What is the average computer users' view on Windows 8?

If you’re an IT enthusiast or IT professional, you might be lucky enough to have access to either TechNet or MSDN to get the latest Microsoft software from an early stage, such as Beta or Release Candidate. But what if you’re the average user off the street who, every two to three years, will be in the market for a new computer or laptop? On purchase, you normally stick with the OS that came preloaded.

Up until October 26, that OS was 99.9% likely to be Windows 7, but now that Windows 8 has finally hit the stores, how will the average user deal with the changes the OS brings?

Well, when the Home Shopping Network (HSN) made a false start, selling PC’s with Windows 8 before the official launch date, it gave the users who were quick (or lucky) enough to purchase one the opportunity to review the hardware and the OS from a different perspective than that of the IT evangelists, enthusiasts or gurus out there. While they didn’t receive their purchase until after October 26th, the HSN faithful were quick to start posting initial thoughts and experiences on the hardware they bought.

Up until now, it’s been a love it or hate it approach to Windows 8. And that approach doesn’t look to have changed now that the OS is in the public’s hands. While there are people who stated their love for the whole package that they purchased, using words like “awesome”, “great” and “loved it”, there are users who have expressed their disdain for Windows 8, with one user stating that The only back draw is learning the new windows 8, it's a real pain.”

Then there are the people who either sat on the fence or didn’t like the hardware. The people who didn’t like the hardware can’t lay blame on Windows 8; it’s the fault of the OEM for not getting the hardware up to scratch, something that some of them alluded to, saying that Windows 8 worked on other hardware they had. The users still in two minds about Windows 8 have said:

  • “Windows 8 … this takes some getting used to. The idea of getting to information faster is good however, there aren't enough programs preloaded.”
  • “Great so far - getting used to Win 8 will take a few days!!!”
  • “trying to get use to this new windows 8”
  • “I haven't made my mind up about Windows 8. I've sort of figured out how to use it but I find myself switching back to the desktop. It's easier for me to navigate.”

But finally, for all the anger, unhappiness or general discomfort, there are some users who have been thoroughly impressed:

  • “Windows 8 has a bit of a learning curve but overall, I like it.”
  • “Great machine! Win 8 easier to learn than expected.”
  • “I love it! It's fast, Windows 8 is rather easy to use…”

But the best comment noted was this:

Windows 8 scares me as I'm not used to not having a "start" menu to get to my All Programs. : The more I use it, however, the more I like it and this computer is...FAST!!!

This comment should put to shame all the technical users out there who have been so flippant in their ramblings about Windows 8. Even the IT professionals out there have been less than their title suggests when it came to expressing their opinion(s) around the OS; yes Notch, I’m looking at you!  It’s understandable that in 17 years people have got used to the Start Button and Menu across the Windows OS platform, but if an average user can put fears aside and do what IT professionals should be doing (learning new technology), maybe Windows 8 wouldn’t be as bad as some have made it out to be.

While this wasn’t a proper study and survey of the habits of the average computer user, it does help paint a picture of how Windows 8 is being received by the general populace.

Source: ZDNet

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Both of my parents love it as does my sister-in-law. Sat them down around me and showed them all the ins and outs of the start screen. I expected to be constantly barraged by questions the next day but instead I found my mum happily arranging the Start Screen to suit her and my sister-in-law was too busy browsing the app store to talk. None of them are techy people but they have taken to it like ducks to water!

Same with everything new. Sure look at facebook for example. Every time they change something the internet whine brigade arrives to complain how it's ruined their lives.

Then everyone learns the change and forgets about it...until the next time something changes and then it's "OMG IT WAS FINE BEFORE".

continue ad nauseum.

so i take it you agree with every pc related change made with out YOUR control ?
I hope so.. I don't want to see any hypocritical complaining lol

I am Not PCyr said,
so i take it you agree with every pc related change made with out YOUR control ?
I hope so.. I don't want to see any hypocritical complaining lol

Of course not, but I wouldn't cry tears for very long. If you don't like 8...use 7. It'll be supported for years.

It's not like they just switched windows 7 off.

The only problem in my opinion windows 8 has is the inconsistent switch between two interfaces specially when openning a video, Music or photo and webpages. Its configurable but not for both modes (there should be two configuration modes one for desktop and one for Metro. The other one which is fixable by software is the direct boot to desktop. there are some minor gliches which every new software has. but overall I like the concept of consistency through all devices and screen size and resoloutions. good stuff

S3P€hR said,
The only problem in my opinion windows 8 has is the inconsistent switch between two interfaces specially when openning a video, Music or photo and webpages. Its configurable but not for both modes (there should be two configuration modes one for desktop and one for Metro. The other one which is fixable by software is the direct boot to desktop. there are some minor gliches which every new software has. but overall I like the concept of consistency through all devices and screen size and resoloutions. good stuff

what everyone heard you say is as follows..

