Got that wrong then :-)
It's obviously a lot worse out there than I thought. The article (or non-article as the case may be) was I admit a bit of a rant against what I thought were a bunch of contrived and unhelpful videos. The point I was trying (and obviously failing) to make was not about training in the full-on formal sense, it was more about the number of ways in which users will be provided with a nudge to get them going with an updated UI.
From what you guys are saying there is a high chance that consumers will buy a new PC without ever seeing Windows 8 demonstrated, then miss the in-yer-face hints about corner and edge menus during setup, ignore the one page quick start card that comes in the box when they get stuck, and have no one around or on the end of the phone to give them the hint they need to get going. Fair enough, I’ll take it on the chin for the phrase “this almost never happens” being a bit of an over-statement, but I am not sure I would concede that it *always* happens as some are suggesting.
Re the work side of things, of course people are plonked down in front of PCs without training, and there's always going to be exceptional situations like the guy firing up a new OS for the first time from the other side of the world, but isn't there usually at least someone around or on the end of the phone that users can ask on a basic UI question like “what’s happened to the start menu?”
Again, I am not talking about formal training or support here, which is clearly lacking in a lot of organisations, just someone who can say the words "try moving your mouse to the corners of the screen and see what pops up", and perhaps offer a couple of other basic UI tips.
We've been through this before with XP, and some have been through it with Vista and Windows 7. Everyone moans and groans because they don't like change, and some get stuck on some things initially until ask someone, look it up or work it out through trial and error. And it's not just Windows. I have even seen people struggle when you put a Mac in front of them for the first time (in my experience, people who spend shed loads on Macs often trivialise the learning curve). There’s then Android, which for most people involves a hill to climb too with regard to the UI, but people do get hints from various sources and are obviously getting on with it.
Perhaps iOS is an exception in terms of out of the box usability, and hat tip to Apple for that. Even so, it’s easy for experienced iPhone and iPad users to forget that someone in the early days probably had to show them the ‘press and hold’ trick to move and delete icons, and more recently how to use multi-tap gestures for things like task switching (assuming they know about them even now). Or maybe they consulted some source of help?
The bottom line is that you could put all sorts of new and unfamiliar things in front of your Dad with no hints and clues about how to get something done and get a similar result. What I take issue with is inferring from such stunts that the new thing they are struggling with is inherently flawed, and that’s exactly the inference of the Dad test videos.
I would be interested in whether people out there who have given Windows 8 a proper go really do think it’s as impenetrable as these videos would have us believe. It’s not my experience, nor that of the people I have introduced it to. Whether you like the changes to the UI or not, the effort/intellect needed to figure how it works (especially if you are a desktop user) is not that different to other UIs. But as someone said in a previous comment, that’s just anecdotal.
OK, shutting up and going away now. Apologies if anyone feels I have wasted their time.