David Pogue recently published an article about Windows 8/8.1 on how “jarring” it is to switch between Windows Store Apps (Which he so childishly calls “TileWorld”) and regular desktop apps. I will give him some credit though for some of the compliments he provided overall, but I think he is exaggerating how hard it is to use.
Here is his biggest complaint:
“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.”
Apparently David hasn’t noticed that virtually every application we use, has a different experience. From the Navigation, Settings, Colors, Fonts, Structure and everything else from app to app is always different. I’d actually argue that Windows 8/8.1 actually provides users with a MORE consistent experience than iOS, OS X or Android apps.
David, which of the iPad apps below offers a consistent, non-jarring experience from an app to app experience? Seriously, which apps would you say offers the user a smooth, non-jarring experience as they switch from app to app?
The only consistent experience on an iPad is the screen above, iPad actually forces you to have a different experience when you want to do anything at all since you HAVE to go into an app to do anything. Once you tap on one of those icons, you have no idea what kind of experience you will get.
Here is a picture of a launch pad on OS X, below that is the start screen for Windows 8.
How can anyone possibly say that OS X launch pad is less jarring than the Windows 8 start screen?
Windows, OS X, Linux, Android every single one has several different ways of getting to the same settings, same files, same options.
“Now you have two Web browsers to learn.”
OMG, 2 browsers to learn – the horror? Because you know, learning Netscape, Opera, Safari or Chrome across desktop, tablet, TV, phone, Windows, Mac, Android and Linux experiences is so consistent.
“Microsoft, licking its wounds, spent a year trying to fix Windows 8.”
Licking their wounds? I’m guessing Microsoft has sold more than 150 million copies of Windows 8 in less than a year, I’d bet it’s closer to 200 million. Just because PC sales are down, doesn’t mean that Windows sales are down. Doesn’t Windows 8 have a larger market share than ALL of OS X throughout the years?
“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.”
Split it up? Are you serious? Maybe we should remove the Terminal from OS X? Why would anyone want to use that? Splitting up the two experiences into different operating systems would be flat out stupid, would cause even more “confusion” and it would actually create a much more jarring experience (like going from your iPad to your OS X desktop).
Whether you like it or not, Touch IS the future, it’s coming and it’s coming fast. You know who is making it happen? Microsoft. You know who is making the cloud happen? Microsoft with Skydrive. Know who is making Games, Voice and Home entertainment happen? Microsoft with Xbox, Kinect and Xbox Smart Glass. Know who is making a device that will replace your laptop and desktop, that also includes touch and mobility, and that truly showcases what a “post-pc” world looks like? Microsoft with Surface Pro 2.
Microsoft is the company who is making the big bets, pushing the envelop on design and experience. Microsoft is creating the new standard, Microsoft is being more innovative both in software and hardware than any other company. What did Apple do, they included a fingerprint scanner, made a gold iPhone and copied the flat, content focused design language that Microsoft has pushed across Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox and the Web.
Does Microsoft make big mistakes, yes. Will they continue to make big mistakes, yes. You know what though, it takes guts to fail, it takes guts to make big changes, it takes guts to make fun of yourself, it takes guts to admit when you are wrong, it takes guts to hold your ground when you know people will scream their heads at you for making a change.
I’ll put my money behind a company like that any day over a company that pretends to be perfect, magical or “the best”.