The Windows 8 explorer file manager has the ribbon interface and is very cluttered compared to the Nautilus file manager that Unity uses. I have been using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview build 8250 and it is fairly stable, I have only had one crash and I got to see the whole new BSOD screen with a frowning emoticon and the lovely anti-aliased text. The Metro interface is hardly used when you are using Windows 8, it only if you are using the weather app or viewing photos, but the image viewer is slow to load and inferior to the previous Windows photo and fax viewer that Windows 7 used. I prefer to view photos with the paint application instead, so that needs work. The replacement of the Windows 7 start menu with an annoying touch interface is a downside of using Windows 8, but you may pin frequently used applications to the taskbar anyway.
Getting back to the file manager, there is a bug I have found, I was copying the doom.wad file from my F: drive to my C: drive, the file is 12.8 MiB, but when I pasted the file it was only 2 MiB. When I right-click on a 12MiB file and view the properties it shows it as a 2 MiB file instead. But this is only a beta release anyway and there are bound to be some bugs in this operating system. The Windows 8 explorer file manager has many more features tucked away in the ribbon toolbar tabs, compared to the simplistic Nautilus file manager, but the Unity Nautilus example has less information overload.
That is the key to usability, keeping the interface simple without introducing a whole new design that will take away the usability that people are used to with the previous versions of the software. The Unity desktop is too much of a change from the original Gnome 2 desktop which has been resurrected with the MATE desktop for Linux Mint 12. The Linux Mint distribution has the right idea when it comes to pleasing the users of the distribution, but I guess the Redmond WA team can pull something out of the hat and create a Windows operating system that can please the users. Having a familiar user interface is one way of doing that, and I am surprised that they are following the lead of Canonical and adopting the Windows Mobile 7 interface for the Windows 8 release.
That is a trend these days, I am surprised the Apple developers have not created a touch styled interface for the Apple Macintosh operating system. That could happen in the future, or they could keep the same tried and true Apple Macintosh interface that the users are used to and not change it one them out of the blue like Canonical have with Unity. The Apple Macintosh interface has not changed that much in all of the time it has been in use, Windows has not changed that much either, but with the Windows 8 release they have created a whole separate screen for the start menu instead of keeping the Windows 7 interface and just tweaking the underlying kernel code and improving the security of the operating system instead.
That should be the goal of Microsoft, instead they are just pumping out Windows releases every so often to satisfy demand. That is like what I saw in a James Bond movie, where the television magnate had created an operating system and the technician told him “As requested, it is full of bugs, they will be buying upgrades for years”. Makes you think huh? That could describe the Microsoft company. At least you can not complain that there are no features in the file manager anyway, the ribbon toolbar is stocked with them. There is a single click to access the file sharing tab and then you may highlight files in the file manager and burn them straight to a DVD. And a single click icon to stop file sharing as well as a list of networks and users to share the files with.
Using the mouse wheel over the ribbon will cycle through the tabs allowing you to find different options extremely quickly. Under the view tab, there are quick access options to select the viewing mode, either list mode, large icons for your photos and small icons. The retarded touch photo viewer app is the default for viewing photos, but just right-click on a photo, then go open with->choose default program and select the Windows photo viewer. Then it will be the default image viewer. The touch photo viewer is horribly slow to load. Using Windows 8 makes me realize how dumbed down the Unity interface is. They have hidden too many of the features of the formerly awesome Nautilus file manager away from the users.
The Windows operating system gets some flak for the security issues, but instead of bashing Windows, I am running it for a while and testing out Windows 8. The aforementioned BSOD screen is quite cool, the Amiga guru meditation one was cool as well, the former Windows BSOD screen was simple and to the point but you had to Google search the error codes to find out what went wrong. The one I saw just said that Windows had experienced an error and had to restart. That was pretty simple and to the point, I did get to send the crash dump to Microsoft when I restarted the computer though. I will keep testing the Windows operating system and see how I go. As for Ubuntu, I am seriously considering moving to Debian Sid. The Ubuntu 12.04 beta is getting on my nerves.