Big Box

Article from Issue 150/2013

Like any self-respecting Linux journalist, I’m often predisposed to take Microsoft to task. For the record, I do manage to spread it around, with occasional reflections on Apple and Google, because I truly believe our universe has room for more than one evil empire. But Microsoft is still the easiest mark. It used to be easy to make fun of Microsoft because they were so formidable and vast. Now it is easy to make fun of them because they get it wrong so often, and it is downright amusing to see so much hype and media attention going to such inelegant products.

The latest of those products is Windows 8. I won’t embark upon a full review of Windows 8 in this setting, but suffice it to say, I fall in with the legions of unimpressed users, reviewers, and shareholders who have already made their voices known.The vaunted new Start Screen looks like a sea of billboards to me, with no escape for the weary eye save to find the billboard you need and dive through it. It is hard to figure out how to even shut the system down, and the task of switching the default browser from Bing to Google requires several obscure steps through unnecessary dialogs. Even Microsoft doesn’t seem to have high hopes for Windows 8. Despite the short time the new Windows has been on the market, Redmond recently announced that they are already working on a system to replace it.

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