I haven't tried Window 8 yet, but from the comments here and elsewhere, I'm not particularly looking forward to it. When I'm working, I tend to like keeping lots of windows open, and if I can't see one peeking behind another, at least I can see their icons on the taskbar.
I'm not a big fan of having an app occupy the entire screen and not knowing which other apps are still open. Even though I like my iOS devices for content consumption, I find it annoying that I have to constantly double tap the home key to see all the apps that are still running, and then kill them one by one to make them go away.
It took me a while, but I finally realized that the Metro screen has replaced the Start menu. Since the Start menu is now full screen, you have to click something to get back to Desktop. That made it all less disorienting for me.
I do think it's ironic that some Windows boosters are encouraging folks to use keyboard shortcuts if they can't figure out what to click.
I'm with you, Max. I have only played with Win 8 a few minutes at a time in the stores. I saw nothing that appealed to me. Might be fine for people who use only a tablet and all they do is browse the web. Can you imagine trying to run all your engineering software on such a system? How often do you have to clean that touchscreen? I, too, like Win 7 and XP. Hated Vista and it was then I began seriously take a serious second look at linux. Since Win 8 has come out, I have converted a desktop and one of my laptops to linux. I can see the writing on the wall.
I am told there is already a Win9 on the way. Sometimes I think Microsoft is in this only so they can charge for new certification courses.
Interesting, I guess I'm the crazy one here. I've been using Win8 for several months now and I think it is pretty good. I put all my 'production-type' software on tiles in the Metro screen and it is very easy to just click the tile and start the apps. The key to improving the user experience is to use a touch pad in lieu of a mouse (if you don't have a touchscreen, that is). I use a Logitech product designed especially for the Win8 OS and it makes a big difference. I still use my very precise trackball for CAE tasks and I'm a happy camper!
"You WILL use this and you WILL like it" is not a good attitude towards customers, unless of course there is a monopoly or duopoly. Just imagine how much more customer driven, rather than dictatorial, both Microsoft and Apple would become if Adobe, Altium and a host of other software producers would port to Linux....
Max - I'm totally with you on this. "this should be intuitive (but it's not)" - this is really the key as far as I'm concerned. There have always been annoyances and idiosyncrasies in any new OS. But, when moving to a new OS, I've always been able to be productive right away. Even from DOS to Windows 3 and Windows 3 to Win 98. Always. Even if I thought the OS was buggy or annoying, I have always been able to get up and running right away. Not so with Win 8.
I'm a few years short of you in computer experience, but I've hand assembled machine code and entered it with a hex keypad and I've used every Windows desktop OS (except Bob).
Win8 does seem reasonably intuitive if all you want to do is read and look at things, but it's horribly space inefficient for decent sized monitors, so many functions are hidden and it is not set up by default for actual work.
Hiding something isn't good, but isn't necessary catastrophic provided it works the same as it used to, but hiding it and changing the way it works is very poor design.
You and I and the rest of the world will eventually figure it out, but I strongly consider the Win 8 UI to be a bad business decision that could have only been made by someone out of touch with the vast majority of users. A good UI shouldn't require a book or training class. Maybe that was okay back in 1990, but not now.
"The frustration I feel at people like you, is more i'm sure than the frustration you feel for Windows 8."
I wouldn't bet on that if I were you. Let me explain this in a nutshell -- I've been using computers for longer than I care to remember -- I worked with analog computers at university and my first job was designing CPUs for mainframes.
I'm sure that as you say there are ways around everything in Windows 8 -- but what we have here is someone (me) who already has too much on his plate and who just wants to do basic things like launch apps and find and print documents -- this should be intuitive (but it's not) -- and it should be obvious to the countless millions of people who have slogged their way through previous generations -- the fact that it is so UNintuitive is going to generate a HUGE amount of frustration and subtract from the total sum of happiness on the planet
Oops! When I said "I do feel overly harsh with my criticism of Windows 8, but in others I feel it's justified.", I meant "I do feel overly harsh with some my criticisms of Windows 8, but in others (aspects of my criticism) I feel it's justified."
Leaving out those few words could pretty dramatically change the meaning of what I was trying to say.