My six days with Windows 8

So, I installed Windows 8 on my desktop PC last week.

It was late on the eve of the launch. The download link for the $39.99 Win8 Pro upgrade had just gone live. I felt that familiar twinge in my stomach—the one that always precedes major upgrades, especially those conducted when they really shouldn’t be. My rational side tried to argue against clicking the button. It made some pretty good points, too: I had to work in the morning, and if something went wrong, I wouldn’t have time to fix it. My work PC would be hosed for the next day. However, my impulsive side retorted with an extremely persuasive argument: "Dude, you could upgrade right now." And so I clicked.

I lucked out, because everything went without a hitch. I downloaded the installer and ran it straight from Windows 7. It asked me to uninstall a couple of incompatible applications, rebooted my computer a couple of times, and showed me a fine collection of progress bars. Oh, and I think I had to answer a few questions, too, like whether I wanted to install right away or make a bootable USB thumb drive first. (I chose option A.) Finally, at 10:50 PM on the evening of Thursday, October 25, my PC booted into Windows 8 for the first time.

I stayed up entirely too late that night bobbing back and forth between Metro Modern UI tiles and the new-and-improved desktop. I fulfilled Microsoft’s wishes and turned my local user account into an online one, which let Windows 8 sync my settings with the cloud. I agonized over which background graphic and color combo to use for the Start screen, and I wrestled with the hot corners, teaching myself to use the Charms bar and the new multitasking mojo on the left side of the screen. I stormed the Windows Store and downloaded a whole bunch of Modern UI apps to see what third-party developers had cooked up. I bounced back to the desktop and marveled at the multi-monitor taskbar and ribbon UI in the File Explorer. Ooh! Aah…

Mostly, I played around like an excited child. I’ve pretty much always done that after OS upgrades.

 

The next morning, I got up for work and was dismayed to find that, when I was actually being productive, Windows 8 really didn’t feel all that different from Windows 7.

Then the sound in my headphones went out, and Creative’s X-Fi driver caused a blue screen of death, complete with the new sad-face smiley. Classic Creative! Everything worked fine after I rebooted and installed the X-Fi’s Windows 8 x64 beta driver, though. I guess Windows 8 is happier with bespoke drivers, even if it’ll take your Win7 ones in a pinch. Then again, this is Creative we’re talking about. Maybe I encountered what underpaid Singaporean developers call a "worst-case scenario."

I encountered only one other hitch, which is that Sublime Text has mysteriously disappeared from the "Open with" list for HTML files. It refuses to return no matter how many times I manually select it in the new "Choose default program" pop-up. Oddly enough, Sublime Text is still right there in the File Explorer ribbon’s "Open" menu. Hmm.

Back to my point: somehow, Windows 8 doesn’t really feel like an upgrade—not in the way Windows 7 did over Vista, and definitely not in the way Vista did over XP. When I’m busy working in the desktop and ignoring the Modern UI Start screen, which is about 99.9% of the time, Windows 8 feels more like a Windows 7 service pack with a custom skin than a whole new operating system. It’s kind of underwhelming. Now, don’t get me wrong; I don’t regret upgrading. It only set me back 40 bucks, and the improvements I do notice (the new File Explorer, Task Manager, file copy dialogs, multi-monitor taskbar, and so forth) are very much welcome. It’s just that… well, sometimes, I find myself looking around and saying, "That’s it?"

I tried spending some time in the Modern UI interface, thinking some exciting new paradigms might be there waiting to be discovered. Mostly, what I found was unfinished apps that poorly replicated the functionality of major websites. Even apps that actually did something useful, like the Modern UI version of Skype, felt pared down and lacking compared to their desktop counterparts. Not that I found many of those. The Windows Store catalog is awfully thin right now. I’m only using one Windows Store app with any regularity, and that’s the Windows 8 version of Jetpack Joyride.

I think that’s the problem with Modern UI for us desktop users. You see, on tablets and smartphones, mobile apps like IMDB and Yelp and Facebook make a lot of sense. They’re usually easier to navigate than the corresponding websites on a tiny touch screen, and they’re often faster to open, as well. But on a desktop? You’ve got a keyboard, a mouse, and a big screen right there in front of you. Websites load in a picosecond, and you get to navigate them with a pretty optimal set of tools. What’s the point of going to the Start screen and loading up a big, clunky, dumbed-down app when you can load up a full-featured website in a fraction of the time?

I can think of only one instance where Modern UI would come in handy on the desktop. Let’s say I had a Windows 8 tablet or a touch-enabled laptop. Let’s say I’d gotten awfully cozy with a certain Modern UI app. Now, I’d be delighted if I could use it on my big computer. The alternatives—having to use a website with a different interface or, worse, another piece of software entirely—wouldn’t be nearly as convenient. Not having a full array of features wouldn’t matter, because replicating familiarity would be the whole point.

Maybe I should take the touch-enabled laptop out of that hypothetical, though. I went and tried some of those on Friday, and let me just say Modern UI looks really, really awful on a 15" touch screen. The fact that the on-screen keyboard pops up when you tap into a text field, even though you’ve got a hardware keyboard right there underneath, doesn’t help. (Yes, this happens, and it doesn’t just happen on one system. I tried two touch laptops from two different vendors, and they both did the same thing.)

While grimacing at those half-baked machines, I realized yet another way in which Windows 8’s forced convergence is hopelessly awkward.

The store shelves were packed with Windows 8 systems. Some of those systems were touch-enabled, some were not, and right there in between was a lonely WinRT convertible tablet. For an average user without prior knowledge, there was no way to tell whether a given Win8 machine would: a) respond to touch input or b) run x86 applications. None whatsoever. Heck, I caught myself pawing at non-touch-enabled Win8 laptops and being disappointed when that did nothing but smear the screen. Things will only get more confusing later this month, when Clover Trail-powered Windows 8 convertible tablets start to coexist with ARM-powered Windows RT ones.

This is a bigger deal than it seems. For the past couple of decades, people have been able to count on the fact that Windows PCs all operate the same way and all run the same software—generally speaking, at least. Windows 8 totally throws that out the window, and it does so in the worst way possible: by forcing a consistent appearance on systems that work totally differently.

I don’t regret upgrading to Windows 8 on my desktop. All of a sudden, though, Apple’s strategy of cleanly segregating iOS and OS X is looking awfully sensible.

Comments closed
    • lg2011
    • 7 years ago

    I upgraded WIN 8 Pro X64 from WIN7 Ultimate X64 bit and it was the worst mistake. Compatibility problems still plague me months later. my sound card driver stopped working, and a lot of my software wouldn’t re-install without a great deal of work. Even now some software won’t work and it worked fine on Win 7.
    A great deal of the problem has to do with integrity levels and folder properties. If you do not have a touch screen and use a mouse , “DO NOT USE WIN 8”. It is like going back to VISTA issues all over again. I may still revert back to WIN 7 Ultimate.

