Why Windows 8 Is One Of The Worst Operating Systems Ever [Video]

This isn’t strictly Mac related, but it’s an interesting discussion on what makes a multi-touch operating system like OS X work, and what makes a similar multi-touch operating system like Windows 8 a complete failure. It’s also an incredibly insightful and concise argument about how Windows 8 fails as a desktop operating system in the four key areas in which an operating system must succeed: control, context, conveyance and continuity.

Brian Bokyo makes a series of excellent arguments on Windows 8’s failure over the course of roughly 23 minutes, but perhaps the video is best summed up in this paraphrased line taken from it: “Use Windows 8 and all of a sudden, a goblin will magically appear, fart in your face and disappear. Moreover, you know it’s going to continue to unpredictably happen again and again… and you’ll never have any idea why.”

  • totaji

    I am not a Windows guy at all, but I am sick of people using new OS’s and freaking out like they aren’t like the previous. This guy is wigging because he is using Windows 8 and it isn’t exactly like all the previous ones. “Oh No! It is different!”
    This guy’s mind got used to Windows 95- Windows 7. Anytime he uses an OS and it isn’t exactly like those, he dissolves into histrionics.
    You see this alot when a Windows user uses OS X. “This makes no sense! It isn’t exactly like Windows!”

  • joe smith

    This guys review is on the money. I purchased a new PC for my wife for Christmas and after using it for 2 days we will return it. The UI is horrible and makes simple tasks confusing. Complete failure fo MS.

  • dcdevito

    Chrome OS is the easiest OS to use. Ever.

  • JeromeKurliak

    I am not a Windows guy at all, but I am sick of people using new OS’s and freaking out like they aren’t like the previous.

    Like a few others, I feel the opposite. Though it’s long past the point of caring (by, oh, a decade or so), being enchanted with the new system, people didn’t wig out nearly enough about OS X’s relative lack of user-friendliness compared with the so-called “classic” environment. As an original Mac user who had twice taken years-long hiatuses from the Mac OS, skipping as many as three version numbers in between, and having been astonished at how that OS offered the seamless ability to pick up new features like they were second nature, I was stunned to find that in many ways OS X represented a complete regression from sensible principles. And it’s just as clear that the overall Mac OS direction is a “dumbing down” rather than an enabling.

    You see this alot when a Windows user uses OS X. “This makes no sense! It isn’t exactly like Windows!”

    No, you don’t. The general reaction is quite the opposite.

  • rogifan

    The flat UI and low information density are big problems with Windows 8. The best thing about it is Jony Ive and Craig Federighi know what to avoid when redesigning iOS/OS X.

  • burpingcat

    I hate that weather app on windows 8! Had so many problems when I was testing out 8. I think most of the review is on target. My friend, who have used way more than me, genrally like 8, but he is not recommending it for family. He is telling people to wait for SP1. I have to agree with him that its ready not for non-tech people.

  • dcdevito

    At least Windows 8 is better than OS X.

    OS X is bloated, slow and brings no new features to users. It simply adopts features from iOS. Weak

  • markrlangston

    Not sure why he didn’t figure out how to close apps but the overarching issue is that many people outside of geeks like us that digest tech news on a daily basis do not represent the average user who likely didn’t even know about Windows 8 or what it does until they walked into Best Buy and saw a bunch of colorful tiles all over the screen.

    I think the search feature is one of the worst things about Win8. Had he typed in “control panel” the screen would still be blank until you clicked on “Settings” on the right. Why MSFT forces you to click on another button is ridiculous.

    How this all plays out over the next few years will be interesting.

  • bdkennedy

    Really hard to take this guy seriously, especially for 23 minutes. I couldn’t even make it half way through. Too long, too cute and what purpose did the animation serve? Probably to keep us from falling asleep.

  • sethwr

    I’ve been a devout Mac user for 10 years, since high school… Never liked MS at all. But to be honest, W8 is a bitch slap to the OSX platform(s)..

