ZDNet’s Kingsley-Hughes: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is an awful, horrible, painful design disaster

“I’ve been following Windows 8 closely over the past few months, spending a lot of time not only with the official releases but also with a number of leaked builds, and I’ve had the chance to install the operating system on a variety of hardware platforms, both old and new. However, since my primary working platform is a desktop system, this is where I’ve had the chance to spend the most time with Microsoft’s new operating system,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes reports for ZDNet.

“I’m now ready to sum up my Windows 8 experience with a single word: awful,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “I could have chosen a number of other words — terrible, horrible, painful and execrable all spring to mind — but it doesn’t matter, the sentiment is the same.”

MacDailyNews Take: Windows 8ista.

Kingsley-Hughes reports, “On the face of it, Metro UI looks good. It’s new and shiny and refreshing, and it looks like it could actually be quite usable. If you’ve used Windows Phone then the interface feel familiar. Things feel good. And then you start to use it… I just can’t shake the feeling that Windows 8 would be better off as two separate operating systems.”

MacDailyNews Take: Which is exactly the way the smart company did it. Perhaps Microsoft would’ve been better off just trying to copy Apple in their usual half-assed manner and taking their chances in court again, albeit this time in the face of hundreds of Apple patents and without the aid of a poorly-written contract signed by an unprepared sugar water salesbozo.

“Even at this late stage in the game, it still feels to me like Windows 8 feels like two operating systems unceremoniously bolted together,” Kingsley-Hughes reports. “Windows 8 wasn’t born out of a need or demand; it was born out of a desire on Microsoft’s part to exert its will on the PC industry and decide to shape it in a direction — touch and tablets — that allows it to compete against, and remain relevant in the face of Apple’s iPad… There’s a palpable fear that Windows 8 will stumble out of the door. I’m hearing this from people within Microsoft, from the OEMs and vendors, and from others in and around the industry. The OEMs and vendors feel especially vulnerable, and if Windows 8 does become ‘another Vista’ then there will be an industry-wide bloodbath.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “Bloodbath.” Now where have we heard that before?

What we said on June 1, 2011, the first time we saw Windows 8:

Our initial impression is that 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? [They are with Windows RT (Windows on ARM).] …So, people might as well get the Mac they always wanted. If not [as with Windows 8], 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!”

As if they needed it: More good news for Apple.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Fred Mertz” for the heads up.]

Related articles:
Analyst meets with big computer maker, finds ‘general lack of enthusiasm’ for Windows 8 – June 8, 2012
Dvorak: Windows 8 an unmitigated disaster; unusable and annoying; it makes your teeth itch – June 3, 2012
The Guardian: Microsoft’s Windows 8 is confusing as hell; an appalling user experience – March 5, 2012
More good news for Apple: Microsoft previews Windows 8 (with video) – June 1, 2011


    1. And now microsoft is going around the track to the left. Yes indeed, around to the left… Nascar and Microsoft, always turning the same direction forever.

    1. You know, I haven’t seen much of Ballmer in the news lately. I bet he’s laying low, hoping to avoid the impending shitstorm when Win 8 tanks. Maybe he’s been getting plastic surgery, setting up a new identity, stuff like that…

  1. These reviwers need to wait to publish the bad reviews until MS finalizes W8.
    MS still has time to “fix” things in the OS.

    We want MS to release the POS OS first… Then let everyone see how bad it is.

    What’s beyond bloodbath? When W8 is released bloodbath will be an understatement, so we need a new term now.

    Last weekend a family friend who was dead set on buying the nokia windows phone.. Actualy used one. Bought an iPhone lol.
    MS is drowning, and they don’t even know it yet.

    1. I think we saw this game before, with Win7. Pre-release reports slagged it, but once it was actually released reviewers said it was ok or that the worst problems were fixed. Consumer expectation had been set low so they weren’t as disappointed as they might have been.

      1. if I remember right win7 got fairly good reviews the entire process.

        And honestly, win7 isn’t that bad.. A few annoyances here and there, but nothing that is so totally screwed up that it needs to be scrapped and start fresh (unlike win8 lol)

      2. Slagged it!? Windows 7 was met with euphoric reviews. Even Vista had a stellar reception, only later did the derision set in.

        What we’re seeing with W8 is unprecedented. Not even WindowsME got it half this bad. Tech journalists who have spent their entire professional careers staunchly evangelizing Microsoft are calling it a PoS. That is… beyond words.

        We’re watching the Hindenburg here, people.

    2. I installed Windows 8 preview and my big issue with Win8 is that Metro doesn’t work on the desktop. It is a solution in search of a problem. It is VERY disjointed moving between the Windows part of Windows and Metro. I don’t see how this can be ‘fixed’ other than getting Metro versions of all the programs I run. Only problem with that is I don’t want Metro versions of the programs I run.

      I haven’t used Windows 8 on a tablet, who know it might be good there. I, also, have never used a Windows phone. I have seen one in public, though.

      I am not bullish on Windows 8. I’m not a fan of the direction of Lion either, so maybe I’m just old and cranky 😉

        1. You can still remove launchpad from the dock and just create an applications folder. That pretty much fixes all the “issues”

          At the same time, I like launchpad for being able to organize my apps. but I hate the random glitches that cause it to randomly shift icons all over the place.

