I have had plenty of time to think about the direction Windows 8 is taking. And, I refuse to go along. I don’t so much mind the finger calisthenics required to get to the traditional desktop, nor the split brain personality, nor ugly interface. Well, actually I do, or I wouldn’t be writting this.
But I refuse to go down the path we’re being led to, to a de-Guified Windows showing one application per full screen. I like the GUI interface, I like my mouse (trackball), and I like having 40 windows open at once. That is how I get my work done. Xerox PARC had a great idea in creating the GUI interface as we know it.
Back in the days of DOS, sorry youngsters, I am speaking of the computing iron age, I used multi-taskers such as Quarterdeck’s Desqview to multi-task single full screen applications. It worked, but it was an arduous method of getting anything done. You could not resize the application, it was full screen, period. (You kind of could, but that is a different story). To get from one to another application/screen, you had to remember cryptic keyboard commands which cycled through one screen at a time, or brought up a menu to select the screen to jum to.
Windows and the Mac, once it was able to multi-task, made truly useful GUI’s. At last we could start multiple applications and jump from one Window to the next by clicking on it. Or resize and move the individual windows at whim. Leave application windows running for days or weeks, or close them simply by clicking on a desktop accessible control.
Now Windows 8 wants us to forget all about the benefits of the Graphics Interface, and to go back to full screen multi-tasking, with all of the cryptic keys and finger calisthenics that go with it.
But what is worse is that the stated intent is that in some future version, the cryptically accessible traditional Windows Desktop will go totally away in preference to full screen multi-tasking.
Well, I for one am not ready to go backwards in time to the computing iron age. Had the intention been to keep the GUI alongside the “modern” interface, allowing ME to choose my startup mode, I would have also jumped on Windows phone and Windows tablets. But since it isn’t, I will look for alternatives. I already have them on my iPad and iPhone. I will continue to use Windows 7 until its joints creak and will not bend due to old age. In the meantime, I’ll be looking at alternatives.