Today, Microsoft launched Windows 8 to the masses. And I’m frustrated.
Over the past year, I have had the opportunity to play with Windows 8, blowing away my daily work laptop and installing the new operating system at each release – beta, release preview, consumer preview, and RTM.
Yes. A laptop. Not a touch screen tablet. A laptop with a keyboard and an external mouse. My experience could be likened to running Windows 8 on a standalone desktop PC, with a separate external mouse and keyboard. This is how I work on my laptop, this is how I work on my desktop. And Windows 8 lets me do that with very little change.
But today I read numerous articles, stating Microsoft is “betting” on going touch for everything. This frustrates me. Yes, we are in a touch age, if you can’t swipe the screen or tap it, it’s inferior technology. But the journalists and “IT Pros” covering this launch have got it all wrong.
Using this OS on a daily basis, with a mouse and keyboard, I haven’t had to adjust. Yes, there’s no Start button anymore. Yes it has the Metro user interface. It also has the standard desktop you are used to from Vista/7, sans the Start button. Is it a big deal? No. Do I need touch? No. Will my experience of Windows 8 be impacted by not having a touch device? For the most part, no. You can almost everything in Windows 8 without a tablet. The same way you used Windows 95, 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista and 7 without a tablet.
In fact, I think Windows 8 might just be the best innovation Microsoft has ever come up with. The Windows 8 ecosystem integrates all of your devices. It makes computing more efficient and friendly. Without a touchscreen…
If you are looking at Windows 8, thinking, this is a tablet only operating system, I cannot urge you more than anything in the world, to try it out. Windows 8 hasn’t changed my life, but it makes my computing just a little bit more fun and efficient. Most of all, Windows 8 and this new “ecosystem” gives me an alternative to Apple. And I say that as an owner of an iPhone 4, iPad 2 and a Macbook Pro.