Half of our office has been running Microsoft’s latest Windows release Windows 8. In the very beginning there was a ton of complaining about changes and some items that were not very intuitive. However, there was also a buzz over some of the “neat” features. After running it for a few months we are still kind of on the fence, but one thing is for sure, it will be a big change for non-tech users if they run it on a desktop.
- Boot Time has remarkable improved, it zips to windows!
- The Metro interface puts everything at your fingertips with live tiles giving you real time information.
- Search actually searches now and in lightning fast times.
- Fluid design right down to the way that text flows to a document as you type.
- Settings on the fly. You can back up your Windows 8 settings to a flash drive and plug it into another Windows 8 machine and be back in business in no time!
- Task Manager gives you a plethora of knowledge on what applications are doing to your PC, unlike previous version of Windows.
- Difference in Apps. There is a difference between a metro “app” and an ordinary windows application which can lead to confusion when multi-tasking. This is the biggest issue; it almost outweighs four of the good points.
- Shutting Down. It seems silly, but it is not entirely obvious how to shut down your PC like the good ole days.
- Start Button is GONE. It doesn’t bother techies like us, but I could see how many users would be astonished to lose the Start button. It’s sort of like losing the steering wheel in their car. However, if you truly miss the Start button you have grown to love, there are third party apps in the Store that will “add” the traditional Start button and Menu back to your Desktop. Some are free while others do come at a small fee, so research them and find out which suites your needs best.
- Designed for a tablet. It seems that Microsoft aimed this entirely at a tablet environment as opposed to a desktop environment.
- Live Tiles vs. Non Live Tiles. Live tiles are ones that display information that you care about in real time. The issue, however, is that only certain tiles can be live tiles as opposed to letting the user decide and create those.
Is 8 a Tablet Operating System or a Desktop Operating System?
In our opinion it seems that Microsoft was unsure which direction to take this operating system. Meaning you are not sure if you just installed a metro application or an ordinary desktop application and this can lead to real confusion for end users. Unlike tablets, some users like to shut down their PCs so making the shutdown option hard to find makes it seem as if the OS was directly aimed at tablets as opposed to PCs.
In Closing, not sure this will work for everyone …………..Yet! And I stress YET!
After running 8 for a couple of months, I personally enjoy the operating system; however, I am extremely technical. Due to the speed of Windows 8 and the beautiful UI and attention to small details, when I use a Windows 7 PC now it seems old and outdated. I do think Microsoft jumped the gun a bit though; If Microsoft listens to the rumblings on the web, I think they will address these issues in the next service pack or release, perhaps creating more of a distinction between their desktop and tablet platforms. I believe their overall point was to throw users into their tablet platform in efforts to get them comfortable and thus a user would be likely to buy a tablet that they are already used to. The big gamble here for Microsoft seems that they are playing Russian roulette with a market they dominate in and risk alienating their core user base. This could potentially cause users to abandon the Windows platform on a desktop level and go to another operating system such as Mac OS. Only time will tell if our opinion is correct. Our hope is that Microsoft makes the necessary changes prior to a vast majority booting up to Windows 8 on their PCs.
A Few Windows 8 tips and info we found useful!
- Windows Key (on your keyboard): Get to know it, get to love it. Every time you smack that key, the metro user interface pops up which is the center of the universe for Windows 8.
- Search: Hit the Windows key (see we told you!) And just start typing! Your search will commence immediately.
- Corners: From the Metro UI, put your mouse in each corner to see the various options. These are known as HOT corners.
- There is a Difference: Know the difference between desktop applications which show up on your taskbar and Metro (8) applications that do not.