19windows 8 logoWindows 8: Horrible Horrible Horrible Metro UI

OK, I sus­pect the title is going to give it away.  I down­loaded Win­dows 8 8250 con­sumer pre­view today, and almost imme­di­ately real­ised that as it stands I am going to avoid Win­dows 8 like the plague.  As far as I’m con­cerned the UI changes cur­rently make Win­dows 8 the worst release of Win­dows ever (even worse than Win­dows ME!)

Simply put — Microsoft have taken the excel­lent Win­dows 7, torn off the well bal­anced and integ­rated desktop UI and stitched on some awful Win­dows Phone 7 type inter­face.  Giv­en that Win­dows 7 for desktop PCs has been con­sid­er­ably more suc­cess­ful than Win­dows Phone 7, you have to won­der what Microsoft were thinking.

Anoth­er way of put­ting this is to won­der why Microsoft seem so des­per­ate to put a Phone/Tablet UI into a laptop/desktop PC envir­on­ment.  They don’t seem to real­ise that the very BEST thing about a prop­er PC is pre­cisely that it ISN’T a phone or a tab­let.  People that want those kind of inter­faces will buy those kind of devices.  Fur­ther­more — people that want lim­ited choice and child­ish shiny inter­faces have already all bought Apple products and wont be com­ing back.

Unless they change course I sus­pect that all microsoft will do is ali­en­ate the power users and ama­teur tech­ies and drive them to Linux (or in a few cases Apple).  In the longer term this may prove a big­ger mis­cal­cu­la­tion than MS real­ises.  If you have moved to linux your­self what are you likely to do when you friends, fam­ily, neigh­bours and all those oth­er people who rely on you for tech sup­port ask you what they should run on their PC in the future?  If they have to learn a totally new UI they might as well learn the one that you your­self use because you can help them with it.  And assum­ing that is linux, it wont be all that hard to per­suade people to move to a FREE altern­at­ive, esep­cially giv­en that cur­rent linux UIs are much more sim­il­ar to win­dows 7 than win­dows 8 is.

As far as Win­dows Serv­er is con­cerned, I don’t know if the same crack­pot changes have been forced on the UI there, but I can only hope san­ity set in.  I’ll be try­ing it soon and will update this post accordingly.

In the mean­time, I recom­mend stick­ing with Win­dows 7, and hope by the time Microsoft pull the plug on Win­dows 7 sup­port they have decided to go back to a prop­er desktop UI.


I have pos­ted an update with details of how to restore the tra­di­tion­al start menu

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Win­dows 8 is going to tank Microsoft. For the first time in 20 years I’m think­ing about an altern­at­ive OS. And anoth­er opin­ion of mine is that the desktop PC is not going away. It’s used in busi­ness and has a huge gam­ing com­munity. MS totally dropped the ball with this metro inter­face. No-one I know likes it.

gravatarJon Scaife

It will take more than 1 fail­ure to put them to the sword. Look how well Win 7 recovered them from the Vista dis­aster. I agree that stand­ard PC’s will still be around for a good while longer, but innov­a­tion has moved away quite a lot. If, in 5 or 10 years time, you can sit at your desk which has a mon­it­or, mouse and key­board only, and they wire­lessly con­nect to the smart­phone in your pock­et, I think that will kill laptops and desktops.
In the near­er term though — just keep using Win­dows 7 — it’s excel­lent and does everything Win 8 can do.


Win­dows 8 is bey­ond bad and frus­trat­ing. Microsoft has blown it big time and they know it. We were in a Best Buy two weeks ago and three oth­er couples were also look­ing for a com­puter with Win­dows 7. We exchanged con­tact inform­a­tion when we found Win­dows 7 com­puters con­tac­ted the oth­ers with inform­a­tion. Ever heard of the “New Coke”?


Win­dows 8 is full of ads. It’s like a kids c**p pop up all over the place. I hate it. It’s total junk.

gravatarM Widdy

I had to buy a new machine, and picked up a desktop with Win­dows 8. Oh boy. I have to reboot a couple times a day. Apps lock up. Inter­net con­nec­tions quit work­ing. Etc…

I should have looked for a desktop with Win­dows 7. Grrr.…. My advice — Wait until Win­dows 8 is either ‘cleaned up’ or wait for the next OS.

gravatarPj Patton

Win­dows 8 is the most intol­er­able sys­tem I have ever worked with and I’m a soft­ware developer from the stone age…maybe that’s the prob­lem but.…“oh my god guys…you screwed up! I want my money back or a revi­sion of some kind.