    • jonjonjon
    • 7 years ago

    i guess ms doesnt pay the techreport like they do some other big hardware sites. i couldnt have said it better myself. they took windows 7 turned it into a tablet os and then thought it was a good idea to release it on the desktop. i have a touchscreen monitor and after the novelty wore off in 30 seconds there is zero use for it. why would i want to use the touchscreen when i have a keyboard and mouse. metro apps are a completely useless on the desktop. removing the start menu was the kiss of death for windows 8. ms made a big mistake and will pay the price for the next couple of years. ms would have to pay me money to upgrade from windows 7.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    They got rid of gadgets! God I hate this OS.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Am I missing the boat? Android has a amazing built in search short cut that you can use at any point in any app for easier navigation and that simple feature is completely missing from windows or do I just not know the short cut in win8??? Combine that with the fact that for some reason you don’t get full foward/backward navigation through its layered interface and I’m inclined to say this thing stinks. Android is hands down better on a fundamental interface basis. Android works plain and simple. This seems clumsy and lopsided in its design and implementation.

    • passfastic
    • 7 years ago

    I want my money back. Is there any way for me to get my $40 back?

    I absolutely regret the upgrade. Abaout 95% of the tiles in “Modern UI” or whatever it’s called link to stuff I never use and aren’t interested in.

    At every point you are asked to sign up for some MS service or product. If you haven’t taken the plunge yet, my advice is DON”T. Everything bad you’ve heard about 8 is true.

    • deb0
    • 7 years ago

    win8 is an interesting tablet OS at best. Microsoft has made a major brick here. I will stay with Win7, thank you very much.

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    Why can’t we put tiles on the desktop??? Would allow for the carry over of some legacy utilities as well as many new possibilities.

    • tootercomputer
    • 7 years ago

    Regardless of its shortcomings, does Windows 8 represent some axioms in the world of computing that simply were not true say just 10 years ago, and maybe not even anticipated:

    1. Touch is an input source here to stay, along with keyboard, mouse, and voice.

    2. In increasing numbers, consumers own and are using multiple platforms (desktops, laptops, smartphones, tablets)

    There probably are others, but Windows 8 can be seen as an attempt to meet and integrate both of these.

    Something like that.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      I agree.

      Us “old school” types should recognize this.

    • anotherengineer
    • 7 years ago

    Does W8 auto install USB 3.0 drivers when doing a fresh install?

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Good q.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      YES, IT supports it natively.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        You accidentially hit your caps lock key too early?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          lol. pretty much.

          • yogibbear
          • 7 years ago

          That’s called premature exclamation.

            • superjawes
            • 7 years ago

            And I think there’s a pill for that.

    • StevenQ
    • 7 years ago

    I also gave Windows 8 a try given the relatively inexpensive upgrade. Outside Metro… err… Modern… err… Windows 8 Store UI App UI, I actually really like it. It’s very fast, very clean and does what an OS should – run my applications but otherwise say out of the way.

    As for the new UI… ugh… I can say that I honestly WANT to like it. I get the idea, on a tablet I think it’s a great fit and, even on a desktop, I think the general concept has merit. But to me, the way it’s been implemented is fatally flawed.

    First, it’s utterly, absolutely and inexcusably wasteful of the resources a desktop system provides. Most desktop systems these days have monitors in the mid to high 20 inch range. I have a 30 inch monitor in landscape beside a 21 in portrait. There’s simply no justification for mandating every app run full screen, none. The 80/20 split in snap mode is equally stupid – the 20% side doesn’t provide enough to be useful outside a few specific cases, and the 80% side is still totally wasteful. Here’s a perfect example – after choosing a Metro app to download, my entire 30 inch display is taken up with this: [url<]http://tinyurl.com/cx49l7o[/url<] That's right, 30 inches, entirely taken up to show a downloading status bar. Second, I typically use my 21 inch portrait monitor for my e-mail client, my Skype contact list, a web browser and sometimes an explorer file window. If each one of those apps can run on a 10 inch tablet, there's simply no reason I shouldn't be able to run all 4 on my 21 inch monitor, considering it's basically equivalent to four 10 inch displays. I could see Metro being really useful (and actually very good) for such a use - while I use my traditional desktop apps on my main monitor, I could use Metro app's clean and simple design on a secondary display. But not only can't I run more than 2 apps on any given monitor, with my secondary display in portrait, I CAN'T EVEN RUN TWO!!! The 80/20 split is disabled with the monitor set to portrait. Third, the Metro start screen is basically useless. Again, I get the idea and the value of Live Tiles, but the implementation is so utterly limited. E-Mail, one of the most highly touted, shining examples, is a joke. It displays the sender and 2 truncated sentences from the 5 newest e-mails. In virtually every case, not enough information is displayed to avoid having to open up the e-mail app and read each e-mail in it's entirety, but why only the latest 5? Why can't I quickly scroll through all the e-mails with a flick of the mouse wheel while hovering over the tile? Oh, that's right, because touch screens don't have scroll wheels, so the new Windows won't make any useful use of one - even where it could really drive home the usefulness of the new UI. Fourth, while I do actually like the new Desktop UI style - simple window borders without distracting sheen or shine, I think they went too far with limiting customization. The panel though which we used to be able to set the color, font and size of virtually all window trim and components has been removed entirely. There's a few things I used to prefer to change (border width, and title bar text color (making it lighter against a darker title bar color), but can no longer do this. Hard to understand why they'd allow the title bar color to be changes, even to a dark color, but not allow the text to be changed to a light color so it'd be visible on the aforementioned dark title bar. I know these can still be changed if I want to poke around in the registry, but it's not at all straight forward (even for registry editing). Fifth, despite the many proclamations to the contrary by obviously Microsoft planted/paid commenters, when kept organized (which I've always done), the Start Menu was an entirely fast, clean and efficient way to find and start applications. The new Start Screen is both wasteful in terms of screen real estate and in the mouse clicks, movements and time it takes to accomplish the same task. The oft suggested solution - using the Start Screen's search function, is insane. First, if I'm looking for an app that I use only rarely, I'm that much LESS likely to remember the exact name, so searching for it by name makes no sense at all. And second, I can't believe that the culmination of 20+ years of GUI evolution is to return to typing the names of the applications you want to launch. If I wanted to type every app I wanted to run, I'd be running a command-line OS like Linux. But it's not all doom and gloom. As I said, outside Metro, Windows 8 is actually looking really nice - the installation was, by far, the easiest and simplest Windows install yet, and I'm enjoying using it. But Metro (on the Desktop at least) just feels so much like a beta or even an alpha version. It seems barely more than a proof of concept UI. I really hope Microsoft does two things - first, bring back the few items removed from the Desktop, at least as user options. Look Microsoft, understand that *I* know what works best for the way *I* work and the work *I* need to get done on a day-to-day basis. Metro has promise for certain use scenarios, but those are mostly not the use scenarios I experience, so don't force it on me. It's just not appropriate. And second, I really hope Microsoft vastly expands Metro's capabilities on systems with ample resources, screen real estate being the main one. There's no reason to force a full screen UI on a monitor with several multiples of the screen space available on a typical tablet. I had to laugh at one of Microsoft's ads for Windows 8 featuring the Metro Snap feature. It proudly said "Do two things at once!!". Yea, that's great. Up until now, I had been able to do 10 things at once, I really love it that we can now do just two!! Talk about innovative!

