Microsoft's new Windows 8 operating system has been widely available now for several months and has been the source of extensive controversy among long-time Windows users. Recognizing that big changes can take time to gain popularity, we are asking users again to weigh in once again with feedback on Windows 8.
If you've made the switch to Windows 8, we hope you'll share your feedback below. Often we hear from the critics first, while those who "love it" or at least "like it" are less likely to chime in.
And for those still wondering whether it's time to take the plunge, we share some initial feedback below from our readers who have already made the switch to Win8.
Some users love it and some users hate it. Unfortunately, the majority of comments fall into the 'hate it' category.
Not Intuitive Enough
Nick, a recent commenter who clearly hates Windows 8, asks: "Why would you put out a new operating system that promises updated speed and functionality, but delivers it in a package that is difficult to use?" In his opinion, Windows 8 requires having to "relearn everything."
Nick says he agrees with another commenter who wrote, "It takes 3 times as long to do anything that's not Facebook or email related. I will admit," he wrote, "for strictly leisure tasks (photos, videos, etc.), this is a good upgrade from Windows 7. However, if you need to get anything other than that (like work) done, you will be extremely frustrated. If it wasn't for Flash player and the high price of Apple equipment, I'd never come back to MS."
Better for Tablets
On the other hand, Dr. Mike says Windows 8 "takes about 1 week to get used to it, but once you do, you will really like it. You can open the 'desktop' tile and essentially convert to Windows 7, but the new Windows 8 gives Windows a 'fun factor' that has been lacking."
Dr. Mike says he thinks it is "going to take some time to get used to it," but he disagrees with the critics here. "As more and more people use it, especially in tablets and convertible PCs," he predicts "Windows 8 is going to be a huge winner."
Too Many Steps
Another recent commenter who goes simply by 'E' says: "Out of the box, Windows 8 makes basic stuff like starting and stopping applications, and closing down the system a multi seek and click affair. When doing actual work, I find it essential to be able to see several windows on the screen at once. Windows 8 likes to pop up apps covering the whole screen. This is just plain wrong in a work context."
Working at home can also be complicated with the new operating system, E points out. "The practice within my family of simply sharing a Windows account, apps and documents on the desktop, is also an issue. This is due to the tight integration to an email account. Windows 8 appears to be designed for: one user = one email = one desktop -- as far as I can tell." E found a work-around for the difficulty, but not without compromise. "I have learned to live with Windows 8 by using the ClassicShell.net start menu on top and setting the family up with a shared email account.
On the plus side, E says, "Actually, I think the speed, and 'apps' approach of Windows 8 could have made this OS into an outright winner." But ultimately, because of the inconveniences, E concludes the current state of Windows 8 is "a bit sad."
A Mess of Icons
Some other useful commentary comes from Hoody, who writes, "I don't like the look of the GUI at all, reminds me of W98 with a mess of icons on the desktop. I would also go back to W7 if I had the Pro version, but I had the Home Premium and wanted to move to the Pro version. So, I took the deal for new computer buyers: 15 bucks was a deal to go Pro and the media center thrown in for free."
Since making the change Oct. 26th, Hoody writes, "I have redone things to at least think I have W7 back, all except the Aero. I found a 3rd party start menu (start8), found the old MS games, and even found a gadgets progam (8gadgets), so it's at least in a workable way."
Hoody hopes that Microsoft will come out with a patch of some sort "to allow non touch desktop and laptop users the same interface as W7." The way Microsoft Windows 8 is configured out of the box for ALL users, Hoody concludes, "wasn't exactly the best idea, and it's going to be nothing but a headache for MS."
Another perspective comes from Don, who says, "I work for a store that sells laptops and desktops. Most people do not like Windows 8. I have heard IT folks talk about lack of drivers and incompatibility issues. I personally don't like it. I have it on my system at home because I have to be familiar with it to explain it to customers, but I would go back to Windows 7 in a heartbeat."
One User's Wish List
Aaron offers a laundry list of helpful feedback on Windows 8, saying: "If Microsoft reads forums like these, they need to listen up. Here are some of the main points people don't like and the issues they need to fix:
- No Start button.
- Tile interface is bulky, confusing and hard to use.
- Normal programs like Windows Media Player and Control Panel are difficult to find and require customization to be able to locate easily.
- Why did you change Windows 7, which was perfectly useable, into this debacle? Think about changing it back to resemble and restore all the conveniences of Windows 7, make the tile interface optional instead of mandatory, definitely restore the Start button.
- The average user is not an advanced techie, they can't figure out difficult operating systems. Make things easier to use, not more difficult, and much more user friendly.
