From the forums: What was your initial reaction to Windows 8?

On occasion, we like to highlight posts from our forum and let our readers do the talking. On this edition on “From the Forums,” Gnieus has asked the Neowin community what their initial reaction was to Windows 8.

As you can imagine, the replies spread the gamut for the type of responses with some loving the new OS while others thinking it was designed for children.

Gnieus writes:

Remember back at D9, where Microsoft officially unveiled Windows 8 for the first time? I think it was Steven Sinofsky and Julie Larson-Green who presented the whole presentation. They revealed the new tablet UI that was rumored to be in development, and everyone was amazed.

But what we're your initial reactions? I just can't seem to think people automatically thought that Windows 8 wasn't going to be popular among desktop users. I remember seeing it and thinking "wow, I can't wait for Windows 8". The only time I thought it was a hassle to use was when the Developer Preview launched in September, since in that build the Start Screen wasn't really optimized for the mouse and keyboard.

In fact, Windows 8 made me change the way I use my desktop. I used to have a 22" standard LCD monitor, but since September of 2011, when Microsoft released the Developer Preview, I purchased myself a 23" touch screen monitor... Which was to be used on my gaming machine. Yes, gaming machine.

For me, Windows 8 has always been something positive in my eyes, however I feel as if for the most part, initial reactions were good, but then people had a proper feel for it and were scared away by the removal of the start button and other old goodies.

Hit the read link below to give your opinion on your initial opinions on Microsoft’s latest platform. If you haven’t yet registered for the forums, make sure to sign-up so you can join in the conversation.

Read: What was your initial reaction to Windows 8?

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I really don't understand why MS thought they could make such a drastic change to the UI and not have any backlash. Yes maybe this is where things are going, but for at least this version of Windows they should have eased people into the change rather than "BAM" here you go. I think it would have been better for MS, and their sales, if they had just included, on the initial install of the OS, the option of installing the traditional UI with start button, or the new tile based Metro UI - then the end user gets to make the decision. They could have simply also included the option to switch back to either UI from the Taskbar and Start Menu Properties option. Anyway I'm still on Windows 7.

My initial reaction is that I'd rather cut off my left nut than read another one of these stories/threads about Windows 8.

I think that windows is a good new concept, the trouble is that metro apps are a piece of garbage, and if windows won't have new good apps on the near future, windows 8 will be reminded like a windows vista 2

Initial reaction: Where has everything gone?

Reaction these days: Why would I want full screen mobile apps on my computer?

Because some folks have attention deficit disorder, and need full screen mobile apps to pretend they're really doing something productive?

/sarcasm

Late-2011 - "With a few essential apps, this will make an excellent tablet OS"

Early-2013 - "With a few essential apps, this will make an excellent tablet OS"

Never disliked anything in Win8 as much as I'm hating the BBC, Spotify (Flipboard, Tweetdeck etc. etc.) right now. Too many developers are too-far in the iPad's pocket too see the potential.

"This looks cool"
"Ok so it doesn't actually add all that much"
"Actually it's more of an inconvenience than the previous Start Menu, but I'll live with it."

extremly disappointed----->what the hell are they doing??? hence reverted back to windows 7, due to following reasons:
1-->metro apps won't run in administrator(actual administrator) mode.
2-->some softwares like BLACKBERRY DESKTOP SOFTWARE won't connect to internet after used once, you ve to uninstall it completely and reinstall again after a restart(well, by now i ve shifted 2 android)
3-->many unsupported laptops(like that of mine i.e. dell inspiron N5010, its not tha old, perhaps some 2009/2010 model, and the unsupported thing i noticed is MULTIMEDIA METRO APPS like tunein radio,, shazam, etc etc won't run with the supported version of AMD CATALYST suite developed FOR WIN 8, i managed to use it by installing the one of WIN 7, but had to install it with compatibility mode(won't install with simply a double click).
4-->some OLD games don't run smoothly. with so much trouble, i managed to download CLAW game which runs flawlessly on win7, bt hangs on win8(not just mine, bt in all win8 systems).
5-->having trouble installing the latest SQL platform in win 8..
6-->(this is just my personal response,,,, the RAM UNLOCK PATCH is not yet out for x86 win8 till date, it uses less % processes if u notice in task manager).

hence reverted back to x86 WIN 7 ULTIMATE.

