Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Windows 8, The Frankenstein

A little background about me, I have been using MacOS as my primary OS for the last 5 years, had been using windows since 3.1 as the primary OS prior to that and have been using Linux for the last 10 years time to time. After sticking to mac for so long, now I am exposed to Windows 8 through an ultrabook with touch screen. While using Windows 8, I came across the news that Steve Ballmer is going to retire from his job as the CEO of Microsoft.

Frankenstein is popular novel where Victor Frankenstein creates a creature using body parts from corpses as a scientific experiment. However, Frankenstein, the creature turns out to be evil.

Windows 8 gave me similar feelings with the touch experience. I have used a touch enabled laptop before, thanks to chromebook pixel. The experience was not smooth either but pixel can easily be used via touching. However it was a more frankensteinish experience with Windows 8. First of all the OS and the hardware are not really beware of each other, as you touch the screen the OS starts thing itself as a tablet and fires the touch keyboard on every input enabled field which may become weird. As an example if you swipe the screen to unlock and get ready to type your password you might be disturbed by the touch keyboard which would disappear as you type on the physical one. The experience is not blocking but not smooth either. Since the OS is aware there is physical keyboard attached, it should be pretty easy to not show up the touch keyboard on ultrabooks.

As you get used to touching and trying to use apps, you realize the apps and OS is strickly tight to its roots and not really designed to be used via touch. Its something like Frankenstein who took the old os, with a touch screen from ipad and trying to mimic the mouse with the finger. The experience does not get better if you avoid touching, just like your palm touching the touchpad as you type, you may accidently touch the screen as you are reading, typing or carrying your laptop and unlike smart software disabling your touchpads as you type you do not have any support from OS for touch screen.

I believe resisting to change and holding to your comfort zone is a sign of getting old and windows 8 is not only holding to its own roots its also holding to apple's roots instead of creating something new. I am really looking for Ballmer's departure and someone new to get on board.