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Windows 8 problems and solutions

Updated on September 12, 2013

Microsoft’s Windows 8 is considered as the most ambitious overhaul of the Operating System. Since the company’s revolutionary entry as Windows 95 nearly 20 years ago, the latest revamp is touted to be in sync with the vast amount of changes in the technological front.

The revamp includes varied kinds of touch controls that are popular in tablets and smartphones. This has been done so as to regain the lost market share of laptop and desktop PCs, which have traditionally being the stronghold of Microsoft for years. However, the response to Windows 8 has been tepid and not enough for people to give up on their favorite Windows 7 and the reliable XP edition.

One of the main problems present in Windows 8 is the fact that it includes a plethora of novel features which has led to confusion. It includes touchscreen controls, but the features also respond to the conventional keyboard and mouse commands. It comes with a new display that is tablet-like, but also includes a desktop mode that resembles the older versions of Windows OS. Additionally, a number of controls that allow change of settings and launch of programs have been placed somewhere else. This may provide a chic and cleaner look to the OS, but it makes consumers search across the OS for different controls, thereby making it less user-friendly.

Hence, Microsoft is coming up with an update/upgrade later this year to remedy the many chinks. Some of the current problems and possible solution of Windows 8 are listed below:

1. Tablet versus desktop mode

Microsoft may want customers to get accustomed to the new Windows 8 layout that is full of tiles, but the fact of the matter is that a number of accompanying applications are designed to be used on the traditional desktop PCs. This holds true for Microsoft’s Office business tools suite as well. The newer version of MS Office was launched just a few months after Windows 8, but the OS comes with the older Office suite.

Due to this, customers feel that they are using two varying operating systems on the same computer because of the lack of communication between the desktop and tile modes. For example, if you use IE 10 to browse the internet in the desktop mode, then the same webpages will fail to appear after you switch to the tablet mode. A majority of users prefer to work in the desktop mode as most applications work best in that mode. However, when you start the computer, Windows 8 will always forcibly open in the tile mode.

The solution includes allowing users to automatically access the desktop mode upon starting the computer. With the passage of time, customers will get used to the tablet-style layout and then commence using it. Microsoft should not force users to start using the tile mode.

2. No Start button

Microsoft Windows 8 does not have a central area from where users can change settings or launch programs.

The OS comes with a revamped start page that covers the complete screen. It is full of tiles or boxes that allow easy access to your oft-used programs. However, if you want to use the less favorite programs, users need to slide to a menu present at the lower end and tap on the ‘All apps’ option. Users then need to search for the relevant program. Even when you are using an application which has been set as a favorite program, users need to go back to the launch page to start a new one. The settings option can be accessed by sliding to a group of icons called charms present on the right side of the display.

All of us are aware that the older versions had a ‘start’ button at the lower left corner of the display which provided quick access to settings and varied applications without disrupting the seamless and continuous flow of work. The ‘start’ button is ever present as users move from one application to another.

The solution for this problem is to restore the ‘start’ button thereby making it user friendly and preventing loss of time. The ‘start’ button should be easy to detect and access.

3. Inaccessibility of settings

The set of icons present on the right side of the screen allows users to configure the wireless settings, restart the computer, and alter other configurations. However, it is quite difficult to access these charms. If customers are using the mouse then they need to drag the cursor to the bottom or top right of the screen, and then select the correct icon. If you are using the tile mode, then you have to swipe towards the right to access the charms.

This problem can be resolved in two ways. First and foremost is the restoration of the ‘start’ button. Secondly, an option for permanent presence of the charms should be made available. It is the same as the occurrence of the taskbar (generally on the bottom) in the older versions of the Windows Operating System; or in Mac computers that have a permanent dock located at the bottom of the screen.

4. Complicated keyboard

Windows 8 has been designed for touchscreen access. However, this has resulted in keyboard and mouse commands that are harder to figure out and use.

Apple has different OS for its tablets and its desktop computers. Microsoft should also avoid making Windows 8 an OS that can be used on all machines. Instead, they can design separate operating systems for tablet computers and desktop PCs. This solution may not be a part of the update/upgrade.

5. Closing of applications/programs

In the older versions of Windows users only needed to click on the ‘x’ option to close programs. However, this option is unavailable in Windows 8. Instead, users need drag the apps to the bottom of the screen, and this dragging procedure differs if you are using a mouse or the touchscreen. Also, if you drag a little towards the left or right of the scheduled location, then it will open up a multi-window mode.

The solution is to restore the ‘x’ option for closing programs. Avoid forcing customers to use gestures and signs that are not intuitive enough to recognize the task that is being performed.

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