Friday, 7 June 2013

Windows 8 - Will this leap of faith really work?

I am really not a tech geek, reviewing the latest gadgets. I try to keep them in minimum number. For me it is clearly a means for comfort in life and not life itself. More than the technology I appreciate the minds behind them.

The very first book that I read distantly connected with technology business was by the name Odyssey: Pepsi to Apple, an autobiography by John Sculley, former Apple CEO. I found the book fascinating and Steve Jobs got introduced to me. I googled more on Jobs and then the Stanford Commencement Speech that he delivered in 2005 became my favorite. I played the video in loops and almost learned the speech by-heart. I had enough material and information about Steve Jobs to show off while I conversed with my friends. By this time my answer to the question, "Who is your role model?" became 'Steve Jobs'. The answer looked correct and choice - intelligent.

I watched movie 'Pirates of Silicon Valley'. The more I came to know about Steve Jobs, the less I thought I knew about him. The first Apple product that I possessed was a smart, sexy and beautiful iPod. It was gifted by my foreign return sister. I was in awe of this genius! Today when I am online, among the favorite pass times is to watch his product launch and interview videos on youtube. Fascinating is the word I would want to use for him. The simplicity and thoughtfulness behind his design is worth getting inspired for. He always knew what people wanted but were not aware of. From his Stanford speech,

"... And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary..."

are the words, that keep ringing in my head. His demise was sad and an era ended with that event. I grabbed Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson book in the first week of its launch and I was done with it pretty soon. His personality comes out very well in that book. By this time I started working on MacBook on a daily basis and the pleasure that comes out right from looking at the artistic logo on the lid, opening it and then the start up chime is tremendous.

Now, the origin of my thoughts was actually a new machine which came loaded with Windows 8 Operating system that was recently bought for my parents. First time I booted and it looked jazzy with new User interface. I thought of spending time with new machine since my parents would be using it and I end up explaining the navigation and buttons from a long distance over phone, imagining the screens. I have spent some 10+ years using a windows machine and I was sure it would all be same with some more features added.

The so much reliable 'Start' button and menu was disappearing. I thought it might have been moved to some other place in some other look-and-feel. I found myself googling and my reaction was, what the heck! There was no way that I could explain navigations and actions to my dad if I was not infront of Windows 8 OS. The last time I was pissed off with a Microsoft product was when they did not have MSOffice 2003 and 2007 integration. There was no way you could open a MSOffice 2007 file in a system with 2003 version.

For creating a 'User' for access, so much of information is required! An email account is must and most of the things point towards Microsoft Outlook and related products. I am sure Microsoft has taken a lesson or two from Apple for Software integration but without keeping usability in mind.
After spending more than 40 mins, I was convinced that it was a better idea to uninstall Windows 8 and replace it with Windows 7 or XP which is still my favorite out of all MS OS. StartIsBack came to my rescue and I was relieved that there was still a way out. I have now configured the system which looks more or less like Windows 7 from UI point of view.

Feature wise I think the product is incomplete and launched in haste. Something like, 'lets go to the market and feedbacks will tell what to do next!' Windows is a mass product and such a drastic change in Interface can backfire the sales, or has it already!

fOoD fOr thOuGhT: Beauty in a product lies in its usability and comfort. There is a place for everyone and everything. If you try to emulate somebody else, you would loose your own ground and capturing competitor's may not necessarily result in net gains!

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