Windows 8 Is Not Good For Gamers

For the past several days, I've been playing with a very nice laptop that has Windows 8 Professional installed on it. Many others, like our sibling site Gizmodo, have looked at Windows 8's usability for professional environments or for everyday home computing. I've been exploring its potential specifically for gaming, trying out play-related features both old and new. It's taken me half a week to learn to use it, but after beginning the long process of adapting, I feel that I can safely say: Gabe Newell might be right.

Newell, head of Valve, has infamously stated that Windows 8 is "a catastrophe" for games development. Plenty of others have echoed the concerns, if in less strong language, including Blizzard, Stardock, and Markus "Notch" Persson of Minecraft fame. Valve, as a result, is hedging their bets for the future by trying to expand into Linux, and bringing more gaming there. After my frustrating days with Windows 8, that looks like a good idea.

It's not exactly that Windows 8 doesn't work. It's fast and, from my still-limited experience, stable. Programs, once open, run well. The major issues are twofold: first, Microsoft has inserted several extra steps into the process of performing basic functions like "launching a program" or "shutting down the system." Second, the parallel tracks of the "Metro" and Desktop environments give it what feels like a split personality. The overall result makes it challenging to navigate smoothly, and will likely frustrate many gamers.

Interface clunkiness, while annoying, is something a user can learn to live with. I've been navigating Windows since version 3.11 and while this feels like the clumsiest, most awkward, and least smooth iteration yet, a person who has to can adapt to almost anything. By the end of the third day, I had internalized the odd sets of mouse gestures I needed in order to get around. That workarounds are relatively simple to use and memorize doesn't make it a good idea for Windows to have ditched the basic premise of windows — panels that can be moved around and looked at and manipulated — in favour of full-screen permanence, but even if it will never be loved, at least it can be grudgingly lived with.

The split personality, though, is a different story. The UI formerly known as Metro is the famous tablet-friendly, full-screen, colour-block landing page that Windows 8 opens up to. It's quite simple to customise, once you realise that right-click is your key to getting anything done. From there, users can indeed access the more traditional desktop view with the single click of a button, but there's a catch: that "desktop" is more like an app that runs inside the Metro view, rather than an option that can be set.

A program that has been optimised for the Metro interface, like Microsoft's games store, will open in it, full-screen. A program, like Steam, designed for the Desktop environment will swap you over when you open it, even if you launch it from the Start panel. The end effect is to make the Windows 8 gaming experience the exact opposite of what Windows 7 tried to accomplish.

The Games library of 7, while imperfect, isn't a half-bad umbrella for finding everything in one place. Microsoft's stalwart Solitaire and Minesweeper are there, but so too are the icons for other games I have installed on my hard drive, from Divine Divinity to Mass Effect 3 and The Secret World. The complete division between Metro and its nested desktop environment, in Windows 8, undoes that unification and breaks games up into multiple locations once more.

But for a gamer, what really matters is this: for Metro gaming, think Xbox. For Windows gaming, think Desktop.

The Xbox Live integration into Windows 8 is at once both its best and worst feature. If you have ever seen or used the Xbox 360 Dashboard, then you know what awaits you when you select "games" from the start screen. Playing games through Microsoft's Windows store is more or less exactly like playing them on an Xbox 360. Microsoft has wanted to unify the gaming experience across their platforms, and that much, at least, they've done.

The concept of "offline" has essentially vanished from the newest version of Windows. Though you can create a Local computer profile when first setting up (which I did), Microsoft encourages you to use your Live profile instead. In other words, you log into your PC with your gamertag.

The profile I created on that PC is, functionally, no different from an Xbox Live profile. I asked a friend to add me, and when she did the popup — complete with familiar Xbox sound — showed in the upper right-hand corner of my screen while I was busy using Firefox in desktop mode. That profile shows up and works just like any other on the Xbox Live website.

The thing about the Xbox Live setup, though, is that it's designed for use primarily with a controller, and mainly from across the room. Xbox games are, by nature, full screen and don't have window functions on them. The dashboard is also very horizontally oriented. The end result? Well...

The computer I was using has a native resolution of 1600x900. A screenshot that managed to capture the entirety of Solitaire runs about 5200x900. The only way we could get it to fit in this post was to crop it to 640x3700. And turn it sideways.

