Though Windows 8 Consumer Preview has garnered generally positive press for the design and touch capabilities of its new Metro user interface, one area the new operating system hasn’t been getting good marks on is its user friendliness on a desktop.
Microsoft touts Windows 8 as being designed from the ground up to run equally well on touch tablets and desktop and laptop PCs.
But several publications have written about how awkward the switch can be between Metro mode — which seems to be designed to be touch-centric — and the traditional desktop mode. It can be hard to figure out how to get back to the “start” menu from the traditional desktop mode (see video below). The two-operating-systems-in-one mashup seems to clash, some said. Others simply called the combination Frankensteinian.
This meme is gathering steam with a recent video by Chris Pirillo of LockerGnome, showing his dad’s experience with Windows 8 Consumer Preview, aka “How real people will use Windows 8”:
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Another blogger has started a Fixing Windows 8 blog (currently down as of Wednesday afternoon) focusing on some of those issues. Tom’s Hardware identifies the blogger as Mike Bibik, a user interface designer and former Microsoft employee.
Of course, the Consumer Preview is still a beta test version of Windows 8 — not the final version that will be released. It will be interesting to see what — if any — changes Microsoft makes between now and then.