Tuesday, February 25, 2014

In which I mumble and grumble about Windows 8

Everyone knows I'm the ultimate skeptic, right? I'm all about taking a calm, measured look at things before forming an opinion. I like to take my time and wait to see if that opinion is supportable before I make it public. So I hope with that in mind, the integrity of the following statement will be greatly heightened: fuck Windows 8 with sewage-coated woodrasp.

I honestly thought I'd have gotten over my hatred for Win8 by now.

Of course, my (and everyone's) biggest peeve with Windows 8 is being forced to use the Start screen, and the lack of a Start menu. There are three phases of attitude toward the Start screen. The first is the wtf?? Stage. You have no idea what the hell you're supposed to do with it, but you shut your mouth out of fear of being seen as the idiot who can't figure out new technological advances, even though in reality it's a cosmetic feature that's only managed to reduce the ease of use of your non-touchscreen device. You doggedly press on, pinning programs you use often and forcing yourself to open them from the start screen. You begin to develop a sort of Stockholm syndrome. I'm using this feature everyday now, I must actually like it, you tell yourself. This leads to the second stage. You finally realise just how awesome and cool the Start screen really is! You pin ALL your programs to it, organise them into groups according to type and frequency of use. You're happy and productive, now that you've figured it out. This stage lasts about twelve minutes. Windows releases an update which allows you to boot straight to the desktop and you never use the Start screen again.

Speaking of that update, what an absolute piece of crap that was. Microsoft hyped it up as the update that would fix everything, that would turn everything back the way it was before by giving us back our Start button. Well, they did that alright and... nothing more.  Like the Literal Genie, they technically delivered on what they said they were going to deliver but didn't give us what we actually wanted: the Start MENU, not just the Start Button. I bet Microsoft knew exactly what shit they were pulling... Penny Arcade expresses what this was best.

You will not believe just how annoying that shit is. The old Start menu system wasn't broke. Why fix it? I mean, I got my laptop on my birthday last year, nearly 9 months ago. Let that sink in: if I wasn't a pathetic beta and had gotten some (unprotected) birthday sex last year, my fucking baby (triplets, with my luck) would be due right about now. And you know what? I STILL press the Windows key when I want to call up the task bar while using an application (I REFUSE to call them "apps") that overlaps the bottom of the screen (lookin' at you, iTunes...).

Bottom line is, the Start screen is beyond useless if you don't have a touchscreen. Hauling the mouse over and over again to get to the other end of the screen is annoying as fuck. Most Modern Apps also either have better desktop rivals, or have much better, more functional desktop or web-based versions. So Windows, as you can see, I've tried to like your new thing. I've worked my hardest to appreciate and make use of it. I still don't like it. Now I know you guys value my opinion and will listen to me when millions of others have failed to convince you: please, bring back our fucking Start menu.

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