    The “four cs” failure is a BS argument… when you try something new, there is always a learning curve – but why should a platform treat you like you are a new user if you’ve been using if for 10 years?

    The minimalism in W8 is stripping away that which you learn to do over and over again, ie closing an app or switching… you shouldn’t need an icon to remind you how to do this after doing it a few times as the critic suggests.. that’s just a stupid argument.

    I dont want to be lectured on design – I’m a design student so I really dont need to hear any bs about “context” failures of the UI or what-have-you..

    I will probably continue to use OSX for the sake of consistency and with the expectation of Apple following up W8 with a better OSX – if that fails to happen – I may jump ship for windows…

  • vanstatten

    I’m a OS x user over 6 years and hate MS, one week with Win 8 and i’m in love, especially if you are using a hybrid, touch enabled PC, well basically it shows how iPad sucks interface wise and how it should work right! Wish Apple takes interface design seriously, besides creating skeuomorphic things…, well at least i know that i will be excepting a real nice photo-real desktop interface for the next major OS X update!

  • Edwin_Torres

    Couldn’t agree more!!! My sister got a new PC for Christmas and we had to return it today because it is that bad, It is fucking horrible!!!

  • Martin Dobson

    I haven’t had the opportunity to try W8 yet, some of these things that Brian brings up seem to very valid but I’d like to see how it really is. I’d like to see if he has actually gone back and tried it again. I think that all this could have been summed in to “W8 has a steep learning curve, get to the top and you may actually like it”

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    I’ve been a devout Mac user for 10 years, since high school… Never liked MS at all. But to be honest, W8 is a bitch slap to the OSX platform(s)..

    The “four cs” failure is a BS argument… when you try something new, there is always a learning curve – but why should a platform treat you like you are a new user if you’ve been using if for 10 years?

    The minimalism in W8 is stripping away that which you learn to do over and over again, ie closing an app or switching… you shouldn’t need an icon to remind you how to do this after doing it a few times as the critic suggests.. that’s just a stupid argument.

    I dont want to be lectured on design – I’m a design student so I really dont need to hear any bs about “context” failures of the UI or what-have-you..

    I will probably continue to use OSX for the sake of consistency and with the expectation of Apple following up W8 with a better OSX – if that fails to happen – I may jump ship for windows…

    You’re not thinking like the average user. As a student of “design”, you should know that your base is always right.

    While I don’t agree with the entire video, it does make many, many valid points. I owned the Surface, so I’d like to think I know what I’m talking about: UI wise, WinRT and Win8 are identical.

    Windows 8 is Microsoft throwing users to the deep end. The learning curve: get it right, or be the most unproductive person you’ve ever been. Sure, squares and rectangles in solid, bold colors are cool to look at but it’s not all that great for the desktop. There are too many options just laid out from the beginning. And, what’s worse is that Microsoft saturates the Start screen with all of these apps without telling the user how to unpin. Think about it, if you’ve been a Windows user since forever, you know that when you first get a computer, you have about 4 icons on the desktop. If a user doesn’t like an app, he or she doesn’t really need to stress much because its only one little icon. Now fast forward to Win8 and all of a sudden the desktop is saturated with content.

    The legit problem of Aero’s integration is also something to scoff at. Why does Aero exist? If the point is to create something new, why keep the Aero experience? If I love Metro, I love Metro. What I don’t love is having to switch between experiences just to do certain things with my computer. Aero on Windows RT is probably the biggest issue with Surface, too. It makes no seance to move to Aero just to use a simple app like Word. It’s also a bit disorienting when tapping an icon in the Metro experience, but being taken to Aero. Inconsistent to say the least.

    The Charms bar is probably the worst part of Windows 8 as a whole. It only needs names of the ‘Charms’ under the icons. What, are people suppose to describe the icons when referring to the computer? Yeah, that won’t work: “Touch the Untunu icon-looking button.” Why? Just give it a name.

