Windows 8: Bold, Risky, Revolutionary

Microsoft goes all in with unified tablet and PC OS
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 29, 2012 12:53 PM CST

(Newser) – Microsoft unleashed Windows 8 on the world today, in the form of a "Consumer Preview" (read: Open Beta), and it's definitely not business as usual. The OS is designed to work on both tablets and PCs, and that means that, while it still has a familiar Windows "Desktop" mode tucked inside, its default is a bold new "Metro" system that (gasp) does away with "windows" entirely. Apps, which must be purchased from the Windows Store, all run essentially full screen. Here's what people are saying:

  • Farhad Manjoo of Slate calls it "fantastic, jarring, and risky at the same time." Microsoft clearly thinks Metro is the future—"You get the sense that the company is keeping the Desktop interface around the same way it included the command prompt in Windows 95"—but he found it awkward on his desktop. "I felt like I was wasting a lot of my display."
  • "It's by far the most integrated and most capable operating system Microsoft has ever put out," gushes Seth Rosenblatt of CNET. "There's a speed and responsiveness to Windows 8 that no other version of Windows has ever had." His assessment: "It would be beyond shocking if Windows 8 landed like Vista did."
  • But Peter Pachal for Mashable "the same problem bubbles up time and again in Windows 8: unintuitiveness. Metro is a beautiful and powerful interface, but it's hard to get used to," and lots of little things don't work the way you'd expect.
  • "I think it's going to get rough welcome," predicts Jason Cross of PC World. "People often don't like change at first." But he likes it. "I'm impressed by its speed and elegance. Let me say that again: I'm impressed by the speed and elegance of a Micrsoft interface. Really!"
(Read more Windows 8 stories.)

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