re: Windows 8: Are PC People Out Of Touch?
I tested Windows 8 about 3 weeks before the RTM was released. At that time, I found that the OS felt like a toy made for the average-joe-consumer.
A few months went by, and I decided that I'd go ahead and upgrade my Acer Iconia Tab W500 (x86 tablet). In the time in between my initial testing, and my purchase of my license, Acer had published a complete driver and application suite for Windows 8 to replace the set that they had released for Windows 7. This made my transition a breeze... with one exception... one which was alleviated as soon as I picked up a copy of "Start8" by Stardock, the makers of Window Blinds (the skinning app for earlier versions of Windows). Start8 gave me back my Windows 7 style start menu, and allows me to login directly to the desktop, rather than to the NUI (Metro).
I've now been running Windows 8 Pro on my Iconia W500 for about a month, and I'll admit that it's a much better fit *as a tablet OS* than Ubuntu 12.04, which I keep a 16GB USB-stick installation of with me at all times as part of my gear for tech support on the road, where I need power and versatility at all times. Between the 2 OS's, I'm able to do the greater majority of tasks I need to perform. Now, I can see where most people are coming from when they say that their tablet isn't up to doing production work. The majority of tablets out there today are based on ARM chipsets, or something equally underwhelming. The reality is, nothing has changed... either you do your research before hand and get the machine that fits your needs, or you forego all of that and get whatever you end up with, based on whatever popular trend the sales staff are riding at the moment. If you buy an under-powered tablet, expecting to do production work on it, don't be surprised to find that you've totally wasted your money on a trendy piece of garbage. On the other hand, if you do your research and locate a system that meets your hardware needs and works with the OS code that you want to run on it, then you may very well come away with a tablet that rivals many people's desktop PCs.
In my case, with my Acer Iconia W500, I did my research up front. First, I had to guarantee that the system would run Ubuntu and other comparable Linux OS's [check]. Second, it had to be bootable off of every drive interface (SD-Card, internal SSD, USB) [check]. Thirdly, it had to support multi-touch, because I knew that several touch based initiatives were in the works when I started thinking about this purchase (10 months ago now) [Check]. Once I had enough data to make an informed decision, I bought the Iconia W500, and have been happy with it ever since. There has been little, if anything at all, that I haven't loved about this little machine. The fact that it seamlessly upgraded to Windows 8 was a bonus. The W500 originally came loaded with Windows 7 Home. As soon as I got the system out of the box and verified that it came with restore media in case I had to return it during it's warranty period, I formatted the machine and replaced windows 7 home with Windows 7 Enterprise, and then built out an Ubuntu USB stick for it as well. Now, after having integrated Start8 into Windows 8 Pro, I don't foresee wanting to change the OS on my tablet for a couple of years.
Granted, there was a bit of a learning curve... and until I installed Start8, it was irritating the crap outta me to have to go digging down into the file system to create desktop shortcuts to the legacy apps and functions I use regularly (Windows Run Box, MSTSC, UltraVNC Viewer, VMWare Infrastructure Client, and several others), but once Start8 was installed, that was no longer an issue.
Now, I understand the feelings of those that believe that Start8's functions should have been a part of the base-OS-installation, but this isn't the first time this has happened... if you think back... way back, you'll probably remember an old adage from the MS-DOS era, "Bill makes the OS, Peter fixes it", which was a reference to Bill Gates (MS) and Peter Norton (Norton Utilities, Norton AntiVirus, etc). Microsoft has *always* sold a 'just good enough' solution, then left the extensive cosmetics to 3rd parties. With so many people complaining about the new interface in Windows 8, I would think someone within the vast numbers of tech savvy people out there today would have mentioned Start8 in more places and more of these discussions. Basically, it fixes everyone's #1 complaint about Windows 8. It costs $5 (USD), and has a 30 day trial before it either has to be purchased or removed from the system. I've used it for a week now, and can't find a single flaw with it, so I'll be buying my license for Start8 tomorrow night after I get home from work.