Windows 8 Gets Panned by Chris Pirillo

Alan Buckingham
Oct 17, 2012
Updated • Oct 18, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

If Microsoft has accomplished anything with their upcoming operating system, Windows 8, then it's certainly the generation of controversy.  After all, the new OS is a big change from virtually every previous version of Windows and it has everyone talking.  The Start menu, a part of Windows since way back in 1995, is gone, although there are ways to bring it back.  There is a brand new, touch-friendly, Start screen that was designed primarily for tablets, although it works just fine on a traditional computer.  Yes, the OS is different and not everyone is a fan.

Chris Pirillo, who gained notoriety back in the old Tech TV days, and now runs the popular web site Lockergnome, has been especially vocal about his opinions of Windows 8, and they have been fairly bad so far.  He previously posted a video showing his dad trying to use the OS, with less-than-positive results.  Now, he has taken his crusade out on the streets to talk to real users.

While I wouldn't accuse Pirillo of taking advantage of the situation to generate page views or of even being a Windows hater (he isn't), I would question how much the video has been edited to weed out those who may have liked the new design.

Clearly Windows 8 will be controversial going forward, and it will have perhaps as many detractors as it will have fans, but the early indications are hinting towards the next-generation operating system from Microsoft being a hit.  We have already seen the software rocket to the top of the best selling software list on Amazon within 24 hours of release and now it appears that the entry-level 32 GB Surface tablet has sold out within the first day of being available for pre-order.  Both Windows 8 and the Surface tablet will be available on October 26th.


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  1. nbravatto said on November 15, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I am sorry but if you watch any of this guys videos on Youtube he is an opinionated little prick. He takes the attitude with just about everything. If people don’t agree with everything he says in his little chat room he begins to argue with them. Check out his video where he bitches like a little girl about people who still use Windows XP and basically calls them idiots. Dude is a jack-off. He is not half as special as the thinks he is. Once again here he proves that anybody can open a Youtube account/twitter and website and idiots will follow. Nothing special here.

  2. jarjar binks said on November 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    The one thing that this post proves yet again, is that opinions are like butts, everybody has one, and they all stink, including Chris Pirillo’s. Who is anybody to tell another what is going to work well for them, and what won’t? If you try it, and you like it, great. Then the product was designed just for you, whether the developers knew it or not. If you hate it, so what? Who gives a flying fig? Get something else, or don’t get anything at all.

    I hate touch screen desktops because I absolutely can not stand finger prints on my display. It looks absolutely disgusting. I will go around my butt to get to my elbow for the rest of my life to avoid a touchscreen desktop, even if it becomes scientific law that Windows 8 is by far the most intuitive, most productive, and absolutely the funnest experience anyone will ever have on a desktop. Sound stupid? Absolutely.

    I will simply take the high road when it comes to computing. OSX stinks like the sewer on a hot summer day, Windows stinks so bad, it killed all the flies in my office, Linux/Unix is a real turd too. But it’s free, so I use it. Why should I pay one red cent for either one of them when they’re all turds–especially in this day and age? So I go with the free turd. And what do you know, I’m surviving!

  3. gary said on October 20, 2012 at 2:09 am

    “works just fine on a traditional computer”

    I hope its been vastly improved since i put a rc in a virtual machine cause it was anything but fine.

  4. tPenguinLTG said on October 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    I’m upset: there’s no Windows Classic theme…

  5. fung0 said on October 19, 2012 at 6:43 am

    Well said, Nilpohc. Modern is an entirely new OS… not a bad one, maybe, but most definitely NOT Windows. And slapping it on top of the classic desktop is NOT the same as touch-enabling Windows.

    I’ve been using Win8 for weeks, and it’s not a question of “getting used to it.” Sure, I can use it just fine. I’ve used DOS, CP/M, even VALDOCS – and every version of Windows since 1.0 (with ITS ’tiled’ interface). So yes, I can just about figure out how to use Win8. .But using it only increases my awareness of how badly designed it is. Why does touch live in a world of its own? Why is touch on the desktop EXACTLY the same as in Win7? (They COULD have made the red X bigger, at least. They did nothing. Except to add the idiotic Ribbon, which is LESS finger-friendly than the old toolbars!) Why is there ABSOLUTELY no synergy between the two very separate modes? This is the exact opposite of good design.

    Failing to be totally unusable is not the same as succeeding at being well-designed. Win8 is a giant step sideways for Windows. The sooner the buffoons who created it are forced to step aside, the sooner we’ll see some real progress.

  6. Teiji said on October 19, 2012 at 2:53 am

    I’m guessing that video was sponsored by Pokki? haha

    Anyway, I just tried Pokki on my Windows 7. And if it works the same (+ improvements on Searching for files), then I think I might give Windows 8 a try.

