I Will Largely Agree, But With Some Qualifications
I feel "Dlauber's" comments about Windows 8 to be among the most accurate, fair, objective and balanced I've seen. I do have some issues, though ... not with "Dlauber's" comments, but mainly with Microsoft's practice of radical interface design changes.
Although I haven't used Windows 8 yet, I've been reading about it extensively ... not just user comments, but primarily articles by IT professionals and media industry editors. Based on my readings, I believe Windows 8 does include several worthwhile improvements contributing to performance, usability and system integrity/maintenance. Reading the details, particularly regarding the system maintenance and recovery procedures, left me impressed to the extent that I considered upgrading my Windows 7 systems to Windows 8. However, I still have significant issues with Microsoft's habit of making radical interface design changes and then expecting their customers to enthusiastically welcome the revisions as if the altered interfaces provide significant usability improvements.
I'll accept being called "old fashioned," because in my opinion, change for the sake of change is nothing to look forward to. If the features and functionality are essentially the same, but the look, location, and use of the interface are remarkably altered, what's the purpose? As I've said many time before, if Microsoft manufactured automobiles, with each new model we'd find the position of the accelerator and brake pedals switched, the turn signals might be operated by your right hand vice your left, and they'd move the radio controls to the left side of the steering column, perhaps, and all these changes would be considered "new features," I suppose.
No! When I get in my car -- or take a seat in front of my computer console -- I expect to be able to get it started and resume work with hardly anymore effort than was required the day before.
One might argue, "Well, these are design improvements aimed at saving time." And I'd ask, "How much time is really saved?" After all the aggravation, frustration and the time spent trying to adapt, any savings that may have been introduced would be consumed, or probably surpassed, by the time required to adapt. In other words, tallying up the lost productivity during the adaptation period and comparing it to the time/clicks supposedly saved, in the end you'd probably be realizing a net disadvantage, not to mention several days' worth of wear and tear on your patience.
Microsoft has been playing with their interface designs for thirty years. Do you mean they still haven't figured out which desktop presentation offers the optimal ease-of-use advantages? They're certainly smart enough to have figured it out by now. And since the Windows 8 design has created so many radical changes, other than the "joy" of searching for all the controls that were moved, can anyone objectively identify real, measurable advantages? I seriously doubt it.
To summarize ... Change for the purpose of improving an interface is fine, particularly when those revisions are introduced in a gradual "evolutionary" fashion. But if there's no clear advantage, my reaction to radical, "revolutionary" interface redesigns is to totally abhor them. How else should Microsoft expect users to react when seasoned, experienced Windows users are instantly transformed into thoroughly annoyed, lost, bewildered, novice users?
If you'll permit this analogy: Imagine visiting your Microsoft "auto dealership" to trade your 2007 vehicle (akin to using Windows 7) for a new one. "Great," you're thinking. The deal is closed, they prep your vehicle, and you get behind the steering wheel only to discover all the controls are in unfamiliar places and you have no idea how to operate your new car. For folks who love change for the sake of change, I suppose they're entertained by the new look and feel. However, others who need to get work done -- they want to jump in and get going -- can't even begin to resume work because nothing is the way it used to be.
THAT is how Microsoft makes their Windows users feel after each radical change to their operating system. Cosmetic changes are not new features, and I, for one, vehemently oppose that practice.