Windows 8?

by on October 24, 2012 » Add the first comment.

As we approach the end of October and Halloween, we are greeted by something really scary, a daring new OS by Microsoft! Yes Windows 8 is ready for release and the beta has been out for users to test it out for themselves. I haven’t used it yet myself but I’ve done a lot of researching and I have a couple things to say about it. I know this isn’t specifically related to me and its not really design related at all.. or is it? Let’s have a look:

Faster:

Right off the bat we can expect to see faster startup and shutdown times from windows 8. Although I can’t give you hard numbers and times will vary from machine to machine, Windows 8 will have a more significant edge over 7 than Windows 7 had over Vista.

Handier:

A lot of the features (save for the missing start menu) have made the user experience of that much more intuitive and convenient. Not only that but 8 has some great additions that help users stay secure, and have their machine’s perform better. Windows 8 allows you to extend the C: drive onto multiple drives which can be great when you don’t want to start adding more folders and destinations for your files.


Also helping out in the file security department is File History which saves copies of your files to an external source so that you can retrieve them if the originals get damaged or lost. These back-ups can be stored either on an external hard drive or if you’re a power user you have the option of using a network location.

The new.. and the scary:

Windows 8 brings some refreshing improvements to the user experience.. but is that swim in the Windows 8 pool all that refreshing when you’re having your head dunked in? What I mean by that is that Microsoft has banished the start menu in order to introduce Metro (as it was originally called). Metro is a graphical interface that greets you when windows starts and provides a great number of apps and shortcuts to your programs. It’s quite customize-able but not to the point that you can completely turn it off. You can switch to the desktop which is comforting, however metro will continue to run in the background watching you.


So back to the start menu. This is the most vexing change made to the OS and people everywhere are having a hard time adjusting to this new reality. If they aren’t having a hard time, then they haven’t switched to Windows 8. In place of the start menu is a context menu that gives you a list of important places, features, tools etc. But when the start menu is replaced with metro, there is a definite hit to productivity.

Conclusion:

All in all Windows 8 is an interesting new change and certainly less painful for a tablet, if not enjoyable. Granted there is a lot of great things that metro can do, but it will take getting used to not having a start menu. There are solutions for the start menu problem such as downloading 3rd party software. The 3 most acclaimed apps are Start 8, Start Menu X and Vistart.

If you want my advice, don’t upgrade without reason to do so. I personally love 7 and as a person who grew up on 98, learned the computer on XP, struggled with Vista and started a professional lifestyle with 7, stick with 7; It’s the best yet!

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