We’re less than a month from launch, and Windows 8 is still having a rough time. The new OS has been the subject of a survey that found more people preferring its predecessor, while Intel’s CEO said it wasn’t ready. Microsoft will tell you that Windows 8 is the biggest thing since Windows 95, but what would somebody who was there for Windows 95 say?
Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, was on the company’s board of directors through 2000. He’s seen some things, and he knows Microsoft better than most. That’s why it was a joy to find that he wrote a lengthy piece on Windows 8 and its many strengths and weaknesses.
Allen took to his personal blog on Tuesday to mostly praise Microsoft’s new operating system. He says that the “tablet features in Windows 8 are particularly bold and innovative.” He also praises the operating system’s “clever integration of a bimodal interface to simultaneously support both desktop and tablet use.” In short, it seems that Allen loves Windows 8, but he does some have reservations.
For one, he says that the bimodal user interface can be confusing. He uses the example of being able to open Internet Explorer and have it running in both desktop and the Windows 8 UI mode. He also was not particularly pleased with the fact that Windows 8 switches to the new UI to open a file after he attempted to open it on the desktop.
In short, Allen has the same complaints that mostly everybody else has. The confusing nature of the dual UIs is what kills Windows 8 for most people. It doesn’t help that Windows 8 does a poor job of explaining how the particulars of each user interface works. A good example came from last March when a man had his elderly father attempt to use Windows 8. The father was a pro with previous versions of Windows, but the new dual UI design completely baffled him. I can’t help but feel that the same will happen to others when they upgrade.
There’s been a lot of noise lately about Windows 8 with skeptics and fans clamoring to have their voice heard. Allen’s lengthy post on Windows 8 condenses all the praise and complaints into a single blog post. He singlehandedly captures the good and the bad. It’s definitely worth a read if you want a clear and concise explanation of Windows 8.