When you’ve done literally thousands of these short articles, one or two stick out as favorites. This one from 2012, called Windows 8: Day 1 fail takes us back to the days when Microsoft’s future looked pretty bleak. Windows 8 was the least popular operating system at least since Vista, probably the least popular operating system ever. And when you think about it, it took so little effort to make it so much better Eliminating the need for a touch screen, adding back the start menu, and basically not hiding half the settings you need and that was about it.
I was criticized when I wrote that article because Windows 8 actually had some diehard fans within the Solid Signal organization. I get it, the underpinnings of Windows 8 are rock solid, which is why they didn’t change much for Windows 10. But ohmigosh the user experience! I looked at that article, with the full start screen that you had to press the Windows button to get to (or at least hover nebulously in one corner of the screen) and I think I threw up a little bit in my mouth.
The article itself was actually inspired by a trip I took to a then-new Microsoft store, where I had a good long discussion with an employee who claimed Windows 8 was the best because his young kids loved it so much. While one of those young kids may be my boss in 20 years, at least for now people my age are in control and we’re glad we got our start menu back.