Aaron concludes that, "Windows 8 is a lemon, not the wave of the future. It's OK for touch devices, but don't expect half the world to rush out and buy expensive gadgets just so they can use Windows 8, the world doesn't care. If it's not possible to conveniently use the same operating system on both touch and non-touch devices, then create two operating systems, not just one big loser." Ouch.
More Pros and Cons
Harpula also characterizes Windows 8 as a lemon, offering an interesting assessment of its pros and cons.
- It crashes less. Slightly.
- Starts up faster. Slightly.
- Permissions are more customizable when running unknown programs. That's a plus.
- Every time I want to move my mouse to another application, some screen pops up and sends me out of whack.
Took me almost 15 minutes to learn to shut down the thing. While searching on Google.
- Where is my control panel?
- Chrome doesn't work right on this.
- Neither does Firefox.
- Half my I use for Win7 no longer works here.
- It's not as bad as ME or Vista, but it's definitely a lemon.
Sorry He Switched
Craig S. agrees that Microsoft had taken some steps backwards on Windows 8: "Eye candy is a great strategy for marketing. But when you give up functionality you lose. Microsoft has had a few losers over the years, and I feel this one is headed that way!"
Meanwhile, a commenter named Ken said he "upgraded to Windows 8 and have been sorry ever since." Unfortunately, he's not alone.
Another commenter said he hates the absence of the Windows Start menu, and, "When I try to enter information in a Web site or in an e-mail, symbols will not type out, such as: the @ sign for an e-mail address, the $ sign, etc. When I try to get assistance from Microsoft, I am forwarded to an independent IT company that wants $90.00 to help me with a software issue....NO WAY."
But Benefits Are There
Despite all the "hater" comments, some users are applauding the all-new Windows 8. A user named "Paul" said he recently bought Windows 8 Pro. He called it "amazing" and "one of the best things Microsoft has brought out."
"I say it's better than Windows 7 and faster. It's well worth buying and don't miss out cause when you see it for yourself, you will fall in love," Paul wrote. "Yes, it is complicated, but when you get used to it, then you won't want to leave it alone. My rating is a five star and I give it 100% for its speed, etc." Paul advises, "Buy it now and enjoy it. I am and so are many more people."
Another user who called himself "Jlp" said he had been using Windows 8 since its release on a non-touch desktop and called it a "joy."
Dazzy agrees: "I'm in the 'love it' category. It took getting used to. Made me feel like a novice again, but when I learned the interface, it is fun, fast and refreshing. LOVE the music integration."
Better for Novices, Fewer Expectations
A commenter named LogicalMachine is no fan of Windows 8 for his own work as a computer programmer, but he does think it's good for novices. He says the pros include being faster, more efficient, and what he calls "moron friendly." Get Windows 8 if you dont know a thing about computers, he advises, but, "DON'T get Windows 8 if you are [a programmer] like me. The thing has a freaking mind of its own."
Regarding all the negative feedback, a reader named David suggests that many of the detractors are either spoiled or lazy: "Windows 8 is very easy to use but you have to be willing to learn the new features and gestures of this new operating system, and it appears that a lot of people are not willing to do this. I love my Windows 8 Pro and have converted it to look and operate just the way my Windows 7 did. You can't be lazy people or you will miss out on this great version of Windows."
What's your take on Windows 8? Love it? Hate it? Sound off in the comment box below.
Posted: 2014-01-03 @ 10:29pm PT
I hate windows 8, 8.1 - it sucks!!!!!!
have purchased a copy of windows 7 and I am attempting to re-install, have great hope that all will become normal again. But how does one ever get over an experience like windows 8, 8.1? I feel violated by Microsoft, and feel that in future we the people should have a choice of O/S when we purchase a new computer.
Posted: 2013-08-03 @ 6:15pm PT
Windows 8 is horrible! Every Time i see the number 8 it enrages me. Yeah the OS isn't 'too bad' if you just want to check facebook or like full screen apps for whatever reason but i am a multitasker and i like functionality. Windows 8 is a disaster. Only 5% of PC's out there are running Windows 8. What does that tell you? Anyone who thinks Windows 8 is an improvement must have some kind of brain disorder or something. With every new release they do they get worse and worse. Windows 7 was good and i thought it was better than XP but some users even hated 7 so it can only mean that MS continues to screw up. I'm moving to Linux, Microstupid can go do whatever they want they have failed me.
Posted: 2013-05-31 @ 5:27pm PT
Windows 8 stinks...stay far away from it. I hate my HP Envy dv7 so much I am going to donate it and buy a new computer...err...I mean an Apple.