"App Store??" "Hmmm. Microsoft must have looked at Apple & Android & *really* coveted those Micro-payments!" Nothing here i can't do already in Win 7 Ultimate-so stuck with that.

D9 unveiling? that was exciting. But by the time of //build, that deflated pretty quickly when it became obvious the WinRT only provided for the bifurcation of Windows into Metro and legacy rather than being the framework for the future of tablet and desktop applications.

"Wow" ... "Something new to play with" ... "exciting" ... "BETTER" ... "Simple" ... "Well designed/pretty" .... "finally out of the box thinking/innovative" ... "Great" were amongst a few things which came to my mind, unlike most rigid minded people who find it very difficult to adapt to change.

Something along the lines of "I'm sure they are going to let us turn that off. Not everyone owns a tablet."

Nevermind: "How do I shut this down?" Try: "How do I go into safe mode?" I didn't know I didn't know the answer to that.

Interesting side note: A few days ago I was talking with an ASUS technical support rep on the phone, mostly was getting some information on their new notebooks they're coming out with. The tech commented that a lot of buyers of their notebook products have been very disappointed with Windows 8, and many of them have downgraded (if that's what you want to call it) to Windows 7 just to get a machine they can work with.

So the Windows 8 experience isn't translating out as well as Microsoft may think... and I suspect the same that the ASUS rep said is happening with other manufacturers.

I thought it was going to be cool then I realized how it didn't replace the standard desktop and was super modal and now I never spend any time in the interface unless I'm searching for an app or file which is slower to do in Windows 8. So I started happy and then became kind of disappointed

My first reaction: "Yep… Windows is now made for kids, dumb people and old people"

I'm still using Windows 8 on my computers, but the Start Screen is gone (thanks Start8)

Initial reactions? Horror, disgust, dismay. A year later? Disappointment and pity. I haven't felt this strongly about a computer product since IBM launched their PS/2 platform and I learned that if I wanted one, I would have to shuck out $599 for a Microchannel SoundBlaster card (when the ISA version went for $129!)

Yawn. Since I don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive toys running Windows-8; I'll be sticking with Windows-7 one one machine and XP on the older machine. (Yes, I have a critical 16-bit application that needs to be kept running.)

TsarNikky said,
Yawn. Since I don't have a lot of money to spend on expensive toys running Windows-8; I'll be sticking with Windows-7 one one machine and XP on the older machine. (Yes, I have a critical 16-bit application that needs to be kept running.)
virtual machine isn't an option for the 16bit application?

I can speak from practical experience (namely my workplace) that there are indeed critical 16-bit applications that will not properly work in a virtual environment. Either you run them on the system straight or you're in serious trouble. (We have a request for some old, and I mean OLD laptops, no 64-bit OS to be installed, which is needed to support a government-furnished software package used by said government agency to keep a piece of hardware circling the earth.) Someone tell me how Windows 8 and it's *shiny!* interface is supposed to work when the .Net version is 1.1, the code was written years ago, and you can't simply upgrade the computers on said orbiting platform.

Much much better daily experience now. Have upgraded all my pcs to 8, wouldnt consider going back. Yes, I use start8, but only cos I already have a stardock sub - in fact, I have it set so clicking the start button still goes to the start screen anyway. I only actually use the start menu very infrequently (as a shortcut for recent apps, mostly).

droolingmonkey said,
(as a shortcut for recent apps, mostly).

Which is the main use of start menu. You see last used apps in big icons, with win 7.

I took part at the original //build 2010 event where Microsoft announced the W8, and I remember exactly my feelings: "Boy, now we are screwed..." Even though Microsoft was trying to sell the reality with marketing smoke and mirrors, it was clear from beginning that the mature and powerful Desktop world will not get any love anymore, being replaced by limited, closed and Microsoft-controlled environment with less possibilities than Windows 95 had years ago.

