Windows 8 is the closest I've ever come to going Microsoft

I got my wife a surprise present yesterday: a new Asus laptop running Windows 8.

I was a little iffy on whether Windows 8 was a good idea, given the reviews that have said it’s a bit disjoined going from the new fancy Windows 8 layout to the old Windows world. My wife’s hardly a geek, but I figured I could downgrade if she hated it.

As it turns out, she loved it, and I’m also extremely impressed.

The new interface is easy on the eyes, easy to work with, and takes some of the best elements of elegant websites and brings them to the desktop. There’s literally nothing there not to like, especially given that you can back into regular old Windows for those times you need unrestricted access to the filesystem, multiple windows, or to run some creaky open source application.

My one criticism is that the gestures and metaphors for working with the interface are unintuitive with a mouse/trackpad. With touch they make perfect sense, but with a trackpad there’s a learning curve. In other words, watch the tutorial video before you get started.

Honestly, this makes me really think about whether it’s time to jump ship to Microsoft. Okay, I’m not TOTALLY serious, but with Apple moving farther away from my ideal for the Mac, a $500 laptop with an amazing and innovative user experience and a full suite of applications… there’s a lot to like there.

Apple has to step up their game, both on Mac and iOS, if they want to stay ahead of Microsoft. Who’d have known that Redmond would get back into the game with truly innovative and new ideas of how a computer ought to work.

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Written on October 29, 2012