Microsoft Finds That People Are Finally Getting Used to Windows 8

At last check, Windows 8 has had a difficult time getting off the ground. Sure, it's selling millions of copies, but given the hype leading up to its launch, the reaction has been quite timid. Personally, I know very few people who've gone out of their way to upgrade, with most trying to actually avoid it. This is really no surprise given the radical changes the OS has implemented - but according to Microsoft, most people are now becoming accustomed to those changes just fine.

Microsoft's newly-appointed lead of Windows product development Julie Larson-Green has stated that the feedback received from those who've opted in for Microsoft's "Customer Experience Improvement Program" has shown that users "get used to" the OS after a couple of weeks. She says that in the first session, people will begin to understand the Start screen and Charms feature well enough to make good use of them, while after six weeks, there's a crossover where people begin to take better advantage of the OS' special features, rather than rely on "the things you're familiar with".

As someone who hated the idea of Windows 8 at first, I can side with the fact that you can "get used to" the changes in the OS over time. I'd never go as far as to say I prefer the Start screen over a traditional Start Menu (it's not even close), but I have in fact gotten used to it, and can use the OS as a whole without much impediment.

That all said, I do find the fact that Microsoft admits people are "getting used to" its latest OS is a bit humorous. Getting used to something doesn't equate to liking it - I'm very familiar with dish-washing, but I hardly enjoy it. I'm not alone in this thinking; usability consultant Jakob Nielsen asks, "The real question is whether they will then have reached a higher level of productivity than they had before."

Personally, I don't find that anything about Windows 8 adds to my productivity, and if anything, it harms it. A personal gripe of mine is shutting down and restarting the PC. That's still a big enough pain where each time I need to do it, I'm tempted to just hit the reset or power button. Also, while I'm "used to" the Start screen by this point, I still find its features to be horribly lacking (not being able to easily rename shortcuts is my biggest complaint).

But perhaps I'm one of the odd ducks here. What do you guys think? If you've been using Windows 8 for a while, would you now say that you're happy with the changes Microsoft has made, or that you've simply "gotten used to it"?

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