Microsoft’s Windows 8 is shaping up to be the most controversial product in tech this year.It’s a radical overhaul of the world’s most popular operating system. Instead of the traditional desktop software we’re accustomed to from Redmond, it will emphasise tiles similar to what it uses for its Windows phones.
It’s a big bet on a new interface, and if Microsoft loses this bet, it’s going to have giant ramifications for Microsoft and the future of computing.
As a result, we’re keeping a close eye on all reviews that come out of Windows 8. Yesterday we wrote that all the early reviews are negative. We’ve gone over more reviews and it’s fair to say that’s a bit of an overstatement.
While they’re not exactly glowing, they aren’t overwhelming negative. The bottom line take away is that most reviewers still have a wait and see approach to what Microsoft is going to release. They want to see how it will interact with Windows 8-specific hardware.
Well, except for David Pierce from The Verge. He’s ready to run through a wall to get a Windows 8 machine.
Here’s a look at some more reviews:
With each updated release of Windows 8, I feel more comfortable about its potential for acceptance among the general populace—despite the protestations of some tech pundits. True, hardcore power users lament the new OS’s inability to boot directly to the desktop, bypassing those “toy-like,” newfangled Windows 8 “apps” and Start screen. But there are plenty of benefits for those veteran PC users, too—a much faster boot, better security, and new file management tools.
Windows 8 is about the future, not the past. It introduces innovative touch input that even exceeds the iPad in some functions, such as the ability to view a second app in a sidebar and an easier way to see all running apps. The future is pointing strongly towards tablets, while desktops will remain essential tools. Microsoft is betting on its colossal base of Windows PC users to bolster its chances in this tablet-dominated future, while hoping that the drastic changes don’t alienate them. After the next holiday season passes, we’ll have an idea of whether this gamble has paid off.
Seth Rosenblatt at CNET, is also on a wait and see basis, but thinks it’s pretty good overall:
It’s the first serious attempt to unify computing across disparate devices and accounts in a way that looks and feels cohesive. It’s stunningly fast, it presents apps in a new way that avoids the repetitiveness of Android and iOS, and it feels connected to your life and the Internet.
…However, we simply have not had enough time to evaluate this final version of the operating system. We are basing our current conclusions on Windows 8 after months with previous versions and 24 hours with the Windows 8 Release To Manufacturing. Performance benchmarks and further evaluations of Windows 8 will be added in the coming weeks.
One big question remains: Does the learning curve make it worth strongly considering other operating systems? We think not. There are more than enough similarities between Windows 7 and Windows 8 that while the incline is aggressive, it’s far easier than learning an entirely new set of hot keys and workflow.
David Pierce at The Verge has the most enthusiastic take on Windows 8 we’ve seen yet:
My MacBook Air and my iPad are basically my fifth and sixth limbs. I rarely go anywhere without them, I use each for hours every day, and in general I’m really happy with both of them.
Come October 26th, though, I’m ditching them both. I don’t know yet if I’m buying a Microsoft Surface or a Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet or an Asus Transformer Book, or something else entirely. But I’m buying a Windows 8 device as my only computer, and I can’t wait.
I’ll be switching because Windows 8 is the first desktop operating system that understands what a computer is supposed to do in 2012, and it’s at once more productive and more fun than any OS I’ve used before.
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