Originally published at: http://www.howtogeek.com/174939/8-reasons-why-even-microsoft-agrees-the-windows-desktop-is-a-nightmare/
Let’s be honest: The Windows desktop is a mess. Sure, it’s extremely powerful and has a huge software library, but it’s not a good experience for average people. It’s not even a good experience for geeks, although we tolerate it.
What on earth was this article about? The Windows desktop is a nightmare? Is it April 1st already?
Windows 8 ex-metro interface is the only nightmare and that isn't a desktop.
So the fact that people may get infected with malware is due to the Windows desktop?
Battery life is bad? On a desktop PC you use mains power.
You must have had a great Saturday night. But please let your head clear BEFORE sitting down to try and write anything.
So I snorted when I read the article topic, but (like the mindless drone I am), after reading the article, I'm seriously considering a switch to Linux, or maybe even a (shudder) Mac.
But one thing. The malware, bad updating mechanisms, etc. aren't a problem with the desktop. They're a problem with the Windows ecosystem itself.
This is a joke. Haha. Ya almost had me.
I think somebody hoisted a few too many drinks at the pub before writing this article.
One reason that people get infected with malware, is that they don't follow basic security proceedures and still refuse to even run a 64bit OS, most people to this day still run a 32bit OS all in the name of backwards compatibility with old software.
OS X Mavericks may be a free upgrade but do you know how much the Mac hardware costs? Your life! You can't just gloss over the fact that Windows machines are generally much more affordable than the Macs you want everyone to go out and get.
For what a Mac costs, it should have been free upgrades for life.
I've had too few drinks a time or two... but what's this 'too many drinks' thing you speak of?
There's a disconnect in your article. First of all, there are actually TWO desktops in Windows 8. The dreaded Metro UI (which no one should ever have to see or use, IMO), and the normal Windows 7-like Desktop.
To make the non-Metro desktop functional, you need two programs from Stardock Software: Start8 - which gives you a powerful Start button and disables the funky Metro login screens if you choose, and ModernMix - which allows you to run Metro apps on the real desktop, in a window that can be re-sized.
Windows 8's real desktop and the OS itself is very solid using the two Stardock apps.
Second, your article appears to be really about your dislike of the Windows OS and the Metro UI versus the Mac.
I love Mac's, but like others here - Mac's are not a truly affordable substitute for a PC.
Equating the Windows 8 OS with the Desktop? Not accurate. It's like saying the Mac desktop is OS X, which most Mac folks can attest is not true. It's just a part of the OS.
Bear in mind that even folks who enjoy Windows 8 OS don't particularly care for the Metro interface. And, as I've done on my laptop and PC, installing Start8 has essentially eliminated the Metro UI from my daily work with my computers. I never see the dreaded/hated Metro UI. (I know Microsoft changed the name of the Metro UI, but most people still call it that.)
How about doing an article on OS X and the Mac? I'd like to hear more about it.
People use the desktop because if you have a software need, it’s virtually assured that there’s a program out there that can do it. It’s likely to be FOSS, it’s likely to be free, and it’s likely to be far more powerful and customizable than anything you can get via an app store. And if all else fails, you can learn a language and write something yourself.
Desktop computers do require you to think before you install, but I hardly think that’s a bad thing. You need to go through the pain of screwing up your computer at least once in your life to learn how to recognize these sneaky installer tactics, and appreciate the value of prophylactic measures like AVs, backups and never installing software when portable versions are available.
I deeply resent the dumbing-down that started with Apple’s walled garden but has now seemed to permeate all of tech. Users need to learn personal responsibility and common sense, not rely on companies (with flaky support and dubious agendas) to do it for them. Why should we, as a reasonably sophisticated userbase, abandon the flexibility and power of the desktop because the lowest common denominator can’t be bothered to pay attention before installing malware on their systems?
Don't get a Mac, get a dell with Ubuntu uninstalled. Cheaper than a mac, more freedom than a mac, not a mac.
Huh!?! WTF is this article about?
I've been involved in tech support every day of my life since 1996, went through ALL the M$ editions since DOS2, still supporting a huge client base in the petroleum industry that are running OS/2 Warp 3, supporting many clients on various Linux distros, a few Mac users who think they are cool for using an obscure system and upgraded to Windows 8 almost a year ago purely because I had to learn the interface for support purposes.
I will never go back to earlier versions of Windows or even change to Linux or Mac for personal use!
Windows 8 is the best that M$ has come up with so far and works great for home and business use.
It is much lighter on resources and runs even better and quicker than XP on older hardware.
Reason why people are struggling is because they're still thinking the "old" way. I'ts NEW and needs to be operated as such! Just like upgrading your Nokia 5110 brick to the latest Android smartphone comes with a learning curve, so is Windows 8.
What's the point of upgrading to something new if you still want to live in the past?
Stop bitching and learn the new interface and experience - you'll come to love it!
This article is quite one sided and negative.
I'm sure someone could list way more then 8 reasons why the Windows Desktop Experience is pretty good.
Anyone can create a list with all the negative things about something and call it a nightmare but that doesn't mean it is.
I don't really understand what the point of this article is.