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      5. I would also like to point out I made the same point when Microsoft introduced search to Vista and deemphasized the actual use of the start menu. Of course the shills swarmed out of the woodwork then too, because it’s all about selling you the next best thing, without admitting the horrible new problems they’re introducing from their changes. That’s just the tasty morsel saved for the next release.

      Ironically, w8 actually fixes the complaint I had with vista/7’s start menu, but it does so in such a complete knee-jerk stupid way, that I can’t possibly accept it as a good feature.

      What really scares me though, is WinRT. Microsoft is attempting to corner the market here, and that’s a bad thing. This is where I would stand my ground and switch to linux.

    • mark84
    • 7 years ago

    One thing I’m liking with Win8 is the super fast context switching.
    Full screen game, alt+tab, instant desktop. Alt+tab back again, instantly back in game, no lag or loading.
    Love it.

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      Umm…Windows 7 and Vista do that too.

        • mark84
        • 7 years ago

        I think I might be talking about this:
        [url<]http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/hh404490%28v=vs.85%29.aspx[/url<] [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/5630/indepth-with-the-windows-8-consumer-preview/14[/url<] Introduced with WDDM 1.2 that's in Win 8 only atm. Win7 was ok/fast at switching (alt+tab) back to and from desktop and full screen 3D game. But Win8, it's instant.

    • south side sammy
    • 7 years ago

    did I read that right ? you said Vista was an “upgrade” over XP ?………. are you nuts ?

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      UNLESS YOUR COMPUTER WAS MADE OUT OF WOOD AND ROCKS, IT WAS. IT HAD SHINY

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Did you even try Vista? Vista rocked.

        • Kaleid
        • 7 years ago

        Vista was a piece of crap. Couldn’t even leave the harddrive alone after booting, kept on going and going for minutes and minutes and thus degrading performance.

          • Hallucinosis
          • 7 years ago

          Vista was certainly not perfect, but as an overall package it was an upgrade over XP and well worth installing.

          Back in the day, I built a computer right before Vista came out. I was initially booting XP x64, which had problems drivers-wise, but I built a system that worked well with that. Vista came along and my computer with 4x500gb drives in RAID 10 +4GB RAM + a 4GB readyboost flash performed better than my XP x64 setup (I dual booted).

          I can understand the pain felt by people with systems running 512MB-1024MB RAM, which was a problem mostly fixed in 7, but honestly, running the latest OS on 3-4 year old hardware was not really ideal in the grand scheme of things with Windows NT based operating systems. Windows NT 4.0 used to be a better choice over Windows 2000 on old computers.

          In any event, XP has a lot of problems on its own. 7 resolves all the complaints about Vista and performs better than XP, so that’s where we are today. This article is about Windows 8. Some UI changes that are basically drastic, but other than that, it performs as well as or better than Windows 7. R.I.P. Vista.

            • Kaleid
            • 7 years ago

            I didn’t have that little RAM, I had 4GB and XP was much snappier than Vista, which felt incredibly bloated and inefficient. XP64 too worked far better.

        • WaltC
        • 7 years ago

        Yep, Vista rocked. Vista’s chief problem at launch was that *mobile* OEMs and IHVs had not properly updated to the new driver models. This was especially true in “Vista-ready” laptops that had wrongly assumed that WinXPx86/x64 drivers would work fine, or ought to work fine, with Vista. I don’t blame Microsoft for that–I blame the mobile OEMs and the IHVs for doing a piss-poor job even though they’d had the Microsoft-supplied Vista developer SDKs for at least a year before it shipped, IIRC.

        OTOH, for my desktop, Vista ran wonderfully well because I downloaded and installed the proper device drivers, and had little difficulty finding them. Simply by eschewing mobile products my life is made an order of magnitude easier…;) My DX9 3d cards ran great under Vista Ultimate, but even today you’ll still find people stating that you cannot run DX9 & earlier 3d cards under Vista, WIn7, or Win8. But that’s never been true, of course.

        Win7 was Vista 2.5. Win8 is Win7 2.0. Basically, Microsoft is going short on the service packs from here on out and long on new general releases about every three years–some people seem to strongly prefer it that way. No way is Microsoft or anyone else going to reinvent the wheel every three years–not going to happen. The plus side of this model, versus the reinvent the wheel paradigm used in XP-to-Vista, is that we will probably be able to buy Win 9 for $40 for the first six months of its availability, too.

        The only reason I’m going to buy Win8 in the next couple of weeks (I put it off) is because I refuse to pay any more than $40 for it…;)

        • Jason181
        • 7 years ago

        I too liked Vista. It really depended on if you had a computer with the oomph to run it right. If you did, it actually ran better than xp for me.

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      It was if you paid attention.

      • Geistbar
      • 7 years ago

      A lot of Vista’s poor reputation was a result of the absolutely horrendous driver situation when it launched. It also didn’t help that most software was not written with proper practices for interacting with the OS, which went from unenforced in XP to enforced in Vista. If there had been no Vista between XP and Win7, Win7 would have gotten a horrible reception as well (Win7 is a great improvement over Vista all the same).

      Once the driver and software situation were resolved, Vista wasn’t bad at all. Far better than XP, but Win7 was still a huge improvement itself.

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        I think I finally got Vista in Spring 2009 and a virtually free 7 upgrade shortly after. From that snapshot, there really wasn’t ANYTHING wrong with Vista, and 7, aside from the taskbar change, felt very much like a service pack. Almost as if Microsoft’s main reason for making 7 was to put a “Not-Vista” box on shelves since people were still under the impression that Vista was problematic.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        Vista also suffered from some really bad bloatware from the box makers.

        I built my own Vista system without the bloatware and I only had one issue which I suspected was a virus (never did debug it; just reinstalled). After that, I used it for a year or so until I built my current Windows 7 system.

        Additionally, I reinstalled Vista as a fresh install for a couple of friends and they never had another problem.

