Experiment shows “normal people” are frustrated and confused by Windows 8

Had enough Windows 8 hate to go around? Too bad, ’cause here comes more.

Self-professed geek Chris Pirillo, best known for founding the website Lockergnome, took to the streets to see how “normal people” react to Windows 8. What did he find? Let’s just say, with reactions like “whoa”, “well this is kind of funny, I’m not sure how to get out of here”, “more like a smartphone”, “why is this not like other computers”, “this is confusing”, and “why is this so complicated”, it isn’t something Microsoft wants to hear. Check it out:

If you are curious as to how Pirillo’s dad fared with Windows 8, you can view the following video:

“They trying to drive me to Mac?” LMAO!

To be fair to Microsoft, the confusion with Windows 8 in both of the above videos stemmed more from change rather than degree of difficulty. People are used to the traditional Windows desktop with the traditional Start Menu and Windows 8 doesn’t have that, particularly the Start Menu; it isn’t necessarily harder as much as it is different. And Pirillo may have gotten a different reaction had he used a tablet instead of a laptop. However, people are creatures of habit and it is very hard to break a habit that has developed for over a decade. (I myself had issues with Windows 8 when I first started using it.) Maybe history will look back at the release of Windows 8 as a brilliant move by Microsoft to move into the “post-PC era”, but currently it is looking more and more like a flop.

[via HotHardware]

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15 comments

  1. Sam

    First time on Windows 8, on a new laptop, and I was going CRAZY. I finally realized there is a setting that automatically *enabled* swipe to change app, even though I don’t have a touchscreen display. Got that disabled, so now it is useable…but still not without many quirks. Jury’s still out in the long run, but for the default installation, especially for people who don’t want to navigate by touchscreen? I’d give it an F for a failure on the first day of use. This is the most frustrating first day of any Windows OS I have had, period…and I have used all major versions since 3.11.

  2. Jim Carter

    After 16 years of working with Windows (since 3.1), I thought an Android smartphone was different, odd, challenging, etc….but I learned and mastered the OS and hardware.

    My recent experience with Windows 8 involved poking tiles with my index finger and then poking the Windows key on the keyboard to switch back and forth from “modern” to “desktop”. I was neither glassy-eyed or frustrated with either scenario since I do much more complex tasks with the same index finger each day.

  3. ds5929

    1. It’s ugly.
    2. It’s ugly.
    3. Did I mention it’s ugly?
    Right now, I’m looking at a gorgeous portrait of Stana Katic-not a bunch of colored rectangles. Ain’t no way I’m making THAT switch.
    MS should go back to Win2000,update it to today’s standards (not that MS ever worried about that), spiff up the UI. and call it a day. Simple,reliable,customizeable,and damm near bulletproof.
    You know there’s trouble afoot when 3rd party software companies have programs to undo what MS has done-before the thing even goes to general public release.
    If I ran a big-box store, I’d be training some extra people to staff the returns counter
    And MS, quit trying to be Google or Apple. If I liked Chrome (I don’t) I”d be using it, and if I found myself wanting Apples ‘our way or the highway’, I’d just shoot myself. I want to do things the way I want to do them, and don’t give a flying crap how Ballmer/Jobs/ect think I should be doing them.

  4. J.L.

    The interface was designed specifically for tablets in mind, otherwise they would’ve never sanely make this kind of **** on Windows 8 Pro.

    Learning how to work with it, and the traditional desktop app (that’s how much it’s downgraded into) sounds like a pain in the ass.

    Even Windows Server 2012 (courtesy of DreamSpark) wasn’t excluded, albeit only the start menu is affected by default. Everything else opened in the traditional interface.

    No successful OS ever had this kind of interface, even the Windows Phone 7 that it was originally made for wasn’t popular. If it failed to be mainstream as a touch-interface, don’t expect mouse and keyboards to work (even though Windows currently has a near-monopoly).

  5. Coyote

    I don’t think that I would agree that it’s just changes that make it confusing. I’ve been playing around with the public RC and there are a lot of points where no you can’t go back, switch apps, or heaven forbid get to a desktop. And this is Internet Explorer I’m describing, I can just imagine the cluster frack 3rd party apps will be.

  6. jayesstee

    All they had to do was:
    # 1 Make it less bloated.
    # 2 Make it MUCH more secure – i.e. put all the AV vendors out of business.
    # 3 Make load and shut down faster.
    # 4 When and only when the had cracked # 1 – 3, design a neat optional button interface for toy/tablet/smartphones.
    I guess the ‘Bean Counters’ said: “go directly to #4 and forget about ‘optional’, it will save money”.

  7. kelltic

    @ds5929: Yes. Absolutely right, and I don’t think businesses will switch. It would be a disaster. Most of the complaints, however, seem to be about the lack of a start menu and how difficult it is to fumble around, trying to find things. My biggest complaint – and there are many others – is the full screen for everything feature. They should have named it Windowless.

  8. ds5929

    At this point, ME 2.0 is a best case scenario. Just what the PC industry needs-something else to tank sales. I wonder how many lost sales it’ll take for MS to realize and admit that desktops/laptops and tablets/smartphones are NOT THE SAME. Any business that switches to this sodding mess of an interface is asking for trouble-not to mention megabuck training costs And for personal users, gonna be one hell of a line at the big box return counter. I’ve been using Windows since Win95, dabbled in Ubuntu,and would’nt touch anything from Apple at gunpoint, but there’s zero chance I’ll ever buy into this mess.

  9. ailric

    I completely agree with Chris and the testers. I’m going to be getting a lot of phone calls for help and advice when people I know update or buy a new computer with Windows 8.
    The upgrade price is reasonable but it’s going to leave a lot of people scratching their heads trying to figure out where things are.
    The interface is well suited for a tablet PC but not a laptop or desktop.
    Every previous new version of Windows has improved the interface and usability… until now.

  10. RealBull

    Well that is what Microsoft gets for pissing their pants and trying to be like Apple. They had a good thing going with the original design, millions were already familiar with it. Now they try to appeal to the smart phone majority and have forgotten about people who don’t own smart phones and how much time businesses will use in order to train people. The problem is not the design, it is the timing. Ease your user base into such a design, don’t puke it all over them.

  11. Win h8r

    Nobody but an idiot would have designed this thing. Whether you can fix this with an add-on or not (and there’s much more to h8 than the MIA Start Button) the point is that if you want to sell your product, you don’t do this.

    Expect to see the phrase Windows H8 in the future. A lot.