That's a lot of horizontal scrolling just to see your Freecell stats.

While the loss of basic Windows menus makes games clumsy, the social integration is a big plus in Windows 8's favour, and the Xbox Live matchup feels like an idea whose time has come. It's certainly a major step forward from the execrable Games for Windows Live of the past few years. However, in so doing, Microsoft has indeed created a walled garden for PC games, and it's part of a confusing two-tiered ecosystem.

Going to "games" from the Start page takes you to the Games store, as seen up top. And that store, Microsoft's private playground, may well be the source of much future confusion. It feels like it's begging for cross-platform play, but in the end it serves only to muddy the waters. It's great that I can see that my friend has a beacon set for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on her Xbox, but that does me absolutely no good if I am running the game on Windows through Origin. Rather than having a useful social connection, we're staring at each other through unbreakable glass.

Perhaps we can handwave that one away, since ME3 was released in March 2012 and Windows 8 won't be live until October. But the transition looks to be years long and, at best, confusing as hell.

As far as this version of the Windows Games Store will tell me, Left 4 Dead 2, Skyrim, and Mass Effect 3 are all games I can only play on the 360. My regular desktop, the Windows 7 one with all three of those games currently installed on it, would beg to differ. In fairness, the Windows games store is clearly in a pre-launch condition; the big-studio titles I currently play through Steam or Origin may yet appear before October.

The list of "all apps," the way to launch programs that don't have Start or Desktop icons, highlights the messy way games get tossed around everywhere. I installed both Fable III and Portal 2 via Steam, but they don't show up in the same place. Portal 2 is considered a Steam app; Fable III, which uses Games for Windows Live and, therefore, the same gamertag as the rest, does not. Meanwhile other Microsoft apps, like Solitaire and Minesweeper, show up somewhere else entirely.

After a few days wading through the disorganisation that I felt Windows 8 forced on me, I can see why developers are concerned. Yes, existing programs like Steam and Origin run perfectly well in the Desktop environment. But the way they will have to publish and develop their games, going forward, may change dramatically. The "Games" feature built into the OS is, in every way that matters, a tablet-friendly version of XBox Live.

In an ideal world, Microsoft's unified UI experience could theoretically entice more developers to make PC versions of their games when they make Xbox versions. (And in that same ideal world, they'd all be good versions, not bad ports.) But in the real world, the "walled garden" that Notch and Newell were afraid of places the same demands on a PC developer that it places on an Xbox one, and those are often a problem. The certification process for games to get on the Xbox Marketplace does not always run smoothly.

Microsoft now stands to become more of a gatekeeper for getting software on their computers than they ever have been before. Nothing will be stopping Valve, EA, Ubisoft, or any other publisher huge or indie from distributing Windows games online or on disc exactly as they have been for years. But it's easy to imagine the process going awry.

It's great that I can see that my friend has a beacon set for Mass Effect 3 multiplayer on her Xbox, but that does me absolutely no good if I am running the game on Windows through Origin. Rather than having a useful social connection, we're staring at each other through unbreakable glass.

Let's say there were a Mass Effect 4 released in 2015. Would EA then use Origin, or Windows-Xbox to connect players to it? Will the two be forced to nest together, as Games for Windows Live has been nested inside of previous games I've gotten from Steam? And of course, Valve will continue to use Steam as the publication platform for their games. So will I log into my desktop in the distant future to find that, seen one way, my computer tells me that, sorry, Left 4 Dead 3 only exists for the Xbox 720, while, seen another way, it will tell me I have the game fully patched and ready to play?

It all adds a layer of confusion that I don't think anyone particularly needs or wants. Misleading tiles and twisted ways of getting to the information the user seeks don't help anyone. Developers, publishers, and consumers alike all stand to lose out.

Not all the news is bad for Microsoft. It's easy to see a world where a Windows 8 Service Pack corrects many of these mostly surface-level issues, or a world where, like 7 to Vista, Windows 9 comes along promptly and jettisons the bad while keeping the good. The stability and underlying architecture seem to be there. But adding dozens of steps and strange layers that keep players from their games isn't going to win them any fans.