PJ, Don’t feel bad. I love new tech­no­logy, but I have to agree that Win­dows 8 is hor­rible. It has SO many bugs, glitches, and issues that it makes me want to go back to Win­dows 7 des­per­ately. When the PC goes to sleep, it does­n’t want to “wake up” half the time. Pro­gram glitches appear through­out the pro­gram, such as when Pho­toshop is open, you have to change some of the “Per­form­ance” set­tings as Win­dows 8 causes glitches with­in the pro­gram, as well as title bars going all retro when there is no need for it. The real prob­lem is that com­puter man­u­fac­tur­ers are try­ing to push every­one towards cloud data, and frankly, I like know­ing my inform­a­tion is safely stored on my com­puter. It’s sad to see this down­ward spir­al of tech­no­logy, but if we look at “Star Trek” (I’m sorry, but it coin­cides with this), it’s some­thing that has been com­ing for a while. In the shows, all of the com­puter sys­tems are integ­rated so that inform­a­tion is shared with pretty much any­one. Think Face­book, Chrome OS, iCloud, etc. This OS is not user friendly, and is full of problems.

gravatarDiogo Pinto

The level of stu­pid on this page is unbe­liev­able. All of you are spout­ing “OMG CHANGE BAD I WANT SAME WINDOWS FROM 95 PLS”, This release was meant uni­fy the Microsoft eco­sys­tem, its intu­it­ive and easy to use. You can down­load add-ons that dis­able the Met­roUI you guys hate so much but I find it easy to use and much faster than Win­dows 7.

Win­dows 8 shows that Microsoft does more than just repack­age an old OS and try to re-release it. They try to innov­ate and add new fea­tures. Unity desktop for Ubuntu did­n’t give you the option to get the old sys­tem back, you STILL have the desktop in Win­dows 8 and because of how open Win­dows is, you can install your own mods and add-ons to make it look the way you want it to look.

I’ve been using the 8400 release since it was made avail­able and let me tell you, I haven’t used a bet­ter OS than this one.

gravatarJon Scaife

Well, thank you for your com­ment, altho I prefer things not to get personal.

I’m delighted you like the Win­dows 8 user inter­face. Do you also think it is suit­able for a serv­er OS (e.g. Serv­er 2012)? There is an art­icle on this site detail­ing how to dis­able the metro UI — and to make Win­dows 8 prop­erly usable with a mouse and key­board this is what is pretty much required. How­ever the work­arounds are clunky and I see no good reas­on for Microsoft not to have giv­en end users, or at least admin level end users, the choice. How would includ­ing the choice have harmed any­one? They could have learned from the mis­takes made with Unity on Ubuntu — lots of former Ubuntu users switched dis­tros pretty damned fast. The fail­ure of Microsoft to take note of this makes their decision even less sensible.

I’m not “stuck in the past” when it comes to new tech­no­logy — I loved android on my old HTC desire from day 1 — and I’d moved from a Nokia clas­sic 6300 so the change could­n’t have been much more stark. I also loved Win­dows XP when that first came out and upgraded from Win­dows 2000 straight away. Lots of people did­n’t like the visu­al styles of XP at the time, but that was OK because Microsoft left the option to turn them off and go back to a Win­dows 2000 style. I’ve nev­er had much of a prob­lem with “User Account Con­trol” either — but again, Microsoft gave people the option to turn it off. Last but by no means least there is STILL a com­mand shell avail­able for those people “stuck” in the days of DOS. The Win­dows 8 inter­face looks pretty decent for touch­screen devices — i.e. tab­lets and phones. I par­tic­u­larly like the look of the “Sur­face” and am very temp­ted to get one. But I don’t want my lovely desktop IPS pan­el to be touch screen — I want my full powered pro­fes­sion­al-use desktop to have an inter­face prop­erly optim­ised for a key­board and mouse — Win­dows 8 just does­n’t offer that, but there is no good reas­on for it not to. This is doubly annoy­ing as Microsoft HAVE added some really excel­lent fea­tures to Win­dows 8 — “stor­age spaces” to give but one example.

Per­son­ally I still think Win­dows 8 is Microsoft try­ing to “out-Apple” Apple. This is doomed to fail­ure because people that want simplist­ic rub­bish will always buy Apple, and even Apple did­n’t try to put the iOS inter­face onto their Macs


The ori­gin­al com­menter may not want to make things per­son­al but I am more than happy to oblige. I am sorry to say, that only someone who looks at out­ward appear­ances would think that the new Metro UI is the best ever. Either you are a troll, or you are just plain super­fi­cial. There is no func­tion­al improve­ment to the new UI, espe­cially for PC users who do not use touch. And BTW, some of us actu­ally prefer to use the mouse at home, and the key­board. I like to actu­ally press a but­ton and feel some feed­back, plus typ­ing and actu­ally being able to feel home row under my fin­gers. I’m not say­ing there’s NO inter­face for this, but it cer­tainly is much much poorer than before… And with thou­sands of oth­ers say­ing the same thing, how can you pos­sibly make this a val­id argu­ment. I could waste time all day inval­id­at­ing, but I think you get the point. We aren’t cry­ing for old inter­faces, we just don’t care for stu­pid new changes with mean­ing­less and unus­able fea­tures and remov­al of fea­tures that have been a defin­ing aspect of win­dows since the very start. And like I said, i don’t mak­ing it per­son­al by adding the most obvi­ous fact that you must be an idi­ot to think such things.


unbe­liev­able, ms doing worst thing every time, they changed all what use have been knows. now if you using win­dows 8, you are the new born.

