David Pogue on Windows 8.1

David Pogue:

The fundamental problem with Windows 8 hasn’t changed: you’re still working in two operating systems at once. You’re still leaping from one universe into another — the color schemes, fonts and layouts all change abruptly — and it still feels jarring. There are still too many duplicate programs and settings, one in each environment. And you still can never live entirely in one world or the other.

The more you work with Windows 8, the more screamingly obvious the solution becomes: Split it up. Offer regular Windows on regular computers, offer TileWorld on tablets. That way, everyone has to learn only one operating system, and each operating system is suited to its task.

Microsoft PR chief Frank X. Shaw, on Twitter:

Dear David Pogue, what a classic Pogue piece. Funny, inaccurate, opinionated in the skewed way only you can bring.

I haven’t seen Windows 8.1 yet, so I can’t comment on it in particular. But the fundamental flaw in the “two worlds” approach of Windows 8 has been obvious to me from the get-go. A big part of the appeal of iPads (and even Android tablets) is that they are so much less complex than Windows or Mac PCs. Complexity is a turn-off. Windows 8 is inherently more complex than even Windows 7, because it includes all the complexity of traditional Windows plus the new Metro layer.

Thursday, 17 October 2013