At the moment, Windows 8 is two competing operating systems that don't always play nicely together. Going to desktop in order to make programs run, and to be able to use more than one app or even more than one browser tab at a time, feels in many ways like having to boot to DOS and then launch Windows did, 20 years ago. Apps that are installed in Metro can be uninstalled with a single right-click in Metro, but don't show up in Control Panel's Programs and Features listing. Launching an app that goes to desktop mode prevents you from seeing easily if one (or two, or 10) apps are still running in the background over in Metro.

After a few years out on the market, Windows 7 works pretty well for games and gamers. Windows 8 could very well calm down and get it right after a few years, too. But will the market let it? Gaming for Mac has picked up significantly again after a couple of all but dormant decades, and Valve has plans to bring Steam, and its wealth of content, to Linux as well. Windows has remained dominant on the reach of its brand perhaps more than on the value of its product. In Windows 8, Microsoft may indeed have created a very good product for challenging Apple on their tablet turf, but while doing it they've left the door open for others to come in and reclaim the desktop space.

Windows 8 doesn't have to be a catastrophe. But as it stands, it easily could be unless Microsoft gets it together and makes the sum of its parts into a unified whole.


    This was a really good article, it covers most of the issues I had with Metro as well. Luckily there isn't really any reason to upgrade but eventually it will be forced on us by lack of new drivers for Windows 7.

      Nonsense. I upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7. I was able to skip Vista entirely, and MILLIONS of other people did the same. You won't be forced to upgrade to Windows 8 at all, especially considering Microsoft are going to continue to support Win7 until 2020.

      When the time comes you'll likely be able to skip Windows 8 entirely if you want to and go straight to Windows 9 instead.

        The point I was making was that they may well simply stop making drivers for new hardware that support Windows 7 OR they pull a really dick move by making Windows 8 the only way to get Direct X 12.

        They did FORCE us to upgrade to Vista if we wanted Direct X 10.

        The only way you can say its not a forced upgrade is if you are happy to use the same computer you have today for the next 20 years.

        You don't know that Windows 9 will have a better UI. What if 7 is the last good one?

          By the time that happens, OpenGL will be at the state of DX11 and people will be switching to Linux by the droves.
          Considering it costs $10,000 per patch on the XBox 360 for developers (MS Q&A Costs et c), I am sure the costs are very similar for Windows Live certification.
          Developers just don't want to deal with that shit and constant profit-loss.
          Clearly Windows 8 has been designed for only one game publisher in mind... Microsoft.

          This is the kind of move that will kill a lot of income for Microsoft from game developers.
          And now, we will hopefully start to see more games on the Linux platform.

            By the time Open GL catches up to DX11 we'll be on DX13.

              Pretty sure OpenGL is already at the level of DX11 if not above it due to the extensibility of the code, many things that are supposedly only available in DX10/11 (tessellation, etc.) are available in OpenGL and have been for some time now.

              There was a time when OGL was behind DX but it hasn't been that way for a while now.

                you could not be more wrong, one of the biggest features of D3D11 is the compute shader, OpenGL has no equivalent functionality AND it will likely never receive an update giving it such functionality due to OpenCL. The only feature that D3D11 added that OpenGL has that i can think of is tessellation.

                  A quick Google shows that compute shaders were added in the 4.3 update on August 6, unless that's something completely different.

          Yes as a gamer, I still haven't forgiven them for the forced DX 10 upgrade.. the standard bearer was Halo 2.. the most underwhelmingly DX 8 looking DX 10 game you could imagine.

            Umm...Halo 2 used DX9, not DX10. How else do you think people got it running on XP? It was just a scam to get us to use Vista.

              Yes I know.. I was talking about the graphic quality of that game.. it didn't look good even compared to other DX 9 games.

      If windows 9 is more off the same bullshit, I'll be migrating to Linux. Hopefully Valve will have made some headway there by that time.

        If you find the desktop/metro paradigm frustrating, I can almost guarantee you're gonna have a worse time with all of the command line escapades Linux distributions seem to require.

          I agree. That's why this is so concerning!

            Well over on the Mac we've had the same interface for at least 8 years (when I started using it) so you're welcome to come join us!

              When mac can run every PC game without a VM or some form of windows / bootcamp situation. I will consider it, until then its stuck with a limited version of steam and blizzard games. Same goes for linux sadly (with WINE).

