“Since installing, I’ve learnt to regard Windows 8 as being two operating systems. One part I’ve been thinking of as Windows 7.1. The “classic desktop” bits of Windows 8 is just Windows 7, minus the Start orb, with a new theme to replace Aero,” Matthew Baxter-Reynolds reports for The Guardian.

“Day-to-day, I use a virtual machine for Windows development but use a Mac for everything else,” Baxter-Reynolds reports. “One of the things that Apple has been been criticised about on the iPad is that you have to jump in and out of apps to do anything. There’s a very thunk … thunk … thunk context switch to using an iPad. That’s nothing compared to life in a world where you’ve got a classic desktop and Metro-style.”

Baxter-Reynolds reports, ” I have two monitors… First thing you notice is that both monitors get a taskbar. That’s really confusing. But the reason becomes clear because if you open up the Windows 8 mail app – BLAM! – the thing takes over the whole of the primary monitor, obscuring the taskbar. The classic desktop remains running on the secondary monitor, with a taskbar. Click on anything on the secondary monitor and – SHOOM! – the mail app disappears because Windows thinks you’ve dropped out of Metro-style. What this does for you as you use it is a whole world of “wait … what?!” Trying to deal with Windows when your driving results in it flipping between classic Windows and Metro-style app is like having someone sneak up behind you and flick you on the ear when you’re least expecting it. This massive context switching of ‘YOU’RE IN WINDOWS WAIT NO NO YOU’RE NOT!’ creates an appalling user experience.”

“What we have then is a line item in Microsoft’s product catalogue called Windows 8 that’s either a hybrid of Windows 7.1 and an as-yet-unnamed operating system, or a bastardisation of both those things. Whatever the non-Windows 7.1 bits of Windows 8 are, it’s sure as hell not Windows,” Baxter-Reynolds reports. “At present, I’m not sure which word is fair. ‘Hybrid’ implies a thought-through combination of the best of features from Column A and from Column B. ‘Bastardisation’ implies a slapping together of mismatched features to achieve a level of supreme clunkiness.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote last spring:

Microsoft, in trying to cram everything into Windows 8 in an attempt to be all things to all devices, will end up with an OS that’s a jack of all trades and a master of none (which, after all, ought to be Microsoft’s company motto).

By the time this hybrid spawn of Windows Phone ’07 + Windows 7ista actually ships, one can only dream where Apple’s iOS and Mac OS X will be! For Microsoft, it’ll be more like a nightmare. Perhaps Microsoft will someday put some scare into Google’s Android/Chrome OS, but only time – and a lot of it when measured in tech time – will tell. We simply do not see the world clamoring for the UI of an iPod also-ran now ported to an iPhone wannabe that nobody’s buying to be blown up onto a PC display.

From what we’ve seen so far, Windows 8 strikes us as an unsavory combination of Windows Weight plus Windows Wait.

Not to mention that probably no one on earth knows how much or what kinds of residual legacy spaghetti code roils underneath it all (shudder). Is Microsoft giving up on backwards compatibility? If so, people might as well get the Mac they always wanted. If not, then Microsoft’s unwilling to do what it takes to really attempt to keep up with the likes of Apple or even Apple’s followers. No matter what, if Microsoft’s going to ask Windows sufferers to “learn a whole new computer” (and that’s exactly how they’ll look at it, regardless of how Microsoft pitches it), millions will simply say, “Time to get a Mac to match my iPod, iPhone, and iPad!”

Related articles:
The 9 versions of Windows 8 show one of the key differences between Microsoft and Apple – March 2, 2012
Windows 8 tablet vs. Apple iPad running iOS 5: feature by feature (with video) – March 1, 2012
Needham: Apple Mac growth to continue six-year run of outpacing Windows PCs – February 28, 2012
Tim Cook: Apple the only company innovating in personal computers, and have been for some time – February 24, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011