen for mobile touchscreen devices, but for a standard PC and mouse, it is unintuitive and cumbersome. I’ve added a more standard start menu via the Microsoft Apps store, but it is not the same, and the differences are not for the better. Many applications are still hidden. Startup still takes me to the touchscreen interface by default. And while startup is very fast compared to other versions of Windows, every application takes considerably longer to launch, as does logging in. My 64 bit, 3GHz quad-core desktop with 16GB RAM feels like it is struggling with every application launch. My daughter’s pathetic Windows 7 netbook, with its 1GB RAM and sadly underpowered mobile processor launches applications much more quickly.
I want to be able to get to applications quickly and easily, not slowly via sliding screen designed for an input device not currently available for desktop computers. I want to spend a few more minutes on initial startup, not have to suffer later for every application launch. I want to feel like I am using a computer, not a tablet. I want to like Windows 8. Perhaps with a trackpad like I have for my Mac, or if I ever purchase a Windows-based tablet, I will. For now, though, I tried to like Windows 8, and I failed. I will be sticking with Windows XP for my work machines and switching my daughter’s netbook to Linux Mint when she tires of struggling with Windows 7. And if I ever get a tablet, on which I am sure Windows 8 would look great, I will probably stick with whichever version of Android is running on it rather than trying Windows 8 there. I am just not enough of a masochist for the Windows 8 experience.