Microsoft is getting knocks from users and critics for its new operating system, Windows 8. Microsoft is working hard to deliver a premium experience for its users, but I am not sure this sort of bold departure from its previous operating systems is such a smart move.
Users have built up years (decades even) of expectation for how the Windows operating system is going to work. With Windows 8, Microsoft has thrown all that user experience out the window (no pun intended). Of primary consternation for regular users is the loss of the Start button, and there are already options available for users who want it back. Casting aside user expectation is a known mistake, so Windows must have believed that the benefits of their new tablet-friendly, tiled interface would outweigh the drawbacks. They may, and the tiles do have advantages to the traditional menu of Windows 7 and prior.
In the meantime, usability gurus like Jakob Nielsen are tsk-tsking Microsoft for the usability problems brought about in this latest iteration of the great Windows franchise.
I have an opinion about why Microsoft created this tablet-friendly operating system at the expense of desktop users who may not have a touch screen. Like everyone else, Microsoft feels that the future is in mobile devices. They may be hedging bets that a hiccup in user dissatisfaction today is worth better positioning in tomorrow’s mobile/tablet market.