As you well know, the GERD loves new stuff; new tablets, new laptops, new phones – you name it. I also love new software. I have spent hours plying the innards of a new application to learn how to make the most of it. Case in point – Apple’s Mountain Lion. I loved drilling down and finding the new little changes that make the process fun. I can’t wait for iOS 6 this fall,; doubtless more hours will fall as I go spelunking throughout it as well.
So why not Windows 8? That’s right, I have no plans to upgrade from my old friend, Windows 7. You see, we have been through a lot together. We survived Windows Vista, also known as the World’s largest computer virus. I’ve become very comfortable with Windows 7; I like the way it works, I can find my way around. My other toys like it as well; printers, scanners, label makers, tablets – everything is well in Windows 7-dom, so why upgrade?
Not that Microsoft isn’t trying to get me to upgrade. With unprecedented pricing for upgrading from Windows 7 ($14.99) and for a downloadable full version ($39.99), even the $69.99 for a production DVD is a far cry from the $199/$219 for Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate. The influence of Apple is seen here – the latest upgrade (Mountain Lion) cost only $19.99 as a download from the App Store. Microsoft had to rethink its pricing scheme or be trampled by those fleeing the overpriced replacement to a very stable, very useful Windows 7.
Yet, with that attractive pricing, I’m still not sold on Windows 8. It was developed as a crossover platform for Tablets and desktops, a kind of hybrid for both. The unique “tiles” on the desktop look interesting and may work well on a tablet, but why a desktop? Navigating to familiar and useful places like the Control Panel and other user tools is not intuitive (I had to scramble just to shut the thing down!) There seems to be no apparent speed advantage – programs open with about the same speed as Windows 7 (in my admittedly unscientific tests). When I loaded Microsoft Office, things went smoothly, but each application in the Office Suite became its own tile on the Windows 8 desktop. That meant that the desktop became quickly crowded with these over-sized tiles. I mean, really! What’s the advantage in that? So, Windows 7 and I will stay together for a while longer. I could hope for an improved Windows later on, as Windows XP followed ME, and Windows 7 followed Vista; something to wait for and switch to, however, it seems Microsoft has charted a course from which it cannot turn back. As it tries to meld the desktop and the tablet, neither will succeed and both will suffer. The desktop, from capabilities limited to fit on a tablet; the tablet, from an operating system too big to work in its inherently confined space.
Microsoft may have to learn that the most dangerous thing in the world is to take something that works, and “improve” it to the point that no one wants to use it. For all the supposed improvements in Windows 8, I’ll stick with my tried and true Windows 7- for now at least!
Next Time: Do you really want to watch a 3D Television?