OMG LIEK WHERE IZ MY STARTZ MENUZ OMG!!11111

Well I'm not feeling the love, I'm not liking the full screen metro apps one bit 1920 res feel like it is a little bit of a waste of space, I don't like the fact that I need to install some programs twice once for metro and once for the desktop or am I missing something here? I actually like using the start orb on windows and hate the fact that you have to go right into the corner of the screen to bring it up. I'm not even sure I like the tiles and scrolling with a mouse. It all feels a little out of place for me. Maybe it's just me but on my desktop pc Windows 7 feels so much better. Maybe I'm just too stuck in my old ways. I'll give it another install and see if I can last more than 2 hours, I'll force myself to do a week.
So is everyone on a desktop pc or a tablet? How are you all running it? I'm actually surprised so many people love it. I think maybe on a tablet it would be ok, I do like some of the new features and it does feel super snappy just not sure I can change.

G1bster said,
Well I'm not feeling the love, I'm not liking the full screen metro apps one bit 1920 res feel like it is a little bit of a waste of space, I don't like the fact that I need to install .......

I am running it on a Thinkpad X220 laptop docked and connected to the new Acer 232HL Touchscreen monitor and loving it. I find it very responsive and intuitive, works great with our legacy software and battery life is extraordinary. Can't wait to buy the Surface RT for my wife, while I await the Lenovo Tablet 2 that should come out later this month. All I am waiting for now is for more Win8 native apps to come over. But unlike the other poster, I disagree that you need to install 2 versions of an app, because the Metro apps are fine.

G1bster said,
Well I'm not feeling the love, I'm not liking the full screen metro apps one bit 1920 res feel like it is a little bit of a waste of space, I don't like the fact that I need to install some programs twice once for metro and once for the desktop or am I missing something here? I actually like using the start orb on windows and hate the fact that you have to go right into the corner of the screen to bring it up. I'm not even sure I like the tiles and scrolling with a mouse. It all feels a little out of place for me. Maybe it's just me but on my desktop pc Windows 7 feels so much better. Maybe I'm just too stuck in my old ways. I'll give it another install and see if I can last more than 2 hours, I'll force myself to do a week.
So is everyone on a desktop pc or a tablet? How are you all running it? I'm actually surprised so many people love it. I think maybe on a tablet it would be ok, I do like some of the new features and it does feel super snappy just not sure I can change.

Running desktop here with mouse/keyboard. You should only have to install applications once. When you install a metro app the tile appears on the start screen. When you install a desktop app, it will also populate a tile. What I do then is pin that tile to the taskbar as I don't particularly like starting a desktop app from start screen. That's just preference. As for getting to start I find it easier than the start button. I can just zip the mouse to the corner, click and I'm there. Give it more time and I think it'll work out for you.

G1bster said,
Well I'm not feeling the love, I'm not liking the full screen metro apps one bit 1920 res feel like it is a little bit of a waste of space, I don't like the fact that I need to install some programs twice once for metro and once for the desktop or am I missing something here? I actually like using the start orb on windows and hate the fact that you have to go right into the corner of the screen to bring it up. I'm not even sure I like the tiles and scrolling with a mouse. It all feels a little out of place for me. Maybe it's just me but on my desktop pc Windows 7 feels so much better. Maybe I'm just too stuck in my old ways. I'll give it another install and see if I can last more than 2 hours, I'll force myself to do a week.
So is everyone on a desktop pc or a tablet? How are you all running it? I'm actually surprised so many people love it. I think maybe on a tablet it would be ok, I do like some of the new features and it does feel super snappy just not sure I can change.

charms bar>pc settings>ease of access>make everything larger or whatever it says.

http://i.imgur.com/0jGBi.jpg

I've uninstalled just about every app, use start8 for my "missing" start button/menu, disable metro and direct boot, very very fast, no regrets

MrWhistler said,
I've uninstalled just about every app, use start8 for my "missing" start button/menu, disable metro and direct boot, very very fast, no regrets

If that works for you, all power to you. And that is the beauty of the Windows eco system. People can customize and use it the way they like it

MrWhistler said,
I've uninstalled just about every app, use start8 for my "missing" start button/menu, disable metro and direct boot, very very fast, no regrets

Eh, why would you do that? I guess to each their own but I love a few metro apps like maps, weather, star charts and of course games. I mean I can see going to desktop from boot but completely getting rid of metro? You're missing out. It's much nicer to open a speedy app than launch a desktop app or load a webpage. All depends on what you're doing though.

laserfloyd said,

Eh, why would you do that? I guess to each their own but I love a few metro apps like maps, weather, star charts and of course games. I mean I can see going to desktop from boot but completely getting rid of metro? You're missing out. It's much nicer to open a speedy app than launch a desktop app or load a webpage. All depends on what you're doing though.

\

cause most of the metro apps suck, messaging, people, mail, what a joke! oh my goodness

MrWhistler said,
\

cause most of the metro apps suck, messaging, people, mail, what a joke! oh my goodness


If I want messaging, people, and social sites, I have a tablet that can do that. I don't need that on a computer, especially since I don't like Facebook, Twitter or any of those sites personally and have no interest in having them even visible when I'm trying to do some work on photographs.

