Windows 8 sparks heated debate

Jeremy McDonald

Failure

The recent release of Windows 8 has brought the new operating system mixed reviews, and rightfully so. With a confusing interface and stricter guidelines for developers, Windows 8 has been lacklustre.

One of the biggest features of Windows 8 is the idea of it being mostly touch-centric.

The interface feels more at home on a tablet or a phone, not a desktop. If desktop users decide to stick with Windows 8, they’ll encounter the steep learning curve of using a mouse and keyboard on something that is designed for touch.

This experience feels undeniably awkward, but is the lesser of two evils when compared to how Windows 8 will affect app development.

What made Windows great in the past was its openness to development. With the strict guidelines of the Windows Store app certification requirements, that openness is now being stripped away. The new Windows Store has complete control over what software can actually be sold.

For example in section 5.1 of the app requirements, it states that no adult content can be contained in an app. While this news may not affect you personally, it affects a vast majority of PC gamers because games like Skyrim would be deemed inappropriate for sale and taken off the Windows Store.

Windows will still allow downloads from third party sources; the new restrictions for Windows 8 application certification may lead some developers to question how much more freedom Microsoft will take away in the future though.

Windows 7 is still sufficient for desktop users. The new version was released too early and while the new system is great for the Microsoft tablet, it suffers as a desktop operating system.

Jeremy is the Web Developer at the Journal.

Terence Wong

Success

Windows 8 is a speedy success, regardless of what the naysayers may argue.

Claims that, beneath the new interface changes, the operating system is the next version of Windows Vista are simply knee-jerk reactions that ignore underlying innovations.

With 40 million sales of the system so far, Microsoft is certainly not failing in business terms and is looking at the actual product. It’s clear that Windows 8 is an improvement.

Specifically, the operating system is faster at the everyday tasks that people need done, from turning on your computer to copying files.

The most divisive changes in Windows 8 are the numerous visual design choices. Critics may claim that the new touch-friendly LiveTiles — considered easily available virtual sticky notes — are both stupid and impractical, especially given the elimination of the start button. They argue that the basic commands previously found under the start button can’t be so easily relegated.

I disagree. It can normally take anywhere from two to three seconds to move one’s mouse from one part of the screen clicking the start button and then searching for what file or application one’s looking to access.

In Windows 8, a quick tap of the windows key will do the trick. Much like widgets, a series of virtual tiles are designed to provide glances of relevant information — you no longer need to open your e-mail application to see the number of new emails or the calendar to see your upcoming appointments.

Windows 8 shouldn’t be regarded as a failure because it makes too many changes –— instead, it should be lauded as an example of innovation in advancing the world’s most popular operating system.

Terence is the Opinions Editor at the Journal.

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