Linked by Thom Holwerda on Mon 10th Feb 2014 00:03 UTC

The reason this happened is that while Sinofsky had the maniacal power and force of will of a Steve Jobs, he lacked Jobs' best gift: An innate understanding of good design. Windows 8 is not well-designed. It's a mess. But Windows 8 is a bigger problem than that. Windows 8 is a disaster in every sense of the word.

This is not open to debate, is not part of some cute imaginary world where everyone's opinion is equally valid or whatever. Windows 8 is a disaster. Period.

Paul Thurrott shares some of his inside information, and it's pretty damning. According to him, Sinofsky's team - even up to his major supporter, Steve Ballmer - were removed from the company after it became clear just much of a disaster Windows 8 was.

I agree with his conclusion: razor-sharp focus on productivity, Windows' number one use. The desktop side of Windows 8.x is pretty good as it is, and has been progressively getting better with every update. I would go one step further than Thurrott. Windows 9 (desktops/laptops) and Windows Metro (tablets/smartphones). These two can still be one product (e.g., connect a keyboard/mouse/monitor to your x86 smartphone and it opens the desktop), but they should be entirely separate environments.

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I don't like Windows 8.1, but only because of the user interface.

I don't necessarily hate Metro, but they should have integrated it differently in the "desktop" version of Windows. The traditional desktop should have been the main interface, while leaving the Metro interface easily accessible. Instead of forcing it on people and making them feel completely disoriented. At least that is how I felt when I tested Windows 8. An OS (with desktop environment or shell) is typically something that should just work and let people do the things they wanna do... it should never ever get in the way. The goal is not to use an OS, the goal is to use programs for work or entertainment. By making it so different to use than the previous version of Windows, it does get in the way and a lot of people do not have the time, the energy, the will or the urge to re-learn how to use their OS efficiently.

I am personally not very fond of the new look of Windows 8.1. I think it's really way too plain. Still, I had a similar feeling with the default look of VS2012 and VS2013, compared to VS2010, and in the end, after a while, I ended up getting to like it.

But... I am really impressed with what Microsoft has done with Windows Server. Windows Server 2012R2 can be administrated completely through the command-line with PowerShell. I've been studying PowerShell a bit lately and I'm really impressed with it. I'm a developer, not an administrator, but I've always had an interest in system administration (mainly linux though).

So, even though I think that Windows 8 is a fail when it comes to the GUI, it might not be bad "under the hood". PowerShell on the clients can also be used for client administration and I think that from a sysadmin point of view, there can also be advantages with Windows 8. And for sure I'd rather work with the newer Server versions of Windows instead of with the older ones.

Edit: Oh.. one remark on Windows Server though... why oh why does the core install start an old-fashioned "dos prompt" instead of a nice modern PowerShell prompt upon login? Most likely, the admin will launch a PowerShell session anyway....

Edited 2014-02-10 21:14 UTC

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