        Another friend had trouble with her laptop and I did a Vista “recovery” reinstall for her. But before I gave her laptop back to her, I rooted out and uninstalled all of the bloatware I could find. And she had no additional problems afterward, either.

        Vista was never in the “awful” category if you took the time to eliminate bloatware and then to maintain it properly.

        • Krogoth
        • 7 years ago

        Within the enthusiast arena, almost of Vista’s bad reputation came from people who got themselves Geforce 8800s and Core 2 Duo rigs in the hopes of getting onto the DX10 bandwagon. Nvidia’s 8xxx drviers for Vista were terrible for almost six months (constant BSOD). AMD/ATI similar problems with their HD 2xxx drivers as well. This end-up leaving a very sour taste in enthusiast months which made them to believe that Vista was the second coming of ME.

      • C10 250
      • 7 years ago

      Window’s Vista brought a lot to the table as far as upgrades and features. Unfortunately most of the hardware of the day could not adequately perform. In my own experience, Windows Vista worked great if you had enough RAM to feed it. However back then we weren’t swimming in $10.00 2GB sticks the way were are today.

      The people I know that were happy with Vista were the builders and the owners high end OEM rigs (My best friend is still rocking is Gateway tower from Costco with the factory Vista.) My experience with Vista was with a HP laptop with 1.6 Ghz Centrino DUO and 1GB DDR2. The 6 minute boot times still haunt my nightmares.

      Those who tried to upgrade an XP machine were left very disappointed. If I recall correctly the same thing happened when people upgraded their sub 1Ghz Windows ’98 machines to XP with 128MB RAM then kicked and screamed about what a horrible operating system it was and shouted “Windows ’98 for life!” from the rooftops.

      Windows 7 to my knowledge was the first OS of the series to cater to both newer and OLDER hardware. If you computer had a Vista product key then it deserved 7. If it had an XP key then chances are it can handle Windows 7 albeit somewhat slower, but you were able to enjoy the modern features.

      • kamikaziechameleon
      • 7 years ago

      Vista 32 bit was a complete waste, worse in every way. Vista 64 bit after some serious patching was one heck of an OS for the time.

    • ub3r
    • 7 years ago

    After using Win8 for over one week now, i have concluded Win XP is still the best OS.

      • Meadows
      • 7 years ago

      Good trolling is not regurgitating what’s already old.

      • flip-mode
      • 7 years ago

      Thankfully opinions are not facts. Here are my non-facts: XP sucks. It’s dead. It’s old. It’s obsolete. It’s unfortunately still sometimes necessary. It’s clunky. It’s outdated, outmoded, outgrown. It’s boring. It’s inefficient. It’s dull, drab, dreary, lacking, left behind. It’s painful, pitiful, prehistoric. It has vanished from my rear view mirror.

        • mkk
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]It has vanished from my rear view mirror.[/quote<] Keep your eyes on the road. There's a brand spanking new big honking double trailer called Windows 8 coming your way, and it just got over on the wrong side. You see the truck designer decided to switch left and right on the wheel without informing the drivers. 😉

          • flip-mode
          • 7 years ago

          I’ve already taken that truck for a ride and it’s different but still shows excellence.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            YO NERDS, I’M REALLY HAPPY FOR YOU, AND IMMA LET YOU USE OLD SKOOL XP, BUT WINDOWS 8 IS THE BEST OS OF ALL TIME. [b<] OF ALL TIME [/b<]

            • anotherengineer
            • 7 years ago

            Even better than DOS 6.1 ?!?!?!?!

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            You leave Imma out of this; she’s just trying to mind her own business!

        • Kaleid
        • 7 years ago

        Clunky? It feels much faster than win7, XP feels stripped down whilst everything after Vista seem overly bloated. And XP doesn’t have the HORRIBLE UI of Win8.

        • rrr
        • 7 years ago

        Your non-facts suck. I’m using XP on my other machine without a hitch.

      • WaltC
      • 7 years ago

      After using Vista Ultimate x64 for 2.5 years and Win 7 HP x64 for 2.5 years and Win8 in early form for the past several months, I’m glad to be rid of Win what-did-you-call-it?

    • jstern
    • 7 years ago

    Today it’ll be 8 days. Unless you switched back.

    • mnecaise
    • 7 years ago

    I did a clean install on an old laptop. The results were good. Everything works as it should. It’s snappy. Startup is faster. All my software works, so far… As for the new UI: I tend to be ambivalent toward it or find it mildly annoying, since I basically click through it to get either to the desktop or to the charm bar to search for an app, almost 100% of the time. I tend to agree with Cyril, it doesn’t do much for me.

    • spigzone
    • 7 years ago

    Expect Windows 9 SKUs to read:

    Premium (OEM) edition – Modern UI only … no legacy programs allowed.
    Professional edition – Modern UI + legacy desktop compatibility mode.

    Microsoft WANTS what Apple has and sooner than later.

      • Ringofett
      • 7 years ago

      That’s going to be the big opportunity for linux on the desktop, if they’re ready to embrace it when Win 9 hits, though this Metro/Modern UI nonsense should give them a little boost now, too. As hard as I am on it in its current forms, I have huge hopes for linux on the desktop in the long run, they only have to grow up and purge the FOSS fanatics from its ranks. I know it’s possible; some distro’s already happily include drivers and codecs and have no qualms about doing so.

    • ThorAxe
    • 7 years ago

    I was extremely nervous making the switch as I didn’t like the Preview version. However, I have been pleasantly surprised as the upgrade was virtually painless.

    Other than missing my AIDA64 gadget and having to re-install Punkbuster for BF3, I don’t have any major complaints so far. The general speed of the OS is also nice bonus.

    • Arag0n
    • 7 years ago

    From Steam Survey:

    Windows 7 64 bit
    59.32%

    Windows 7
    14.09%

    Windows XP 32 bit
    11.20%

    Windows Vista 64 bit
    4.74%

    Windows Vista 32 bit
    3.70%

    Windows 8 64 bit
    1.85%

    MacOS 10.8.2 64 bit
    1.60%

    MacOS 10.6.8 64 bit
    0.98%

    MacOS 10.7.5 64 bit
    0.69%

    MacOS 10.7.4 64 bit
    0.54%

    Windows XP 64 bit
    0.49%

    Windows 8
    0.22%

    MacOS 10.8.1 64 bit
    0.12%

    Other
    0.46%

    There is already more computers with Windows8 than with the latest version of MAC OSX using Steam….

      • Shouefref
      • 7 years ago

      Do you know what that shows?
      That there’s no reason to drop W XP because it only has 11%.
      The total of Mac is even less than 4%

        • Arag0n
        • 7 years ago

        It shows that there is already 1 Windows8 user by every 2 OSX users…. and Windows XP will be drop just because it’s old.

