When rumors about Windows 8 were beginning to circulate, I heard that the new OS from Microsoft would be more targeted towards gamers. Maybe Windows 8 would scale back on some resource hogging; make things a little more streamlined. Then, I was excited. While I loved Windows 7, I was always for shiny, brand new upgrades.
Editor’s Note: This article has been edited for accuracy, however, opinions of the writer have been left intact.
At first, I wasn’t sure what I was looking at. The resemblance to the Xbox 360 dashboard threw me for a loop, and the fact that there was no immediately discernible desktop didn’t sit well with me. But I was soon corrected: the desktop is still there, but it’s built as more of an app. What this means is is if you want to launch a separate program, you need to launch the desktop app and then launch the program that you want to use. Otherwise as folks that have left comments in this article below have mentioned, you’ll have to “pin” the game to your start screen or press the start button on your keyboard, start typing the name of the app/game you want to play, and then select it to start it up. While the first option is akin to creating an icon on the desktop (which is fine) the latter hardly feels like the workflow of a next-gen OS.
And when it comes to the gaming community, a number of game developers have called Windows 8 a disaster. Prominent among these is Gabe Newell, co-founder of Valve Corporation. According to Ars Technica, Valve has good reasons to be concerned with the controlled store approach that Windows 8 is taking to games. There could be almost no room for programs like Steam on Microsoft’s new OS, and this could definitely hurt Valve’s revenue. And I don’t know about you, but Steam is a lovely piece of software that no part of me wants to give up; let alone for some new OS that I can live without. Other than revenue concerns, what restrictions Microsoft might put into Windows 8 by having the single game store would be that it would also restrict what game developers could access the PC market, and that would, in turn, hurt the video game industry. That said, many of our readers have left comments that using Windows 8′s pre-release with Steam ran fine so far. What does the future hold? Ideally, one where Microsoft makes room for services like Steam.
In a more positive light, what Windows 8 is turning out to be is an almost ideal OS for tablet users. But as someone who does not own a tablet, I feel that designing something as important as an operating system to be more functional for a less prominent demographic of users is a ultimately a costly mistake. And yes, there are PCs that have touchscreen functionality, but I prefer to keep fingers (even mine) away from my screen.
Another good things of note about Windows 8 are increased ease of access to factory resets or restoring from a previous point, and the fact the OS will come loaded with Windows’s essential Office programs. But, similar to the desktop, they are designed more as apps than actual programs.
As for your average computer user, Windows 8 is going to require a lot of relearning the basics. And in my opinion, from that fact alone, that could be the sound of the death knell of the OS. Change too much too quickly and pair that with what some say are largely unintuitive controls/navigation? You’ll meet with a lot of resistance from consumers, who the majority of will be more than happy to go back to the system they were using before.
So, in short, my answer is a resounding “No!” to Windows 8. I’ll keep my lovely Windows 7 and a lack of a headache any day.