"Windows 8 sucks because Windows 8 apps suck"

Not my words, but the words of Michael Cherry, an analyst with Directions on Microsoft, quoted in Computerworld. To be honest, I think he has a point. I’ve long bemoaned the fact that, far from using the opportunity to showcase the capabilities of Windows 8, the quality of most of the Apps supplied by Microsoft is abysmal.

I still find myself using traditional Desktop applications for the majority of the time, and that’s simply because their Modern UI equivalents just don’t cut the mustard. They are still toys by comparison.

I’ve found that Microsoft’s Mail, Calendar and People Apps are still far inferior to Windows Live Mail. The Xbox Music App is still lagging traditional music library applications, and the less said about the Photos and Video Apps the better.

Microsoft is certainly not doing itself any favours with the current state of its Apps.

About Geoff Coupe

I'm a British citizen, although I have lived and worked in the Netherlands since 1983. I came here on a three year assignment, but fell in love with the country, and one Dutchman in particular, and so have stayed here ever since. On the 13th December 2006 I also became a Dutch citizen.
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11 Responses to "Windows 8 sucks because Windows 8 apps suck"

  1. red-jos says:

    From the earliest days of my foolhardy purchase of windows 8 to put on my new computer which came with windows 7 I have regretted the mistake. I didn’t even bother to acquaint myself with windows 7 before installing the so-called upgrade. Now I can’t get rid of it and have lived to see the error of my ways! Don’t try something brand new until it has proved itself. Vista didn’t last too long and I hope windows 8 goes down the gurgler as soon as possible.
    As I said before, if I could I would install linux and have done with microsoft for ever more!
    Mannie De Saxe

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      Actually, I like Windows 8 a lot. It’s a better platform than Windows 7, and has a lot of improvements over Windows 7. It’s just that Microsoft’s Apps really don’t do it any justice.

      I have no desire to return to Windows 7 – or switch to Linux, Mac or Chrome.

    • dylan says:

      You can easily make a partition and install windows 7 on that partition, then boot to 7 ( and even reformat your win 8 partition if you wish, leaving you with just windows 7 os). I am finding funny that so many people are complaining about this being a bug or issue, windows has always worked like this. There are literally tens of thousands of instructional posts on this process, a simple Google search will light the way, good luck my friend.

      Also @ Geoff Coupe I enjoy your blog, but have noticed your snow flakes continue over the rest of the screen (including what i am typing right now), you can fix this by wrapping you header in a div and setting that z-index lower than the the rest of the page (which should also be wrapped in a div), make sure you have position set to relative and make sure that you set the slow flake element to a higher z-index than your header image but lower than your body div.

      • Geoff Coupe says:

        Dylan, thanks for the comment, but the snowflakes are provided by the WordPress.com hosting service, not by me. I actually quite like them drifting down over the whole screen… At any rate, WordPress will turn them off on the 4th January.

  2. Mark says:

    I don’t mind Windows 8 (not much of a recommendation I know) – I have diligently (and manually) pruned my start screen until it is useful and my work habits mean that when it pops up it isn’t too much in the way.
    But I basically ignore the Win8Apps (I don’t know what the official name is for them this week.) As you said, I have yet to see one from either Microsoft or a 3rd party that is better than a desktop or even web (good example: netflix)

    I don’t know why… Do the developers think that the Metro side is basically only for trivial casual use and that’s all that is developed for it?

    Is it such a small market (Win8 is currently around 4% of computers (less than Vista) that nobody cares to put much development effort into it?

    Is it much more difficult to program in that Microsoft claims? – “By the time we released the Consumer Preview in February of 2012, we had added almost a thousand new WinRT APIs, and had modified hundreds of other APIs based on developer feedback.” I’m not much of a programmer, but that quote from Steven Sinofsky implies it is a highly complex environment with literally thousands of APIs ( http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/07/03/readying-metro-style-apps-for-launch.aspx )

    Or is it part of a corporate plan to force the software (and customers) to be easier to support by simply removing difficult or non-mainstream features?

    Whatever it is, for now I just use Win8 as an enhanced Win7
    Mark

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      “for now I just use Win8 as an enhanced Win7” – yep, that just about sums up my experience as well. On my desktop PC, I hardly ever use Metro Apps (apart from a couple of weather Apps). On my tablet, though, it’s the other way around. I rarely use the Desktop, apart from when I’m in Office programs.

      The issue that Microsoft has is that they are attempting to persuade developers away from the legacy Desktop APIs to a completely new set, invented from the ground up. There’s two challenges there (1) the enormous inertia of the traditional APIs and (2) the new APIs are not complete. We’re going to be living with the crufty old APIs for many years to come, I suspect.

  3. Jack says:

    I hate Windows 8. Why would Msoft want to complete disorient and confuse the hell out of Windows 7 users? Total failure of understanding customer needs.

    • Geoff Coupe says:

      The same was said when Microsoft introduced Windows 95. And I seem to recall that some said something similar when Windows 1.0 was introduced – saying that MS-DOS was all that they wanted.

  4. BW022 says:

    I’ve had Windows8 for nearly a year. The Metro apps are almost completely useless. The problem with them is that there is always a better desktop application (and often just a web site) better than them. Metro Mail vs. Outlook? Music vs. Media Player or Media Center? Metro IE vs. desktop IE?

    Low information density, need to constantly go to other screens, hidden menu systems, lack of basic controls (tables, trees, popups, etc.), lack of window ability to you lose context when switching apps, etc. I love Metro on my Windows Phone 7. That because I don’t have a 46″ screen and I don’t need to do sort 5,000 images, work for hours on a spreadsheet, or browse through hundreds of web sites doing research. On a desktop… every Metro app is so inferior to a desktop (or web app). Even Netflix limits me to 75 movies listed and won’t show comments?

    Worse, as the author says, Microsoft’s own apps are massive issues. Why isn’t Music as good as Media Player? Why is buying music on it harder than on iTunes or Windows Phone? And of course, after two years, they still don’t have Office running on it. Any sensible developer (and now users) must have determined that you *can’t* make Metro applications on par with the desktop. So why bother?

    Microsoft should have taken WP7, upgraded it to WP8 (with larger screens, multiple processor support, etc.) and released it two years ago — and used it for tablets and ARM-based machines (i.e. RT-like devices). Then it should have taken Windows 7, upgraded it with Win8 backend features, given it the ability to run WP8 apps in a Window, and then released that as Windows 8. Then sold to developers that you can write WP8 apps for phones, tables, and low-end PCs, and they would still run on Windows 8. Desktop (and server) users won’t have been expected to use Metro, desktops/laptops/servers/tablets won’t have had the dual-personality-disorder, WP8 would have been small a efficient, etc. Metro apps only need to be as good as needed on mobile devices, yet many would find their way onto the desktop.

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