All things modern.
Today I took windows 8 tablet on the bus with me to see how it would behave as a reading device. All of my books are either in word or acrobat format. I don’t buy story books from online retailers, my books are regulations, guidance documents and manuals. First I tried the ‘reader’ app which can be obtained from the windows 8 store. This was nice to just read on, but I need to make notes, annotate and highlight sections of my manuals so within minutes I was forced into the desktop mode to download foxit reader.
After this was installed my experience was relegated to the desktop UI. This is a bit of a shame really as windows 8 is supposed to be tablet friendly, well at least the metro UI is. Perhaps if a better reader app was made with annotating capability then I would be able to stay in the metro UI when in tablet mode. But I still wouldn’t. I prefer to find the location of my pdfs in windows explorer and open by double clicking. I have my books arranged in a way that is logical to me in folders relating to the subject matter of the book. I don’t want a screen with a huge number of colourful blocks arranged in some random order. If this were music and the player insisted on taking all my music and rearranging everything by say album and artist, I could live with that. But this isn’t iTunes, this is work, this is what I do for a living, and I want, sorry NEED to have my books arranged the way that I want them so that they are easy for me to find.
Unfortunately it does not look like windows 8 brings any advantage to windows 7 in this regard, at least for me. So far, the start screen in unnecessarily complicated for starting programs, I don’t use any of the metro apps, and even when reading in tablet mode, I still need to use the desktop UI. Incidentally, most if not all of the metro tiles require internet access to be useful. Since the tablet mode is most likely to be used when out and about, precisely where internet connections are hard to get, I wonder what the purpose is at all. I do have mobile broadband, but on a one hour bus ride through the country, half the time was spent without signal and the other half losing connection as the modem jumped cells.
Initially the new windows 8 impressed me, but the more that I use it, the more I find that is not only useless, but actually hinders my productivity.