Microsoft: People are quickly learning to use Windows 8

We have heard it many times about Windows 8; the Start screen and other aspects of the "Modern" UI causes Microsoft's latest OS to have more of a learning curve than previous versions of Windows. To refute this, Microsoft has been pushing the fact that learning Windows 8 is much easier than some might believe, including posting a video that features young kids showing adults how easy Windows 8 is to use.

Today, Microsoft posted up an in-house Q&A with Tami Reller, the CFO of the Windows division. Reller, who apparently is doing the interview circuit this week, that says the company's testing show that the majority of people catch on how to use Windows 8 pretty quickly. She states:

Fifty percent of users get through the out of box experience in less than 5 minutes. On the very first day, virtually everyone launches an app from the Start screen, finds the desktop, and finds the charms. Almost half of users go to the Windows Store on that first day. After two weeks, the average person doubles the number of tiles on Start. Live tiles engage people with content – by early January we had already delivered over 45 billion unique live tile updates.

Reller also repeats what Microsoft has already stated; namely that the company has sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses and that there have been over 100 million downloads of apps from the Windows Store.

Source: Microsoft | Image via Microsoft

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Dhalamar said,
I think they should have gone the same way as Apple; one desktop OS (OS X) and one touch screen OS (iOS) with each one having purpose built user interface.

Uhm no.
From a manageability and long term strategy, they should be doing what they're doing. Standardizing on ONE OS.
In the 90s, they had many.
Windows 9x
Windows NT 3.51
Windows for PocketPC
Windows NT for DEC/Alpha/MIPS

Over time they are widdling the list and combining the best of all.
This is just the next step in the evolution.
XP saw the death of 9x.
At the time MS was chastised by the media at large for making the change, but it got the NT kernel onto consumer desktops, simplifying the management nightmare within the company.
People even said back then, XP is garbage Win 98 is the best windows evar!

What I hope to see is NT Everywhere. Skin it how you want, either with a full on touch UI, like Windows 8, a trimmed down touch UI like Windows Phone 8, no UI like Windows Server 2012 Core, or a minimal UI that is completely customizable by the ODM, like Windows Embedded 8.

All those products are the same NT core, regardless of implementation.

To think you need an entirely separate OS for Cosmetic differences is lunacy.

Indeed. Windows 8 is not so bad. However, for windows 7 users, is giving us nothing new or special. And for touch screen device, "desktop" is not a pleasant place.

Sure, we don't need completely different OS, but different enough so they are optimized for the use it is intended for. Windows 8 is fantastic for tablet and laptop use but on desktop use, compared to Windows 7, it is just plain useless, and in many cases counter productive.

The problem is not having single OS or multiple, but having versions of an OS tailored for whatever machine it is supposed to be ran on, and not try to force the "touch screen experience" on keyboard+mouse desktop environment, which is what Win8 is trying to do.

It's easy to learn! My wife and kids all learned it and didn't even bat an eye at it. The people that complain are those that will complain... just to complain. I'm complaining about their complaining!

laserfloyd said,
It's easy to learn! My wife and kids all learned it and didn't even bat an eye at it. The people that complain are those that will complain... just to complain. I'm complaining about their complaining!

Is complex because users should learn TWO interface. Think about a big business with thousand of users, IT support will not be so pleased to give support for both interface with stupid question such "where is the My PC icon?". And worst, now it is a bit tricky to shutdown windows 8.

Tricky to shut down Windows 8 now is it? I can do it in 1 swipe and 3 clicks of the mouse or even quicker by 1 press of the power button on my PC, what's so tricky about that?

Simple fact is that basic changes of Windows 8 can be learnt fairly quickly and can be used just like 7 - and I know this because it's how I use Windows 8, I see the start screen once when I boot, rest of time I'm in the desktop!

Brony said,

Is complex because users should learn TWO interface. Think about a big business with thousand of users, IT support will not be so pleased to give support for both interface with stupid question such "where is the My PC icon?". And worst, now it is a bit tricky to shutdown windows 8.

The My PC icon is still on the desktop. Where it's been for the pat 15 or so years. Also, there is no trickery to shutting down. If people can learn Start > Shutdown, they can certainly learn Settings > Shutdown.

RangerLG said,
It is not Settings->Shutdown. It is Charms Bar->Settings->Power->Shutdown

Fine. Settings > Power > Shutdown. Three clicks. Woo. SO hard to do.

Dot Matrix said,

Fine. Settings > Power > Shutdown. Three clicks. Woo. SO hard to do.


No, not hard although a dedicated icon, including all the options related to the task therefore Log Off as well, could have been more intuitive... and logic. Or, again, group all these options under the user icon.

There is a learning curve and it is different for everyone. I have seen 3 persons between 65 and 78 who struggled a little and then used it with little problems. I have seen persons 5 between 35 and 50 who said everything between "It is not that different" and "I will never lear this *swearword*"
For me it took a couple hours to get around but a full two weeks to feel at ease.