  7. Nilpohc said on October 18, 2012 at 7:07 pm

    A lot has been said, written and shown about Windows 8, and it really seems to me that MS should have dropped the “Windows” branding. It may have a lot of Windows in its kernel, but the UI for instance is so much revolutionary versus the usual one, which got modernized release after release but has however kept many constants. I’m sure the internals have changed a lot too.
    The approach is thus totally different and it is definitely confusing for the majority of Windows average users. Therefore,Windows 8 may be great, but the way it is introduced is awkard in my opinion.
    Of course, i’m aware of all the advantages the name “Windows” gives to the product so i understand the choice they made, if any.

    Just my two cents..

  8. Peter (NL) said on October 18, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    You can say what you want about Chris Pirillo, but he has a serious and strong point. Windows 8 is NOT that intuitive as MS fanboys do claim.

    I tested it several times in a virtual box, and still I am not used to it. And I am a more than average PC user …

  9. ilev said on October 18, 2012 at 9:38 am

    Remember Intel’s CEO Paul Otellini internal remark about Windows 8 being buggy and beta (this was never denied by Intel) ? He still hasn’t put much fate in Windows 8,
    this time openly :

    Even Microsoft’s closest allies are nervous about Windows 8

    Intel says PC makers are being cautious about building Windows 8 machines, which means this holiday season may not be so merry for Microsoft.

    If Microsoft’s long-time partner Intel can’t muster up much enthusiasm for Windows 8, how are consumers expected to do so?

    1. ilev said on October 18, 2012 at 9:40 am
  10. Average man said on October 18, 2012 at 6:40 am

    Chris Pirillo is a moron. This is one the stupidest things I have seen regarding “usability study”. Any person would have a “difficult” time using an interface for the first time. Give a person who has never used OS X and mac and tell them to shut down. It would take a long time before they realize the apple icon is actually button. Basically my point is new interfaces require users to learn which isn’t a negative thing. Users had to learn how to use a touch interface. It naturally doesn’t make sense to hold down an app till it “wiggles” and then click the ‘x’ to delete (conventionally x is to close). So Chris, think before you make stupid videos like this.

  11. Windows Fan said on October 18, 2012 at 12:47 am

    Chris Pirillo is not owner of How to geek blog. Please correct it. He is the founder of lockergnome:

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 18, 2012 at 6:16 am

      You are right of course, corrected.

  12. Morely Dotes said on October 18, 2012 at 12:01 am

    “There is a brand new, touch-friendly, Start screen that was designed primarily for tablets, although it works just fine on a traditional computer.”

    That depends on your definition of “works just fine.” Firstly, it isn’t touch-friendly on a desktop PC that doesn’t have a touchscreen at all. Secondly, there’s a practical limit of around 45 application shortcuts on the “modern UI” home screen. I have a lot more than 45 applications that I use at least weekly. Forcing me to make extra keystrokes to get to them is not “friendly.”

    And lastly, it won’t install on my brand-new SSD so this new OS is a bust for me.

    1. Fozee said on October 18, 2012 at 6:45 am

      Why won’t it install onto your SSD? Start does scroll, I’m not aware of any limit. You simply scroll and it goes right.

  13. Tim said on October 17, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    I think it’s guaranteed to be a hit purely because of the upgrade price. At that price it’s almost too tempting for those on Vista or XP, especially if they want to upgrade to an SSD and get OS trim commands..

  14. Chris said on October 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    These days the only people that REALLY care about what Chris Pirillo thinks are the few sitting at his dinner table.

  15. Not ilev said on October 17, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    He clearly dislike the start screen because he’s still in his desktop mentality and have to require his muscle memory to relocate all the cheese Microsoft rearranged.

    In contrast to his video. geekwire interview Apple fans and they seem to understand it more than he does

    1. ilev said on October 18, 2012 at 9:41 am

      This is not my comment.

      1. Martin Brinkmann said on October 18, 2012 at 2:20 pm

        Thanks, I suspected as much since it was favorable :) I have edited the username of the other commenter to reflect that.

    2. JohnMWhite said on October 18, 2012 at 4:37 am

      What a terrible cad this man is, being in a desktop mentality for an operating system being rolled out to desktops. What does he want Microsoft to do, remember that he still exists?

      In seriousness, I have significant reservations about Windows 8, though I have heard from a close friend who attended a Microsoft seminar that once you get the hang of the Metro interface it does become fairly intuitive, just like the ribbon that seemed such a shock in Office 2007. There are a handful of tweaks to improve the OS’s efficiency, boosting boot times and lowering overhead, that sort of thing, plus they claim to have finally fixed file copying (try telling my release preview laptop that). This doesn’t really add up to anything like a reason to change OSs though, and particularly not to change the entire paradigm of working with a computer like Microsoft seem determined to do.

      Also, from the article, I think it’s a bit misleading to suggest that Windows 8 will be a hit because Microsoft’s highly anticipated new toy has sold out on its first day. I highly doubt there were millions of them available, and this is how anticipated tech always performs, regardless of its actual merits. If prices don’t come down, fast, I doubt we’ll be seeing everybody and their granny carrying a Surface device on our morning commute, and even if we do, that doesn’t mean they like Windows 8 for desktops.

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