    As far as I’m concerned, this is a great learning experience for Microsoft. They wanted to avoid being the followers when combining their OS business, but in the process, they delivered on a broken product. No doubt, when Apple launches their One-OS-To-Rule-Them-All, it WON’T be a Windows 8 disaster.

  • Matthew Gonzales Landry

    At least Windows 8 is better than OS X.

    OS X is bloated, slow and brings no new features to users. It simply adopts features from iOS. Weak

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA Nice joke!

    Windows 8 isn’t even better than Windows 7. Then there’s the obvious: derp, Windows 8 looks EXACTLY like Windows Phone. In fact, it ADDS a lot of features FROM Windows Phone. Messages? That’s want on Windows before. Weather? That wasn’t on Windows before. Stocks? That wasn’t on Windows before. Real photo app? That wasn’t on Windows before. Metro IE? That wasn’t on Windows before.

    So two OS’ that both take features from mobiles operating systems. The difference between the two is that OS X is actually useable by most people.

  • daov2a

    Most of this video is correct. Older users are having to re-learn Windows and it is difficult. I would lump the video author into that old user category. He obviously has a hardware issue happening if the weather app keeps appearing. A crappy touchpad with no built in W8 gestures tends to make W8 work badly. I would put Apple’s trackpad into that group as it does not yet really support W8. I have been using W8 since dev preview alongside OS X’s updates and have had no issues and agree that OS X is dumbing down but is still quite powerful.

    W8 is faster. Once you know the in’s and out’s, it’s fine. I think it has more to do with expectations rather than bad UI design. My daughter understood W8 better than W7 and she is two. My father cannot grasp it all: he is 66.

    Most of these gripes are inconsequential. Most Metro apps do nothing in the background so no need to close them though I agree a nice big X would be better. But it would be nice if, when searching, I did not have to choose Apps, Settings or Files.

    These complaints I take with a grain of salt. I lose count with how many normal mac users who have no idea how to quit an application or have no clue about system preferences or force quit. Or Windows users who have no understanding of the Control Panel or anything regarding the OS other than changing the wallpaper and downloading porn or using Pirate Bay.

    An OS should require you to not think much nor need maintenance. W8 accomplishes this in some ways, is imperfect but is a big leap forward forward for MS. I gave it about two days and not 30 minutes. It took me that long to really grasp OS X initially. Not just opening and closing things but really using it in all of its aspects.

    It is obvious to me that MS is working toward a desktop free OS. Likely in a few years Windows will be free of the registry, a desktop, and will use Powershell and HTML5 for everything.

  • Andrew Newsome

    Everyone, everyone…

    Both Windows 8 and Mountain Lion are good operating systems.

    Some people prefer one to the other. Can nobody in this world understand that?

    To some of the myths, W8 is exactly like W7 until you press the start button, and a nice interface start screen appears. Mostly everything else is exactly like Windows 7. No problems to people who are used to windows.

    Mac OS X Mountain Lion is basically the same look as previous OS X releases. Nothing is wrong with that. It is like iOS. Sure it’s simple and minimalistic, but that’s what works and it’s easy and it’s nice.

    I use both Windows 8 on my desktop, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion on my Macbook Air 2012.
    I definitely prefer the trackpad and multifinger gestures of mac osx compared to windows equivalents (that i have tried).

    For me, and for what i use with both, i really don’t notice much difference between the two operating systems. They both generally look the same, run similar apps, and run at the same speed.

    I can’t stand the trash talk of the other side on this site, but hey i guess it pays the bills because it attracts people to come on and comment like us here.

  • craighyork

    Absolutely brilliant! Not often that I am blown away by a .ppt 20-min. Audio presentation, but You nailed it! The ‘farting goblin’ and the ‘leprechaun charms bar’ were epic! Well played. Just switched to Mac OS X from 30 years of Windows OS (had an apple IIe in the mid 80s, but that doesn’t count). Took me 2 days to master Mac OS X, including the new iOS functionality which has been ported over seamlessly…maybe did a dozen google searches for things like (how to cut/paste in ‘Finder’, etc., but cest le vie!)