          • Shouefref
          • 7 years ago

          Why do you change my “there’s no reason to drop W XP” into “XP will be dropped”?
          Why are you turning my words around in such a way?

        • l33t-g4m3r
        • 7 years ago

        Yet Mac is supposedly some big threat according to certain fanboys. Macs will never replace PCs, the real threat is in the mobile sector, which doesn’t excuse w8’s puketastic GUI on the desktop.

          • Grigory
          • 7 years ago

          Never is such a strong word. A lot can happen in a few short decades.

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            Well I guess Apple could sue Intel and MS too… and lose those lawsuits too… and go bankrupt. That could happen.

            • A_Pickle
            • 7 years ago

            I would argue that it [i<]will[/i<] happen. Nothing lasts forever. Not even Apple.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        You complete muppets.

        This is the [b<]Steam[/b<] hardware survey. The only thing it really shows is that very few Mac users run [b<]Steam[/b<].

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          DON’T USE FACTS. THE RISKS ARE TOO GREAT IN THIS WAR OF HEARTS. THE STAKES ARE TOO HIGH

          • Geistbar
          • 7 years ago

          Actually, I wonder — what share of Windows computers vs OSX computers have Steam installed and use it with sufficient frequency to be potentially included in the hardware survey? There are a huge number of business installs of Windows, and being the “default” OS leads to it being used by lots of non gamers. On the flip-side, the still rather barren showing of games on OSX (and of those that are there, it’s a relatively recent practice, giving little time for people to potentially migrate) means that the Steam install base will be relatively small there too.

          Not saying that you’re wrong — you’re absolutely right — but I wonder if, perhaps, the comparison might end up being not all that bad? I could see it being possible that the various factors manage to roughly cancel each other.

            • yogibbear
            • 7 years ago

            Just wait DOTA 2 is almost out of beta… I’m sure when that happens they’ll release the OSX version and we’ll see a “bump” in the steam hardware stats of some 0.2% or whatever…

          • spigzone
          • 7 years ago

          Wow you’re blindingly smart and thank you so very very much … the rest of us totally missed the ‘From Steam Survey’ heading the post and would have stumbled through life under a crippling misapprehension.

          You are a hero.

            • Chrispy_
            • 7 years ago

            Glad to be recognised for the genius and selfless protagonist that I am; Humble, modest, and above-all, magnificent at speeling and; punctuation,

            You may worship me if you choose, but I am probably going to be a pretty poor choice of deity since my special power involves making beer disappear (and very possibly multiplying things – sometimes when I make a lot of beer disappear I can clone people but it’s hard to know for sure because then everything’s a bit blurry and I get quite forgetful).

      • deb0
      • 7 years ago

      That has more to do with the fact that very few games run on the mac.

      • JRoni
      • 7 years ago

      How about a more realistic poll, like how many users have Adobe Acrobat Reader or something else not as subjective as Steam? I own Macs as well as Windows PC’s. I don’t have Steam installed on my Macs. Not only does the Steam store have far fewer games than its Windows counterpart but the Mac App Store also has games, so that will offset Steam installs even further. PS, I bought a copy of Windows 8 on Black Friday and it’s still sitting in my drawer unopened. Just can’t convince myself to give up Windows 7 after playing around with 8 extensively and being very disappointed.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 7 years ago

    You’re an advanced computer user, Cyril. I bet you already know all of Windows’ keyboard shortcuts. And when a computer does something you don’t expect, you recognize what is happening and know what to do about it.

    But have you tried handing a Windows 8 computer over to a very non-advanced user? Someone who doesn’t know three or four different ways of making Windows do something?

    • ryan345
    • 7 years ago

    Chrome doesn’t integrate well with Windows 8. Running Chrome from the desktop and running Chrome from Metro appears to use two different sets of settings, almost like running it from two different user accounts.

    Also from a metro instance of Chrome when you download an installer and click to install it, the UAC prompt pops up on the desktop, invisible to you in metro.

    The division between metro apps and desktop apps is just awkward. Before I thought MS was probably right to try for a unified interface between desktops, tablets, and convertibles, but now I’m not so sure. If you mostly are working with desktop apps then metro is just a pain.

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    We have two very well separated paradigm, by hw, concept, input, output & usage.

    One for workstation (High res / high precision input devices, out of reach multiple displays, physical keyboard) the other for phones (‘fuzy’ finger based input with ‘in your face’ single display and virtual keyboards)

    Both can scale, and even cross over for some task but you start to make sacrifices when you ’emulate’ the other eco system.

    As a window7 user, I can say that Windows8 is not worth 40$.

    Windows8 without Metro would be a small incremental update to windows7.
    Nothing wrong with that. I used this as my main OS for 5+month and it was ok.
    But the Metro side got on my nerver to the point where taking the time to do a full windows7 re-install was looking good.

    What was weird, is that you have a sense that you actually ‘upgraded’.
    Windows7 is suitable to be called windows9 for its usability improvement over windows8.

    OK, you sacrifice a few seconds during a cold boot, or the task manager doesn’t look as nice… but it was so worth it.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<] As a window7 user, I can say that Windows8 is not worth 40$.[/quote<] I CAN'T BELIEVE IT!??!?! YOU DON'T LIKE WINDOWS 8?!?!?! BETWEEN YOU AND L33T, I THOUGHT FOR SURE YOU GUYS WOULD MAKE A DANCE TO EXPRESS YOUR LOVE!!!!!

    • PopcornMachine
    • 7 years ago

    Hey, look. It’s Mojave 2!!!!

    • indeego
    • 7 years ago

    First OS to get a BSOD on in 3 years. Machine that was working just perfectly with 7 at home is BSODing on hibernate every time. Turned off for now.

    There are some pretty serious bugs/issues with this OS well beyond “Metro,” I’m surprised it’s not talked about more in reviews.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      i think they’re few and far between. your situation is unusual, hence it not being talked about. I’ve had 2 bluescreens, and both time i was trying to force old drivers on a system that didn’t like them.

      not to say it didn’t happen, but i think “pretty serious bugs/issues with this os” is probably not accurate.

        • indeego
        • 7 years ago

        A BSOD is pretty serious. Do you not deny this? I rarely experienced them even on poorly managed computers on Windows 7. When they DID occur, it was always hardware.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          no, i don’t deny this. i’m just wondering what caused it. My point was that there doesn’t seem to be a lot of issues with this OS (and who knows, technically, it could be hardware), but you might have found one. my point was that your original post implied that your issue was common, and that it’s somehow consistently not stable. I was implying it is usually solid.

          I should correct one other thing: my wife’s computer has an issue with sleep, but it seems to be an issue with acer’s bios. similar models have received a new one and it solves the issue. sounds like it could be similar. My wife’s laptop doesn’t bsod, it just tries to sleep again.

