Four reasons why Windows 8 will be dead on arrival

1. No one needs Windows 8 on the desktop.

Quick: Name one thing about Windows 8 that they don’t already get from Windows 7-or a great desktop Linux like Mint or Mac OS X Lion? I can’t.

Indeed, I can’t think of a single significant new improvement in Windows 8. The ability to refresh the operating system? Faster booting? A Windows Store? Live boot from a USB drive? Come on! All these features have been around in other operating systems for years, and while sure, they’re nice, put them all together and at most they’re worth a Windows 7 Service Patch–not a whole new operating system.

2. Metro: An ugly, useless interface.

As everyone knows, Windows 8 has a totally new default interface: Metro. When I look at Metro, however, I see gaudy colors, boxy designs, applications that can either run as a small tile or as full screen with no way to resize or move windows.

Even if Metro was the best thing since sliced bread, which it isn’t, it will still require users to learn a new way of doing the same old thing. That’s a failure of an idea right here. Sure, you can use the ‘Classic’ desktop experience instead, but hey, I have an idea! Why not just use the Windows XP or 7 “classic” interface instead?

3. Where are the Windows 8 Applications?

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview (read Windows 8 public beta) will be here real soon now and we still don’t know next to anything about Windows 8’s applications.

Seriously? Windows 8 will probably be out by this fall and we still don’t know anything about its apps? Come on! How can you take this operating system seriously?

4. Too little, too late for the smartphone/tablet market

Metro’s real point, of course, isn’t for desktop users. It’s Microsoft’s last gasp attempt to be a player on tomorrow’s computers: smartphones and tablets. If Microsoft was bringing something truly revolutionary to mobile devices, or they were still able to strong-arm original equipment manufacturers (OEM)s into loading Windows on their devices, I think they’d have a shot at the mobile space. Neither is true.

Smartphones are a dog fight between Android and iOS. Tablets did belong to Apple, but now Samsung, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are giving the iPad a fight for the tablet marketplace. Android and iOS are mature, have enormous developer communities and are wildly popular. Heck, if you count smartphones, thanks to the iPhone Apple is now the number one “PC” vendor in the world.

On top of that, the U.S. phone carriers have no interest in a Windows Phone. Too old, too slow Microsoft is arriving much too late to the 2010s style of mobile computing to be a significant player and that means Windows 8 Metro won’t find an audience either. I see no room left for a major third-party platform. A minor player, like KDE or Ubuntu? Sure. A Microsoft? No.

Add it up. The majority of Windows users have only just switched over from XP to Windows 7 in, at best, November 2011. Microsoft is now asking for its users to switch to a platform with no significant improvements, a radically different interface, and which is very likely to have few applications. The result? Window 8 will be dead on arrival.