Windows 8 Users Already Upset Over Beta Usability Issues

By March 15, 2012

Windows 8 only began its consumer preview at the end of last month, but many users are already up in arms about serious usability issues in the new OS. One of the operating system’s most talked about new features is the Metro user interface, which has a tile-based startup screen featuring apps like those found on mobile devices and tablets, but it’s Windows 8’s biggest new feature that’s giving users a headache.

With Metro Microsoft hopes to bring a unified operating system to both PCs and mobile devices. The biggest problem many users have found when using Metro is that the translation doesn’t work very well between the platforms. Much of the outcry over the drastic redesign has come from long-time Windows users, who feel the redesign is not only a mismatch for home computers, but also alienating to anyone familiar with previous versions of the long-running operating system. In a poll by PC World, a total of around 34% of users surveyed were either somewhat or extremely dissatisfied with the product.

In the video below, frustrated Windows user, Chris Pirillo, demonstrates via his father how regular users will be confused over the operating system’s layout.

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The frustration has become so great among one ex-Microsoft employee that he created an entire website dedicated to publishing improved interface ideas for the new OS. Mike Bibik, a former user-interface designer for the company, created, where he’s so far written eight posts with both criticisms and ideas for the OS. In the welcome message of his site, Bibik says that his goal is simply “to help Microsoft improve Windows 8.”

Whether or not Microsoft has gotten the message yet is unclear. Just today Microsoft hosted a roundup of largely positive reviews for Windows 8 in their press center. Since the purpose of this consumer preview is to take the public’s feedback on their new product into consideration, ideally Microsoft will take at least some of these frustrations to heart. We’ll have to wait and see what comes of Metro when the to-be-announced final version of Windows 8 surfaces.

Corey Cummings

Corey is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin in Madison where he received degrees in English and Creative Writing. He currently lives in Chicago and enjoys alternately obsessing over video games that aren't out yet and crazy gadgets he can't afford.