It would be sometime later that a friend of mine showed me an internal copy of Microsoft Windows 1.0 and 2.0, so I can indeed say I've seen them from the ground up on Windows.
Since then I've alpha and beta tested a wide range of Microsoft products, but I have always been lucky enough to either be accepted into their Windows release for testing or been given a private sneak peek sometimes into things that never made it public. And thankfully, some of those never did. Although there was one or two, I really wish that had.
Microsoft Windows has always been a successful operating system for both consumers and business for many years. Ever since that original boom they made with the release of Microsoft Windows 95 and Microsoft Windows NT, 17 years ago, it has been one hell of a ride for Microsoft.
With the exception of Microsoft Windows ME and Microsoft Windows Vista, as I assume many of you will recall Windows ME making the "blue screen of death" the punch line of many jokes and Windows Vista being a completely systems nightmare of software & hardware conflicts. Both of which in the tech world and even down to the simple consumer, all mostly and universally agree were complete failures; Microsoft Windows has been a solid consistent OS (operating system) overall.
So why on earth has Microsoft decided to develop Microsoft Windows 8 in such away that it will completely isolate its self as the least user-friendly version of Windows, is a little beyond me.
For starters, the classic and iconic Windows Start Button is a thing of the past. Upon reaching the desktop, where the start button use to be, you'll find an Internet Explorer icon in the task bar.
And if you're not a fan of Internet Explorer, you'll soon grow tired of it taking over everything. Even when you select another web browser as your system default, you'll notice that Microsoft Internet Explorer will load as the default should any program call for you to see a webpage. It almost seems as though Microsoft has forgotten about their legal dispute in regards to forcing Internet Explorer down on people.
Next to IE (Internet Explorer), you'll notice the classic folder icon which became standard in Windows Vista and Windows 7. But again, no start menu. All the way to the right of the task bar, you'll notice your clock time and notifications. And that's all folks.
Of course Microsoft has replaced the start menu with a "start screen" that can not be accessed directly within view of the desktop, but rather if you move your mouse all the way to the most lowest, left side, a small hidden window (link) will pop-up to bring you to this "start screen". Or you can of course click on "start button" on your keyboard to access it, if you have such a key on your keyboard.
But this is not the point.
Millions of people will not know this because they're use to using their mouse and they're not accustom to having to search for hidden pop-up links or having to find a special key on their keyboard.
For the more tech aware users, this will not be such a problem and we almost forget that many home users don't know all of the shortcuts within Windows. But then again, Microsoft has removed many of those shortcuts that even we use.
The "start screen" is only a basic outline of the many applications in which you can interact with. For a more "menu feel", you'll need to right-click on their new "start screen". And then you'll need to learn how to scroll from right to left, as there is no more scrolling up or down.
The basic menus bars that allowed you to shrink, maximize, or close a program are also gone. So if you're a power user and like to have more than 1 window in view, you're most likely going to be disappointed with Windows 8.
And even from a simple home user, not being able to locate an easy way to exit your programs is going to be discouraging. Not to forget resource heavy should you end up having so many program running in the background.
Microsoft was mildly thoughtful to allow people to hover their mouse in the top right corner, where you'll be able to switch programs that are already open, from a thumb nail size view. This of course is also hidden and not something the average person would know about.
But again, it seems in many applications you don't have the option to have them titled or side-by-side as before. So no more multitasking for anyone it would seem.
There are so many ways in which Microsoft Windows 8 becomes so confusing and so many things seem missing and hidden, that while it may not yet be released, it has become a YouTube hit (perhaps a joke) on how difficult it is for the average home users ( see videos below) from middle age to even the younger generation; ages 12, 45, and 65 and all of them lost and confused.
12 year old
45 years old
65 years old
So why has Microsoft done this?
Because Microsoft Windows 8 is allegedly designed to help target and convert people over away from desktop computers and more toward table computers. Microsoft is playing a very large gamble and believes in the long run that this will pay off.
Speaking personally as someone who sometimes does use a tablet and who has family who also uses tables from time to time. None of us could ever imagine wanting to do all our computing on one. Tables have their uses and maybe advancing, but they're not yet at a stage where they could easily replace your desktop computer. And even if there were so, you'd not want such a transition to seem so not user-friendly.
And just like Microsoft Windows Vista, a lot of people will discover yet again how much hardware & software conflicts there will be. A lot of people will be forced to purchase new hardware, assuming they don't mind buying into yet another failure of Microsoft, as they did with Windows Vista.
If anything I believe Microsoft Windows 8 will help push the growing sales of Apple Computer; which many developers, including computer gaming, now are seriously looking toward. But also many business applications, office suites, and alternative are all fully compatible to the already Microsoft Office standards. Making such a transition less of an issue for those willing to venture away from Microsoft Windows 8.
I can think of 1 well-known and popular game developing company which will be releasing a very big and well-known gaming title on Apple Computer, made for Mac OS. And they've not ruled out a possible Linux version later down the road either.
Apple Computer already has a strong name brand that many people love and respect, but more importantly are very familiar with. No matter if it is an iPod, iPhone, or iPad, chances are you've used some kind of Apple interface. And all of the icons and some of the basic layout are exactly the same.
Best of all, Microsoft Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Microsoft Windows 7 can all dual-boot without any technical knowledge or computer skills required (Apple Boot Camp is included). So for those who may still feel the need to switch in between the two while still learning, they can do so without any effort on their part.
But best of all, Apple now has affordable Apple Computers priced equal and sometimes less than a DELL or HP computer ($599). And their Mac OS is only $30 as compared to purchasing Microsoft Windows 8 full edition or upgrade.
Of course for people not looking to go down that road, there are some completely free alternatives such as Ubuntu Linux. Which while maybe lacking in gaming currently, offers everything else the average home user would use anyways, the same as Apple or Windows.
Although Linux is still a bit of a learning curve for the average home users, where as with Apple it basically is much more self-explanatory.
But I for one have a firm belief in that I'll not be looking to upgrade to Microsoft Windows 8 anytime soon. I've already purchased myself an Apple Computer and use Windows 7 along side it without any problems. Truth be told, I find myself using Mac OS more often. I also am learning Ubuntu Linux, just for the sake of trying it out.
But the most telling thing I can say, is while I love my mother, she is hopeless when it comes to technology. And I spent years trying to get her to understand Windows. She's one of those people you could explain it again and again, but it just never settles in when it comes to computers. Yet she has no problem using my Apple. Go figure.