Windows 8 Review – In 250 words

The New Widows

The new Windows interface and apps are great if you want to live within Microsoft world (Xbox owners, MSN messenger and Outlook users).  Not only is it not my case but I’m actually living inside the browser world… with my friend called Google. I don’t remember the last time I’ve installed a desktop app. So sadly, I realized 30 minutes in with Windows 8 that I couldn’t care less about the new style apps and the new app store (named “Store”, original).

I see Windows as the thing that runs drivers, let me manage files, install a browser and yes a couple of handful desktop apps (picasa, itunes, snagit, ?). I don’t want it to manage my digital life, sorry but a little late for that.  Needless to say that I uninstall most of the default 8-style apps. Gone are People, Messaging, Photos, SkyDrive, Music, Bing, Maps & Reader. I kept Games because I’m a gamer (not) & Travel because it’s good looking.

The new interface is still a nice piece of work. I can see the contextual charms menu being useful and cleaner, I like that apps are full screen and the apps are visually appealing. But they’re also buggy (ex: Meteomedia crashed consistently when started).

The Old Windows

The good news is Windows 8 has a second personality, the one you find in Windows 7.  The classic start menu is gone but you can find the file explorer, control panel and task manager easy enough (Windows + x, see list of shortcuts). It’s packaged the same way albeit in a squarish, streamlined (almost naked) design. And frankly I like it.

My Take

With 8 it’s clear Windows is trying to recapture their users eyeballs and it’s clear they want to promote Windows RT  tablets. To me (and I suspect to many users) this won’t be a benefit. I haven’t used 8 long enough to find a major benefit and I don’t suspect I’ll find plenty. But at 40$, the upgrade might just be worth the performance gains.

 

PS: Bing is so in your face in the new 8 that Google felt the need to come up with this groovy video.

UPDATE

I have a few months of Widows 8 under the belt and I can report that I NEVER user the new touch interface.

Today I had the displeasure of fixing a new Windows 8 touch laptop (mainly a window and skydrive account issue). Navigating between the new interface and the traditional window style environment is so confusing  it’s maddening. If I want to run 2 OS on a machine I’ll configure it myself. Thanks but no thanks Microsoft.

I found it ironic that we’re still discussing Microsoft shipping only one version of Windows when Windows 8 is actually 2 OS in 1.

Oh and shipping low entry machine barely able to run Windows is apparently still a thing.

It feels less and less I’ll end up with Macs because I’m attracted to them but more and more because Windows just sucks.

 

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