This may sound odd, but I've always felt that part of my job as editor of a technology publication was to use the same operating system most people do. Yes, I've used a Mac and Ubuntu on the side, and I constantly use iOS, but on my nondescript gray desk at work, a Windows 7 laptop sits snugly in its docking station, just as it does on millions of other desks.
Now I need to replace my aging ThinkPad. Until a little while ago, I was determined -- even excited -- to stick with Windows 7 and follow Microsoft on its journey to Windows 8, which in theory seemed like a bold way to bridge the desktop and mobile worlds. Last fall I even speculated that Windows 8 might spark a Windows PC comeback.
[ Change is in the air for tech pros -- read Eric Knorr's post "The new IT vs. the old IT." | Check out the InfoWorld Test Center evaluation of Windows 8 Consumer Preview. | J. Peter Bruzzese coined the phrase "Windows Frankenstein" to describe Windows 8. | For ongoing coverage, subscribe to InfoWorld's Microsoft newsletter. ]
Well, guess what? I've changed my mind. After 22 years of using Windows for work, I'm opting for a Mac instead.
All it took was a long look at Windows 8 Consumer Preview. In hindsight, I suppose that Microsoft's quest to combine a desktop and mobile OS into one was damn near impossible to begin with. But couldn't the company do better than what landed with a thud on Feb. 29? I was shocked, not only at the clunkiness of Metro on the desktop, but also at the disappearance of the Start menu -- a double-barreled fail.
My gut reaction is one thing. But the clincher for me has been the response from Windows gurus I respect, such as InfoWorld's J. Peter Bruzzese -- who wrote "Windows 8 Consumer Preview: 'Windows Frankenstein'" -- and Woody Leonhard, author of a dozen Windows books, who wrote "Windows 8: Something, old, something awkward" for the Test Center. And Martin Heller, longtime InfoWorld contributor and Windows expert, who sent us an email last week with a subject line that read: "I was so impressed with the Windows 8 preview ... that I ordered a 21-inch iMac."