              I'm sure most gamers will stick with Windows 7 unless there is a new Direct X on windows 8 that is leaps and bounds ahead of DX11 (even then it took a while for games to start coming out that even used it).

              I'd rather go back to an abacus...

                Almost all modern games still have D9 compatability because still about 30% of the user base uses XP.

              Apple has been concerning me as well, I have been a Systems Admin for mac since 10.4 and since 10.7 they seem to be moving towards handing everything over to them and binding it all to your Apple ID.

              I wish people would get away from all this always online stuff.

                Yeah, I really thought Apple was going to be the first company to make a bastard hybrid OS like this, M$ wanted to beat them to the punch I guess. I'll take OSX's traditional file browsing any day.

          I've used Ubuntu before. It's quite easy to install and use with a minimum of fuss. Besides, I'm more than used to command line interfaces.

            Except the Unity interface is even worse than Metro imo.

              Get Linux Mint. It's nased on Ubuntu but offers great interfaces like MATE out of the box. Very easy to use.

              Yeah, even in Ubuntu, installing MATE takes less than 60 seconds. It's fantastic.

    Cue the comment from MotorMouth defending Windows 8 in 3...2...1...

      Hmm...he must be busy today (for those that don't know, MotorMouth is Steve Ballmer's user name)

    Thanks for this article, after seeing a bunch of articles with people stating Win8 is making them nervous it's nice to actually know some of the reasoning behind that. I actually feel informed and am starting to feel a bit nervous about Win8 too.

    I'm interested in trying it out on a tablet, but I think I may have to hold back when it comes to my PC. I like my start menu and I'm not sure I'd be too happy having to jump back and forth between metro and desktop.

      You're not informed unless you try it yourself. Don't go off other peoples experiences! Let them a gauge or a guide, but not a final decider!

    Whilst I do agree that the dual-OS paradigm of Windows 8 is confusing, I think the gaming hurdle that is being debated is vastly overrated. I've been running various platform previews of Windows 8 on my gaming rig for most of the year, and have not had any issues (with the exception of L.A. Noire not being compatible). All of my titles I either run from Steam (as you described), or via an icon-tile in the metro interface.

    From my limited understanding of the Metro developer guidelines, There are pretty strong restrictions on what low-level system resources a Metro app can utilise, as well as a walled-garden publishing system not dissimilar to iOS or Google Play.

    With Games for Windows Live, Steam and Origin being direct publishing and 'gaming hub' competitors, the issue with these services is not to do with the Windows 8 interface, but an open market approach that has the same issues on current Windows variants.

    AFAIK, the only true exceptions to what I've stated above are less intensive gaming apps that *are* actually published through Metro, in which I personally consider to target a different user demographic.

      The only thing holding Windows 8 from being an amazing gaming machine is the fact that steam still reverts to the old desktop.

      Honestly, as soon as Valve get over themselves and release a Metro tile version all will be sweet.

      Steam is already a fullscreen app if you want it to be, and apparently they're developing a 6-foot version for TVs that I assume would also work nicely with tablets and Win 8

      This article spoke volumes about how limited windows 8 is now, with absolutely no regard for what will happen when software developers will got on board once the damn thing is actually RELEASED

        That's IF software developers get on board. As it stands, it seems like almost everyone and their dog are too hesitant to switch over. If no one switches over, there will be no one developing stuff for the platform. Let's say that people eventually do convert - it won't happen in a decent amount of time that's for sure. More likely, you're going to see continually developing stuff for Windows 7, or in the case of Valve, other OS's altogether.

      We heard screaming rants about both Vista and Windows 7 prior to their release (granted vistas was justified). While I think the organisation of the metro tiles is somewhat fugly, I think Bloggorus's comment is valid, when more programs take advantage of the 'tile' format, that situation may no longer be an issue. Same as performance issues, we will only get a true benchmark test when they have actual win8 drivers, not win8 dev running on win7 drivers. Not DEFENDING win8, I have no idea how it will be, but lets stop trashing it and wait and see how it will be when it actually comes out?

