Microsoft: It can take up to 2 weeks to understand Windows 8

windows8startscreen

When Windows 8 first released, many problems with it stemmed from the simple fact that people were just not used to it. It’s hard to blame them when so much has changed. Even usability experts agree that it’s a mess. But according to data that Microsoft has been automatically collecting, users are starting to adjust the new operating system’s more “controversial problems.”

The data comes from users that choose to join the company’s “Customer Experience Improvement Program,” which is presented when you first log into the new operating system. All the data that is being sent to Microsoft if you choose to participate is anonymized, so privacy worrywarts can rest easy. Julie Larson-Green, who is the new head of Windows, is optimistic of the data they’re receiving. She says that they’re seeing very encouraging things  and adds that “Even with the rumblings, we feel confident that it’s a moment in time more than an actual problem.”

One of the more potentially confusing aspects of Windows 8 is the fact that there are essentially two desktop environments. One of which is the traditional desktop that we all know and love, and the other is the more touch-optimized Start Screen, which Microsoft has been heavily pushing as the new way to interact with Windows. Larson-Green says that 90 percent of users only need one session to discover the most crucial parts of the new interface, the Start Screen and “Charms.” The Charms menu is a context-based side menu that provides access to shortcuts that pertain to the current application in focus.

There is always a period where a user needs to adapt to something that is radically different from what came before it, no matter how intuitive it is. “Two days to two weeks is what we used to say in Office, and it’s similar in Windows 8.”

How long did it take you to adjust to Windows 8? Two days to two weeks or no time at all? Let us know in the comments!

[via MIT Technology Review]

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15 comments

  1. Coyote

    @rui: Agreed, where I work we still use many old systems. Win 3.11 on one machine because there’s no reason or reasonable way to upgrade it and the machine is a measuring projector that does 1 thing, measure. Aside from that most office systems still run XP or 7 at the latest. With no plans on upgrading to 8.

  2. Coyote

    2 weeks seems kind of short considering the type of people that would agree to the “customer experience”….

    The charms bar is by far the most retarded thing. Sure the right click context menu needed an update, more customizable and such. But moving it to the right, having it pop up inconsistently and what customization there was is lost with the new UI. The program I used to customize mine is now useless. In 2 clicks one could roatate/resize pictures, custom move/copy with terracopy, revert changes via windows versioning, open a command prompt anywhere, convert a pdf to word, or heck even create a new document. Now the charms bar has everyone hunting for the simplest of functions (shutdown for instance).

  3. Fredxyz987

    So, Windows 8 will not allow me to boot straight to my wonderful (random) wallpapers each time I bootup. Is that correct?

    If it is correct, what genius thought that people would rather see a bunch of garish large icons on their screen each and every time they bootup. Guess I’ll skip W8 and hope W9 is more my style.

  4. clockmendergb

    For a person like myself .
    I found it strange that Microsoft did not make a very easy straight forward way to allow it to start on the traditional desktop if required.
    Plus it was a mistake losing the start menu button.

    There are a lot of really small businesses that for the sake of economy want some simplicity in the system .
    enough that they do not need to pay someone to set it up.

    I realize there must be a way to do this but its not obvious to us other folk.

    Now I am sure you guys will tell me how easy it is and I missed the obvious but at my level I need a massive flag waiving at me to point me in the right direction.

  5. rui

    hi all,
    in my opinion it is enough to use a computer for doing the work with it. it is not necessary to have all the time new things (like a different os), when the job is easier with the old things.

  6. ds5929

    No time needed at all. One look at that butt-ugly POS and I’d determined that it’d never be on any of my machines. When (and IF) I even bother switching to Win7, I’ll use it till MS comes up with a system that does’nt make me nauseous every time the screen lights up. Sorry MS, but for me, you totally screwed the pooch this time. Guess the old rule about skipping every other version of Windows is still good advice. Soooo, better luck next time.

  7. doug

    One thing to remember about Windows 8 is that it does not start up to the desktop.
    It starts in the start menu.
    People ask where is the start orb in the lower left corner.
    Just remember the when Windows 8 starts it is already in the start menu.
    If you need the desktop then there is the shortcut to it on the start screen.