No, as a Windows developer, I was not happy. Nothing has changed since...

Edited by Nick H., Feb 15 2013, 9:55am :

Just like Windows 7, Windows 8 was my idea... so I was quite pleased

But seriously, Windows 8 is exactly what I was hoping Microsoft would do, but I didn't think they had the balls to do it.

rfirth said,

But seriously, Windows 8 is exactly what I was hoping Microsoft would do, but I didn't think they had the balls to do it.

They could have done so much better. A single coherent interface, instead of two separate working mode. Or they could have released an os specifically for tablets , instead of bothering desktop users.

Actually it's more the metro screen than the lack of start button that annoys me.
I just don't want to see that metro screen ever.
If they want to remove the start button ok, but no way I'm interested by the metro apps.
And it's boring how many time I switch accidentally to the metro interface.

Agreed. But Microsoft, in their infinite wisdom, decreed that the Start Screen was the mandated required interface that Windows 8 would default to, unless you do like I did and install something like Classic Shell to tell Microsoft where to shove it (while folding their four color glossy press releases into very sharp points).

Windows 8 has the crappiest Broadcom driver... constantly disconnect.. No new driver released since last year...so WiFi experience is down to the toilet. Other than that, I am fine with Windows 8

My first thought was - Wouldn't it feel a bit claustrophobic to use the full screen app ? and would I miss the Start menu ?

For the first thing, I remembered thinking the same about 95, switching from DOS (Would it be easy to copy/paste with a mouse VS NC?) - but I got used to it, and learned how to do things quickly - So I thought it would be the same with Windows 8..

For the second thing, I was sure there would be 3rd party apps for that...

In reality, I'm using unmodified Windows 8 non touch laptop, and I got used so fast for using it, it surprised me. I can do everything I did before as quickly as before.

Installed the Developer preview, hated it even though it was probably faster than Win 7. Uninstalled it and went back to 7. Desktop just a clutter of large boxes which offered nothing to the way I use the PC.
(I could not even work out hot to turn the PC off the first time I ran it :-) ).

Now, the question you should be asking is: what was the reaction of people when they knew that they couldn't bring back the start menu?

"What is this ugly abomination?"

Feelings haven't changed at all, I am forced to use this garbage UI every day because of my job and not to mention my job dictates that I must show others how to use it and try to convince them (aka lie) that it is somehow 'better' even though the exact opposite is true.

nenki31 said,
I just feel sorry for the folks who end up with someone like you giving them advice...

And I feel sorry for zealots like you who flame and ridicule others who have the courage to point out the obvious.

The Start Screen is fine... for tablets. And touchscreen systems. But if you're a keyboard and mouse user, it's probably one of the most horrid interfaces you never really want to be caught dead using. As I've said repeatedly, those of us who use our desktops for productivity will spend as little time in the Start Screen as possible (in my case, it's 0% of the time as my system boots straight into the desktop where it belongs). My experience says the Start Screen is an abomination to be avoided at all costs, I realize there are those who use it all the time. But are they using it for REAL work or just for game playing? That's what I'd love to know...

Tal Greywolf said,
The Start Screen is fine... for tablets. And touchscreen systems. But if you're a keyboard and mouse user, it's probably one of the most horrid interfaces you never really want to be caught dead using. As I've said repeatedly, those of us who use our desktops for productivity will spend as little time in the Start Screen as possible (in my case, it's 0% of the time as my system boots straight into the desktop where it belongs). My experience says the Start Screen is an abomination to be avoided at all costs, I realize there are those who use it all the time. But are they using it for REAL work or just for game playing? That's what I'd love to know...

