My son received a laptop, his first, for Christmas. It’s an ASUS running Windows 8. To date, he’s only used Apple laptops, iPad, iPhone Touch and Galaxy S3/4/5 Android phones at home.
I helped setup the laptop and the first thing I noticed was the “app” centric user interface. I noticed he seemed to be able to navigate around rather easily and wasn’t getting lost. The “app” centric focus of the operating system is compelling and I believe a win for Microsoft in terms of aligning with the younger generation.
The first issue I ran into was when my son wanted to install the YouTube client. I was able to find it in the Store, thanks to it being near the top of the “Top Free” apps. I was surprised not to see a “search” option, but perhaps I just didn’t see it. The Store said that Windows 8.1 was required to install the YouTube client.
Luckily, the Store had Windows 8.1 as a featured item to install, so I clicked the button to install it. I was then prompted with a message stating updates needed to be installed first. I began the install for those which took a little over an hour and required a restart.
Once the laptop booted up, I went back to the store to install Windows 8.1. Again, it took a while and required a restart. After the laptop booted up with Windows 8.1 freshly installed I went back to the Store. This time I noticed a search box, which I used to find the YouTube client, since the “Top Free” apps list was no longer an option.
Upon trying to install the YouTube client it stated that it required a parents permission (since my son is younger than 13). I clicked the “Fix It” button, logged into my Microsoft Live account (which I forgot I had). After logging in, I was just dropped into the account home, no directions on where to go to approve installing the YouTube client app. I went back to try installing the YouTube client and again it said, I could “Fix It” (the parent permission issue). I clicked the button and again it just took me to the Microsoft Live account home page.
After trying several variations of the steps I’ve already described, I decided I’d change my sons account to make his birthday such that he was at least 13 years old. After I figured out how to do that, I was required to put in credit card information so Microsoft could verify I (my son in this case) was an adult. I submitted the information, and Microsoft was happy that the credit card I submitted verified someone elses age (since the card has my name, not my sons).
Finally, I was able to install the YouTube client app.
This is where Windows 8 went wrong. Certain aspects are just overly complicated and difficult to follow, especially for children. In concrast, the Amazon Fire Kids made it stupid simple to setup, add a “childs” account and let them begin playing with it (including add apps). Certainly the Windows 8 laptop and the Amazon tablet are different in many ways, but I think the comparison is reasonable to demonstrate how Windows 8 got things wrong and how something like the Amazon Fire kids tablet got it right.