Windows 8 Scares Me

It’s an odd feeling – being scared by an operating system.  I come from a world where productivity means using a keyboard and a mouse.  Sure I have a Droid Phone and an iPad and I understand and can appreciate what touch does to an experience.  I mean, Angry Birds isn’t the same when you’re using a mouse.

But those environments were built with touch in mind from the ground up.  Now Microsoft is adding touch on top of Windows 7, and the result is Windows 8.  They did a very nice job, so don’t think I’m knocking them there.  The interface is elegant, informative, and customizable.  The tiles are essentially easy to navigate. And the concept is sound.

But now I think about my desktop that I have.  A computer in my office which started it’s life running Windows XP, then upgraded to Vista, and now 7.  It’s a Pentium D machine with a total of 4 GB of RAM.  And for what I do, it suits my need.  I love being on the cutting edge of what’s out there, even if it means dealing with a few bugs here and there.  But now I have the opportunity to upgrade to Windows 8… and I don’t wanna.

Without touch, Windows 8 seems ineffective.  Here’s a User Interface with controls designed to be touched, and here I am with my little itty bitty mouse clicking on them.  Options? Oh, I need to bring the mouse to the top right or lower right corners to bring up the Charms bar.  The what?? That’s right, the Charms bar.  What the heck is that?

Okay, well, let me just go in to Desktop mode.  And now when I go to open up this program and…. wait, now I’m back in the touch interface?  Okay, back in to Desktop, and lets go to My Computer and… hey!  Where’s my start menu??

Now listen, I’m the kind of guy who will work with a new UI just because I understand this is the future and I must conform or else it’s going to leave me behind.  When IE 9 came by default without any menu bars or command bars by default, I left it and worked with it.  Mostly everyone else I know has added their menu bar back and at the very least a printer icon.  But I want to learn to work the way it was designed to.

And that’s why I’m scared of Windows 8, because I don’t think I can work that way.  To consume content, sure touch works great – a la iThings and Android devices.  But when I’m going to develop a program or create content of some kind, I think touch will get in the way.

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