Please, Microsoft, for the love of Windows

We're not asking for much, just a simple change or two to Windows 8. Listen to common sense -- for everyone's sake

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There's also more visibility for File History (the Microsoft take on Apple's Time Machine), although the hooks were already in Win7 (known as Previous Versions). For Windows 8 Enterprise, Windows to Go is a tremendous boon. And Windows 8 really is fast and fluid, although I'd never tell Windows chief Steve Sinofsky that.

Good stuff! I want it (or at least most of it). But I am not going to suffer through Metro on the desktop to get it.

Now for the other reason why you people in Redmond need to make Metro optional and restore the Start menu: Obvious lapses in judgment are very bad marketing. I speak from personal experience -- Metro on the desktop made me switch to the Mac for my primary work machine. I had an emotional reaction that went something like: First Vista and now this? Enough. I've had it!

Now, I admit, that wasn't very rational or mature of me. I could have kept using my Windows 7 laptop as my primary work machine; I still run Windows 7 on my main home computer. I actually like it better than OS X, in fact. No doubt part of my bitter disappointment with Windows 8 stemmed from the fact I had high hopes; in theory, Metro seemed like a bold new way to bridge the desktop and mobile worlds.

Those hopes were dashed when I saw Metro pushed in the face of desktop users as the top-level UI and replacement for the Start menu. Ultimately, the real marketing problem is that desktop users will see Metro flitting across the screen and wonder: Who on earth would make a decision like that?

In reaction, rather than stick with Windows 7, they may turn to an alternative like I did -- and not just the Mac. Android and iOS tablets are becoming more and more capable. Samsung and others are coming up with innovative new PC-like designs. Even Ubuntu is going to get another shot, this time wth a tablet OS. As we move from a PC-centric world to a cloud-centric world, it's going to be easier than ever to pick and choose from a slew of non-Windows devices.

There's nothing to prevent you Microsofties from shrugging and saying, "If you don't like Windows 8, don't buy it." It's your choice, Redmond. For your sake, though, I hope you've taken into account that customers have more choices than ever.

This article, "Please, Microsoft, for the love of Windows," originally appeared at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Eric Knorr's Modernizing IT blog. And for the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld on Twitter.

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