The recent release of Windows 8 received almost universal attention — the Windows Secrets newsletter and its readers included.
As we expected, views on Microsoft’s most controversial OS varied widely among WS readers. Most of the letters would not please Microsoft. Here’s a small sampling of opinions.
Reader response to the debut of Windows 8
I wonder why I don’t see more comments regarding the fact that a touchscreen interface is inherently inferior and vastly more cumbersome than a mouse interface. I don’t now — and might never — have any compelling interest in a tablet computer, though I do have an Android smartphone (Galaxy S II Epic 4G touch) with a relatively large display, where I have to use a touchscreen interface. Whenever I want to do anything serious with a computer, I return to my Win7 desktop machine with a great keyboard and mouse interface.
For Microsoft to attempt to force me into a touchscreen interface (or use extra steps to dodge it) is offensive. At the very least, MS should have provided users the ability to retain the interface of their choice and not have to be confronted with a schizophrenic flip-flop between two incompatible user interfaces. — Rene LeBlanc
To say you don’t plan to upgrade your [Windows Secrets'] primary machines [to run Windows 8] ruins your credibility with me.
I’ve been running it for about six weeks and found the transition to be much easier than I expected. The Start button was replaced with a start screen. So what? All the apps I used on Win7 still work the same way on Win8. No one has forced me to use Metro apps.
I’m excited about where Microsoft is taking Windows. You’re just contributing more of the same FUD that the mainstream media are spreading. I understand that you want to be impartial, but I think you are simply wrong, and I expected more from Windows Secrets. — Derek Winfield
I cannot believe you devoted an entire issue to Win8. Very few [Windows users] have it now, and millions of us will not have it for years — if at all. Please don’t waste the time of most of your subscribers with this totally useless information. — William Hoffman
Clarification needed on your special issue introduction: “The good news is that setting up and exploring Windows 8 is relatively cheap and easy. You can buy five upgrade licenses for $40.” I think this is U.S. $40 each license — not five for $40. — Allen M. Rosenston
[Mr. Rosenston is correct. We put up a correction the day after the story was published. But even at $40 per system, Win8 is cheap. — Editor]
I’ve been using Win8 since Oct. 26. I’m presently dual-booting with Win7, but I go back to Win7 only when I want to check on settings. I’ve installed only the programs I use every day. (My computer experience includes DOS 6, XP, Win 7, and now Win 8.)
Regarding installation: Ignore Microsoft and install to a new, empty partition. No need to install over the top of an existing OS. I also installed Media Center.
I didn’t like the dumbed-down Windows Defender, so I installed an earlier version of Microsoft Security Essentials. It turns Defender off and works like it did in Win7.
I don’t like Metro, but I am getting used to it and making it work the way I want it to. I spend most of the time on the desktop, so Metro doesn’t bother me all that much.
I believe there will be radical changes in the next 12 months as apps are developed and Microsoft makes changes to better suit desktop users.
People might complain about the lack of a Start button, but I can remember sitting down to use a Windows 98 machine for the first time. I could see the Start button but not the Stop button. I thought then, how stupid was that? I got used to it once it was pointed out to me. — Paul Fritz
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This book is for people who have a Windows 8 based tablet and aren't quite sure how to do everything with it. Windows 8 makes your tablet very intuitive and very easy to use and in this first chapter we will try to help you come to grips with the shiny new device in your hands.