The future is here, but as William Gibson observed in 1993, “it’s just not very evenly distributed.” In the case of Microsoft’s Windows 8, the company is clearly aiming for the future, but there are clear gaps in how well it’s distributed throughout this massive rewrite of Redmond’s operating system strategy — step in inside for the early Windows 8 review results.
A range of voices, from known Microsoft shills to more thoughtful observers, have weighed in and the Windows 8 review verdict (so far) is mixed.
Windows 8 Reviews
• I noticed that several bugs I had experienced with third-party apps were fixed in this release. The RTM code seems, after very brief testing, to work very well with other Microsoft products and services that are still in preview mode: Outlook.com, Office 365, and Office 2013 all seem to function properly … This is an important milestone for Windows 8, but it’s still just that—between now and October 26, it’s still best suited for evaluation by IT pros and enthusiasts — Ed Bott, ZDNet
• Windows 8 embraces the future wholeheartedly. Log-in and boot times are fast, the apps look gorgeous, and the Sync feature brings seamless transition between devices. The learning curve is steep and in-app navigation isn’t obvious. There are just too many known unknowns here — Seth Rosenblatt, CNet.
• Windows 8, it turns out, is highly usable. The final release is noticeably more responsive with the touchpad and mouse than the prerelease versions. The user interface is easier to navigate than I’d feared, and the whole affair seems to hang together pretty well — Loyd Case, PCWorld.
• [W]e are not reviewing Windows 8 just yet. We will, but our plan is to do so later in the year, timed to coincide with the retail launch of the operating system on October 26th. This will, we hope, give an opportunity to use Windows 8 with a selection of real Windows 8 applications and real Windows 8 hardware. Until then, Windows 8 is, in a sense, incomplete. The operating system may be done, but the user experience still needs to cook a little longer — Peter Bright, Ars Technica.
• With Windows 8, Microsoft is making a bet that it can please both tablet users and traditional computer users with a single OS. That bet didn’t pay off for me. On a tablet I find it an excellent operating system. On a traditional computer, it doesn’t work nearly so well — Preston Gralla, ComputerWorld
Notable Microsoft partners, like Acer and Steam, have warned that Windows 8 is an unmitigated disaster waiting to happen — the official launch date is October 26. Clearly, the above reviews and hands on reports don’t reflect the naysayer doom and gloom.
Granted, Windows 8 isn’t a grandslam by any stretch of the imagination either. Nevertheless, the strongest and most independent voices, like Ars Technica, have yet to weigh in with a comprehensive Windows 8 review.
On the bright side, if Windows 8 fails miserably, that will almost certainly mean the end of Steve Ballmer’s reign in Redmond.
Have you tried Windows 8? Share your thoughts and opinions on Microsoft’s latest OS in the comments below.