Paul Allen: Windows 8 Both 'Bold' and 'Puzzling'

Dennis Faas's picture

Last week Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates said he finds Windows 8 "very exciting" and suggested that packaging the new operating system (OS) with innovative hardware devices (like tablet computers) would greatly increase consumer interest.

Now, another Microsoft co-founder has offered a different review of Windows 8. Paul Allen believes Windows 8 is "bold and innovative," but also finds some parts of the OS "puzzling."

In a blog post written earlier this week, Allen wrote he believes Windows 8 is a "snappier and more responsive" operating system than its predecessors, and that its tile-based interface (formerly known as "Metro") is "bold and innovative."

Upgrade Provides Challenging Transition

However, Allen acknowledges that upgrading to Windows 8 from Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP will present users with a daunting transition. (Source:

"Windows 8 does certainly require a brief adjustment period before users become familiar and comfortable with the new bimodal operating system," Allen wrote in his post, adding that the experience was sometimes "puzzling," even for him.

Allen also insisted that Microsoft consider allowing users to select Windows' traditional desktop view as the default interface in Windows 8.

He then criticized the new OS for sometimes switching at odd moments between the tile-based interface and the desktop view. "Personally, I would almost always prefer for Windows to leave me in whichever mode I was already in," Allen noted. (Source:

Has Allen Scared Off Consumers?

In the end, like his fellow co-founder Bill Gates, Allen gave Microsoft and Windows 8 a vote of confidence. "I'm confident that Windows 8 offers the best of legacy Windows features with an eye toward a very promising future," Allen concluded.

At the moment it's unclear to many observers what impact Allen's comments will have on consumers. Certainly Microsoft hopes the blog shows that, after some initial confusion, Windows 8 becomes a valuable new tool.

However, some consumers may reason that if Windows 8 appears "puzzling" to Allen, a Microsoft co-founder and computer expert, it may present a significant usability challenge to less tech-savvy people.

Microsoft will release Windows 8 on October 26, 2012.

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