        According to a friend of mine who works for Microsoft Win8 has issues. He said normally when they released consumer previews in the past they would see a constant increase in the number of active users and it would continue to rise up until release and just keep going up. According to him they have seen with Win8 a massive initial interest followed by a downward trend after about 6 weeks and he said he hasnt improved much. take that how you will but to me it looks like the majority of people don't like it. Sure some people will like it and will have a good experience but they arent the people who matter. It is about convincing the others to upgrade.

          One of the major drawbacks is that with Win Vista, you had essentially, at the time, a broken OS that needed replacing (not so much now it works). Win7 came along and was what Vista needed to be at the time. Win7 works perfectly well tbh. I think we're on a bit of a WinXP/WinVista situation, is it worth really upgrading? What are the clear benefits when the previous OS will work just fine? Win7 is severely user friendly after all... Im not anti-Win8, I'm just yet to see an obliteratingly convincing reason other than 'LOOK IT HAS METRO!'

    Windows 7 will remain my primary OS.
    If I need to make a partition for Linux, so be it.

    While the article points out some definite bad things about Windows 8 usability (the first article I've read to really do so), I have to ask, what are these extra steps you mention for launching a program, or shutting down?
    To shut down, its just Win+I / Right click on profile in start screen / Press physical power button on computer, click shutdown, and you're done.
    To launch a program while on desktop, click on it in the taskbar, or double click on it on the desktop, or press start, scroll to it / search for it, and click on it.

    Same number of steps in both cases.

      Most people just click start and then shut down on win 7 and dont use any form of right click or short cut they have changed the experience so much that it feels like a hassle which isnt good. People don't like to have to think they just want it to work.

    I had a feeling as I'm sure many other had, that this interface is not suited to desktops.
    Great to see some detail & testing. Thanks Kate.

    I have absolutely no desire or intention to Upgraded to 8. I think this may end up being another leper version (like vista). I don't see MS making major changes after investing so much time in the redesign.
    Having said that, I WILL be upgrading my WHS to Win8. (Only because of Storage Spaces / Resiliency functionality)

    Unless Apple decides to reduce their prices by like three times, remove restrictive OS settings and stop making their own hardware I doubt they would ever make more of an impact of the desktop industry and considereing the DRM issues that Windows has I doubt they would even want to.

    If people don't like it they'll just use Windows 7 period.

      Apple isn't pursuing the desktop. They lost that war long ago.

    I'm beginning to think Microsoft is trying to service two markets, the casual user who likes shiny things and the functional user who likes simplicity and efficiency.
    I stuck with XP until 7 came out, at which stage I upgraded because it ran smoothly and didn't weigh down my system.
    Yet my parents happily use Vista, basically because they don't know better.
    I'll be waiting until Windows 9, to see if it presents a better option. Otherwise I'll be steering clear.

    Years ago, when Microsoft brought out the Xbox, console gamers were worried the console would be a trojan horse, working to convert them to PC gamers.
    Turns out it was the other way around.

      I've actually yet to see a convincing argument as to why Vista isn't a perfectly fine option.

        There's nothing wrong with it now. On release, it was a dog. It was a real resource hog too, which made XP way better for gaming (ignoring the Direct X 10 shenanigans MS pulled).

        On release total resource hog, hundreds of exploits and security holes and was incredibly unstable. By service pack 2 it was pretty good. Though 64bit operating system never got fixed which is why they stopped offering it at retail.

      I don't understand how they see business transitioning to Windows 8.

      Extensive retraining etc. They don't like upgrading as it is, Hell the complaints about Office 07 were rather big and that was only a minor change.

    But _drivers_?

      All operating fine, no performance hit, the author is complaining because I guess he clicks on the start menu.

    I've been using "Build 8400" for the last couple of days in parellels and I thought a lot of these issues were simply becaus Mac & Windows simply weren't getting along correctly...I'm kind of sad I was wrong. No-one I know is willing to join me on Mac so I feel sorry that they will be forced onto this horrible OS as soon as Microsoft can figure out how.

      you know you dont have to get windows 8. so we are not FORCED to get windows 8. so dont assume its a must. for me and many others i assume will not get windows 8 in its current form

      I feel sorry for you for using an Apple OS. I've been using one for the past two years or so and it's absolutely horrible.

