Microsoft says new OS is just as suited to keyboard and mouse
One of the most common complaints we hear about the new Windows 8 operating system is that it's designed for touchscreen computers and tablets, and so not of interest to users of 'normal' computers with a keyboard and mouse or touchpad.
Today we put this to Microsoft Senior Product Manager Rob Epstein, and the response was clear: "Windows 8 was built for keyboard and mouse as much as it is for touch", he told us.
He added that people who have upgraded to the new operating system "don't find it an issue at all", and that "It's more intuitive and faster than people believe".
"The main thing we'd like people to do is try it", he said. "It's a better Windows 7 than Windows 7 - more secure, and faster underneath".
And, to an extent, I can see his point.
It's certainly true that the new 'Metro' interface can be baffling at first - especially when it comes to the Charms menu, which is entirely new and full of important features, such as shutting down the computer, that you can't afford to miss.
But, after having used Windows 8 for a couple of weeks now, while working on our Windows 8: The Complete Guide app, I'm finding it quick and easy to use.
Starting a program might look different, but it works in exactly the same way as before: I tap the Start key, begin typing the program's name, then press Enter when it appears. And my most used programs - Word and Photoshop - are pinned to the Taskbar in exactly the same place as Windows 7.
As a heavy keyboard shortcuts user, I get to the Charms with the Windows key and C together. To get the Desktop, Windows key and D - a shortcut already there in Windows 7.
And my main desktop PC, upgraded from Windows 7, now starts up more quickly and shuts down in a snap.
I'm not quite sold on everything, of course. Some of the built in apps - Email, for example - seem to me more suited to a small tablet display than a big desktop monitor, and I wish that settings were searchable without first selecting a separate category.
There's also a menu in the Metro view - accessible by right click if you have a mouse - that I wish was more neatly integrated somewhere else - having menus flying in from three directions seems like overkill.
In general, though, I'm happy with the results of my upgrade, and can't see a reason to go back to Windows 7. But what about you? if you've taken the plunge, let us know what you think in the comments below.
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