Windows 8: Embrace Or Reject?

Windows 8: The Bad

Windows 8 is beautiful, fast and fluid. What could go wrong, right? Well, apparently a lot. There have been a lot of complaints voiced on the internet about Windows 8, mostly from the power users and also from “IT pros” whose work may involve deploying Windows to many PCs and worrying about the corresponding training/support costs. Besides, there is the big issue of rebuilding or supporting legacy line-of-business , or LOB, apps on Windows 8. Some concerns with Windows 8 that have created the most noise on the interwebs:

  • The missing Start orb: Let’s face it, power users have developed a muscle memory to get things done. Folks who don’t like to dump a bunch of icons on the desktop typically use the taskbar to launch programs or go to Start > Search in Windows 7 to just search for the programs. With the missing Start orb, things change. On a non-touch computer, when you hover your mouse over the bottom-left corner, you see an icon for your Start Screen and clicking on it will bring you to the Start Screen. With Windows 8, you can now simply start typing on the Start Screen to invoke search, so effectively, the new interaction mode does the same exact thing as Windows 7. For power users though, it is a disruption because they have to leave the Desktop mode and enter the Start Screen.


  • Shutdown being “hidden”: Another series of complaints has been the fact that shutting down a PC is now “hidden” and/or more difficult to execute. The shutdown option is now under the Charms bar > Settings. While you can argue that it is the same number of mouse clicks, or that it is even better with touch (Charms bar is invoked by just swiping from the right edge, and the power button is right where your thumb would be), there is no argument about it not being immediately visible. There is also an argument to be made that modern computers don’t need to be shut down and putting them to sleep is effectively the same as what shutting down used to be. In fact, in my personal case, I don’t shut down any of my computers except for when there are OS or security updates which require a restart.

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Romit Mehta

Romit writes about mobile news and gadgets, and is currently a Windows Phone owner (Nokia Lumia 920). Find him on twitter @TheRomit. Personal site is