    I'm pretty pissed that I installed Win864bit Consumer Preview over my Win7 install on my primary laptop - Probably my biggest regret in 30years of computing actually.
    I'm currently working to format & re-install back to Win764bit
    Mostly UI gripes etc, lack of compatibility with some External large storage devices -Seagate 3tb expansion drives for one (controller firmware issues)

    That'll teach me to be an early adopter !

      ... no, that will teach you to replace your primary OS with a Beta OS. That's a major nono.

      Rey, how is it a Windows problem that your Seagate drive isn't working properly with it?
      For someone to be computing for 30 years, surely you should understand that Microsoft isn't responsible for 3rd party drivers/hardware support?

      Also, you wrote Consumer Preview - you can only be pissed at yourself for expecting to have no problems with pre-release software anyway.

        very true - my bad - no excuse...
        The 3tb seagate thing is a worry though - Worked fine for 4 months on Win764bit, stopped immediately under Win864bit - WD & Buffalo drives (also 3tb) work fine - Win8 USB3 drivers work fine, but apparently there's an incompatibility with the seagate chipset (?) Anyway, Ive killed 2 x seagate drives, but have a happily working (faster!) buffalo to cover me.
        Point to note: The files are still accessible on a winxp machine and I'm able to transfer off the drive !

      lols, noob.

      Who installs a preview on their production machine, then complains about having to downgrade?

    But every Steam app you install goes straight to your "metro" Start Screen and can be pinned wherever you want it. You can launch the game from there and everyone's happy. You boot your pc and all of your PCS games are there on your homescree. AND you can group apps on the homescreen - example make a group called games and put it at the very start of your start screen - it's completely customizeable just like the desktop. I've been playing games on Windows 8 (both consumer preview and Enterprise 90 day trial) and both are handling everything quite well for me. The "Games" hub is really only an extension of Xbox Live for your console - your PC games, whether Metro, XBLA or not, don't go in there - only your Xbox (console) Games are listed. PC games all go into the "Start" screen - it's not difficult to understand. Sure it's different...but it works FINE.

      All steam games going straight to the metro start screen could get messy rather quickly for someone like me with several hundred games in steam (with close on 200 installed because I don't want to have to redownload them if I want to play something random again).

        Solution; exactly thirty seconds of dragging icons into folders. Better yet, spend a day writing a simple program to organise them for you and you'll be a hit.

        OMG SO HARD

          Well, the writing a program bit might be, but the organising into a folder is a severely valid point there...

            Don't discount how lazy some people can be. There are countless people out there whose desktops are cluttered with all sorts of stuff. I myself have sorted folders everywhere but that doesn't stop my primary downloads folder from being packed to the brim with stuff I haven't bothered sorting over the years.

    I am almost 40, have used every version of windows and I am having not real issues getting used to the Windows 8 interface. There isn't actually that much to it. I suspect a lot of the resistance is due to old dogs not learning new tricks very well.

    As for the "walled garden"? Microsoft are forced to go this way by the success of Apple.

      I think as far as Steam goes, a metro title could actually be useful. I'd love to have a list of the last 5 steam games I've played, or downloaded or whatever, directly on my screen.
      I've only played around with an earlier release build, but I had no real problems. Sure the interface is different, but once I got the hang of it, I didn't have much of a problem.
      I think calling it a "catastrophe" is just silly. The system will run the games just fine from all accounts, we just need to get used to where we need to click to run them.

    The main reason I run windows is because it's the best platform to play games. It now looks like windows 8 is one step backwards for gamers. If I can play steam games on linux just as easy as I can play them on Windows 7, I'm headed for a linux dexktop. I suspect all we're going to see from Valve is steamplay games on linux, which is a good start but not enough for me. I'll stick with Windows 7 for a while. I can't see me using Windows 8 at all.

    I shall most likely be sticking with Windows 7, I really dislike the path Windows 8 has headed down.

    As technology goes on, I'm starting to see a theme; it should be about choices. There should be a Legacy Mode that makes the whole damn OS function like Windows 7. =\

    This really captures my experience of the desktop. I know some (maybe a lot) of people will disagree, but I really feel that Metro will hamper productive. Some functions are much harder in desktop mode than they used to be, and Metro is clunky as hell with a mouse.

