Because of its problems, Windows 8 isn't fun to use, at least for me. Whatever sense of joy I get from the cool new graphics is outweighed by a feeling that my productivity is being reduced. Think of the best new app or website you've ever discovered; the feeling you got the first time you understood the power of Twitter or you created a presentation and it came out looking great. That feeling of empowerment and excitement is critical to getting people started with a new technology. But Windows 8 makes makes me feel limited and cramped. It isn't a launch pad, it's a cage.
When I read this I thought of all the "Flash websites" that sprung up circa 1998-2000. The text was very small, not scalable, and not indexed by search engines. The layout was fixed and always shoved to the upper-left corner of the browser window. Sometimes sound would be unexpectedly loud, mouseovers over every element would generate sound, and the sounds would stack and combine into a crackling, distorted, speaker blowing mess. Still, despite all this, Flash websites were "the future" and HTML was all but dead. The more sane at the time proclaimed Flash as a companion or replacement for Java, to be used for games, novelties, and, later on, ads.
I think Microsoft is scared that it might be permanently closed out of the new markets, so it wants to force people onto Metro before that happens. I believe that's really why it eliminated the Start menu. If Start is still there, Windows users could live for years without learning much about Metro. But with Start gone, Windows users will have to use bits of Metro now, and Microsoft believes they'll naturally embrace it once they've been forced to use it.
"Fundamentally, we believe in people and their ability to adapt and move forward. Throughout the history of computing, people have again and again adapted to new paradigms and interaction methods."
I always get scared when a designer talks about the inevitability of people accepting a change. It's like you're counting on some mystical law of nature to cause a migration, rather than enticing people to move by giving them something that works better than what they have today. That's how the DOS to Windows transition worked -- people could (and did) continue to live in DOS for years until they learned how much more they could get done with Windows. But Microsoft has decided to force the issue. Then it rationalizes the decision with bromides like "we believe in people" and "the DOS users complained a lot too and look how that turned out."
I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the number of people who understand this motivation of Microsoft but fail to realize that by pulling the rug from their customers' feet Microsoft is risking exodus to competing products. Change is not inevitable when your product is a less developed version of what the competition offers. I think Microsoft of the 90s was scared that despite all their work that Windows 95 still might not be convincing over Macintosh and/or the previous interfaces (DOS and/or Windows 3), which while loathed by many was still profitable. This Microsoft is pretending competition doesn't exist, even though it is far more established in the target market.
The story about people willingly using DOS for years is disingenuous. Almost everybody converted instantly because Windows 95 was such an upgrade. They had to because the Internet didn't really work with DOS, and even if the Internet wasn't of interest, Windows 95's ad-hoc networking was still superior to the unaffordable Netware on DOS. The problem was that it took years for new industry-specific software to be written so people were forced to stick with DOS for a keystone program, which ran in a real-mode window within Windows 95-98. People hated this at worst and tolerated it at best. Though Progman.exe and Fileman.exe were still around, no one used them and accepted Explorer as an upgrade over Windows 3.
Edited by HalloweenDocument12, 18 March 2013 - 11:30 AM.