Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch

“Windows 8 looks to me to be an unmitigated disaster that could decidedly hurt the company and its future,” John Dvorak writes for MarketWatch. “The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying. It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, ‘Why are they doing this!?'”

“No business will tolerate this software, let me assure you. As a productivity tool, it is unusable,” Dvorak writes. “There is an old-fashioned desktop you can visit, but whenever the OS gets the chance, it throws you back onto the Metro interface. For those of us who thought we could avoid Metro and live on the desktop screen, we are going to be sorely disappointed.”

Dvorak writes, “This is a problem for Microsoft investors. The potential for this OS to be an unrecoverable disaster for the company is at the highest possible level I’ve ever seen… I have no idea why Microsoft would take such an enormous gamble on its cash cow like this.”

MacDailyNews Take: Because Apple is killing them, that’s why. Either they try something dramatic or they slowly die. Because the “OS Wars” never really ended because Apple never actually disappeared as once hoped by every closed-minded dunce who never failed to underestimate Steve Jobs. Look in the mirror, John. And because Microsoft is run by a clown. A beautiful, glorious, magnificent clown! That’s why, John.

Dvorak writes, “What is this departure based on? It’s based on the pipe dream that the unsuccessful user interface used by Windows Phone will turn into a success on the tablet — to such an extreme that people will also demand it on the desktop, so all the platforms can have the same look and feel. This is insanity, plain and simple… Now Microsoft wants to take all the habits and workflows and new skill sets we’ve developed and toss them into the bin for this? Who at Microsoft signed off on this? Do they even use computers?”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Well, there’s a lovely “review.” However, since Dvorak is almost always wrong, the chances of Windows 8’s success just went up dramatically. Or, maybe, just maybe, John’s right for a change?

Regardless, many more Windows sufferers will find themselves in boats similar to John’s and, faced with learning something new anyway, they will drift right into the nearest Apple Store for their first Mac — however late to the party they may be — or iPad, and we will welcome them with open arms.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

Related articles:
To push Windows Tablets, Microsoft makes iPad support more expensive/a> – April 24, 2012
Apple’s new iPad could dramatically alter the Windows PC upgrade cycle – March 8, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
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


  1. They are making the same mistake they made with the tablet and phone 10 years ago. Taking a UI to a use case for which it is not well-suited. At least taking the desktop UI to the tablet with a stylus made sense when you wanted to preserve backward compatibility to a HUGE library of existing Win32 software. The stylus at least had some use cases with a tablet.

    The reverse is simply not the case without huge changes to desktop hardware. But MS doesn’t sell that. Perhaps its hardware partners will figure it out.

    1. One of the several uproars about Window 8 is going to be the disconnection between the OtherPad version, running on ARM, and the Intel CPU version. The ARM version will have almost NO backward compatibility to x86 coded software.

      Developers are going to have to RECODE to get their Windows software to run on the Windows 8 OtherPad. One version for PC. Another version for OtherPad.

      Brilliant move Microsoft. 😯 💡

  2. It is undeniably terrible. I’ve run both previews within VirtualBox. XP and Win7 will be on corporate workstations another 10-years at this rate.

    1. Does Microsoft seriously think this bird is going to fly on tablets or PCs? I’ve tried it on both (including the middle ground, a touchscreen Fujitsu notebook) and it is simply terrible on all of them. It’s so flat that it’s not obvious what you can tap or click on! Consumers are going to be scratching their heads and flocking to Apple. I think Microsoft is in real trouble.

      Here’s my take on it: http://jeff-with-a-g.blogspot.com.au/2012/06/8-is-not-microsofts-lucky-number.html

      1. Uh… guys, you do get that courier wasn’t ever real don’t you?
        Just like the knowledge navigator (that a similar sales idiot put forth) it was just vacuous nonsense projected onto smoke. It was just a video, it never had any real substance to it.
        Pie in the sky Ideas are fairly easy, making things that really work well, takes real genus.

          1. I’m going to guess that Tessellator was referring more to –
            ” … They should have kept going with Courier.”
            – then to your comment mentioning that it was a mock-up.

            Sure it looked good. But they couldn’t continue further with Courier. The mock-up was the final product.

          2. It wasn’t a mock up, it was a video, “leaked” by ms. What was in the video was simply clever compositing and special effects. It was never more then a MS brain fart. AFAIK no (real physical) prototype ever existed.

            BTW it was your agreeing with “me’s” comment that it (the courier) was “awesome” and that they should have kept going that made me respond to both of you rather than just “me”

          1. Yeah, that’s the ticket. As a matter of fact I was just mentioning that to my wife… Morgan Fairchild.

            Well… either that or an auto complete faux pax.
            Busted by buster… (yes that’s a pun)

        1. To be fair, Dvorak said that after the Mac was released but before it was sold in any numbers.

          At the time everyone, including Apple’s customers, were using a command line interface.