Also to say even "Microsoft Agrees" is misleading, just because Microsoft is working on another interface doesn't mean they agree with all these 8 points.
The Windows desktop itself is just fine. Most of the problems described here cannot be blamed on it at all. Bloatware is the fault of manufacturers, not Windows. Unwanted software attached to installers is the fault of developers, not Windows. Most malware infections are due to lax security on the part of users, not Windows. I'm a Linux user who only runs Windows in a VM for a handful of specialty programs, but I found it necessary to come to Windows' defense here. I personally don't feel that it's very well developed and it could use quite a bit of improvement under the hood, but I don't think the Windows desktop experience is a "nightmare." Not by a long shot. Even though I like the ease of using a package manager on Linux I've never felt that finding, downloading and installing software on Windows was an inconvenience. And I have no problem actually paying attention during the installation process (which isn't even remotely complex unless you're using a cracked copy) to make sure nothing unwanted slips by. It's far more simple and convenient than compiling/installing from source, which is not uncommon in Linuxland.
Sure, it's one-sided and focuses on the bad. We all know the good about the Windows desktop -- software compatibility, power, flexibility, etc. I use the Windows desktop most of the time.
But this article is inspired by the way I see average users like my parents struggling with Windows in the real world, trying in vain to not get malware and getting infected anyway, getting the Ask Toolbar on their computer because of installing a Java security update, being unable to properly figure out all the security updates they need to keep track of (oops, there was an insecure browser plugin you had from a long time ago, that could've infected you), putting up with the bloatware on their computer that can add minutes to a new PC's boot time, using IE 9 because their computer is stuck on Windows Vista.
Windows requires a lot of its users. It's worth it to me, but it's not worth it to my parents. And it's not worth it to so many other people struggling with this.
What's really frustrating to me is that MIcrosoft DOES admit this. They position the Surface with Windows RT as the device for average people. Microsoft's messaging is that average people need a more secure, locked-down system that isn't as complex as the desktop.
So yes, it's negative, and it's inspired by me trying to help real people struggle with Windows when they should use something more simple instead. I'm sick of the neverending stream of problems I see people like my parents have with Windows. And they get nothing out of it. They just get to use a web browser and Office. That's it.
Of course, I'm still writing this from my (Windows 7) desktop at the moment. It's a powerful tool, but not one that everyone can or should try to handle.
The larger point of this article is that Windows and its ecosystem is too messy and complex. We can focus on things not being Microsoft's fault, but there's a problem with the ecosystem in general.
Case in point: Compare a $200 Windows netbook to a $200 Chromebook, both made by the same PC manufacturer. The netbook will be stuffed with bloatware until it chokes. The Chromebook will have no manufacturer-added bloatware. Google is clearly making the PC OEMs behave in a way that Microsoft isn't.
Other platforms don't have software installers packed with adware and junk, either. That's a Windows ecosystem thing.
Anyway, the article stands on its own. I have a love-hate relationship with the Windows desktop and use it most of the time. I'm not switching away from the Windows desktop, but these are real, legitimate problems that real users struggle with, even if us geeks don't.
We don't have to care about malware, bloatware, junk in installers, complexity of keeping software updated, figuring out which program is trustworthy when downloading one -- we know this stuff already. All of that falls on average users.
Windows desktop might have some of the problems but those are mostly of Microsoft own doing. Unsecured desktop is simply side effect of inept OS engineering. Misrosoft is using this false argument to close the OS and make a money grab not to secure the OS from malware. The virus makers will still find a way to infect windows (Metro) by using for example browser. Microsoft engineering is still the same inept engineering that designed desktop. Why anyone would expect that this time will be any better. The only reason Metro is secure today is because barely anybody uses it so there is no incentive for hackers to attack it. The junkware will still be there. Computer makers will still install tons of junk under Metro. Microsoft will be more than happy to help them for a small fee of course. Other arguments are even more ridiculous.
Microsoft certainly should be providing free upgrades/updates to their paying customers for as long as they are using the same machine. I know many people have outdated software simply because it's too expensive and/or difficult to upgrade. This is, without a doubt, the fault of Microsoft. However, none of these problems are inherent to the Windows desktop. Not even my 66 year old mother has any trouble with them. All that being said, for those who really only need a web browser, office suite, and other basics, I highly recommend switching to Linux. There are several distros which are similar to Windows and it's very easy to adapt to them. They are free, secure, simple to keep updated, can easily be installed on their current computer, and some are very light on resources and work well on older hardware.
The average person usually falls prey to malware,viruses and PUPs because they don't know better and Microsoft should have a video explaining how to protect themselves from these threats that is the welcome/ new feature thing after the initial install. Saying the desktop is a nightmare really doesn't make much sense. I can't help but think your rant was more about dreading the upcoming holiday rush of relatives with borked computers or new computers who are going to expect you to fix them or set the new machine up for them. Geeks don't tolerate windows we shape it to do our biding,or wait for someone else to and copy their work. The last thing Microsoft should do is lock down windows like windows rt.
Apparently Chris Hoffman has too much free time on his hands. The article was "Rubbish" !!!!
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