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Don't Fear the Start Screen

Written by Gordon Fecyk, 10/19/2012

Don't fear the new Start Screen. Embrace it.

I did that with Windows 7 three years ago, and it sure beats repeating an expensive lesson.

AROUND THIS TIME in 2009, I complained that I didn't get to play with Windows Vista when Microsoft was just about to release Windows 7. This time, I actually got to play with Windows 7, a lot, and even shoehorn some broken applications that were not really designed for Windows XP, either. All of them worked, and aside from the usual, "change permissions here, grant write access there," nonsense, it didn't take that much effort.

So what am I going to do with all these broken apps when Windows 8 comes out? Absolutely nothing.

I don't have to do anything special with Windows 8 and all these broken apps still work, because all of the effort I spent to make them work on Windows 7 works on Windows 8 as well. Oh sure, we're going to have to deal with the new user interface and the tech support calls that will come with it, but that's called, 'user education.' It's part of our jobs.


READING THE HATE MAIL out there on Windows 8, it seems the worst thing Microsoft tried to do was make it look more like a phone, or like a tablet, or like the Unity desktop or Gnome 3 on Linux. Take your pick.

It's good to see those double standards alive and well eighteen years later.

All of the moaning and complaining and downvotes are coming from users who would have said the same things about Windows in 1994, with the pre-releases of Windows 95, if the internet was as popular then as it is now. Ironically, these same people who dissed Explorer in 1995 and the Start Screen in 2012 had lovely things to say about Unity and Gnome 3, which are the same thing only Linux-ified. It's good to see those double standards alive and well eighteen years later.

The reality is the modern user already knows how to use a touch screen on a smart phone or a tablet. I put my dad in front of a Windows 8 PC, and he wonders why it wasn't like this eighteen years ago. My mom already has a smart phone, so Windows 8 is just a natural extension to her.

So if you're a user shuddering at the prospect of using Windows 8, take this to heart: If the biggest luddites in my IT career can use it, then so can you.


AND IGNORE THE COMPLAINTS from the likes of Mitel who still can't seem to design for anything newer than Internet Explorer 6. Their stuff works on IE 10 just fine. They have a bigger problem with Java 7 than they do with the browser Java runs on, and that too is a matter of their fixing their garbage.

So if you're an IT director shuddering at the prospect of deploying Windows 8, take this to heart: If you're already properly working with Windows 7, you're good to go. And if you're a chief financial officer who has to deal with a shuddering IT director and ignorant product vendors, just tell your vendors this:

"We're deploying Windows 8. And any vendor that doesn't work with Windows 8 will be dropped."

Don't fear the new Start Screen. Embrace it. I did that with Windows 7 three years ago, and it sure beats repeating an expensive lesson.

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