The woes of Windows 8

But then you saw that Microsoft was upgrading your 7 to 8 for a meagre Rs 2,000. And you thought ‘why not?’. And you did a mistake.

Published: 09th December 2012 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th December 2012 02:38 PM   |  A+A-


You have been hearing about Windows 8 for an year now. You knew that Microsoft was trying to make one operating system that was going to run on desktops, laptops and tablets with touch screens. You had your doubts about how one operating system could work very well on both a laptop and a tablet. Then you read some reviews. You read how awful and confusing it was. You saw YouTube videos of long time Windows users being confused and flabbergasted the first time they sat down before Windows 8. You had a 13-inch laptop that runs Windows 7. After suffering through Vista, you loved the 7 and could have lived happily ever after with it. But then you saw that Microsoft was upgrading your 7 to 8 for a meagre Rs 2,000. And you thought ‘why not?’. And you did a mistake.

Once you downloaded it, installed it and powered it up for the first time you felt good. You saw those fast boot up times, all those vibrant colours and dynamic tiles. New design, full screen apps, it was all fun until it was not. The more you used it the more annoying it got. When just to switch off your computer you had to move your mouse pointer to a corner, bring up the so-called charms, clicked settings, clicked power, and then clicked shut down, was the first time you banged your head on your desk in frustration. The full screen apps that were so charming in that first hour are now your nightmares. You are used to running at least four programs side by side on your 13-inch monitor. You are used to checking out your Twitter feed while looking at photos, while checking out some blog, while watching a movie all at the same time. Those full screen apps won’t let you do that. You read somewhere that you can run two apps side by side, but you can’t do that apparently because you don’t have enough resolution. Then you realise that the worst part is maybe there is a way to run all those four apps, but you can’t figure out how.

You work long hours on your PC, but you can’t see the time without moving your cursor to some corner. You open mail and you are using a simple email client made in 1935. You know that your friend is using Windows 8, and you want to chat with him using that big red box called messaging. You go in there and find that you just can’t start chatting, you have to go to People to add your friend as a contact. You go to People. There is no obvious way to add your friend’s e-mail address. You go to settings and see that you have to sync your contacts from Facebook or Google or LinkedIn or some assorted services none of which you are using. It takes you 15 minutes to realise you have to right click to add a contact. You open Word and you are back in desktop mode which is Windows 7 without the start button. These annoyances start piling up. All this jumping between desktop and the modern tiles, lack of good apps, the quality of the available apps. Maybe a 20-year-old geek can figure it out. But you are just a 50-year-old banking clerk who is banging his head on his keyboard.

 The writer is a tech geek.

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