Maybe you personally don't like the start screen, but as an avid keyboard/mouse user with no touch screens other then my vita and 920, think the start screen is a major improvements. I can do more with less clicks (more mouse movements though, but feels its a lighter strain). I've got a ton more keyboard combo's at my disposal.
I used the start menu ONLY for winkey+start typing. That's it, no run, no shutdown, no nothing. Just keyboard action there.
I can still do this exactly the same on Windows 8, but I find myself to just click the tile of what I want, since its ALLOT easier to remember where everything is. Only occasionally now I just type what I need.
Not having to focus on the countless collapse-able rows in the old fashion start menu is a relief in my opinion.

You talk about productivity.
In the desktop, to have a quick view of your latest unread email, facebook message, linkedin status, Skype or for the system admins among us, see live information on several servers.
So how much windows do you have to go through to view all this information at once in your "productive" manner so to speak?
I just have to press the fancy WIN key, look at the tiles, press the WIN key again and continue my productive behavior. Doing this in a second with the LEAST possible required action to see such information.

But please sir elaborate.

And if you're talking about the applications in this environment, its a new platform. Things like the Unreal engine have already been ported (so full blown games, the latest and the greatest, can be full metro/RT). Usefull applications are slowly but steadily being added.
For this environment, just keep in mind... its a developing platform, don't have to use it, you're not being forced, I find myself never using any metro app besides IE10 and Skype (I find fullscreen browsing relaxing from time to time, no distractions). But I am aware of the advantages of the platform and am giving it time, maybe so should you

Shadowzz said,

In the desktop, to have a quick view of your latest unread email, facebook message, linkedin status, Skype or for the system admins among us, see live information on several servers.
So how much windows do you have to go through to view all this information at once in your "productive" manner so to speak?
I just have to press the fancy WIN key, look at the tiles, press the WIN key again and continue my productive behavior. Doing this in a second with the LEAST possible required action to see such information.

You've mentioned things that I have no use of, nor would be allowed in a work environment. Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, all banned... so why would you want to have such things available on your desktop to begin with?

Instead, I have to have windows open like Active Directory/Group Policy editors, Outlook, the trouble ticket tracking system, and other applications displayed. There is NO REASON to go to the Start Screen in such a work environment. So why have an interface that is distracting, unnecessary and unusable when you're going to be sitting at the desktop doing your work 99.99% of the time?

Sometimes I'm amazed how folks find *shiny!* to replace real work...

Same feelings I have now: faster, no driver headaches, lot of thinking and energies devoted to re-think the start button and turning it into a "start screen" which, being a V1, is not bad and an half baked product: Metro apps are too basic and lacking functionalities but worse of all nothing done about the desktop which is still the place where the majority of time is spent.

Great for a tablet, annoying on a desktop.

Im a desktop users mostly and find myself having to force myself to stick with the new way of doing things just in case this is the future. I would have loved a version of 8 that didn't throw you into the modern ui for everything unless you tweaked it.

I remember being annoyed years ago, when MS was being made to sell a version of Windows without media player etc, now Id pay extra to get a version of 8 without modern UI because it just wastes space and gives limited features on my 23 inch screen.


As an OS in desktop mode, 8 is strong and better than 7, unfortunately all it wants to do is throw you into the modern UI where its like a poor web 2.0 website - lots of big shapes but virtually no detail.

Getting old, man. How much of your time do you spend in the start screen, seriously. Like 0.1% of it? Just time it for a day and let's see. I dare you.

I have tried to use the Start Screen for a day. Made me want to tear my hair out, it was so unusable from a productivity standpoint. Since most all Windows productivity apps are NOT going to be optimized for the Start Screen, it's basically an ugly interface for desktop users. It might be fine for tablet users, but if you're doing real honest-to-god work and not web surfing, email and game playing, you don't want to be anywhere near it.

Obviously I won't explain that from a functionality point of view the start screen is the EXACT SAME THING as the start menu, except reorganized and changed in shape, because you are in denial.

BUT most importantly, once again, you failed to mention HOW ON EARTH does that 0.1% of your time ruin the productivity of the remaining 99.9%.

bviktor said,
the start screen is the EXACT SAME THING as the start menu, except unorganized and changed in shape

Fixed it for ya!

