Windows 8 isn't easy enough to use -- even Tami Reller, CFO and CMO of Redmond's Windows division, admits it. If there's one thing users expect from Windows 8.1, the free update coming this summer, it's improved user-friendliness.
Yet according to IT decision-makers at Seton Hall University and Texas's Clear Creek Independent School District (CCISD), adjusting to Windows 8 actually is pretty easy and is worth the effort. Win8 tablets not only offer more value than their competitors, they say, but also serve as genuine laptop replacements.
The last new computer that I bought (for me) was the day Vista came out. (I've bought all four kids at least one in that time) I still use it (with Windows 7) for non-work stuff but I'm feeling the Windows 8 bug. Like Bert alluded to, I want a tablet with a keyboard dock (travel and recliner) and a desktop dock (huge display, keyboard, etc) so I can carry around just a phone and my Desk-Lap-Tab-Top. And it better run Windows office junk and engineering applications...
If most Windows 8 PCs booted into Desktop mode, then developers wouldn't be coerced into making Metro apps. And if developers didn't create many Metro apps, Microsoft wouldn't have many apps for their unpopular Windows Phone.
I don't understand why human being have to be retrained every time Windows releases a new product. Computers are good at rendering displays; let them do it. There ought to be a single setup question when a new user first logs into a computer: what user interface do you want? It is no different than asking for language preferences. Thereafter, the Windows 95, Windows, 98, Windows ME, Windows 7 or Windows 8 display format should be the default for that user. If anyone suggests that it is hard work to render an old operating system, I would point to the completely unnecessary variety of "themes" that fill applications these days. Focus on what matters.
Form factor is one thing, OS is another. I agree that a docked tablet running Win8 can function as a desktop PC just as a docked laptop does. The essential elements of this usage model are having a large screen, a keyboard & a mouse. A touchscreen is very much optional, perhaps even a hindrance, when the device is used in this way.
But this doesn't address the UI differences between Win7 & Win8. I can easily appreciate that a group of college students who were unfamiliar with Win8 but very familiar with iOS & Android tablets might quickly and easily get comfortable with the live tiles UI. I can also appreciate why vast numbers of Win7 users in the business world are far less comfortable with the new UI.
The impending update that offers a boot-to-desktop option should address the latter group's lack of enthusiasm about Win8.
Interesting. As I've suspected all along, this article only emphasizes the point that what the various marketing research firms label as "tablets," in their dooms-day forecasts wrt "the decline of the PC," is mostly dramatic rhetoric meant to attract readership.
At work, I use a docked Win7 laptop. It functions precisely like any desktop PC. In typical conditions, I just plug it in and never even open its cover. If someone provides a similarly docked "tablet" which runs Win8, guess what, the experience would be identical.
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.