It won’t even ship for another three months but already Windows 8 has received its first scathing review. A Gartner research analyst has indicated that unless you’re planning to use the upcoming operating system on a touchscreen device, you might as well forget about it.
Gartner is a major research firm that studies products and trends in the consumer technology market. Recently, its Research Director, Gunnar Berger, composed a five-part review of Microsoft’s Windows 8, set for release October 26, 2012.
His finding: that Windows 8 is easy to use and remarkably fast, but tough to navigate on anything other than a touchscreen-enabled tech device.
When we talk of touchscreen devices, we’re referring to smartphones (like the iPhone or Galaxy), tablet computers (like the iPad or PlayBook), or all-in-one PCs, which are like regular desktop computers but feature a large touchscreen monitor.
When using these devices, Berger found navigating Windows 8 just great. The new “Metro” interface, which features tiles that can be quickly accessed with one’s fingertips, is extremely handy in this scenario.
Berger was also excited to see that Windows 8 was substantially faster to boot up than its predecessor, Windows 7, whether one was using a touchscreen tablet or desktop PC.
But the advantages of using Windows 8 on a laptop or desktop ended there. After asking the question, “What is the experience like on Windows 8 when the end point isn’t touch enabled?” Berger replied: “In a word: Bad.”
The problem: Microsoft, it would appear, has spent too much time optimizing Windows 8 for touchscreen devices and has forgotten the old mouse and keyboard. Berger found that the same menu screens that were easy to navigate with a touchscreen were a nightmare to figure out when using a mouse.
Overall, it appears this prominent analyst won’t be recommending Windows 8 to desktop or laptop users any day soon.
“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,” Berger said.