I had a try of Windows 8 for the first time yesterday. It’s a disgrace that anyone (Steven Sinofsky) thought it was fit to release.
I borrowed my sister’s laptop to look at something on the internet. OK, start it up: the first thing you see is that array of squares. “Internet Explorer”. Fine: touch the screen there.
Oops. Yes, I knew it wasn’t a touchscreen PC, but I was duped by the use of a touchscreen user interface on it. Mouse, use the mouse. Click.
Ah, some sort of web browser. Good. It’s (slowly) loading a Microsoft home page though. I’ll stop it. Can’t find a stop button. Anyway, I’ll type in the address I want and hit return.
“This action requires ‘Internet Explorer On The Desktop’. Yes/Cancel”. So it’s not even a fucking real Internet Explorer. Yes, give me the real one please.
When I’d finished, I closed IE in the old, familiar Windows way, and — hey presto! — there was the Windows desktop, as in days of old. Except there was no “Start” button. I had to ask how to shut the PC down.
Perfectly obvious (?). You slide the mouse pointer to the far right, and select the cogwheel icon from the bar that slides out. That icon universally means “Settings”, except in this case that’s where you select the power-off function. Stupid.
A final point, emphasised by the fact that there seems to be two different pieces of software called “Internet Explorer” on the PC. People discuss getting a Microsoft-based tablet, or even a phone, for reasons of “compatibility”. Actually, nothing is compatible. Those are three different systems called “Windows”, for one thing, and the software on them — the browser, the office suite, the media player, and so on — is all different, in spite of being similarly, or identically, named.
You’d be better off with an Apple or Android tablet. At least that would be compatible.