The UX of Windows 10 beta

Let’s get something out of the way.  I appreciate Apple, but I don’t like MacOS X.  I have many different kinds of devices, iPods, iPads, Laptops, Wearables, Mac Minis and desktops.  They have a wide array of operating systems.  I think iOS is brilliant for the iPad/iPod/iPhone family.  However, I think MacOS X is inferior to  the latest versions of Windows. I could spend the whole post explaining why, but here is the short list:

  • I hate the way windows maximize.  Aero Snap on Windows is a million times better and anyone who disagrees has never used Aero Snap.
  • The Start Bar is better than the Dock. The Doc is pretty, but the Start Bar is more useful and customizable.
  • Office is better on Windows.  I use Office 365 all day.  The newest versions on the Mac are closer to parity, but they still are inferior in a million tiny ways.

This is not to say MacOS X doesn’t have nice things.  I love GarageBand, but overall, the OS is not better to me.

Now let’s focus on the beta of Windows 10.

First thing, it really is buggy.  It crashes all the time and reboots.  It’s starting to piss me off actually.  OneDrive, which I once considered the best cloud storage tool is now a hindrance because it crashes so often.  I can’t save files there anymore because it is crashing Office.

The next thing is the Metro UI from Windows 8.  It’s mostly gone and replaced with a more traditional Start menu.  This is fine, I suppose, since I didn’t much care for the giant set of tiles.  However, it doesn’t feel like a step forward.  It feels like a step backwards.  Innovation is required here.  A Start Menu is fine, but it needs to be designed better than what it is now.

startMenu

The dark gray is a mistake to me.  The darkness needs to be replaced with vibrant colors mostly on the lighter side of the color spectrum.  I appreciate the complete lack of skeuomorphism, but the trend is actually starting to go in a different direction.  My recommendation would be for them to introduce “Jelly” or “Liquid” effects.

Cortana is Microsoft’s version of Siri.  I believe they are making the same mistake with Cortana that they made with Metro.  It is a tool that works well with a phone or tablet, not a desktop or laptop.  Maybe they have the Surface on their minds, but most people don’t have a Surface.  I appreciate that Cortana is a better technology than Siri, but so what? I don’t need a voice controller at my desk at work.

So overall, it’s a bit underwhelming.  I don’t see much improvement from 8.1.  I am hoping that more polish and love is introduced in later versions.  We shall see. One thing I really appreciate is that they let us install it easily and quickly.  I have tested every version of Windows betas since 3.1.

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