    Congrats!

  • ulyssesric

    I use both Windows 8 on my desktop, and Mac OS X Mountain Lion on my Macbook Air 2012.

    Try using Windows 8 on an traditional laptop, I mean the ones without the touch panel screen, and you’ll change your mind. This is the sole reason some analysts predicted that “laptops without touch panel screen will be hard to sell two years from now”; because you’d prefer to kill yourself for using Windows 8 with traditional trackpad.

  • Hadden62Sr

    This is for all the winners of windows 8. My windows 8 when it boots goes to the desktop just like my windows 7 did. When I’m using my windows 8 I never know it even has a start page unless I want to go there. I also here winning about all the tiles..Duh..you can remove any or all the tiles from the start screen. You can also Pin ANYTHING you want to the start screen.The best part about windows 8 is the price..I paid less than 20 dollars for my windows 8 pro and I got a free windows media center. It also cost me less than 5 dollars to put the start button back on my windows 8..so I have a total of less than 25 dallars in my windows 8..try buying a version of windows 7 ultimate for that price…lol. So for all you winners just take a few minutes to learn the new operating system and you will find out that it has a lot of NEW great features on it. I can do ANYTHING with my windows 8 that I did with windows 7. If you want to see and learn how to personalize windows 8 the same way you did windows 7 just go to my Blog and find out.

    http://justaboutwindows.blogspot.com/

  • thugluvaqueens

    Windows 8 is a joke, and so is anyone who uses it. It is pure crapola from the beginning to the end. I’ve worked as a System Admin for close to 20 years. I and endusers don’t get windows 8. It’s a clusterfuck waiting to happen. MS said, screen end-users. A least apple doesn’t do that. WIndows 8 is draining Microsoft’s pockets, and stock is not performing greatly. They should give it up as soon as possiblel

  • Pseudonomian

    dcdevito wrote:

    OS X is bloated, slow and brings no new features to users. It simply adopts features from iOS. Weak

    I was hoping this comment was a joke, but then I looked at the user’s comment history.

    Going back to the video:

    In playing with Windows 8 computers at Best Buy, I thought alt-f4 closed an app in “Metro.” I could be mistaken.

  • betheball11

    I agree with the vast majority of this review. I have been using windows 8 on my home laptops without a touch screen. Windows 8 does really make you less productive. I have worked on linux, unix, dos, all flavors of windows, android, and iOS. This is not a fear the new thing issue. This is an issue where the new thing is less usable than the old thing. People cannot figure out how to use this OS, closing apps is a good example. If you need to google how to do something basic, then they got it wrong. BTW, just got a chromebook last weekend and I love it, it took less than 30 minutes to be fully productive. Google may finally be onto something good.

  • GrandPubah

    Windows 8 isn’t even better than Windows 7. Then there’s the obvious: derp, Windows 8 looks EXACTLY like Windows Phone. In fact, it ADDS a lot of features FROM Windows Phone. Messages? That’s want on Windows before. Weather? That wasn’t on Windows before. Stocks? That wasn’t on Windows before. Real photo app? That wasn’t on Windows before. Metro IE? That wasn’t on Windows before.

    Anyone else catch the blaring logical fallacy? Windows 8 isn’t better? Then why did you list a lot of new features?

    By the way, the reason it looks like Windows Phone is because they use the same code base. This allows Microsoft to cut development costs, and concentrate efforts to things that matter, rather than fixing the same bugs in different systems. Computer, tablet, and phone; one code base. Mac doesn’t even have that tight of integration. Before you try to use a feature a flaw, try to know what you are talking about!

  • julia0345

    Thanks for sharing this nice post. Windows 8 is Microsoft’s next generation operating system and Windows 8 features are easy to use for desktops, laptops and tablets users.

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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