Is This Running Slow or is That Not Actually a Button?

Adventures in Windows 8

Alternate Title: Dear Christ in Heaven Where is the Address Bar!?

Full disclosure: I am a Mac. I’ve owned two ipods, there’s an iphone 5 surgically attached to my hand, an ipad in my purse, a macbook pro on my coffee table, and an imac in my living room. I use an imac at work and go into a silent little fit of rage when I have to break out the Windows XP box to test in IE.

I am biased.

I know Apple is not without its faults. And I could care less what anyone else uses. Use what you like! Use what makes you happy! Its all good.I’m not here to start a Mac vs. PC war.

I’m not here to argue about how expensive Macs are or how you can customize a Windows box and why wouldn’t you want the ability to open up the case and tinker? (Hint: because I would burn the house down if allowed to do so)

What I’m here to share with you is how a simple operating system made me rage so hard that I had to spend four hours playing SimCity 3000 while drinking crap beer and watching one of the worst scifi (sorry, syfy) shows my boyfriend has ever sucked me into watching just to decompress.

This is the story of my second experience with Windows 8.

Yes, my second experience. What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. My first try was in one of those shiny new Microsoft stores where I spent 45 seconds playing with a Surface tablet. When I couldn’t figure out how to exit out of Office and get back to the start screen I gave up and went to the food court for bad Chinese.

This second time, though. Man. I had high hopes. See, I used to have this netbook for IE testing. Then some things happened and now it doesn’t have working wifi and the screen resolution is permenantly stretched.

Then I said ‘hey, why not try the whole Virtual Machine thing?’ So I procured a copy of Windows 8 and Parallels and installed them. One lukewarm beer and an hour of Stargate Universe later, I had Windows 8 running on my iMac.

This is gorgeous. “Flat” design at it’s best. Simple, intuitive, with beautiful typography and a nice, clean interface for composing and reading emails.

In fairness, it is very pretty. It’s the most visually appealing version of Windows I’ve ever seen. Aesthetically, I love it. Until I try to use it and feel like I’m being punished for doing something heinous in a past life.

I should not have to use google to figure out how to display an address bar in my browser. I should not need instructions from the resident Windows nerd in my circle of friends, collegues, and acquantaines (you know who you are, Mr. Window’s Phones are Cool) to type a URL into a browser and go to a website. Yet there I was. Falling into a completely unsneaky-hate-spiral the likes of which are rarely seen. All over an address bar in a web browser.

Now, keep in mind, I build websites for a living and I couldn’t access the address bar in IE10.

What hope does someone like my father who can barely turn on a computer have?

Between trying out IE10 and writing this, I installed Chrome and set it as the default browser. I then spent fifteen minutes trying to get IE10 to use the Metro UI.

I had to google that too.

Turns out an app only uses the Metro UI if it’s set as default.

Oh, and you have to right-click on the webpage to make the address bar show up. God knows how you access all the junk that’s normally in a right-click menu.

How’s that for intuitive?

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