Why Microsoft, Why? Windows 8 (Part 1)

I decided to start a sort of a mini-series on my blog exploring some rather interesting and sometimes downright annoying aspects of my Windows 8 experience.

Here is a short list of aspects that I found to be counter productive in my venture:

  • Metro Modern/Non-Modern Default App Confusion. Meaning, I have had both the Chrome Modern and IE Modern application get… confused, when trying to open the “default” browser when a link is clicked. There doesn’t appear to be any indication if the link will open in the Modern window or the Non-ModernDesktop window… Which causes me to have two browser windows opened with different tabs…
  • Start menu takes up entire screen… okay, this is a given, and I’m starting to get a used to it, but its still distracting to hit the start button and the entire window gets engulfed.  I did however find a nifty little app that will actually restore the start-menu. There are actually a couple of options, one of which is Stardock’s Start8 [LINK] but that carries a $10 price tag.  I happen to find Lee Soft’s ViStart [LINK] which is free and does a great job at emulating the start menu.

  • “Mouse Gestures”. Tasks like opening the side or bottom menus in Metro apps require you to “swipe” your mouse from side to side, or top to bottom, its kinda annoying.
  • One cool feature is to be able to “snap” apps to the left or right side of the screen, restoring some of the multitasking capabilities to  the OS.  However, some “Modern” apps, (like Skype), are completely useless when snapped.   As you can see by the screenshot below, the Skype app turns into a Skype banner ad that takes up 1/6th of my screen when I snap it to the side, but if I am in a conversation it will show the chat.  Give me my contacts, or anything, is that rocket science?

Overall, I think Microsoft was way to focused on unifying their OS and forgot about the traditional hardware (Laptop/Desktop) users when they came up with the concept of the “Modern” Metro layout. The requirement of having multiple “styles” of apps (I.E. Chrome and “Modernized” Chrome) and the fact that “Modernized” apps take up the entire screen set computing back 20 years and eliminates the ability to quickly multitask via multiple windows… I can no longer have a “Skype” window open and just sitting in the background visible while I browse the web, its counter-intuitive. Just my .02′

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