aNewDomain.net–When I heard that Microsoft was offering Windows 8 Pro upgrade for only $39.99 until January 31, 2013, I couldn’t help but buy it. Call it geek curiosity. Overall, I’ve been quite pleased with Windows 8. Microsoft has done a good job of reinventing its operating system. However, this evolution of the OS may be alienating some of Microsoft’s customers. One thing that has been especially irritating for me has been its implementation of universal search.
Microsoft learned something from Ubuntu when it comes to universal search. Even though the Internet was full of users who did not like it when Ubuntu changed from the GNOME desktop to the Unity desktop, I did not really have a problem with it. Don’t get me wrong, I think GNOME is great. However, Unity offers a great desktop experience just the same. One of the features of Unity that I like most is universal search. When I enter a search term, universal search automatically shows me the results for files, programs, folders and — in the most recent iteration — Amazon search results. The beauty of Ubuntu search is that I can view all the results of my search query at once. In comparison, Microsoft’s version of the desktop search forces you to choose what you’re looking for – be it files, applications or settings. This, especially for new users, makes it much less user-friendly. It’s not only extremely irritating, but also quite baffling.
Needs to look more like this.
Does this make Microsoft’s Windows 8 a bad operating system? I don’t think so. It does, though, make system admins around the world cringe at the thought of upgrading their users to Windows 8. If Microsoft wants to make Windows 8 a hit it needs to offer users – and their IT overlords – an approach to the desktop environment that does not so closely mimic that of a mobile device. Tweaking universal search is just one step toward that goal.