          No one except a few Apple employees, a few Microsoft coders and a few ex Xerox employees had ever seen let alone used a mouse.

          There actually was no evidence that a mouse would be accepted by business or anyone else.

          Once you used a Mac, you knew, but until then, WTF!

          1. And also to be fair, he’s right about Windows 8. It is stratospherically horrible and his reasons for why it’ll likely be a horrific disaster for Microsoft are pretty much airtight.

            He may professionally troll Apple and be wrong a good 99% of the time, but when he’s right he’s right.

      1. Dvorak said “Over the years, I’ve even supported the idea that Microsoft’s Bob interface was mismarketed and actually was unique and interesting.” so maybe the whole thing was just a reverse comment. ??????

        Then again, he thought the mouse would be a real waste. ???

        Just a thought

  3. Risks make history. Nobody ever remembers the ones that played it safe in the market. If the risk pays off for MS then we’ll have another interface which in turn will be copied by Apple and Google in 5 years or less.

    1. There’s a world of difference between taking a risk and committing suicide.

      A user interface so putrid that even exuberant Microsft superfan John Dvorak calls it unusable and annoying is, like, apocalyptically the latter.

      You’re acting like the jury is still out on Metro. It isn’t.

  4. I downloaded a pdf to the desktop, Because W8 has built in pdf reader, when I double click, i t uses the metro pdf reader and switches to metro in fullscreen mode. I could not find a print button. Right click gave me some options but no printing. Clicking the more button gave me the option to close but no print button. I thought I’d give Ctrl+p a chance and that worked.

    Are you FREAKIN kidding ME! 5 steps to do what used to be a 1 step process. I’m sorry but Metro is not going to work on a desktop.

      1. No, 5 steps to figure out it was ctrl-p, after all!

        I see it all the time in iOS apps too, especially in apps from those who’s first introduction to the computer interface was ms-dos; they used a command-line interface to launch programs, which required the memorization of a massive codex of cryptic commands, not unlike Unix’s massive libraries.

        Steve Jobs will be forever remembered as the man who changed the way we interact with computers. Aesthetics and slick marketing aside, he did more to change the way we harness the power of machines! By the time Bill Gates finished developing macros for everyone of his line commands, his menu system became the joke of late night comedy and a source of inspiration of what not to do with a computer interface.

        Steve Jobs was a muse for engineers like Woz. He himself was an interface between artists and nerds and together they created not only the first commercially successful computer but unlocked the ability to make the computer your bitch.

        Steve Jobs was a wizard at subsuming complex command structures and wrapping them up with a bow. He absolutely flourished after leaving Apple and joining up with Avi Tevanian, the Unix genius who transformed Apple into the juggernaut it is today with NeXTStep.

        Take a twenty-five-year proven product like Unix and apply the Human Interface Guidelines with a just a skosh of eye-candy and I give you the Tree of Knowledge.

    1. a waste of time – although, it did give me an idea of what life in a retirement home could be like living with men who don’t have a clue what life is like, especially concerning things apple.

  5. he is so funny. he was supposed to blame every apple stuff before. now he blames windows? when did he become Apple fanboy? by the way, it doesn’t matter. windows 8 will still dominate OS market in the world. MS seems to stop growing nowadays. but they have a strategy. I think that Apple heyday seems to fade away slowly. just look at stock price.

    1. haha. Every laugh gets me in my troll notes. Too key funny! Super good ideas here. Many awesome good but too bad apple. Troll troll troll…

  6. Microsoft, in my opinion, should concentrate on making insanely great software for all the successful platforms that are out there. The folk in Redmond should maybe forget being a hardware company, forget being a search engine wannabe, forget converging tablets and desktop PCs.

    In short, Microsoft should be a lean, ruthless software company willing to supply/exploit all platforms.

    just my $0.02. I hate to see wasted potential.

    1. “… In short, Microsoft should be a lean, ruthless software company willing to supply/exploit all platforms.”

      While I don’t disagree with you, that they should do this.

      Do you really think that there’s any way in heck, that MS could pull it off?

      Ain’t gonna’ happen McGee.

  7. As I’ve commented before, current PC Windows users (including a high percentage still using Windows XP) will feel far more comfortable transitioning to Mac OS X Lion (or Mountain Lion) instead of Windows 8.

    Apple should be prepared for this and take full advantage. Windows 8 is going to be the BEST thing to happen to Apple since Windows Vista. Apple already has “Windows Migration Assistant for Lion” in place, ready to go… but they should do even more.

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