January 02, 2013
The great Windows 8 debate
Love it or hate it, Win8 is here to stay, with or without the Start menu. Will users adopt it -- or grit their teeth and wait for Windows 9?
By Robert X. Cringely
The other day I got a phone call from a friend I'll call Dave (since that's his name). He was sitting in front of his computer pulling out what little hair he has left. The reason: Dave had ignored my sage advice and purchased a new desktop over the holidays running Windows 8. Now he was desperately searching for the Start button
"It's right next to the Any key," I told him. Dave, who has been using personal computers for more than 10 years but is determined to remain a novice, did not appreciate my sense of humor. (In this he is not entirely alone.)
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I am normally Dave's go-to guy when he gets stuck with a computer problem, but I was totally useless in this situation. Other than playing with a Surface tablet over the holidays, which I thought was pretty slick, I don't have a lot of experience with Windows 8. That's deliberate.
I have a few standing policies when it comes to Microsoft products. One -- a pretty common ploy -- is to avoid using any Version 1.0 product coming out of Redmond. Another is to avoid every other operating system upgrade (again, not uncommon). I didn't do that with Vista, and I regretted it. Windows 7 has been a much better-behaved houseguest, and I see no good reason to evict it for the not-yet-housebroken Windows 8, especially if that involves a system upgrade.