Dear Microsoft – Stop Making a Hostile Environment

Attempting to keep up with the 21st Century, my new laptop came with Windows 8.

On the whole, I like the new Desktop experience. I like the ideas behind “Modern UI”, but it is positively poisonous to a mouse and keyboard user[1], and I have no intention of taking up touch on a desktop or laptop. You’ll pry my keyboard away from my cold, dead fingers.

I’ve installed a few “Modern UI” apps to try, principally Evernote, Kobo, Tune-In and Metro-Twit. So far, they’re not so bad, so long as you’re only a single monitor user. Oops[2].

However I’ve become absolutely livid at one small, apparently “up-yours” gesture from Microsoft. I, like probably most of the developer world, prefer using Chrome or Firefox over Internet Explorer. In fact I would go so far as to say it’s my “default browser” for desktop work[3].

I do need to launch IE from time to time. Admittedly, mostly for testing. I was running IE10 on Windows 7, and found it to be a pretty good browser. Better by miles for previous generations, but not yet on a par with Chrome. But, wanting to try new things I thought I’d launch IE10 for Modern UI and give it a whizz.

Except you can’t. You can only launch Modern IE if your default browser is IE[4]. Which actually takes a few dialogues to change. I was willing to give IE a shot, and give it some of my time. But making that kind of demand is ridiculous and stupid, and loses another potential user.

So Microsoft, want to win back hearts and minds? Stop doing grand “up yours” gestures to user-choice and EU rulings.

— [1] Try pinning apps to the start menu with a mouse and keyboard. [2] Mouse cursor to right edge, fine. Mouse cursor to left edge? Fall off to second screen. No scroll. [3] Hell, even Windows agrees with me there. Default app for web sites? Chrome. [4] You can launch it in Desktop mode, just not Modern UI.