Our Ongoing Struggle with Windows 8

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| 2013 Nov 08 |
Our Ongoing Struggle with Windows 8

Is it just me, or does Windows 8 suck? Actually, this should be less of a question and more of a statement. Ever since I got my new computer (it came with Windows 8 — I had no choice), my life has been complete chaos. If I wanted to learn a completely different operating system, I would have gotten an Apple!

Before Windows 8, I knew where everything was, and more importantly, how to access it. Now things are scattered, and for someone who likes things neat and organized, this is a daily inducer of stress.

Let’s just say, my struggles came in stages. I’ll try to be more specific:

Stage 1: Getting used to the new Start, or rather, lack thereof… So where did the button go? Why would one remove such a helpful and all-encompassing button??! What’s the point of the new Start page? Aren’t all the useful programs on the desktop anyway? Why complicate things by creating “tiles” or “charms” or whatever you want to call them? To me, functionality and ease of use trump aesthetics — always and forever.

Stage 2: Getting my essential apps back… I’m talking about those essentials like Skype, GoogleTalk, etc. I’m gonna use the Skype app for Windows 8 as an example. I can’t count how many times I was logged in but didn’t receive any messages… why? Because I was on the desktop. Wait. I’m lying. Sometimes I’d get them… one day later. Argh.

Another issue: it wouldn’t allow me to view my past chat history with a person without starting up a new conversation with that person. Like, what am I supposed to say, “Hi John, I don’t have much to say to you, I just need to see the notes you sent me last week.” You’ve got to be kidding me!

Stage 3: Let’s now discuss Internet connectivity issues. Ever since I started using Windows 8, my computer takes extra long to connect to the Internet. Even worse, when I select a network and check the “Connect Automatically” box, shouldn’t that mean connect automatically!? Unfortunately not with Windows 8. I have to select my network and manually connect to it each and every time my computer starts up. Even then, it takes a billion years to get the connection.

Unfortunately, there’s not much I can do about any of this. So here is the strategy I have adopted:

1. Use the desktop and completely ignore the “Start” page. Sure the colours are appealing, but it serves absolutely no purpose.
2. Install the “for desktop” version of everything. Believe me, this will save you endless trouble and time.
3. Don’t get your hopes up when browsing the apps. They’re pretty basic — all show but no substance.
4. Finally, keep your cool. I swear the computer has sensors that pick up on rising heart rate so it’s extra slow just to taunt you.

In case you may think that I’m being a hater (or just technologically challenged), consider this: I’m not the only one! My colleagues here at Mold Busters have also had quite the hair-raising experience with getting the wonderful and talented people at Windows 8 to approve our app. It has been literally 6 months since we submitted our application, and it’s still not published. There has been a lot of back and forth, a lot of blah blah blah, and still nothing has happened. Our app still hasn’t been published, and we are still struggling to understand why. I should add here that we had no problems publishing the same app on BlackBerry, Apple iOS, and Android Google Play

Luckily, there is one good thing I’ve discovered about Windows 8. It’s called Fresh Paint and it is, by far, the best app I have ever come across on this system. It goes above and beyond Microsoft Paint, and I appreciate the wide selection of canvases, textures, finishes, paintbrushes and colours that are made available to both established and amateur artists like myself.

So, there you have it — my long, slightly pissed-off personal rant about Windows 8. I’d love to hear about your experiences, both good and bad, so feel free to share!