When I first saw the presentation I was like I can't wait to get my hands on this. When developer preview came out I fell in love with it. Still miss some things form developer preview like the app collection and ability to shut down windows in just two steps. Only complain I had was that the jumplist menu that displayed recent files for programs pinned to start menu was no longer there but yeah not such a big issue. I wish it were more metro though.

You can say the same thing about moving from DOS (command line input) to Windows (hey look pretty icons... and a 'mouse' for the computer? wth?)...
(think that the /s is not really needed here...)

Anyway, simplifying (or "dumbing down") tasks that I have to perform tons of times/day is just an awesome thing. Dumbing down games on the other hand (for example) is just ridiculous... if I wanted something to push one button and watch what happens I would watch a movie or an interactive presentation or similar... of topic though...

And well, if you have a problem with an OS that tries to simplify your work, entertainment, than i guess you would also prefer taking the stairs instead of elevator, washing your clothes by hand in a river, going to the TV every time you want to change a channel ....

yo popcaan said,
Dumbing-down of the PC. I think the less intelligent were the happiest.

Alright grand master, please show me how PowerShell is less intelligent in Windows 8 then it was in Windows 7?
Also the control panel is still in place as it was in Windows 7 (including the windows XP advanced system properties window).
The only thing that visually changed much is a long list of folders and icons with names below a button into a full screen big icon sized window that's NOTHING more then the old Active Desktop pre-Windows 7 days and the start menu combined.

So why the hatred? Or you a CLI only user? Otherwise you've been using the start screen since Windows 95 except it was split up into Active Desktop and the Start Menu.

yo popcaan said,
Dumbing-down of the PC. I think the less intelligent were the happiest.

Yeah, intelligent people should have hard to use interfaces instead.

Installed the DP on my Asus EeePC1001 which instantly became usable.. Installed the CP on my desktop and never looked back.. WIN 8 is an amazing piece of work which may need some getting used to and/or attitude adjustments for some, but it's so much better then WIN7 under the hood..

"It's Windows. Whatever I like or hate about Windows 8 now, I'll eventually stop caring and use it like I usually do."

Wouter52 said,
I literally laughed my ass off when I tested it the first time

Then went to a hospital to attach it back?

i first downloaded Developer Preview and was amazed at how much different my aging Vista machine was. it made online videos go from unwatchable to watchable. games from unplayable to playable. I was really amazed at how much better my machine was. My 55 year old dad adjusted to it in about 2 days. Now I patiently wait for some money to snatch the Samsung Ativ Smart pc!!

1. "What?! What am I supposed to do with these metro apps, ON MY DESKTOP?"
2. "Heyyy, I can pin and un-pin anything. /starts customizing the start screen; adding computer, documents, Run, etc."
3. ...
4. Profit?

seriously. first time.

1. where is the start button/how do i get back to the start screen with a mouse (didnt know the corners with DP).

2. how do i shutdown. (again i didnt know about the corners)

3. how do i close these metro apps.

All these problems came within the first hour of testing the DEVELOPER PREVIEW. I had no knowledge of the corners or anything. Basically I was completely new to the OS, and it was new to everyone else.

Once I knew how to do those 3 basic things, first I felt like an idiot for not knowing but I did find out where everything was by myself. I have now been using Windows 8 for over a year now. Yes, it is a completely new OS and requires some learning from other OS's. But, they are easy to learn, and is way easier to learn than learning a completely new OS. I find there nothing wrong with Windows 8 and I do use all of the default settings (no Start8 or any extra addons). Some people like Windows 8, while others hate it. However, the surprising thing I see is people hate Windows 8, but still use it and customize it, but then turn out liking it.

ShareShiz said,
seriously. first time.
1. where is the start button

....

All these problems came within the first hour of testing the DEVELOPER PREVIEW. ... Basically I was completely new to the OS, and it was new to everyone else.

I seriously doubt you, or anyone, had any trouble finding the start button on Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Why?

The Developer Preview had a start button on the taskbar. They removed it later in the Consumer Preview.