Windows 8 is here – But where is the Start Button

Microsoft beats Apple computers in sales every time at a ratio of around 20:1, and this is thanks largely to the use of Windows in businesses, far more than Macs, as well as being prolific in the home. This is an accepted fact and in the history of both computers Mac has never outsold, or been more popular than Windows.

windows 8 start screen button

Despite this, Microsoft have been reporting falling figures, this year, in the final quarter, Microsoft lost money for the first time ever, although around the same time they also gained a market share over a three-month period on their Window’s phone, and while the ratio of Windows to Mac, once as high at around 44:1, has settled down it seems a slightly impossible that Windows could fall out of the top place to Macs – or any other OS for that matter.

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Has their first ever monetary loss plus the ever-increasing popularity of Macs driven them to take a step they might regret? Or are they just trying to keep up with the changing face of technology ?

Whatever their reasons Microsoft has taken a huge, some might say too huge, step towards changing the face of their computers for good.

The enormity of this change is portrayed in the video below as members of the public (and the host’s dad) try to use the new, ‘modern UI’. Something as simple as bringing up the start menu has been turned into a conundrum for the bewildered user to figure out.

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As with any change the human psyche is wired to dislike it. We are unfailing in our dislike of anything that threatens our tidy and easily understood world and this is a fact that cannot have escaped the developers at Microsoft. However, they decided to go ahead with their new design, knowing, of course, that just as much as their customers will moan, they will also come to accept the inevitable. This is exactly the same as when the local supermarket changes it’s layout. People moan, groan, complain, curse and threaten never to shop there again, but almost always they come back, just as the managers know they will.

Windows 8 User Opinion : YouTube Video

But what if Microsoft have gotten it wrong? What is this massive, unexpected and unprompted change is enough to drive people not only away but into the arms of the waiting Mac? In the video the host’s father asks that exact question, but of course we won’t know the answer until Friday when the first computers bearing Window’s 8 will go on sale. Until then the true reaction of the public will be unknown.

Young people are expected to take to this radical change much better than the older generations and it is this fact that lurks menacingly overhead. Microsoft are a huge corporation, they make computers for millions of businesses so why, why, why didn’t they make this funky, updated version optional as the ‘home edition’? Why have they turned their everyone-knows-how-to-use-it interface into something that people actually can’t work out? Obviously the choice of upgrading to Windows 8 on an existing computer is optional but eventually all new computers will be running it and for some people and businesses it will become unavoidable.

The new Windows 8 will offer tutorials when the computer is set up, but for those who are accustomed to the old style is that going to be enough? Have Microsoft made a huge mistake? Are people over-reacting? Or is this too much of a huge change too quickly? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.