Windows 8 has been out for a few months now, but reviews seem to indicate that it's not a good pick for lawyers who work on a laptop or desktop.
It's always a little jarring when a software upgrade comes out and users are forced to learn all the small differences in the newer version. But in this case, the difference is stark and the overall effect is that Windows 8 is confusing for many users.
There are lots of little problems with how Windows 8 works, and it all leads to the conclusion that it's not ready for lawyers to use just yet. Here are eight issues that attorneys may find annoying:
- It's not built for desktops. This product was built for the Windows Surface, which is part tablet and part laptop. It's primarily meant for touchscreens, so if you don't have one, then it's not made with you in mind.
- It's a different interface. Windows 8 is made up of small squares for all your programs, similar to the layout of a tablet. You can change to Windows 7 mode, but you have to find it first.
- There's no "Start" bar. In the bottom left-hand corner of the Windows screen, there was always that little Windows icon that brought up the "Start" bar. It's a helpful shortcut to your documents, the Control Panel, and all your programs. Well, it's gone in Windows 8, and you have to download third-party software to get it back.
- It's not business-oriented. The target market for this version of Windows is tablet users, which means it's more oriented towards individuals, reports ZDNet. That may be good for Microsoft, but not for businesses.
- Things are hard to find. Because the default interface is so different from previous versions of Windows, it's hard to know where programs and settings are on your machine.
- Interfaces aren't integrated. You can run the traditional interface, but Microsoft's new desktop apps won't run in that mode. If you want to run the app versions of things like Evernote and OneNote, then you have to switch back and forth between the two interfaces.
- The apps aren't all that great. Shortly after Windows 8 launched, PC World noted that the selection of apps for Windows 8 isn't that great. The problem is that it's just a tablet, so Android and Apple apps aren't necessarily compatible. But the Windows app store is so new that there aren't many options.
- Menus are hard to access. In making Windows 8 touch-compatible, it sometimes feels like mouse and keyboard functionality was an afterthought. That means almost everything you do as a lawyer is a little more difficult.
Bottom line: Lawyers may want to wait a while before making the switch to Windows 8. Do you have a different opinion after using a Windows 8 device? Let us know at our FindLaw for Legal Professionals Facebook page, or send us a tweet @FindLawLP.