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Windows 8 Beef: Windows 8 Is Not Designed For People Like Me

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013 by | Filed Under: Windows 8
 
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Patricia from Nevada writes:

I am going to waste a little of your time to tell you why nothing you say is going to persuade me to like Win8 in any form.  It was not designed for someone like me.  It was designed for the person Microsoft wants me to be, or thinks I should be.  It does what Microsoft wants it to not what I want it to.

I use my computer for correspondence, accounting, finances, taxes, etc., with a bit of shopping, e-mail, and reading the news.  I am advised Office 2013 is mostly web-based, with some kind of family subscription plan.  What family?  I would be the only user.  I don’t use the cloud because I don’t trust it.  I don’t collaborate.  I don’t share anything.  I have no shared or public folders or files, and I never will.  I don’t listen to music, or the radio.  I don’t watch movies or television.  I don’t stream anything and don’t plan to.  I don’t use Skype.  I don’t play games.  I don’t take, edit or share pictures or video.  I don’t have any “My Pictures” or “My Videos” or “My Movies.”  I don’t need to see the weather because I live in the Las Vegas Valley where it doesn’t change much.  I am a very private person.  I have no social media accounts and don’t want any.  I use a keyboard.  Period.  I have a form of dyslexia, and I cannot learn to swipe, tap, squeeze, flap, whatever.  (I can’t use a mouse, either.)

So, when the sad day arrives that I have no alternative to Win8, I will be spending my first weeks with it trying to figure out how to strip out all the stuff I don’t want, don’t need, cannot use and won’t use, and then finding 3rd-party utilities that will make me a computer I want.

Patricia, I love a challenge. And although nothing I can say can make anyone love a particular operating system, I do think you have some misconceptions about Windows 8 and Office 2013. But let me play devil’s advocate (Microsoft being the devil in this case.)

You can use Windows 8 for Word Processing and Accounting the same way you use previous versions of Windows. The Office 2013 interface is a little different, but certainly familiar. There is an Office 365 subscription plan available (that makes Office available on up to 5 devices), but you can still purchase a single use, one computer copy if you choose. And you don’t have to use the Internet with Office 365 if you don’t choose to.

You do not have to use the Cloud with Office 2013, though it is a great feature. As for the safety of the Cloud, you are most likely already using it, whether you like it or not.  All of your e-mail is stored in a cloud by your ISP. Now you many eventually download it to your computer, but it’s there.

But you certainly don’t have to use any cloud features if you don’t want to. Windows 8 will serve you well for surfing the Internet and reading e-mails plus your basic word processing and accounting needs.

The display is also highly customizable, so you can remove any functions you aren’t interested in from view and never bother to access them again. You could attempt to have the Windows 8 features stripped off by someone, but that seems an unnecessary step. None of these programs would slow down a new computer you’re using for Word Processing or accounting purposes.

You can use a keyboard with Windows 8 and also a feature that many people with dyslexia find very helpful, the voice controls. They allow you to move the cursor and also to dictate text.

I don’t think Mircosoft is trying to make a program for the person they want you to be, but a program that covers the needs of the billions of potential users out there.  Facebook reports more than a billion active monthly users, so there are a lot of people interested in social media and sharing.

Many people want to use their computers for photos and video and increasingly for streaming movies. There were 1.65 billion music downloads in 2012 – many younger people have never purchased a physical CD.  So Microsoft needed to design an operating system to meet their needs as well as yours.

I can’t say you will love Windows 8, it does have more features than you want to use. But a Windows 8 system should certainly be capable of easily meeting your needs and it would be fairly simple for you to put the programs you want front and center and not be bothered with any of the other features.

Since you don’t care for cloud integration, an Apple computer would not be a good choice for you. But could consider having a Linux system built and find word processing, accounting, browser and e-mail applications that work for your purposes.

And it’s kind of shame you don’t share on the Internet, Patricia. I really enjoy your writing style and if you had a blog, I would read it.

~ Cynthia

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6 Responses to “Windows 8 Beef: Windows 8 Is Not Designed For People Like Me”

  1. Howard Bretman says:

    Well said Patricia I agree with most of what you say. I am a silver surfer having had a pc at home since 1975. I try to help local people by fixing their pcs for them free of charge. I am not looking forward to after Christmas as a friend has bought a laptop as a secret present for his wife. This has Windows 8 on it and I was asked to get it ready for her to use. I know it is going to be very hard work once she gets it. I can just about make my way round it but will not be getting that system for myself. I like Windows 7 having moved up from good old XP. I consider W7 to be what XP would have been like if they had issued a service pack 4.

  2. Doug says:

    I agree Patricia, Windows 8 is not for me, but I agree with Cynthia that I’d read your blog. Be sure to let Cynthia tell us if you ever start one.

