The next thing?

Yes, I’m actually NOT posting about American Idol.

I’m playing with Windows 8 today, and I’ve downloaded the WordPress Metro app from the fledgling Windows Store. My first impression? It’s the same as Windows 8 itself — seems like a good concept, but half-baked.

Windows 8, in case you haven’t had a chance to play with it, is a bipolar attempt to be both a tablet operating system (Metro) and a desktop operating system (Windows 7 SP2) — without actually doing either really well.

If, like me, you’re using Windows 8 on a laptop, it’s a nuisance to work with Metro apps. They’re designed for a touchscreen I don’t have, and mouse operations are both non-intuitive and annoying.

Any real work snaps Windows 8 out of Metro mode into desktop mode, which looks like Windows 7 only with less functionality. For example, you don’t have a Start Menu. Where the start menu would be, you instead have a mouse hotspot that takes you back to the Metro start window, which is cluttered, difficult to manage, and will drive the average user berserk when they try to find their applications on it.

And it’s not just Windows 8 that’s bipolar. If you start Internet Explorer 10 from the Metro start window, you get a full-screen “Metro experience” window, with no toolbars and the annoying Metro quirks. You can start Internet Explorer 10 from the Windows desktop to get the more traditional experience.

Metro apps are prone to decide they simply don’t want to run — or may take as many as 8 attempts to actually start. And Metro apps won’t run at all on some machines — if you like larger icons (lower screen resolution), Metro apps will flash their title card and then fail quietly.

If Microsoft releases Windows 8 as-is, it’s going to fall on its face harder than Windows Vista did. Where it has made changes, they are too radical. Where it has not made changes, it’s been too docile.

On my Facebook page, I’ve posted a quote from TV producer Geoffrey Darby — “I think that you shouldn’t be chasing anything except your audience. You shouldn’t be chasing your competition.” Microsoft is guilty of chasing Apple here, and ignoring its audience. They simply can’t expect enterprises to adopt Windows 8 in its current neither-fish-nor-fowl implementation. I can only imagine the userbase at my current position if we ever implement Windows 8 — then again, we haven’t even rolled out Windows 7… and it’s not all that different from Windows XP.

As to the WordPress app, I’m posting this from a plain window, with none of my blog’s design visible, and an editing bar that consists of “Bold / Italic / Underline”. I realize this is a preview edition of the app, but Windows Live Writer has so much more functionality that I can’t see anyone using this app much, except for the rumor that I’ve heard that Windows Live Writer will be discontinued sometime after Windows 8 rolls out. I do almost all of my blog posting on both of my WordPress blogs on Windows Live Writer… I hope this is only a rumor.

OK… I’m going to hit Publish now. I’m truly curious as to how this will look on my blog.

And I’ll see you Thursday morning for Wednesday’s Round of 7 Take 2 on Idol.

EDIT: Paragraph spacing was a bit wonky, so I had to re-edit the post to fix it. The Metro app used <div> tags instead of <p> tags to delimit paragraphs, which makes no sense at all… assuming you get HTML at all… 🙂

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Author: Rob Hoffmann

Occasional blogger, full-time computer techie, radio producer (basketball, mostly), generally nice person (if you ask me).

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