Recent developments at work necessitated the purchase of two new computers. As we want our new computers to be the latest and greatest, I suddenly found myself tossed into the exciting world of Windows 8. I know I said “latest and greatest” but my workplace is a Windows universe so I go with the flow. Anyway, this new version of windows features a new interface designed like all new interfaces. Depending on how cynical you are, this either enhances your outlook or not so subtly rips-off the competition. In this case Apple provides the competition for Windows to follow. Pity Internet Explorer continues to play follow the leader as well.
I have a hate-love relationship with new interfaces. I hate new interfaces because they change every aspect of accessibility. I optimize every interface I encounter. I make it work so seamlessly for me and only me that when something new comes around I quickly become a deer in headlights. Where’s the start button on windows 8? How do I get this poor-mans Apple app page out of the way and reach the desktop? Usually Windows brings forth subtle changes to their interface. Here? Not so much. The hateful relationship inevitably turns into love once I figure out what I am doing. I finally optimize everything and slowly the dust clears, and if I’m lucky, life is more convenient.
Gmail pulled off a similar trick recently, and it works much better by subtly improving the interface without completely redesigning everything. Sure there’s still that transition period, but for once I actually found myself enjoying the token need to reinvent the wheel.
My next computer will still be a Mac though. Sorry Windows.