Windows 8 launched in 2012 with a $1 Billion ad campaign, hyping the new operating system as the missing link between the endangered dinosaur PC and the computing devices of now and the future: Tablets and phones. My personal experience with the operating system has been a frustrating one. I’m not that old, but using Windows 8 on a recently purchased laptop has made me feel like your grandma, struggling to understand the bare basics of getting around the stupid thing. How do I close the video player? Where is my desktop? Why do I have to use an app for everything all of a sudden and, really, where the hell is that fucking start menu!? Aping the “intuition” of ios after spending decades teaching us how to operate systems that are the exact opposite of intuitive has really thrown me for a loop. I know, I know, the new iOS supposedly mimicked Windows 8 with the whole flat design thing, but while Windows 8 may work just fine on a mobile platform (I wouldn’t know–I haven’t tried it), it just doesn’t work on a PC platform. And it’s not just me: Everybody hates Windows 8.
PC sales are way down and we all know the reason, right? Tablets, smart phones, Inspector Gadget watches. In this article at stratēchery, Ben Thompson convincingly argues that Windows 8 has actually contributed to the decline by increasing the complexity of using a PC. And to make matters worse, the complexity isn’t even worth it because apparently a lot of the apps designed for Windows 8 won’t work on Windows Phone! So much for the promise of cross platform utopia.