The thing that I like about Win8 is its efficiency. Hardware seems to work better. The UI is intuitive with built in programs that are far better than Win 7. I also like the new utilities which are a better than in the past. However the most salient thing is / will be the cross platform congruency for phones, tablets, laptops and desktops; that is a winner! Finally, SkyDrive is obviously the glue that puts everything together.

Outstanding job by Microsoft.

I've had Windows 8 now for about a week or so. Total amount of time spent in it? About 4 hours total. This is after installing ClassicShell and configuring the system more to my personal taste (avoid Metro completely, disable all live feeds). Even with ClassicShell, there are things about the OS that I like (improved hardware performance) and things I don't (Microsoft's brain-damaged decisions on the UI). Instead, I stay primarily in Windows 7, as I can accomplish things in it much easier than I can in Windows 8. (I also don't get annoyances about drivers not being current despite them being updated for Windows 8 and installed correctly.)

Eventually I might get to a point of going more towards Windows 8, but for now the negatives about the UI outweigh the positives about the underlying improvements of the OS.

Tal Greywolf said,
I've had Windows 8 now for about a week or so. Total amount of time spent in it? About 4 hours total. This is after installing ClassicShell and configuring the system more to my personal taste (avoid Metro completely, disable all live feeds). Even with ClassicShell, there are things about the OS that I like (improved hardware performance) and things I don't (Microsoft's brain-damaged decisions on the UI). Instead, I stay primarily in Windows 7, as I can accomplish things in it much easier than I can in Windows 8. (I also don't get annoyances about drivers not being current despite them being updated for Windows 8 and installed correctly.)

Eventually I might get to a point of going more towards Windows 8, but for now the negatives about the UI outweigh the positives about the underlying improvements of the OS.

You get WIndos 8 and spend 4 hours on it, a certain amount of it spend on installing ClassicShell. Did you even give it a fair chance? Or did you just assume MS is brain-damanged by the look of it?

IMO the new UI is rather innuitive, some apps lacks advanced options but its a fresh reboot of Windows and stuff like the charms make navigation and file management much easier. You've disabled some of the best new features the OS has to offer. Like how you disabled the live feeds, why wouldn't you want to have that? That stuff is really useful, I can't imagine going back to the old static days.

i tried startisback program which brought back start menu and default boot to desktop. it seems a bit faster then win7, but i still prefer aero and will use win7 for now

Working in retail gives me the unique privilege of being able to interact with average computer shoppers. There has been a great deal of interest in Windows 8. Many customers are intrigued by, not afraid of, the new start screen. Many like the idea that they can customize their start screen by pinning, unpinning, and grouping tiles as they see fit. They are also happy about the fact that they can do many of their every day tasks in far fewer steps, for example, they can easily share photos by email or skydrive just by clicking on the Share Charm and selecting the option they want. Oddly enough, the customers who are usually the most resistant to change, seniors, have been the fastest to embrace Windows 8, because of its simplicity for day to day things. I was initially a skeptic about the start screen, but I find myself using it more and more every day. I even love the fact that I now have calendar and contact syncing with Google, which is great considering I have an Android phone.

Put to shame ? uhhh sure if i was constantly complaining about the start menu maybe..
As usual that is the only angle portrayed in this biased story and people like me have more to complain about than the missing start menu button because frankly i don't use it. i have a handful of other methods of loading up what i want. CUSTOM which win8 throws a wrench into my CUSTOM ways of doing this.

its cute how the lack of a start button is blamed
..every single story is just like this one ..a load of bull on far too many points !

ya i'm sure put in my place because some noob likes the UGLY Fischer Price GUI

hope ya all enjoyed my "flippant" ramblings
and better start liking Win 8 or you can expect more snotty comments directed at you as NEWS lol

jeex this bloody stupidity never ends lol
the story is a testimony certifying that most of you STILL don't get it..
user a) says, I don't like windows 8.
user b) says, Well get use to the start menu gone, its not coming back
and quit being a negative whiny complainer and try and get used to it.

Notice how user a) never said a damn thing about the start menu/button ?
The fanboys are hearing what they want to hear simple as that.

Microsoft have plenty of reps in various tech stores (I would know I'm doing it part time to make extra cash) demoing Windows 8. Everyone I have spoken to and demonstrated Win8 to have loved it. The hotkeys + new trackpad gestures make the OS a joy to use. I loved Windows 7 and Windows 8 just made it a whole lot better. The startmenu is pretty much only used for using the new modern applications which are the basic news/sports applications. Everything else still done in desktop mode. Alt+D and Alt+f4 still lead the pack.

While I consider myself somewhat of a techie, and have been using Windows 8 since March, I really like it. It has given my 5 year old desktop life. It is zippy and I enjoy the apps. I'd gotten away from most desktop software as it was often a pain to make sure it worked for my system (not so much in recent years). Now I know it will work with the app store.
I still use the desktop, but as the Modern interface matures, it will become one where I and many others will become comfortable using all the time.

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