Windows 8: Youll Absolutely Hate It At First

Windows 8 is, without doubt, Microsoft’s most ambitious release in recent memory. It does away with a lot of what users have come to expect from Windows over the years. The iconic Start button is gone, for example. Instead, we now get an operating system that has a bit of a split personality, with Metro replacing the Start menu and offering full-screen apps and a legacy desktop with its usual taskbar, which basically looks like Windows 7.5. All of this has made pundits wary about how users will react once they get their first Windows 8 machines. People don’t like change and, as Reuters pointed out last week, chances are that Microsoft’s users will struggle the redesign. Indeed, chances are you will absolutely hate Windows 8 at first.
I don’t think it’s all bad, though. TechCrunch is almost exclusively a Mac shop, but I’ve  used Windows 8 as my main desktop OS since the consumer preview became available in February. We wrote about that version when it launched, finding it cool and obviously polarizing.
No doubt, the first week was rough – and not because the OS was buggy (it actually worked far better than anybody could reasonably expect from a preview release). The constant switching between Metro and legacy desktop drove me utterly nuts. The absence of the start button and the new paradigm of using hot corners to bring up the Start menu (or using the Windows key) just didn’t feel right. Microsoft also seemed to have developed the OS with no regard for how people would use it with multiple screens. Swapping out years of muscle memory just to adapt to Microsoft’s whims just didn’t make much sense for me.
But there are plenty of reasons to like Windows 8 as well. It starts up fast (even on a machine with a traditional hard drive). It feels very responsive. Every legacy program and game I threw at it ran without issues (with the rare exception of TechSmith’s Jing screenshot tool). Microsoft improved many little details and even though I’m not the world’s biggest fan of the ribbon interface (and MG rightly made fun of Microsoft’s blog post about its use in Windows Explorer), it’s easy enough to hide and to get used to. For those who really need a Start menu, there are also already numerous hacks that bring it back to Windows 8.