          Right drives me nuts.

        2. I thought Lion was cool, a bunch of new features, several UI tweaks, updates and facelifts.
          What large chunk of functionality was lost (and I am not baiting an argument I am being totally serious. We just updated the shop a few months ago (because of some pipeline -legacy software- issues)) and, to a fault, everyone has been very positive on Lion) When I compare that to our experience updating to Win7 or Ubuntu Studio (which was so painful it actually caused us to migrate to Debian) I give apple stars for making so cool changes and not screwing up much.

      1. @Wittsend: EXACTLY.

        To go maniacally metaphoric:
        It took the dinosaurs ~10,000 years to go extinct according to the fossil record (contrary to the woo woo death-by-asteroid theory). That’s a long time according to human history. Parallel to that extinction was the rise of the superior, shrewd-like mammalians. My theory is that little-by-little the mammals made use of their size, teeth, speed, intelligence and warm-bloodedness to chew through every available dinosaur egg.

        Darn, all the ground egg-laying dinosaurs were dead but the tree egg-laying proto-birds survived.

        I predict we are in the midst of parallel evolution specific to computer technology. It takes time, but the dinosaur (Microsoft) will be gradually wiped out by the pestering invasion of superior technology. Windows W8 (credit to FTB!) will be a point of ‘Punctuated Equilibrium’ when maximum change will provide maximum results.

        Prepare now!

        1. So our “shrewd-like” ancestors “rose” in 10,000 years? That’s your scale?

          Maybe long enough to tweak Win 8, but not enough for a good evolution joke.

          Win 8 and a platypus step into a bar….

  2. It’s like one of those movies with a super slow-motion sequence of a spectacular train wreck with metal crumpling, limbs being crushed, blood blotting the camera lens, grating soundtrack you can feel in your teeth…the sequence goes on and on and on and you can’t leave the theater…

  3. If you look at history usually every other version of a new version of Windows is the successful one. Windows 7 was successful, Windows 8 will fail, Next release will probably be another successful release.

    My personal view is Windows sucks all together, but the version that was the best was Windows XP.

    1. I disagree, I think Windows 2000 was the best, XP was just a bloated & tarted up version of 2000 (to attempt to converge the consumer and professional (NT) versions of windows.
      And… they have been going downhill with each successive version since then.

  4. I’m afraid that it’ll be so bad that Microsoft’s board will fire Ballmer.

    I think Ballmer is doing a great job but it may already be as long as it took.

  5. I love Windows 8.
    But then everything I loves tanks in the market place.
    But i do find it intuitive and not designed expressly for tablet, but rather multi-touch. Its a great user experience on my 11″ MacBook Air. I can see where it would be terribly frustrating for desktop users who are tied to a mouse.
    And I am by no means a heavy Windows user. I only use Windows for testing web designs in IE. So i’m always just in and out. No rooting around or using other apps/programs.

  6. There are 2 Internet Explorer apps – one for Metro and one for the Windows desktop. That. Is. In. Sane. Trying to access anything that involves the traditional desktop from Metro results in a disorienting ping-pong between UIs. It’s absolutely hilarious.

    I get wanting to get jump on the tablet bandwagon, but Microsoft’s aiming to sacrifice every one of its legacy losers…er…users to get there. They missed the bandwagon and broke their fall by faceplanting in a pile of horseshit.

  7. The last Microsoft OS I was excited about was Longhorn. I saw bill Gates preview it saying it would come out in 1.5 to 2 years. I was stoked. Last time they stoked me about anything, except perhaps the CGI rendering of the Courrier Tablet. Those folks don’t seem to be able to execute though. So glad I switched in 2004.

    1. I have never been a windows user and have hated it since Win 3.1 where I used it to play networked Doom 2 against a friend at his work.

      Windows has always been a badly executed copy of the Mac. I’m not saying Microsift couldn’t have done a food Mac clone, I’m saying they didn’t, and decisions that were made early on such as the registry were part of what bade Windows doomed to be aweful.

      It’s too bad because it would be nice to have a decent alternative to the Mac, but we have what we have.

  8. Ah, the old Queen tune keeps coming around.. “Another one bites the dust”… It will be a hard truth for Seattle when Bomber finally makes the announcement that Microshaft doesn’t have the funds to go on. All of it’s OEM’s, even Dell, will have abandoned it and the monster of the sloshy northwestern US plops over in a mud hole and spews it’s last breath of poison….. BOMBER – YOU’RE FIRED – will be the last squeak… TOO LATE….

  9. The biggest head smacker about Windows 8, to me, is those stupid hidden sidebars that only appear when you swipe in from the screen edges. It’s such so, so, stupid.

    On an iPad, you just see objects on the screen, and see them change or move as you tap or move them with your hands. It so simple, even babies and animals can learn how do it. It’s totally frictionless. You just can just concentrate on whatever you are doing, without even thinking about the computer interface.

    But with Windows 8, you have to memorize which toolbar has the functions you want, which side of the screen it’s hidden off edge of, and drag these unseen toolbars into view. Good luck if you are dyslexic, or are trying to teach a small child to use it, or have more important things to think about besides which edge of the screen is hiding the search bar or start menu or whatever you are looking for. How can MS possibly think that’s a good solution?

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