Windows 8/8.1... it is THAT bad.
Some weeks ago I had some time to spend and figured that it would probably be a good time for me to increase my level of familiarization with Windows 8 (or 8.1, rather). I had used the operating system briefly from time to time but I wanted to set it up from scratch and use it on my own for a bit.
Since the preview was already available by then and easily accessible too (since there was no requirement to register to acquire a copy)... off I went.
Now I have to point out that I went into this exercise with a very open mind. I continuously told myself "well, it can't be THAT bad now can it" all the way from when I was downloading the preview to installation. Boy was I wrong. So very, very wrong.
First off; let me begin by saying that the start screen isn't actually that bad. Once you've uninstalled all those bloody useless default apps (which can be easily and quickly accomplished) you can actually turn the start screen into a rather pleasant interface from where you can access commonly used applications and folders. And yup, the fact that you can actually create shortcuts of folders on the start screen helps a lot.
My problems begin surface once you move away from the start screen, however.
What Microsoft really should have done was take Windows 7, leave the entire interface as-is, add the start screen and increase support for tablets and call it a day. But nooo... they had to screw around with what already worked. The Task Manager for instance doesn't offer the same amount of detail (additional columns to select and view) in its process list compared to Windows 7... which is annoying.
Then comes the fact that even when you've decided to put the start screen away it still tends to make unexpected reappearances from time to time. If for example you go to the "classic" desktop and go to Control Panel and Network Center and subsequently click on "Manage Wireless Networks" you're given a bloody start screen view of all available wireless networks rather than the good old fashioned wireless network profile manager.
And while we're on the topic of the new wireless network "manager"... you can NOT remove a wireless network profile unless you are within range of that wireless network. What? And yes, this is verified. The only way to remove a wireless network profile when out of range of said network is through Command Prompt.
Even the start screen itself isn't exactly intuitive (namely its default apps). At one point I accidentally opened the Mail app. It asked me to enter an E-Mail login to link my Windows account to a Microsoft Live account, or some such. I did not want this. So I clicked on "Cancel" (one of two available buttons, the other being "Next") and was greeted with an error stating "You must enter an E-Mail address". Clicking on "Next" gave me the same error. WTF? There was no obvious way to get out of this screen other than to Alt-F4.
Such blatantly careless interface design decisions make me want to puke. Just what it's like for users who are unaware of the various Windows keyboard shortcuts is beyond me.
I could really go on forever about just how bad and unpolished Windows 8/8.1 is but I think I've already made my point. All this would be maybe even 1% understandable if the operating system was absolutely fan-fucking-tastic on a tablet but even those who own Windows 8 tablets aren't exactly satisfied.