    I have a friend who is an early adopter. Loves the shit out of Win8, and was full of vitriol for Gabe.
    His primary complaint against all the naysayers is that 'they don't have it configured right'. So I asked him to sit down and show me his configuration.

    To my horror, he started by producing a giant, shiny, black, sleek microsoft-branded dildo, touched the 'lube' button, then dropped his pants and sat down on it.
    He then proceeded to tell me the pros and cons of the on-the-whole overall useful dildo interface, but I couldn't stop staring.
    "It's actually kinda comfortable once you get used to it. And yeah, it does have an impact on shitting, but you can work your ablution times around that. And the settings are adjustable so it's either more or less fun depending on how sensitive you are. It's stable, too, I haven't any issues that way. The sliding is something you have to watch out for, transitioning from--"

    Slight allegorical exaggeration, but seriously watching this guy try to work his 'ideal' win8 set-up that he assumed everyone would fall in love with if they just tried it? The bottom fell out of my stomach and I got the cold sweats. It was nothing but bad.

      Kotaku, COMMENT OF THE YEAR! Give this man / girl / wood ape whatever free left over crap is thats been left on some jerks desk that left last september

    I've tried Windows 8 at work. Pretty much everything in this article matches my experience.
    I also think that the mousing to the corners for things or those 'Charms' that appear are almost impossible to trigger if using a Virtual Machine or Remote Desktop session.

      Oh yeah, same complaint if using multiple monitors.

        Haven't had the charms issue on multiple monitors myself, I can get it straight away :/ but if you cant use your mouse just get re-acquainted with that thing called a keyboard! (wind key + C) Windows 8 isn't only the most touch enabled Windows, its also the most keyboard-able(?) version as well!

    i've been on it for 12 months. early revisions had a few minor and a few major glitches that are now ironed out.

    i use it for serious gaming, casual gaming, and everything inbetween. i launch apps faster, spend most of my time in the desktop.

    as for scrolling that far, you might want to check out semantic zoom. if an app doesn't support it, it's an immature app. and they also should support arrangement of groups, if not tiles, so you can decide what's important to you. for example, freecell stats should be pinnable to your start screen if you wanted them to be... no need to even go into an app to see them. so to see them if they are that important to you, you unlock your pc.

    I wasn't too worried about Win8 because I always saw it as Win7 with an optional Metro UI....
    The fact that the desktop runs as an up under the Metro OS worries me....
    Not seeing all my installed programs in the same place could get stupidly confusing and just plain annoying. It's one thing to change the UI of an OS, it's another thing to completely change the way it operates.
    That being said, I haven't actually tried it yet, so I guess I'll reserve final judgement till I do.

    Convoluted is what Microsoft do, all of their software is the same, they take a simple process add numerous extra steps to completely over complicate it and then adjust that same process each year or two so people think they are getting something new and can 'justify' an new fee.

    An OS shouldn't force you to work a certain way, you should be able to change it to suit how you want to work ............this is precisely why linux is so good.

      I agree 100%, Sterling. Also, all you ney-sayers who are convinced that Linux requires command line use, this is true for Linux versions (also known as 'flavors' or 'distros'/'distributions') like RedHat, Gentoo, ArchLinux, and the like, but the dependency on the terminal has fallen by the wayside in some of the more user friendly ones, like Fedora, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, etc. Many of these 'consumer distros' are perfectly usable with nothing but the GUI. Also, in most cases, the drivers for all your devices are built into the OS's core, or kernel, with driver/software compiling for unusual/uncommon devices and programs being the only thing that ABSOLUTELY needs terminal.

      on another note, OpenGL is already somewhere between DX9 and DX10.1, from what I have seen, with a lot of the fancy tricks in DirectX being repeatable in GL, but the coding/programming for it being more difficult to achieve an exact or even close reproduction of the same effect. Also, with Valve and EA both moving towards Linux support, this will spur on GL development to meet demands of game engines and programmers for the major studios. I wouldn't be surprised to see other game designers and publishers jump on the Linus Torvalds ("inventor" of Linux") band wagon, and leaving Mr. Gates and the late Mr. Jobs as gaming history. A lot of Valve's SteamPlay games look identical on Mac, by the way, which utilizes... OpenGL.

      Oh, and did I mention Linux is more stable than Windows OR OS X?

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