Microsoft Finds That People Are Finally Getting Used to Windows 8

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News Posted: Mon, Dec 17 2012 12:22 PM

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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Dorkstar replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 1:20 PM

I've been using Windows 8 for about 2-3 weeks, and i can't really say i'm used to it.  I still can't figure out how to restart without logging off first then finding the restart button.  However I have learned to hit the windows button, and just searching for something I want to do typically brings up exactly what I wanted.    It still feels confusing though, I probably just need to find time to read over a few guides to windows 8 and i'll be on track. 

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RWilliams replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 1:59 PM

The "quicker" way to shutdown / reboot is to go through the Charms bar. When hovering over the bottom right-hand corner, you can go click on Settings, then Power. Once you do this you'll understand why I put quotes around "quicker".

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OSunday replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 2:01 PM

I got my younger brother Windows 8 since his computer required proper "licensing" over Windows 7 so he'd have the latest OS and I'm probably gonna explore using it a bit too, although to be honest I'd already planned on using some third party software to get it more Windows 7ish in terms of it UI but I'll have to give the fresh Metro UI a decent chance before that... even though ultimately It'll end up being whatever my younger brother prefers (Probably making it more similar to W7)

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RTietjens replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 2:25 PM

People can get accustomed to being beaten with a bamboo rod every day. That doesn't mean they *LIKE* it.

As for restart, try this on the command line:

shutdown -r -t 0

You could write a batch file that does that and link to it from the desktop, too - if you're using a Start Button replacement, like sane people do on desktops and laptops.

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Tajon replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 2:41 PM

Started using it when Developers Preview came out Upgraded to W8P the day it was available, so I was admittedly pretty familiar with it at that point... Id say it took a few days of learning to right click for choices or use the right hand side menu bar for more options. All in all I really like 8 and haven't had any major issues or regrets.. its faster than 7, does everything 7 did plus some (so no productivity issues... unless you use out of date or poorly written software that wont run on 8) and even my girlfriend loves the app store style setup and thinks its a lot more "fun" than Vista/7 (The only 2 OSs she has used heavily). I personally love the start screen and live tiles, I dont know why people are so reluctant to embrace it. If you had ever setup a personal homepage or used MSN/Yahoo/iGoogle type deals the Start screen offers that same functionality and customization. The old Start menu worked well for what it was but If you could navigate to Start > All programs > choose a program folder > select an executable than you can click a live tile, or right click choose all apps and navigate by folder/executable a la that same old start menu format of "Pinned programs (or apps as we call them now)" then Folder (Program name) & executable (Program)... As far as using desktop mode I barely notice the difference in 8 and 7, my shortcuts are there, my taskbar pins are there in the same spots they were from 7, Programs work in the same manner.. its all very familiar in that respect if you used 7 as your main OS.

I understand most people hate learning, but IMO if you arent willing to learn you are willingly giving up your right to expect to know. The biggest mistake I can see that MS has made is marketing.. Windows 8 and WindowsRT should be handled and implemented like OSx and iOS. Though I see people complaining Windows 8 is locked down, is killing gaming or cant run legacy software as if RT is the only option they have, while in reality thats wholly untrue. Anything for Win7 I have installed has worked fine, Some XP/Vista stuff not so much but why is it the burden of MS to make another vendors software works forever? If your HP camera or software doesnt work with 8 BLAME HP, NOT Microsoft. If your custom database software programmer says 8 sucks because he has to recode things, thats HIS issue not Microsoft's (Though it in-turn becomes your problem. Also, I feel this same way regarding complaints from Web Developers hating on IE because they have to do work to make it proper, like that isn't the job they are paid for.)

@Dorkstar (if it hasnt been answered already.. I have had this page open in a tab for a bit :P) you can shutdown/restart by mousing/touching the right hand side/corners of the screen to get the Search/Share/Settings menu, clicking on settings and choosing power.

Over all I think its a great OS, with the features to allow PCs to stay relevant and mesh the experience were used to on Desktops/Laptops and what we expect from tablets & phones. I think average end users will be a bit slow to adopt only due to it being a latecomer, if you had all the apps you use on Android or iOS available in the Windows Store on top of the inclusion of Office on RT or Office apps for WP8 it would be hard to not jump into the Windows camp 100%.

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realneil replied on Mon, Dec 17 2012 8:32 PM

Classic Shell works great on eight.

The UI sucks.

Don't part with your illusions. When they are gone you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.

(Mark Twain)

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Is a good tablet, excellent job!

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Either that or click on the Desktop and press Alt-F4. Both ways are good,

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Dorkstar replied on Tue, Dec 18 2012 12:46 PM

RWilliams:

The "quicker" way to shutdown / reboot is to go through the Charms bar. When hovering over the bottom right-hand corner, you can go click on Settings, then Power. Once you do this you'll understand why I put quotes around "quicker".

I finally figured out how to use that damn side bar last night.  I never could figure out why it would just randomly come out like that. I got home looked down at the lower right, and couldn't figure out where the "settings" button was.  Then that side bar opened up and I realized you have to go to the lower right to get it to open.  I really should at least read up the basics on windows 8.

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digitaldd replied on Wed, Dec 19 2012 12:27 PM

I've said this a few times Winkey +C = Charms , Winkey+X brings up this cool power user menu. But I'll say this I'm used to some of it but not all of it. Ohh and being able to only have 2 metro apps visible on screen is OK but not too useful. Its much more useful when you have more than one monitor since the metro display only is on one screen.

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