I keep reading about things I am supposed to love about Windows 8. There are no doubt some features which make it not just a version of Windows 7 that only touch-screen-licking children can use. Powershell version 3 (available for Windows 7) is integrated seamlessly with Windows 8, so this has my attention. Also, I recall something about the hypervisor (virtualization manager, I guess) being more capable, and something about encryption being beefed up.
So when I search the web for “Windows 8 Business” and get cruft 2.0 like the screenshot below, I get a little frustrated. I’m a big-picture guy, see, and while I like the details, for me many details problems *go away* if you can attack the big picture. So the big picture here is this question: who benefits from this sort of interface? You click and click and keep clicking just to read an article. This one is only five items long, so presumably the seven (count ’em) slides in this set are the title page, plus five, plus an ad slide. And guess what? You are going to click on the ad slide.
Now I don’t know if this is a click-through ad model, click ad model, or no ad model whatsoever, as I didn’t stick around to find out. If you cannot or will not put your five points in an article using the English language, I am certainly not motivated to follow you around the web.
Not only has this, the payload of the HTML page as rendered, not delivered me any value, neither has anything else. This page is a content-free zone. At the top (not included in this screen grab) is a banner with links to sign in or sign up. Links to other content-free pages on the same site populate the right hand sidebar, and links to content-free pages on different sites round out the bottom of the page.
Now I don’t wish to be too curmudgeonly toward Windows 8. All the tiles and swiping just leave me cold. I think it looks like crap, and I don’t get it. I like XP just fine, but I understand it is tottering on the edge of functional obsolescence. I adored Windows 98 SE, and for that matter Dos 6.22 with WfW 3.11, Macintosh System 7.x, and several of the now defunct Ubuntu interfaces. I don’t care much for Unity or whatever it is called now, and don’t get me started on the hostile Pulse audio subsystem. I liked Slackware when a 28.8 Sportster was all the rage. I saw that startup sequence so many times that I remember Patrick Volkerding’s e-mail address, despite never having used it. So the Windows 8 interface is not to my taste. But apparently there is a lot of good stuff going on under the hood. Big, important changes that, if better publicized, would probably help shake off the image of being the latest attemt by the Beast of Redmond to bend us toward its will, in this instance to force us to Converge, Converge, damn you! on to some Nokia-pimping, XP-eclipsing, NSA-friendly iPhone-killer.
Most of us looking at this thing from a business (or at least systems administration) perspective are not amused by sliding tiles and “jam your thumb here to get to a useful interface”. And in fact, there must be a way to get off of that touch-oriented (and ugly) Metro get-up. But Microsoft seems none too eager to publicize it, and the website from which I grabbed the above shot will never convince me, because that interface is for idiots.
Sorry this post took so long to type up. My Wordstar 3.3 is acting up again.