Windows 8 Broken, Ex-Microsoft Worker Says

Mike Bibik, now an Amazon designer, says he hopes Fixing Windows 8 website will convince Microsoft to make changes to its new operating system.

Paul McDougall, Editor At Large, InformationWeek

March 14, 2012

3 Min Read

Windows 8 Beta: Visual Tour

Windows 8 Beta: Visual Tour

Windows 8 Beta: Visual Tour(click image for larger view and for slideshow)

A former Microsoft employee has launched a website that outlines all of the problems he sees with the forthcoming Windows 8 operating system.

Fixing Windows 8, as the site is called, outlines the bugs, quirks, and design flaws that Mike Bibik, who was a Microsoft program manager, says detract from the Windows 8 user experience. "Microsoft made it very clear that Windows 8 will work fantastically if you are using touch, mouse, or keyboard. Unfortunately, that's not entirely true," wrote Bibik, in his initial post on the website.

Most of Bibik's complaints center on Windows 8's new Metro interface. Bibik says the Metro UI will be a navigational nightmare for users who aren't tech savvy. "Windows 8 just dumps you into the Start screen. No tutorial, no help icon on the main screen, nothing. This will be fixed by launch or Windows 8 will fail."

Bibik may be biased. He's now a user experience designer at Amazon, a company that is moving into competition with Microsoft on a number of fronts. Amazon's AWS cloud services group competes with Microsoft's Azure platform, and Windows 8 touch tablets will go head to head with Amazon's Kindle Fire when they launch later this year.

[ Will Win 8 tablets be locked out of the enterprise? See Windows 8 Tablets Could Be Risky Business. ]

Still, some of Bibik's points will doubtless resonate with Windows users who are used to the old Explorer interface, which will still be an option on PCs and laptops, and who primarily use a mouse and keyboard to navigate.

"The Start screen presents you with a bunch of colorful tiles to launch your apps. This isn't the entire collection of apps, just the default collection that Microsoft decided upon," wrote Bibik. "Getting to all of your apps is completely undiscoverable."

Bibik also gripes that Windows 8's new full-screen apps, which can only be downloaded from the new Windows Store, will cause problems for average users.

"The user might be able to figure out that their scroll wheel, used for years to scroll up and down, will now scroll left and right ... If not, the user sees a very small portion of the full app and is very confused. This confused user wants to go back to Start and try something else, maybe that will work."

Despite his barbs, Bibik insists his Fixing Windows 8 site is meant to attract constructive feedback that he hopes will convince Microsoft to make some tweaks to the OS. "Over the next few weeks, I hope to explore these issues deeper and maybe even come up with solutions Microsoft can use. This website is meant to be informative, not just negative."

Microsoft launched the Windows 8 Consumer Preview last month. The company has not announced a ship date for the final version, but it's widely expected to be released before year's end.

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About the Author(s)

Paul McDougall

Editor At Large, InformationWeek

Paul McDougall is a former editor for InformationWeek.

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