          • flip-mode
          • 7 years ago

          When I first moved to 7 I had total system freezes coming out of sleep or monitor sleep. So does my anecdote carry the same weight as your anecdote?

          • WaltC
          • 7 years ago

          You are getting that BSOD because of an immature Win8 hardware device driver, imo. I’d bet on it…;) One of your current Win8 drivers is doing something Win8 isn’t happy with (or Win8 isn’t happy with a device driver for Win7 you might still be running in WIn8.) OTOH, I’ve been using on a dual-boot partition alongside WIn7, Win8 CP and then Win8 RP for months–and not a single BSOD yet.

          You have some sleuthing to do. Generally, BSOD’s occur because of either a hardware fault, a driver fault, or some combination of both. I once had a BSOD that kept identifying my gpu driver as the cause–but after much work I discovered that it was one of my ram DIMMs that had a faulty chip that had caused the whole thing. Replaced the ram, BSOD disappeared and never returned. The gpu driver had *never* been the cause.

          Blaming this particular BSOD on “Win8” generically might be cathartic, but it serves no purpose and won’t help you solve the problem.

            • indeego
            • 7 years ago

            Telling me to troubleshoot also doesn’t solve the problem. I’m a windows admin and I have debug tools handy. What I don’t have exactly is time at my home on MY DIME to figure this crap out. I don’t get paid. The errors are in multiple places on a machine previously running Windows 7 fine. That means, wait for it, it [b<]is[/b<] Windows 8's issue. Let me set this straight: Windows 7 worked perfectly fine on this very same machine one month ago. Linux on its partition works fine. Windows 8 does not. That IS a problem, because I evaluate hardware and software for a company, and I deem this Operating System "not ready" when it does this. When it can't determine WHY without serious debugger tools and turning on and off driver sets that Microsoft approved their OS for. If Microsoft doesn't want people judging their OS based on BSOD's, they should prevent ANY condition that might cause it. Had they blocked a driver on install and I had no functionality with that hardware? I'd shrug, because I feel like Microsoft made a conscious decision to save my data (and just as important:time). No, they approved "immature" drivers, just as they did for Vista. They aren't helping in troubleshooting with built-in tools. I've had to enable and disable suspend/hibernate in the meantime (like every other f***ing Microsoft and Linux OS at one point or another.) I'm just venting, I don't really care about Microsoft's ultimate position here. I'm just going to delay rollout of this where it really counts (my users and their uptimes) until I feel more confident in this OS.

        • cphite
        • 7 years ago

        Based on just my own experience and the admittedly small number of people I know using it, there seem to be a lot of crashes, freezes, and issues drivers needing to be re-installed. More than seems normal even for a new release.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          really? strange, i would agree with indeego than. i’m surprised we’re not hearing more about this.

        • StevenQ
        • 7 years ago

        I’ve had the new BSOD three times, 2 inside a Metro app while trying to use my pen tablet – as soon as I touched the pen to the tablet, crash. And a third time in the Desktop doing nothing out of the ordinary.

        Honestly, I don’t recall ever having a BSOD in Windows 7, and considering how extensively 8 has been geared towards touch screen devices, I’m not surprised there’s stability issues.

      • spuppy
      • 7 years ago

      I was having major BSOD issues as well, and it was due to drivers that were compatible with Win7 only. Installing “WhoCrashed” helped me find the culprit.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      [url<]https://www.soluto.com/windows-8[/url<] The average number of BSOD increased from Windows7 or XP, but the number of non responsive apps and crashes per user has dramatically drop. I believe that the number of BSOD is related to some GPU drivers that are not fully ironed just as it was the cast for Vista. Don't expect all your drivers at launch to be ironed and fully working.

      • indeego
      • 7 years ago

      Marvell Storage Drivers, confirmed. Guess Microsoft isn’t perfect detecting the crap…

        • Arag0n
        • 7 years ago

        Guess was not Microsoft fault at the end… don’t expect drivers to be mature for a new OS from day 0. Hey, I’m still waiting for a proper bootcamp driver.

          • indeego
          • 7 years ago

          Microsoft performs the tests and writes the OS. Just block the driver/software on install.

          I’d blame MS for an OS after the driver, (because they ultimately have control what hardware they support,) and the OEM for the driver written after the OS.

            • Jason181
            • 7 years ago

            That’s kind of ridiculous. They can’t test every driver and piece of software.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Are they planning to address the multi-screen pathetic-ness of Windows 8 or are MS just telling everyone they are touching it wrong?

    • LostCat
    • 7 years ago

    I like browsing Facebook in the People app cause I have a decent screen and web pages display in a little tiny strip down the middle unless I screw with settings. Not so much in Metro apps.

    It’s just nice to use things that actually use the screen instead of adding whitespace.

    • apertur3
    • 7 years ago

    Is there a way to take advantage of the $40 sale price and NOT use the upgrader software? I’d like the upgrade to be an ISO if possible. In the online Microsoft Store, when you go to purchase the upgrade, it instantly tries to download and launch the Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant. DO NOT WANT.

      • LostCat
      • 7 years ago

      The Upgrade Assistant can make an ISO or a bootable USB drive.

      I don’t think so, otherwise.

      • Musafir_86
      • 7 years ago

      -Hmm, even with Windows 8 Upgrade Assistant there’s an option to create an ISO (and bootable USB too); you’ll see this after completing the payment. 🙂

      Regards,
      -Musafir_86.

        • apertur3
        • 7 years ago

        That’s excellent news! I’ll pick up a copy today. I wish they disclosed that on the store page.

    • rwburnham
    • 7 years ago

    I like this article. It addresses the basic design flaws of Windows 8 and yet still makes a case for it being worth installing. I was hesitant about it before, but I think I will buy it now.

      • mcnasty72@gmail.com
      • 7 years ago

      And that’s why he is paid to write.

    • yogibbear
    • 7 years ago

    Totally off-topic… I just ditched my work lappy… a T420 for an X230 and OMOMGOMGOGMOGMOGM I am so glad that I no longer have to wait 4 minutes for it to boot up and now it takes like ~15 seconds…. Yah for SSDs! Yah for paying nothing for it! Yah for work supplying me with things when I complain about my PC sucking! GOODBYE STUPID CENTRINO CHIP. HELLO IVYBRIDGE!

    • BIF
    • 7 years ago

    I am ready to migrate myself to Windows 8 but I must MUST find a way to change the desktop colors and contrasts beyond the very limited factory choices available. I am finding that long sessions are fatiguing because I just can’t see the screen elements on a busy desktop.

    Title bars, text boxes, and ESPECIALLY scroll bars are among the first things that I have to find a way to customize. Light grey on white is too difficult to see on a busy desktop with all white-backgrounded windows and applications. I need to at least add some sort of a texture map to the flat 2-dimensional scroll bar.

