Microsoft is busy working the kinks out of Windows 8 in time for a big fall release, but Stardock CEO Brad Wardell is in no rush to see the new operating system hit the PC scene — at least as is.
In a scathing op-ed posted at game blog Kotaku, the software developer called Microsoft’s current Windows 8 build a “schizophrenic…usability nightmare” and urged the software giant to head back to the drawing board to make a “non-crazy” version.
Tell us how you really feel, Mr. Wardell.
Is it a tablet OR a desktop OS? It tries to be both…and neither.
Let’s say you’re on the desktop and you want to load up Mass Effect 3 or Microsoft Word. You are expected to move your mouse to the bottom left, wait for a tile to be displayed, click on the tile. That action whisks you away from the desktop to the Metro environment where you can then look for those programs.
The Windows 8 experience involves jumping back and forth between the tablet environment (Metro) and the desktop. They have nothing in common. Metro’s task list won’t list desktop apps and the desktop won’t list recently active Metro apps. They’re separate and yet you have to use both.
Other criticisms include the lack of multi-monitor support and Metro apps requiring the full-screen treatment. Wardell believes pushing touchscreen support for desktop PCs and focusing on the burgeoning tablet market will haunt Microsoft in the coming years thanks to OS options that just weren’t there 10 years ago.
“This isn’t 1999 where [Microsoft] could ship a Windows ME type product and users had no real alternatives,” Wardell wrote. “2012 is the year in which millions of users are using an iOS or Android device.”
Wardell’s harsh criticism belies his company’s vested interest in the Windows platform in general. The company does build Windows software, after all. Stardock has already released a Windows 8 app called Start8, which adds a traditional Start menu to the Consumer Preview’s taskbar.
During a recent interview with Neowin, the developer confirmed more apps are in the works and could be released if Microsoft doesn’t correct some issues itself.