Windows 8 Still Baffling to Non-Geeks

    October 17, 2012

Way back in March of this year, when the Windows 8 consumer preview was released, Chris Pirillo, aka LockerGnome, had his father sit down with the new Windows. What followed was an instructive four minutes in which the man struggled to understand the operating system and questioned where the Start menu had gone. His father actually said, “They tryin’ to drive me to Mac?”

Back then there was still hope that Microsoft would modify the OS slightly to help those who have been using Windows iterations since the 90s. Unfortunately, with its October 26 release day approaching and pre-orders on sale, Windows 8 remains pretty much the same it was in March.

To prove his point once again, Pirillo took to the streets to show off Windows 8 to non-geeks and see if they can accomplish tasks that were simple in previous versions. As with his father, the lack of a start menu and task bar really threw people, and several of them compared the interface to a smartphone UI. He then asked them to turn off the computer using Windows and the real confusion began to set in:

To be fair, I’m pretty sure it would have taken me a while to find the shutdown button too (In the Settings menu? Really?).

While the interface may work beautifully on a tablet or other touchscreen device, the business customers Microsoft relies on will not be happy having to purchase all-new equipment or spend the money and time to retrain all of their employees, as one woman in the video said she would need. It may be a bit too early to call Windows 8 a flop, but Microsoft will need a huge marketing push for consumers to even consider switching to a completely unfamiliar OS.