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First Reaction to Windows 8

Windows 8I finally got around to upgrading my installation of Windows 7 the other day to Windows 8. The main push behind it was that Microsoft’s offer of upgrading for £25 expired at the end of January and so it was of either a case of getting on with it or probably never doing so. Below are my findings and thoughts on Microsoft’s latest operating system.

It’s easy to immediately see the negative in a new working environment so I’ve tried to keep things balanced.


The Upgrade

The process of upgrading went very well. Certainly, in comparison to previous versions, Windows 8 was a doddle. It looks as though Microsoft have realised that if they want non-techies to upgrade then the process needs to be easy for everyone. I thought the that initial scan to make sure that your hardware can take the new OS was a good step and although the upgrade itself took a little while (I’ve read that the average time is two hours; mine took 1:40) there wasn’t anything to do in the meantime so it was simply a case of getting on with something else in the meantime.


The Positive

It’s quite possible that my Windows 7 laptop was in dire need of a bit of TLC in the form of a defrag. She definitely wasn’t as quick as she was out of the box 18 months earlier (it’s still a Microsoft Operating system, and it’s still logging as much as it can!) so it may not be a straight fight between versions 7 and 8. Having said that the difference in speed since I upgraded is very definitely noticeable. That would have to be the most obvious difference between the two. It’s quick to start up (the first few startups aside), run and shut down.


The Negative

Much has been made of the user interface of Windows 8; Microsoft have tied it in with the launch of their own-brand Surface tablet. I have a Windows phone and as I use the Metro UI already on that, I know how good it is. However, I don’t use my laptop like a tablet; I use it as a tool. I like the traditional Windows interface where I can quickly snap between items on the taskbar. Yes, the traditional desktop is still present in Windows 8 but two things got to me;

  1. once Windows has loaded you then have to open the desktop as another item
  2. there is no sign of the start menu

On the first point, why feel the need to provide two interfaces? If Microsoft want to push you into using their new system then why keep the old one? If they’re worried about alienating users then why offer a new one? More specifically, when giving the option of two interfaces why not let the user choose? Why do I have to use the Metro UI in order to get to the traditional Windows desktop?

This last point, especially, wound me up. Why, if Microsoft have either felt forced into keeping the traditional desktop or are simply offering multiple options, take away a critical part of the traditional interface?



Being a geek, I’m found a different solution that involves having my cake and eating it. See ‘Reclaiming Windows 8‘.

This entry was posted in Geeky Stuff, Systems and tagged , .

One Response to First Reaction to Windows 8

  1. Tom Mundy says:

    I found your site on technorati and read a few of your other posts. Keep up the good work. I just added your RSS feed to my Google News Reader. Looking forward to reading more from you down the road!