Windows 8 on My Desktop

I had to purchase a new computer for the family and since it is shared in our downstairs den, I decided to go with a workstation. I got HP Pavilion and it had Windows 8. The computer arrived today.

What a different experience. The initial desktop has sets of oversized icons for email, internet, calendar, etc. All I really wanted to do to get started was to download Chrome, once I did, Chrome gave me instructions to move my cursor to the top right corner, select start, then drag Chrome icon from the far right to where it would appear on the main part of my home page.

With Chrome installed, I next downloaded AVG Free as I’m not a fan of Norton AntiVirus.

Then iTunes and GNUcash, which is what I use for my checkbook, unfortunately, no current version of GNUcash is yet available.

The first main adjustment is that the spacebar pulls the computer out of sleep, not moving of the mouse.

I’m sure it is a case of habit, coupled with not having a touchscreen, but I find myself mostly using the “Desktop” option and the landing page with apps is just another step to get me to my destination.

However, if I go to the landing page and click on “Mail” I’d expect to be able to identify an email account to open. Instead, I get a request to set up a Microsoft account. No thanks.

So this is great, since I don’t want to set-up a Microsoft account, I hit cancel and it tells me I’m not signed. Then the only option I have is Try Again, which takes me back to the page requesting I sign-in. Bad UX, frustrating for end-user, and rather desperate play on Microsoft’s part.

Eventually, I was able to get the sidebar to appear and returned to start page where I right clicked on the offending icons and “unpinned” them.

I’m finding the pre-populated icons pretty worthless.

Then there are “live” tiles. I’m fine with a weather icon, but let me customize it so I can identify which cities I want included, not some random global scroll. Same is true for news & information.

All-in-all, I get where Microsoft wants to go with this – one operating system across multiple device types presenting more of a touch screen user experience and incorporate apps that users are now accustomed to on their phone on the desktop, but it falls flat for me. There is too much about Microsoft and not enough about what I want.

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