    The same goes for buttons and other screen elements.

      • streagle27
      • 7 years ago

      “Title bars, text boxes, and ESPECIALLY scroll bars are among the first things that I have to find a way to customize. Light grey on white is too difficult to see on a busy desktop with all white-backgrounded windows and applications. I need to at least add some sort of a texture map to the flat 2-dimensional scroll bar.”

      I wonder if they bothered to test this new UI on potential users, and if they did, they just ignored the results of their tests and went forward with the change anyway.

      Instead of copying others, they would have done better to leave things alone, or make them better, instead of make them worse just for the sake of change.

      I’m wondering if MS is eating their own dogfood, or if the vast majority of MS employees are sticking with Windows 7, or modding Win8 to make it more user friendly and easier to work with.

      That would be the height of irony.

      • GTVic
      • 7 years ago

      You could try some of those computer glasses designed to reduce eye strain.

      [url<]http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/c411/[/url<]

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        Okay:

        Point 1: Windows 7, Vista, XP, and various Linux UIs are all easy for me to see and use.
        Point 2: I have no trouble using my iPad and Android devices.
        Point 3: I even have no trouble using the touch screens in airports, rental car kiosks, ATMs, etcetera. Even my car has a touch screen which is easy to read except in the brightest of sunlight. But I’ll give the car a pass, that screen is 9 year old technology.

        So now Windows 8 comes along and I have difficulty. And your first suggestion is that I buy special glasses? I suggest to you that there is a problem with the Win 8 UI and not so much my vision. 😀

        By the way, I was not the one who downvoted you…I respect your opinion and I just disagree with you on your analysis.

    • superjawes
    • 7 years ago

    Windows 8 is now a waiting game to see what happens, such as:

    1. Whether hardware/monitors start adopting touch interface options and use them effectively.
    2. Whether or not developers and businesses streamline things so that applications and work spread across mobile and desktop environments.
    3. Whether or not Windows 9 scraps the unification effort and segregates Windows into desktop and mobile platforms.

    There are tools here for sure, and it really depends on developers and hardware makers now. I think whether or not they adopt and support a unification will determine the success or failure of Windows 8.

    /boots 7
    /continues happily

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      Random Note:

      “1. Whether hardware/monitors start adopting touch interface options and use them effectively.”

      I would rather have 1600p 36bit+ color and 120hz before I star putting finger prints all over my screen.

        • LostCat
        • 7 years ago

        So do that. I’m not using touch on Win8.

        • Squeazle
        • 7 years ago

        There was also the interesting setup of having a main non-touch screen, and then an secondary screen at a 45 degree angle between keyboard and main for touchy uses. With a reasonable pixel count, but nothing crazy.

        Because honestly, with a 1600p screen, I would never be able to tolerate fingerprints. And reaching too far defeats the convenience of touching.

          • Bananaman
          • 7 years ago

          what you just described sounds like a giant Nintendo DS running windows 8.

    • Shouefref
    • 7 years ago

    “I fulfilled Microsoft’s wishes and turned my local user account into an online one, which let Windows 8 sync my settings with the cloud.”

    My god! That really turns me off.
    Your personal computer is now turned into a client computer of a big company’s server system.
    Maybe gamers won’t worry about that, but I think lots of companies will complain about it.

      • bthylafh
      • 7 years ago

      You don’t have to use a Live account with Win8. Local accounts are still there, likewise Active Directory in the higher-end versions.

      Companies really shouldn’t be letting people set up their own user accounts anyhow.

        • Shouefref
        • 7 years ago

        Companies really shouldn’t be letting people set up their own user accounts anyhow.
        ->
        That’s not the point.
        The company has to try to avoid having its account with an outside company entity.

          • curtisb
          • 7 years ago

          Said company creates a Group Policy and a WMI Filter for Windows 8 machines. Set it at the top level, enforce it, and it’ll apply to every WIndows 8 machine in the domain. Done.

          Computer Configuration\Windows Settings\Security Settings\Local Policies\Security Options\Accounts:Block Microsoft Accounts
          Accounts: Block Microsoft accounts

      • Waco
      • 7 years ago

      Why would you want to do this anyway?

    • wmgriffith
    • 7 years ago

    I’m reasonably sure that Sublime has a problem because of a stale or otherwise broken link in the “App Paths” part of the registry. If not there, then certainly somewhere in the registry, and you could probably just search for “Sublime”. I had the same problem upgrading a version of LibreOffice.

    • mkk
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Let's say I'd gotten awfully cozy with a certain Modern UI app. Now, I'd be delighted if I could use it on my big computer[/quote<] Now imagine having the option to run that one good Metro app in an actual window on the desktop. Wow, that would be nice wouldn't it? But that's never gonna happen outside third party hacks...

      • yogibbear
      • 7 years ago

      Gotta leave features for Windows 9….

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        Ballmer did say Microsoft wants to be more like Apple. (Or at least that’s what every pundit says.)

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    Your point about confusing systems in store is a good one. I’m not sure what MS can do about it, though. it’s a complete UI change with a complete usage change. it’ll be rolled out over the next few years, and i agree some people are going to be sad, but stores know how to distinguish (or at least they should) and educate their customers. that strikes me as more of a store failure than MS. Futureshop (for example) has tons of access to the information to educate the customers, whether they choose to set it up properly and train is up to them. the information is available. I do think it’ll be an uphill battle. stores do suck at training.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      I’m pretty sure than for Microsoft the target is that all apps you use sooner rather than later come from the Windows Store…. once it happens both ARM and x86 systems will be equal for users and the difference will disappear.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        yeah. that’s true. i just wish that the people at these crappy stores would know what they’re doing.

          • Arag0n
          • 7 years ago

          That’s not a problem in Microsoft stores, since Microsoft stores staff will explain to you that before you pay, but I’m sure that other selling points as Best Buy, Fnac, etc. Won’t be as likely to explain to customers the difference…

    • Arag0n
    • 7 years ago

    I have Windows 8 in my desktop and I do not find so many daily problems…. mostly I like to have some background apps that I can handle in the metro environment and I never go to metro as long as I do not want to. Pin your apps to the taskbar and you won’t need to go metro often….

    I find very handy to be able to use some of the metro apps in snapped view side my normal workflow. Skype, Messages, Email are my common snapped friends and it helps me avoid wasting more screen than needed for those tasks and go back-forward from work to them.

    • Majiir Paktu
    • 7 years ago

    [quote<]Websites load in a picosecond[/quote<] My rational side detects lies for the sake of flowery writing. Would "milliseconds" have been so hard? 🙂

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      You’re being pedantic, let Cyril use his artistic license, i presume you understood all too well what he meant….it’s a blog post.

