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Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Make Windows 8 work in your life



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By Clark Howard

ClarkHoward.com

 

I have a Windows 8 computer in my office displayed prominently as a reminder. A reminder of what you ask?

A reminder to myself not to buy too early if you don't know the technology you're buying is any good.

Microsoft said Windows 8 was supposed to be great, with its blend of a traditional keyboard and touch screen all in one. And it's true that it had a sleek and elegant look. But Windows 8 has shown itself to be not ready for primetime unless maybe you're a techie.

We're used to picking up an Android tablet or an iPad and being able to pretty intuitively do what we want with them. Not so with the Windows 8 touchscreen.

The real test for me has been my 13 year old daughter. She's the kind who picks up practically any electronic device and she's off and running. But she's completely befuddled by the Windows 8 touch screen.

It's not intuitive at all, though I'm sure it will get to be easier to use in future versions.

Just to illustrate how non-intuitive it is, I fired up my laptop and couldn't figure out how to get a web browser up! It was embarrassing. You watch the Windows 8 touchscreen commercials on TV and it looks like it's the greatest thing since sliced bread.

But now the company is admitting it was an oops. Microsoft will overhaul the software to make it more user friendly. "The learning curve is real and needs to be addressed," a company honcho admitted.

Technology that is too hard for a typical person to use is not effective. The most beautiful technology has to be easy to use. Like the Nest -- that's a thing of beauty. But Windows 8? It's an ugly duckling. Don't buy it. Wait until they improve it.  

I got a good deal on mine for $500. That was $500 too much.

But leave it to techies to find a solution! AllThingsD.com reports there’s a free product from Pokki.com that reportedly modernizes the start menu on Windows 8 so it is easier to use. There’s also a pay model called Start8, which is a $5 program, that brings back the traditional start menu to Windows 8 users.

But perhaps the best advice is to skip every other iterations of Windows 8. If history is right, Windows 9 should be a winner much like Windows 7 was.