Windows 8 is a strange bird. I will be writing more about it as my research into elegance continues, but I would like to share a few initial observations:
First, Windows 8 has a different look and feel from previous versions of Windows that make it much more appealing to use. It lacks the translucent garishness of Windows Vista and Windows 7, and the too bold colors of Windows XP.
Second, As a do-all tablet, desktop, laptop, etc. operating system, Windows 8 has a split personality, and that's where I started thinking about expected function.
A staple of elegance is consistant user experience. When the user does x, he expects y to happen everytime. A few weeks ago, I was playing with a Windows 8 laptop in a store that had a touch screen. Pretty fun. Today, I touched the screen on a Windows 8 laptop in a different store, expecting something to happen.
You can probably guess where I am going with this. Nothing happened, because this Windows 8 laptop did not have a touch screen. But there is no on-screen indication of whether or not the screen is touch-capable.
(I will go further to add that since some Windows 8 machines are tablets, sometimes the keyboard is well attached and sometimes it is not. Again, it may look a laptop, and there are no indications that it is not a laptop, but when you pick it up by the keyboard, you might drop the screen on the floor. Maybe? Hopefully manufacturers prevent this from happening.)
In the mean time, I am sure there are a lot of wasted fingerprints on a lot of Windows 8 machines. I guess this reminds me a time when not all computers had a mouse. Except you could easily tell if the computer had a mouse. I will stick with my Mac.