I think all the new born baby work­ing on the windows8.


There’s no way I’m going to switch to Win­dows 8 as long as it “fea­tures” this hor­rendous UI.

gravatarChris Williams

dear oh dear what is this abso­lute mess called win­dows 8? i make a liv­ing out of fix­ing pc’s and help­ing divs who can­’t fathom out the simplest of win­dows xp — 7 com­mands yet in win­dows 8 i feel like one of these divs. i tried look­ing at some pic­tures and could barely find my way out. i ended up with two identic­al pic­tures show­ing side by side but only 50% of each vis­ible. i was com­pletely lost and if this is the future of win­dows OS then i give up, i don’t want to sup­port it.


One of the sup­posed bene­fits of Win­dows 8 is live tiles. After play­ing with the Win­dows 8 pre­view, I don’t see any bene­fit of them.

Take the mail rect­angle. It cycles through some of my most recent email on the tile. Okay, so for that to be of bene­fit to me, I have to sit and watch the rect­angle until it changes to the next mes­sage (and the next). The next mes­sage may be spam or irrel­ev­ant, so that time is wasted. I have yet to glance at it and say wow, that was use­ful not hav­ing to go into my email! And if you see an email, you still have to click on it to actu­ally read it. It’s a gim­mick, plain and simple.

To make mat­ters worse, if you’re in an office envir­on­ment (espe­cially one covered under HIPPA), you have to be aware that leav­ing your com­puter on the Start screen could release sens­it­ive inform­a­tion. Or if you’ve got a per­son­al email com­ing in, it might be quite embar­rass­ing. So when you walk away for a minute, what state do you leave the com­puter in?

Win­dows 8 is just ill thought out. It reminds me too much of the old menu sys­tems that were cre­ated BEFORE Win­dows to make life easi­er for users. All Microsoft has to do now is add a key­board short­cut num­ber to each tile and the circle of com­put­ing life will be complete–welcome back to DOS!

gravatarRichard Dale

I’m a mac user but I use Win­dows to test web­sites on and use the occa­sion­al bit of CAD. I’ve just installed the latest build of Win­dows 8 as of Mid April 2012.

Its the most unin­tu­it­ive OS I’ve ever used, why have they removed the Start But­ton that has been the bed­rock of the Win­dows OS for so many years???

Apple have also taken this idea of brin­ing what they have learnt from iOS to the Mac OS and I don’t like it. At least Apple have done it with some sense of style and usab­il­ity, what Microsoft have done is a joke. 

Why is every OS these days designed for dummies?


I agree here, now I am much less shy at recom­mend­ing people to migrate to Linux because Microsoft is mak­ing these hor­rible UI changes which require a lot of relearn­ing anyway.


Well, I think it is not fair to say that Linux is doing the same thing. Ubuntu is on the wrong way and going Microsoft-style with a hor­rible UI change to this crappy Unity. But Linux is not Ubuntu. You have choice in Linux, use anoth­er dis­tri­bu­tion! I use Mageia Linux and I am very happy with the tra­di­tion­al inter­face without Unity =)


I totally agree, what a total piece of garbage. I can­’t stand this thing. After 30 years of using com­puters I feel like a total noob that has to learn how to use a com­puter all over again. The only thing MS is good at is annoy­ing me. I wish I had a nickle for every time I cursed MS while using my PC. Win­dows 8 REALLY s***s!. Hid­ing everything, drag­ging win­dows left, right, up, down. Totally stu­pid. Some­times things get full screen and you don’t know how to get out. MS always tops them­selves with each and every new OS more stu­pidt than the pre­vi­ous. I think someone else made Win 7, it’s ok and I finally thought MS got it togeth­er but now, blaaaa.…


I tried the Cus­tom­er Pre­view for the last few days and I have to say, I abso­lutely hate it! What used to take 2 clicks now takes 5 or 6. It is as if every­one has gone full r****d try­ing to cram tab­let OSes on Desktops. In Linux they are try­ing the same thing. Ubuntu rolled out Unity, which is attempt­ing the same concept. Still I COULD live (tol­er­ate) Unity, but could nev­er live tol­er­ate Win­dows 8 it is just too awful.

gravatarThomas Gak Deluen

Yeah, I think the same thing. The new Windows8 UI is awfull.