You thought the Windows 7 beta was popular? Windows 8 looks set to be the most popular Windows yet. Ever.
Despite some controversies and a change in design, Microsoft’s newest OS tops Windows 7 in beta form
Personally, I quite like Metro. I think it’s unique, colourful and (most importantly) functional. While some would disagree, the large majority of consumer seem happy with where Microsoft is taking Windows. The beta usage of Windows 8, versus the beta usage of Windows 7, has doubled.
From the official Building Windows 8 Twitter account, a tweet says “Windows 8 Consumer Preview usage is more than twice [the] Windows 7 beta at the same point” over the same period of time. While there are no specific numbers, the tweet says ‘millions’ of people are using the early version of the OS every day.
I think the “everyday” part of the tweet is more encouraging than the popularity of Windows 8, because it shows people are returning to the OS. Windows is almost guaranteed million of downloads because it’s the next version of Windows, but users would quickly drop off if it wasn’t well designed. At the very least, the new Metro UI in Windows 8 is attracting users and encouraging them to explore the OS.
Does Ribbon work on tablets?
Windows 8 hasn’t launched without a hitch though, as features such as the introduction of the Ribbon interface to Explorer have prompted users to ask why Microsoft is introducing more mouse clicks for basic functions. The problem Microsoft has with Ribbon is that using the desktop version of Windows 8 on a tablet isn’t that touch friendly so, while Ribbon may not be a totally well-designed interface, it is needed on tablets.
The bigger problem is how Microsoft will get the whole of desktop Windows 8 to work on tablets. Dialog options and Windows are surprisingly small when used with a finger, so users prodding on the screen and becoming frustrated isn’t good. And that’s unfortunate, because Metro Windows 8 is a very promising OS for tablets. Even without a huge amount of developers on board due to the beat state, apps very easily translate into the interface. It’s the first time that a company non-Apple is producing a well-designed tablet OS, rather than picking up another OS such as Android.