I overwrote Netrunner 14.04 with Windows 8.1 Pro and could not be happier. Windows 8.1 has the key feature that Netrunner 14.04 lacks. It is possible, in Windows, to right-click on a text file and open that file immediately into a text editor of my choice, in this case Notepad++. With Netrunner 14.04, everytime I tried to edit a text file, Netrunner would pester me for the exact location of the text editor, because apparently the operating system does not know where any of its applications are stored. Well, I am not the operating system, and I don't know, either; I rather expect the operating system to keep track of things like that for me, and if it does not, then the operating system has no business operating in 2014 and needs replacing.
I didn't mind so much the requirement of a password to edit a text file, which is a standard security measure among Linux distros, although it is boneheaded and wrong. But asking the user to go and find the text editor executable among the hundreds of paths on the hard drive is really the final insult. I regret to say I spent a collective hour over the course of several weeks trying to find the executable for Jedit before I finally realized the obvious, that Netrunner must be replaced at all costs, because it is costing me time and energy. There were other problems with that old thing, but this was by far the worst. I really don't know what the devs are working on, but apparently they never consult the users when determining their priorities.
As for the much-maligned Windows 8, I do not concur with all the naysayers that hate Eight. Yes, it is slightly more difficult to use than Windows 7. The main problem is the lack of a Start button. A lesser annoyance is the infernal Charms menu. I turned off all the tiles in my Charms menu, just to avoid any potential bandwidth drain. I think they are stupid, but they can be rather easily avoided by pressing Win+D whenever they pop up. I was pleased to read the Charms menu will be eliminated in Windows 9, and indeed the main reason I purchased Windows 8 was to be able to purchase a low-cost upgrade to Windows 9 when it is released.
In the past, keyboard shortcuts were for power users. The main thing to keep in mind with Windows 8 is that keyboard shortcuts are more useful than ever. I am able to short-circuit most Windows 8 annoyances and design blunders by using keyboard shortcuts. Simply being patient and taking the time to learn the quirks of Eight will suffice to overcome all confusion. The lack of a Start button can be rather easily circumvented by following the simple instructions found here to create something that approximates a Start button. This is not entirely sufficient, but is adequate. I have taken to allowing more icons on my desktop than usual in order to make programs more accessible.
I think that corporations and individuals in general are just following the money. They see a lot of money in mobile gadgets, and so they ignore or redesign their successful existing products to please mobile users. In the process, they annoy their true customer base, those with desktops, the people who tend to do actual work on the computer. I wish that more engineers would head corporations and fewer business managers. What is needed are people who understand how things work, not people who understand how to make money.
I also think mobile gadgets are stupid. Just plain old stupid. The proper place to operate a computer is seated at a desk in front of a very large screen with an optimal input device of one's choice. Staring at a device with a three inch screen and no mouse or keyboard is not my cup of tea. I do not know how anyone can get any real work done on such a gadget. And when one is out in the world, outside of a secure and controlled environment, among strangers and motor vehicles, it is not such a great idea to be staring at a screen.