Oh and one funny thing, This afternoon I met a salesperson with a windows 8 hp tablet/laptop convertable. He was trying to avoid the touchpad, horrible! I hope for his sake it was the first day it was used. It was clumsy at best! I get around windows 8 way better then him with a touchscreen (unexpected).

sorry haters, but your arguments about how confusing or whatever else is out the window. Windows 8 has been out for 3 months,and tens of millions of people already bought windows 8 PCs, which means they are obviously not confused as you'd like to think they are. Windows 8 PCs are displayed for people to try them before buying them. Microsofts statistics also back up the fact that they are not confused. It might have been a good argument point before release, but it just isn't true.

Also,look at steam, which their userbase is made up mostly of "hardcore gamers", which has close to %10 of their users on Windows 8 already. Remember, this is 3 months in.

Hardcore gamers want every ounce of performance and Windows 8 is faster in my experience across the board. Also, Steam users have a great app to pin their Steam games to the Start Page with nice tiles. Great Apps would/will make a difference.

vcfan said,
sorry haters, but your arguments about how confusing or whatever else is out the window. Windows 8 has been out for 3 months,and tens of millions of people already bought windows 8 PCs, which means they are obviously not confused as you'd like to think they are. Windows 8 PCs are displayed for people to try them before buying them. Microsofts statistics also back up the fact that they are not confused. It might have been a good argument point before release, but it just isn't true.

Also,look at steam, which their userbase is made up mostly of "hardcore gamers", which has close to %10 of their users on Windows 8 already. Remember, this is 3 months in.

Yes, windows 8 adoption has been nice however, i'm not sure about Modern UI adoption, most users are removed the Modern UI while others simply ignore it.

i installed win 8 nearly a week ago and took me like 30 minutes to used to everything, also the charm bar isnt as annoying on monitor and TV set up as it was in the consumer preview, can get it to pop alot easier.

Say something isnt pinned to task bar or got an icon on desktop. Chances are you know what your looking for.. windows key > type name of program or file even > enter... pops back into desktop mode and launches program. for me its the same as the start button tbh.

I think the tech ppl that say its hard probably shouldnt be calling themselves tech if they cant grasp a simple concept as this. I dont think ppl would find it hard in a business either cus once there in desktop everything theyd use would be pretty much there.

I bought a Surface RT for my mom, believing that it covers all her needs for a computer. After years of Windows experiences, she still has problems with Win 7 from time to time, and she found the interface on RT easier than before. That surprised me a little, not very much though.

I'm using Win8 everyday on a laptop hooked up to a 23inch screen (and a Microsoft Touch Mouse which helps a great deal). When I first saw Win8 in the preview version I thought it was a complete disaster - and I still think the MSFT manager's comments miss the point - the Start screen is fine once you get used to it and know you have to right click in the bottom left corner - but that isn't intuitive and the charms bar is simply, badly implemented.
BUT - I still wouldn't willingly go back to Win7. I work almost entirely in desktop mode, and it has all the (many) virtues of Win7 but is slicker and better in many details. And although I barely use the "modern UI" side of things it's made me change my mind about the bigger picture. I once thought Apple was right to keep its mobile and desktop OS so distinct, and though I don't think Win8 has actually got it right, the insight behind it is absolutely true: the way we interact with our phones and tablets (ie touch) will eventually change the way we expect to interact with any UI. Although it's had a lot of flak, Canonical has seen this too. Maybe people in computer stores will look at the unfamiliarity of Win8's interface and walk away - that's how people usually react to the unfamiliar, and a price MSFT will have to pay for its radicalism. I don't know what Win9 will bring, and there are good reasons to doubt whether MSFT is getting it right with the pricing and packaging of its other cash cow - Office - but I'm pretty sure that the thinking behind Win8 is ahead of the game, and will be judged more kindly by history than it is by the present.

Did you know that Apple, Google and probably most large companies (including MS) and big financial market players have hundreds of paid bloggers that write bad stuff about the competition or to sway stock prices one way or another. Media companies pay authors on a per view basis, so bad or shocking headlines pay more. So if you want the truth, don't read the news, don't read what people post on the internet, 99.9% of it is just wrong, misleading for financial gains and you'll just end up going to bed more stupid than when you woke up.

The more I use W8 the more I feel a dichotomy between the start screen and desktop; in other words is like having a Cadillac Eldorado.... with a digital cockpit. And inconsistency appears here and there in many other environment: Metro apps have big bands of black while white is dominant in Office. WP 8 has the majority of tiles following the theme colors.. but MS ones do not: Office is red, OneNote is purple, Skipe and Skydrive light blue.
I am curious to see what Blue will bring on the table, hoping than sooner than later MS will offer an OS like the one showed in the clip about the office of the future...

Fritzly said,
Office is red, OneNote is purple, Skipe and Skydrive light blue.
I am curious to see what Blue will bring on the table

Blue would bring Consistency. Everything would be blue.

bigmehdi said,

Blue would bring Consistency. Everything would be blue.

I like blue... It is my favourite colour.... :-)

"On the very first day, virtually everyone launches an app from the Start screen, finds the desktop, and finds the charms."

You know, that's pretty much like saying that after someone buys a new car, that almost everyone managed to get it started, find the brake and accelerator pedals, and figure out where the steering wheel is, though perhaps not necessarily how it works. Would Honda, for example, declare victory with results like that for such a new car model?

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