An interesting discussion on Facebook this afternoon/evening about Windows 8. I weighed in, of course.

adl: Windows 8 here we come.

ja: Don’t do it man. It’s not a good decision

adl: LIES

ja: Trust me, I did it. Worst decision for my PC ever.

adl: Maybe youre just bad at this game redacted. Its like fb timeline- get used to it now and learn to love it instead being part of that large group of whiney bitches.

ja: Yeah, tbh the only real issue that I have with it is that some of my drivers hadn’t been updated for windows 8 and wouldn’t run, including my ATI graphics one so it messed me around for a few weeks. Having to tab back and forth between the start menu thing and the desktop is kind of frustrating sometimes but having 2 monitors helps alleviate some of that.

Jashank: Apple decided that putting bits of a mobile OS on a desktop OS was a good idea and that’s how OS X Lion’s Launchpad came about. Microsoft, not to be outdone, decided to put the entire mobile OS on the desktop, and branded it Windows 8. And the consumers don’t even want this.

Jashank: I want Steve Jobs back. He could sell you things you didn’t know you wanted yet – and, in some cases, didn’t want at all – and he did it right.

ja: Well windows 8 has been rumored to be like this for a long time anyway, it makes sense with the direction consumer technology is heading. I am considering buying a touchscreen monitor because it will make using my PC easier.

Jashank: I haven’t seen good enough touch-screen displays D:

ja: The software will drive the hardware makers to build though

Jashank: True, although apparently the opposite doesn’t happen, otherwise we’d already have USB 3, SATA III and Light Peak everywhere.

sp: Windows 8 was made to force developers to cater to it’s non-existent mobile app market, anything that runs on the new live-start-menu-tablet interface-widget screen runs on windows mobile. Whether or not this is a good thing is up for debate. From what i’ve heard it isn’t bad but those who actually do work on their computer shouldn’t use it. Luckly that isn’t any of us

Jashank: Heaven forbid anyone would want to do work with their computers. I don’t even know where you got that notion from, redacted. </sarcasm>

ja: By work what do you mean? I have used it for all the MS Office programs and it works just the same as before.

dd: I’d assume that graphics-intensive games and programs would be more of a problem than work programs like Office?

Jashank: Surprisingly, Microsoft Windows is terrible¹ at graphics-intensive operations anyway, and from what I’ve seen, Windows 8 doesn’t improve much on this. And, of course, there’s Gaben’s decision to switch to Linux… > ¹ Terrible is a subjective term; graphics-intensive operations, such as live 3D rendering of highly complex environments en masse, perform very poorly una ccelerated, compared with, e.g., Mac OS X or Linux. It’s only through specialised driver acceleration that Windows even manages to compete², and even then, it doesn’t do especially well. Graphics accelerators that provide DirectX-optimised³ processing paths suffer from this driver dependency, too. Why can’t we just have standards? > > ² … and even this is barely going to happen; Windows 8 has notoriously broken support for many of the drivers needed, as redacted mentioned. > > ³ Well, Direct3D-optimised – DirectX is a family of Windows APIs, of which Direct3D is, fairly obviously, the 3D rendering API.

Jashank: … although, having said¹ that, I doubt that normal use-case programs (e.g. web browsers², mail readers³, word processors and productivity suites, etc.) will be impacted too much, because these are the optimised use-case⁴, and thus need to be the most polished. > ¹ With footnotes, too… > > ² Internet Explorer has likely been optimised to work better with all the crazy new features of the Metro⁵ UX, an advantage that third-party browsers won’t have. > > ³ Do good desktop mail readers exist any more? The last half-way decent one was axed earlier this year by Mozilla, and I’ve so far seen nothing that comes close to a properly non-sucky mail user agent. Certainly, the latest version of “Outlook Express”, dubbed “Windows Mail” since Vista, is just as crippled as the version shipped in XP was, if not more so. But this problem is wide-spread; Apple still haven’t gotten their act together and produced a decent mail client, eith er, and as far as I can tell, desktop mail user agents are being axed in favour of web applications. > > ⁴ By this, I mean the most commonly used applications and the user’s interaction with them. Consider, for example, the Start menu (as it was from Windows XP to 7): you press the pretty button, and you get a list of the applications you most use, with shortcuts to things like ‘Internet’ and ‘E-mail’. > > ⁵ Ooops, sorry, no, we’re not allowed to call it “Metro” now… consider that to read “the Microsoft design language”. shudder

dd: tl;dr

Jashank: tl;dr: Windows 8 won’t change very much for users who type with one finger and have more toolbars than visible web space in Internet Explorer. For the rest of us, though, it’s a death knell.