Windows 8 book authors dish on Windows 8

14 top-selling writers who dug deep into Windows offer a range of perspectives that show how controversial the new OS is

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Woody Leonhard

Woody Leonhard

My name's Woody Leonhard, and I'm a Windows victim. My first book took a look at programming Windows 3.1, and I've written tens of thousands of pages about Windows since. I'm a senior contributing editor here at InfoWorld and senior editor at Windows Secrets Newsletter. My latest massive tome, the 1,080-page reference "Windows 8 All-in-One for Dummies," covers many Win8 nooks and crannies and related pieces of the puzzle: Google, iPads, smartphones, Facebook, and Twitter.

My comments:

If you've been following my posts here at InfoWorld, you know I'm not a big fan of Windows 8. My review "Windows 8 review: Yes, it's that bad" sets the tone. The book authors in this article have picked apart many of the problems with Windows 8, and I generally agree with them.

Windows 8 is great if you buy a new touch tablet and want to run both Metro apps and old-fashioned Windows desktop apps on the same machine. It's just very difficult for me to imagine why I would want to do that -- a toaster and a refrigerator, for sure.

Microsoft has made much of the possibility that you can take one machine -- a Windows 8 machine -- with you when you travel, and you no longer need to lug both that humongous Ultrabook and backbreaking iPad along: One machine covers both bases. But I don't have any problem carrying a small notebook with me when I need to run some monstrous application such as Outlook -- and bring along an iPad or my trusty Galaxy Note II for all the times when I don't need the headaches.

Mostly, I'm looking forward to the time -- and it won't be long -- when I can completely wean myself off the bloated, buggy, archaic software that I've used for the past decade or two. That bloat belongs in the cloud, where people in white lab coats can keep it at bay. I just want a little, reliable, secure portal into it -- and a mechanical keyboard and 30-inch screen.

That said, I readily confess that I use Windows 8 on my main production machine all day, every day. I almost never venture off the desktop. I'm still too locked into old ways of working and too dependent on interacting with others who live in the last century, technologically.

Windows will change. Enormously. Whether it'll shed the accumulated detritus of the past two decades is anybody's guess. And whether it'll get rid of the baggage before other companies eat Microsoft's lunch -- that's the $64 billion question.

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