David couldn’t be more spot-on in pointing out the “desktops are for production, tablets for consumption” dichotomy (as declared in “The Trouble with Gerrold: Windows Ate”). I have read a number of comments about how “awesome” Windows 8 is with a touch-screen.
I spend hours everyday on sound recording/editing software. Just as a test, I pretended to run through a few simple tasks on my monitor, as though it were a touch-screen. After about 90 seconds, I realized I would have to be holding both arms suspended in mid-air all day… or place a touch-screen flat on my desk, with my head tilted down in a cramp-inducing angle, and still have to move the touch-screen back a foot every time I needed to use a keyboard-based program that was not made for Windows 8.
Like David, I have used Windows since it was DOS on five floppy disks, and this is the first time I feel they have made the corporate decision that I am no longer their target market. Am I missing something here?
Whippersnappers and their Windows 8
I agree with you here, David, especially the part about production versus consumption. Should the gap be bridged? Remembering back to when DOS was removed from Windows, I had a bad feeling. I would have to really work to get to certain files, or to hand-remove a virus from a machine. I can see someone in an office needing IT help, and not even knowing what files and folders are.
XP was just fine. We totally avoided the WTF that was Vista, especially the more we heard from high middle knowledge users about the weird things it did. We don’t want to spend all our time trying to get things transferred over, we just want to sit down and get to work.
Now Windows 8. It boots fast? And? You assume I even turn off my machine… Another interface that may or may not be familiar? The iDon’t and the Droid interface changes with every upgrade. How many “upgrades” will we get under Win 8? Will we meet or exceed the XPSP2, or will we just rename it root beer, then sarsaparilla, and then start shaking our canes at these whippersnappers?
We did go to Win 7 with the newest laptop and desktop, and we really like it. The TRUE plug and play, where it automatically finds what I need to print, that was neat. Not really being able to share two computers no matter how we give permissions ain’t so great. And of course, no help, since BOTH the online store and the big box stores do not send the Windows registration paperwork with the computer. So make the magazine cover as glossy as you want, Windows. Just know that there are some niggling matters in the back pages that still haven’t been addressed.
A phantom too far
Microsoft is chasing a phantom. They’re betting the farm on desktop and mobile interfaces converging. I believe they are wrong; the use cases for the two are sufficiently different that no single interface will ever be ideal for both, and users don’t seem to be clamoring for unification.
Touch-screen desktop monitors don’t really make sense, at least not for content creators. (A desktop computer that is basically used as a TV with benefits is another matter.) The typical desktop monitor is too big and too far away for a touch-screen to be anything but an ergonomic nightmare, not to mention the fact that serious desktop users don’t stop at one monitor.