Posted: 2013-03-26 @ 1:46pm PT
Have a Dell XPS 12 with flip screen - HATE Windows 8. Most of my work is done in a Windows 7 Desktop environment and Windows 8 makes this method maddeningly painful. I use Start8, which is a big help, but am discovering other 'features' that are counter-productive. Can't Drag & Drop to 'Copy' a file - have to use Menus(!) to do it. Who thinks this is an improvement?!
Posted: 2013-03-25 @ 2:52pm PT
I tried to be open minded to changes and give it a chance, but windows 8 made my workflow practically impossible or so time consuming that its just not worth it. This seems to me has only been designed with internet surfers and app buyers in mind and totally ignored people who actually use their computers/laptops for real work... cant described how disappointing it is, so very frustrating, annoying, incredible how the simplest task has been made overly complicated, now I HAVE TO WATCH A VIDEO ON HOW TO TURN OFF MY COMPUTER, this is a joke!!!!! I don't have time to waste it on watching videos on how to perform simplest tasks that took seconds to do... disgusted totally... downgrading asap
Mr Lidbury (uk):
Posted: 2013-03-24 @ 5:38am PT
I went from XP to Windows 8 and I loath it, despise it, hate it. Apart from surf the net as a consumer it is almost impossible to do ANYTHING that I used to do creatively...and as for that vile tile screen abortion, I hate it, hate it, hate it.
What were Microsoft thinking?
I've had it almost a month & am using the computer less & less out of utter frustration.
Microsoft this was a booboo, fail on an epic scale!
Posted: 2013-03-23 @ 2:11pm PT
I'm returning my windows 8 based laptop and converting to Apple. Will never purchase windows platform again. Thanks for making my work life a complete pain. What is this AOL in the 90's?
Posted: 2013-03-13 @ 12:48am PT
So windows 8 is more like a touchscreen...well if I had wanted an Ipad I would have bought one!! Absolutely hate it, agree with the comments about having to relearn everything, things are so bad I have gone back to my old laptop! sick of the pages moving somewhere else every time I touch the pad.. infuriating! Listen to the old saying "if it ain't broke why fix it"
Posted: 2013-03-07 @ 2:55pm PT
I hate it. My father just bought a new laptop with it pre-installed (I am still on XP - I LOVE XP! I could update to Vista, have disk, but delay as long as possible)I digress- he and my mother cannot make heads or tails out of it. I went through LOGMEIN and was able to see their desktop, get them so they can access their email. It took 2 hours to figure out (I had a big navigation learning curve first.) No kidding. This signing up for a Microsoft account before you can even USE email is ridiculous. We didn't need ANOTHER account to remember.
Yup. I loathe thee too (thanks Linda!)and am going to stay as far away from it as possible. Even Vista looks better now.
PS: WHERE is the navigation on Explorer? WHERE is the navigation for email? I hate it!
Posted: 2013-03-03 @ 7:23pm PT
Oh, Windows 8
How do I loathe thee?
Let me count the ways
I loathe thee to the depth & breadth & height my soul can reach
I loathe thee so much that I gladly paid $112 just to go back to Window 7
THAT is how much I loathe thee
And I shall but loathe thee better after death (YOUR death).
Posted: 2013-03-03 @ 9:11am PT
With Windows 8 Microsoft became a major player in the "Dumbing down America" movement.
Posted: 2013-03-02 @ 5:14pm PT
I HATE it! It has wasted so much time! It's more work. I can't find anything. I HATE IT! I just downloaded some stuff that's stuck somewhere I can't get out. I'm a bit angry and frustrated after 3 months of this bs.
Posted: 2013-03-02 @ 4:24pm PT
I hate Windows 8. It only works well with a touch screen, like a tablet. As a desktop OS it is a complete waste of time. As noted above, it is great for people who know nothing, but power users will be pulling their hair out in no time flat.
Posted: 2013-02-28 @ 8:25pm PT
QUESTION FOR THE GROUP:
Since Microsoft will just keep doing this (this is Vista all over again), I want to find another OS. Not sure I want to use Mac. Are there any other options? What is Linux? Thanks!
Posted: 2013-02-27 @ 5:23am PT
HATE IT!! I bought a new computer and it was on it, UNFORTUNATELY. It makes everything difficult, more steps, cuts out mid google search or in the middle of reviewing emails. Just to turn it off it takes three clicks...RIDICULOUS!! I got stuck with awful VISTA before and now stuck with this....which is WORSE!
Posted: 2013-02-25 @ 6:05pm PT
Add start 8 $4.99 or start menu 8 then the metro ui becomes secondary like it is an app to be used when needed
Why did they do that:
Posted: 2013-02-24 @ 8:31pm PT
I just built myself a new PC. And since windows 7 was such an improvement, I didn't hesitate to get windows 8. Now I am wondering if Microsoft offers a downgrade option. For a tablet it would probably be a great OS, but for a traditional PC it removes too many functions in the attempt to be more user friendly.
