Microsoft claims that Windows 8’s new UI is absolutely brilliant for all platforms, but user interface design expert Jakob Nielsen thinks otherwise.
In a long article describing the Windows 8 interface, Nielsem claims that Microsoft has finally abandoned the “Gates-driven GUI style” for a design that’s clearly optimized for the touch.
While that could make sense on tablets and touchscreen devices, it’s terrible on laptops and desktop computers, the design guru said.
“’Windows’ no longer supports multiple windows on the screen. Win8 does have an option to temporarily show a second area in a small part of the screen, but none of our test users were able to make this work. Also, the main UI restricts users to a single window, so the product ought to be renamed ‘Microsoft Window,’” Nielsen wrote when talking about the “Metro” interface.
While the design expert has emphasized he doesn’t hate Microsoft at all, he claims that Windows 8 is actually the new Vista, saying that Windows 9 would most likely fix all these awful options debuted in Microsoft’s new operating system.
“I have great hopes for Windows 9 on mobile and tablets. Just as Windows 7 was ‘Vista Done Right,’ it's quite likely that the touchscreen version of Windows 9 will be ‘Windows 8 Done Right,’” he said.
Overall, Windows 8 is weak on tablets and terrible for PCs, he said, so it’s nothing more than “a monster that terrorizes poor office workers and strangles their productivity.”
Surprisingly, he said nothing about the lack of a Start Menu and a Start button, but he did mention that Microsoft has now “thrown the old customer base under the bus” with all these changes.
Users seem to share a similar point of view, as the overall sales performance of the Windows 8 operating system is well below expectations. People within the company have hinted that Microsoft is actually disappointed with the way Windows 8 performs on the market, blaming PC manufacturers for the lack of devices capable of running its new software.