Not since Vista has a new operating system generated so much controversy, and I’d argue that Vista wasn’t nearly as divisive as Windows 8 has proven to be.
Regular readers of this column already know my position: I don’t like it. I’ve tried it on laptops and tablets alike, and every time I come away asking myself the same question: Why? Why did Microsoft make so many UI changes that offer so little benefit to the user?
Most Windows 8 supporters will tell you, “If you don’t like the new Metro interface, just install a third-party utility that restores the Start Button and lets you boot to the Desktop.” Sure, you could do that. You could banish Metro forever. Know what you’ve got then? Windows 7.
Anyway, I come here not to rehash my own opinions, but rather to hear yours. It’s been nearly five months since Windows 8 made its debut, and in that time I’m sure many of you have either upgraded your PCs or purchased new ones.
Consequently, you’ve no doubt formed an opinion. Hence this poll: Is Windows 8 worth the hassle? I used that word not just because it’s in the name of this column, but also because it’s the truth: Windows 8 is a hassle. It brings a learning curve steeper than perhaps any prior version of Windows, and I can’t help wondering if battling that curve makes sense.
(What’s the alternative, you ask? Sticking with Windows 7. Switching to Linux or Mac. Maybe even ditching your PC for a tablet.)
Once you’ve cast your vote, hit the comments if you want to expound further. In the meantime, check out “20 must-know Windows 8 tips and tricks,” which can make the new OS a lot easier to live with. Oh, and if your first thought is to tell everyone to “stop being such babies about learning new things,” might I gently advise you to read this post?
For more than 20 years, Rick Broida has written about all manner of technology, from Amigas to business servers to PalmPilots. His credits include dozens of books, blogs, and magazines. He sleeps with an iPad under his pillow.