Analyst firm Gartner has chosen just one word to describe Windows 8 for desktop users: “Bad”.
Research Director Gunnar Berger put the imminent OS through its paces in a five-part review which found that Windows 8 is pretty good when used on touch-screen devices. Microsoft loaned Berger a Samsung slate device and he found that Windows 8 gets around some of the problems he's seen when others try to get enterprise apps running on a tablet.
Windows 8 also impressed him with a seamless, all drivers present and correct sir installation process on a variety of hardware, “crazy fast” boot time and pleasing appearance. Berger also felt that the slate he tested means he can ditch his habit of travelling with a laptop and iPad, as it does the job of both devices more than tolerably well.
But there's also bad news for Redmond in the review, as the first of its five instalments drops this little bomb:
“We recently did a large field research study and specifically asked all of our interviewees if they were looking at Windows 8, most laughed. The fact is most enterprises are still trying to get to Windows 7 and few enterprises are ready for Windows 8.”
There's another nasty lurking in the third chapter, wherein Berger asks “What is the experience like on Windows 8 when the end point isn’t touch enabled?”
“In a word: Bad.”
Berger's justification for that assessment is that “Extremely important menus in Windows 8 are hidden off screen, easily brought in when using a touch and swiping with your thumbs, are absent when using a mouse … Prior to this incident, I can’t tell you the last time I had to ask someone how to do something in a client OS.”
He also found remote access to a Windows 8 computer to be a nightmare, as the Metro interface on the remote PC would not accept input from the Windows key on his local keyboard. All sorts of keyboard calisthenics ensued, leading Berger to predict Sysadmin scowling.
Overall, Berger says Windows 8 is very fine on a touch device and gives Microsoft a real crack at the tablet market.
But as a desktop guy, he feels the OS will have a hard time on the business desktop.
“Unfortunately, my area of expertise is enterprise desktops, and those desktops have a keyboard and a mouse; and as much as this doesn’t make any sense, it seems to me that Microsoft forgot about this when they designed Windows 8.” ®