Windows 8 is like a bad blind date, Google search suggests

Typing the phrase "Windows 8 is" at Google's search engine triggers an array of autocomplete suggestions, most of them not very complimentary.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Google "Windows 8 is" followed by a space or a letter, and you'll find some nasty suggestions for Microsoft's new OS.

Typing Windows 8 followed by a space comes up with such phrases as "Windows 8 is awful," "Windows 8 is horrible," and "Windows 8 is terrible," with only one compliment -- "Windows 8 is awesome."

Extend your search to include a letter after "Windows 8 is," and the pattern continues. A few positive suggestions pop up, calling the OS excellent, fast, and stable. But most of the autocomplete entries are far from kind and gentle.

Typing "Windows 8 is d" labels the new OS doomed, dead, dumb, and DOA. Typing "Windows 8 is g" yields "going to be a disaster." Typing "Windows 8 is k" leads to "kind of a catastrophe." And typing "Windows 8 is l" really digs in by saying it's "like a bad blind date."

So why all the hostility toward Windows 8? The results coming up here are based on Google's autocomplete system. Type the first few characters or words of a phrase, and Google tries to guess at your search term based on a certain algorithm.

The autocomplete algorithm takes its cue from a couple of factors. As described by the search giant, the "algorithm predicts and displays search queries based on other users' search activities and the contents of web pages indexed by Google." So all of the suggestions are ones that have been entered by Google users or show up on various Web pages.

"Predicted queries are algorithmically determined based on a number of purely algorithmic factors (including popularity of search terms) without human intervention," Google explained further. "The autocomplete data is updated frequently to offer fresh and rising search queries."

So since Google isn't stacking the deck, does this mean Windows 8 has yet to gain many fans among Google users? Not necessarily.

If you drill down further and actually click on one of the autocomplete suggestions, you'll see that the negative phrases are sometimes taken out of context.

For example, clicking on the suggestion that "Windows 8 is awful" locates Web pages that just mention the word "awful" without necessarily referring to Windows 8 that way. Checking out the suggestion that "Windows 8 is horrible" finds one story from Business Insider with the headline "Actually, Not Every Review Of Windows 8 Is Horrible."

And following the comment about the bad blind date suggests that Windows 8 is "stunning, sexy, and sultry, but you can't live with her."

Of course, these are hardly ringing endorsements for the new OS.

Windows 8 is proving to be one of Microsoft's most controversial operating systems, with many people griping about its new interface and others defending the new look and feel.

Windows 8 took its official bow last Friday as it debuted along with a host of new laptops, tablets, hybrids, and all-in-one PCs. Time will tell if the new OS takes off in the market, or if it does end up dumped, just like a bad blind date.

 

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