Posted: 2013-02-23 @ 1:05am PT
I have been using it as my main OS since Developers Preview. I liked it immediately. Sure there have been things that made me scratch my head, but honestly I dont think I googled how to do anything. Haters be darned. One of the biggest memes that really gets my goat is "it is optimized for touch so mouse and keyboard suck." I use mouse and keyboard only and I can tell you emphatically I can get anywhere in the OS or do anything faster than any other version of Windows. I really don't care if you dont like it at all, but don't push your opinions off as fact. I think you haters have made a dent in user uptake. Happy? But guess what? Users will eventually figure out that it is all FUD. And MS will have the last laugh and I will be there laughing with them.
Posted: 2013-02-22 @ 8:33am PT
System 8 is a disaster. I HATE IT! It's cumbersome to use and has a lot of glitches. When I bought a brand new laptop with system 8 it would not let me load MS office publisher 2010! A couple of months later, I tried again and it worked but it is not a user friendly operating system and I guarantee it wil be an all time black eye on Microsoft as the worst (yes including Vista) operating system ever
DON'T BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted: 2013-02-21 @ 4:26pm PT
HATE WINDOWS 8! And no, you don't get used to it after a week. They have so many programs buried it's ridiculous and the number of extra steps to complete formerly simple tasks is a colossal waste of time. I've been a PC user for 30 years and this is the worst Windows EVER!
Posted: 2013-02-20 @ 1:00pm PT
I switched from Windows XP to Windows 8. I have a total of 40 years working with many operating systems. Clearly, in my opinion, Windows 8 has the steepest learning curve I have ever experienced.
Many of my previous (and expensive) software will not work with Windows 8.
Posted: 2013-02-20 @ 11:40am PT
Windows 8 is the last thing I want to see from Microsoft. Their apparent obsession with competing with Google for the Facebook crowd has caused them to ignore their core user community--professionals. Their Office package still has glaring weaknesses (formatting in Word and PowerPoint, for example). an inordinate amount of time is required to trick the software into the format you want. Every new operating system simply rearranges basic file management systems, rather than improving them.
Posted: 2013-02-20 @ 6:20am PT
After reading the whole article, I think those who say no don't know win8 at all. Most of their problems could be solved if they google or bring home "Win8 for dummy". The one who has problem with symbols, I would say "Get a new touch-based Win8 PC" instead.
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 2:13pm PT
For every windows that Microsoft offered since it inception there has always been complainers and haters of the new upgrade.
However, over time we learn to love it.
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 1:43pm PT
I love it, I had a Macintosh before (3 Macintoshes), and an XP before that, but I absolutely love Windows 8, it is easy to use, simpler, the applications are efficient, Internet Exlorer 10 is better than FireFox, WaterFox, Safari and Google Chrome combined, the Start Menu is easy to use (I don't even miss the start-button), the charms bar works like a charm ;) and everything about is is awesome. BEST O.S. EVER, kudos to Microsoft for creating this awesome piece of software, worth every euro-cent I spend on it, and more.
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 1:40pm PT
My kids are very excited for this version of Windows - for the entertainment factor.
But this version of Windows is not the environment for business use; which my purchase of a new laptop this week is for. I did not buy it for social networking. If only I would have understood that when purchasing :(
Not user friendly at all, I have a degree in computers and find this version of Windows cumbersome to navigate!! I miss the START button (and solitaire, that was my brain break!) I wish I could go back...
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 1:37pm PT
This is the first operating system that actually made me want to throw the computer out the door .... never been so frustrated while trying to do simple tasks! Ordered Windows 7 and they shipped this - how's that for customer service!!
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 1:35pm PT
For the average home user, I suppose Windows 8 will work fine. It's designed to be a 'quick-touch and go' operating system, meaning your email and playful apps are readily available. Unfortunately, Microsoft has left anyone using Windows for work out in the cold. I'm a network engineer and familiar with many different kinds of operating systems. Our desk computers are Windows 7. They are functional, clean, and relatively quick to use. After testing Windows 8 for a corporate environment, I can safely say that we will not be upgrading to it. Simply put, it is not for the multi-tasker. You will find it difficult to have a ticketing system open while reading your email and monitoring another application for things going on in your network. I don't understand why Microsoft would alienate corporations in this way... but it's just another reason to switch over to Ubuntu for a corporate environment.
Posted: 2013-02-19 @ 1:33pm PT
As an IT manager, I can assure all of you that we will not be upgrading our 4000+ users to win8 anytime in the near future. It is simply not an OS that companies can use. It may be good for children under 5, but for doing any kind of productive work it is useless.