The new scrolling tiled look of the Windows 8 start screen might be a bit of eye candy waiting for users each time they sit down at their computer, but the unfamiliar terrain of the new Metro-designed interface is being met with some frustration and confusion by users of the operating system’s pre-release version.
The new touchscreen-friendly interface of Windows 8 has been a source of difficulty for users traditionally oriented to using a mouse or touchpad – or, in other words, every person ever who is familiar with any Windows operating system. “It’s a bit of a struggle for people who are deliberately oriented on a PC, that are used to a mouse feel,” International Data Corporation anaylst Al Hilwa told Reuters today. Hilwa, who used to be a strategist for Microsoft, added that it was difficult to adjust to the new interface without the use of a touchscreen.
The odd thing is that people seem to actually want to like using Windows 8 yet are being thwarted from realizing that desire. Users’ experiences have been compounded by the fact that they must switch back and forth between the Metro screen and the traditional Windows desktop because there’s not much – if any – of a dynamic relationship between the two interfaces. You either use one or the other and the two might as well be sitting their with their backs to each other.
Since Windows 8 isn’t expected to be released as a finalized product until Fall 2012, Microsoft could still make some changes that better integrate the two interfaces. As it is, though, first impressions of Windows 8 appear to be earning Windows Vista-like reactions as opposed to the welcome reception that Windows 7 received. Microsoft’s goal of having a unified, multi-device operating system might turn out to be a fantastic product, but it sounds like Windows fans would do themselves a favor by trying to forget about what they know about previous versions of Windows in order to minimize the initial feelings of befuddlement upon upgrading to this new version.
While the Metro interface of Windows 8 may continue to puzzle users (at least at first), the design did elicit a pretty entertaining parody video by YouTube user LaughWithLulu that takes jabs at the OS’s difficult navigability.