  3. Mt_Top says:

    New is not always bad. I ran XP for 10+ years, finally gave up on it. It was just too annoying when it had trouble loading web pages, applications were slow or locked up, in general XP and my old computer had aged. I now have an inexpensive laptop that came pre-loaded with Win8. After three days I updated to Win8.1. So much faster and it handles modern web pages, applications, etc with ease. I loaded Open Office and am experimenting with Mint.com for personal finances, both are free. I tried the Cloud for a few days and decided I preferred keeping files local. An inexpensive USB drive can handle your file backup needs. I really like the Win8.1 Start Screen. It is as if Microsoft converted everything on the XP Start button to icons, very easy to add or remove icons and make it the way you want it. All-in-all I think new users will enjoy customizing their computer, it is not difficult. (I am over 60 and do not use social media)

  4. Gordon says:

    For Patricia
    The way I understand it Microsoft office and some antivirus programs are the only programs now that are web based There are free versions of office programs that are can be downloaded to your computer and use like you do now. I believe that they will be able to open files you all ready have saved and do the same jobs The names of the programs are different but do the same things.They may work a little different but Libre Office is the one I use. As far as I know it will work with windows 8. If you have the microsoft office program disks you may be able to install it on windows 8. If it works you can use it as always and it won’t be internet based so you could use it without internet too. Also you wouldn’t have to pay for either of these. I understand that it is possible to install windows 7 on it. If you have someone make a computer for you you could have them put windows 7 on it.

  5. Frank A Wheeler says:

    I am a retired typographer that started on analog computers in the ’50s. I have worked with main frame computers and did machine language programing before there was a Cobalt. I have worked on as many as 4 different typesetting computers in the same day, each with its own language. I went to windows 1.1 in the ’80s and have used all version up thru XP Pro while working on the Macs since their release.
    I went back and forth between the OS of each during my work days. I have worked with most of the Graphic Arts and typesetting soft ware on both platforms and on IBM & SDS mainframes.
    I was going along smoothly at age 76, writing stories and touching up photos. I quit doing Art and drawing type faces with Fontographer in the mid ’90s.
    Then I bought a laptop so that I could write next to my wife and not hibernate at the computer desk. About that time my home built computers motherboard died and I committed my self to the newly purchased Windows Mickey Mouse 8 that was probably written by a Disney land employee.
    In May of 2013 I purchased a 17.3″ Laptop and found I could not downgrade due to legal technicalities, so I installed a third party start button as there was no logic to the locating of anything.
    I have spent 90 percent of my time since May trying to use the machine. Windows is unstable and changes things on its own. At one point it hid most of my files and programs and they could not be located with search or administrative tools. You never know when you turn it own if the appearance or location of things will be the same. In the case I just mentioned, after two days of trying to figure it out, it came back on boot up the third day.
    Twice it has reset with out my request to the original installation. Most of my library of programs will not function on this OS. I replace one that I use a lot with Adobes latest version, just because Windows 8 does not like it. After four hours of trying to do a basic 5 minute procedure, I gave up. The tools look the same as the version that I had used on versions 98, ME, Vista and XP Pro, but they did not function.
    Windows 2007 loads and functions fine, but they may or may not go where you save them or be there when you come back. I have only written e-mails and Facebook items since may because I only get a few paragraphs done in Word before something screws up.
    Like the lady said, I want my computer as a tool to perform work, it will not. I use a Jitterbug Phone for the same reason. It can be set up to call or be called for conversation purposes. No games, no text no nuance diversions. You can not do that with Mickey Mouse 8 and it was not designed with work in mind. It is designed to be a cross platform OS to satisfy one segment of consumers. It is the Obamacare of Operating Systems and is shoved down the throats of Manufacturers.
    I have offer HP to take it back and give me a used desk top with Windows 7 but they say they cannot.
    I usually accept your ideas and opinions, and regularly read your items. But this time you are of base on everything but the Lenox. It probably is her best solution, unless she wants to use voice command and then she would be better off with Dragon which probably is available for Lenox.
    Well that is the opinion of a very old retiree that can not afford to get a replacement computer. However, I may yet get me a new motherboard and use the desktop strictly off line for work and go on line on this worthless crap as it does have security.
    Now that said, there are two or three things that rode in with Pluto and Donald Duck that really are improvements.
    Just the opinion of an old Vet with 9 years service in Weapons Controls and Fire Controls.

  6. Viggo Madsen says:

    Thank you Cynthia for showing great patience and not getting annoyed.
    If one is so much against development one does have a problem of its own.
    I think the lady should download Linux Ubuntu and Open Office, then her problems as far as IT goes should be solved.

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