      • pedro
      • 7 years ago

      Well, what about femto, atto, zepto, milli, deca?

      They’re all true & correct.

      • cphite
      • 7 years ago

      If you install Chrome they open within a Planck time. The physics community assures us that this does not in any way invalidate Relativity…

        • Goty
        • 7 years ago

        Well, if we just throw causality out the window, then sure….

          • cphite
          • 7 years ago

          You have to install the Causality Pack separately…. but it’s only available if you’re running the Pro edition.

    • C10 250
    • 7 years ago

    A couple days ago I decided that to take the chance and upgrade my laptop. I chose the download the ISO option and did a clean install. While I played with all the enhancements I’ve been reading about and installed all my necessary programs I discovered what I considered to be the greatest improvement over Windows 7. Anytime windows wanted my permission for something, the screen turned black and the prompt window appeared nearly instantly! There was no agonizing wait for the the screen to dim. I was sold.

    The next day. I purchased the upgrade for my desktop. This time I preserved my files and settings since a clean install was not an option mainly because my wife is not as fond of a starting fresh as I am. My upgrade was for the most part flawless since I uninstalled all third party drivers any device related software prior to initiating the upgrade. I found my first desktop experience just as pleasant as my laptopl. I relished in all the multi-screen enhancemts. I however was quite surprised when I realized the Modern UI’s shortcomings in a multi-display environment. During the upgrade one warning message stated that my three 1280×1024 monitors’ resolutions were not compatible with the snap feature. I dismissed the notion since I assumed that I could run multiple metro apps in different windows. Apparently you can’t. The fact that I can’t spread my Metro Apps across different screens I find a little disappointing, but it down right irritating that I can’t even open the start screen in a separate monitor from any other Modern UI App. Still, considering my only complaint exists is the part of the interface I care the least for, I am extremely satisfied with my purchases.

      • Chrispy_
      • 7 years ago

      [b<]The multi-monitor support for [s<]Metro[/s<] Modern UI is, for the most part, horrific.[/b<] It would probably be the #1 disagreement I have with W8 on the desktop, and it needs major changes, if not a complete overhaul. The whole thing stinks of being tacked-on without proper thought or ergonomics considerations, which is odd given how much effort they put into usability studies for the Start screen itself.

        • C10 250
        • 7 years ago

        I actually find the Start Screen its self quit nice. On my laptop the first thing I did was uninstall every tile that I could and unpinned those I couldn’t. I then rebuilt it from scratch starting with My Computer, User folder, Network, & control panel. I do wish that I could re arrange the tile more freely. Even if I could make a subsection with a single column, I would be happy.

    • bjm
    • 7 years ago

    I’ve used the Classic Menu on Windows 8 to restore the Start Menu and I set it all up to run like Windows 7 before it. “Ah, all the goodness of Windows 7 with the updates that Windows 8 brings,” I thought to myself, “I’m just going to ignore Metro”. October 26th came around and I was bored.. so I went to Best Buy to actually play with some touch screen computers just to see if it made a difference. I saw the stupid IdeaPad Yoga. What a ridiculous idea?! Who wants to use that when the keyboard is exposed on the outside?!

    Then I picked it up.. Oh man, I must admit I was impressed. The hinge is extremely sturdy and it actually folds back really nicely (at least, as far as I could fold it, it had a security blob attached to the back). But even more impressive, using Windows 8 with an actual touch screen is really nice. I played around with all the touch laptops they had. Eventually, it began to make sense to me, enough to where I actually don’t use Classic Menu anymore.

    But I’ve come to the following conclusions:

    1. I don’t see the desktop ever going anywhere. Unless Microsoft plans on “reimagining” a table and a chair, the keyboard+mouse+desktop UI is not going anywhere. There is a fundamental ergonomic limit to a chair+table, and a keyboard + a vertical screen + desktop UI is fundamentally fit for it.

    2. There’s definitely room for touch in the table + chair paradigm. I think a keyboard + pointer + touch will make for a great combo. You can bet that my next monitor will be touch enabled. There’s even room for Voice, like in Siri and Jelly Bean. I’ll still predominantly use keyboard+mouse, but I think touch has it’s place.

    3. Lastly, Windows 8 was designed with touch first in mind, but I think everyone is getting carried away with saying that the desktop is going the way of DOS. Microsoft may have focused on touch this time around, but that’s only because touch is where they needed the most work. The desktop is not the new “DOS” where it will eventually be phased out.

    Looking forward to Windows 9, I see Microsoft expanding WinRT APIs to the desktop, making the desktop + metro combo be even more cohesive. Further, I think they’ll bring the Windows Store to the desktop and implement something like Apple’s Gatekeeper to retain the oh-so important backwards compatible (again, I think everyone is getting carried away with saying Microsoft will make the desktop app-store only).

    Having said all that, I won’t be buying any convertible type laptop/tablets until after Haswell, but I must say… I’m impressed with what I see so far.

      • rwburnham
      • 7 years ago

      Good points. Sure, the desktop is no longer the first thing we see, but like so many other features in Windows, such as Control Panel, it just won’t go away because people need it.

      • Goofus Maximus
      • 7 years ago

      I think point number 2 is questionable, since it merely relies on the limits of the imagination. I remember similar arguments being made about the mouse, back in the days of DOS, yet now folks can hardly imagine using a computer without one.

      • LostCat
      • 7 years ago
        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        why’d you edit that? it was a good point.

          • LostCat
          • 7 years ago

          I meant to make it a new post, not a reply. I’m ‘new’ here, don’t mind me (I think I may have had a Seawolf account long ago but the one I never used is the one I recovered. Heh.)

          Or the DB was cleansed. Couldn’t say. Could be both.

      • setbit
      • 7 years ago

      …making the desktop + metro combo be [s<]even more cohesive[/s<] somewhat less incoherent. FIFY

      • Myrmecophagavir
      • 7 years ago

      [quote<]Looking forward to Windows 9, I see Microsoft expanding WinRT APIs to the desktop...[/quote<] Noooooooooo

    • Ifalna
    • 7 years ago

    Creatives Drivers were the main reason why I performed a rollback to win7. That and the weird 30s+ load times on WoW. (Don’t ask me why, other games were fine.)

    To be honest: There’s absolutely NOTHING I miss about win8, as you already wrote it feels exactly like Win7 once you take modern-UI out of the picture. So win7 can stay for the long haul.

      • Kaleid
      • 7 years ago

      I use beta drivers and xtrememusic works fine, with win7 drivers the console simply didn’t install, but that’s just about it.

      But Win8 is quite horrible. Even with classic shell I still didn’t get rid of Metro, and not getting rid of it makes the system seem like it has multiple personalities making the usage of the Win8 very confusing.

      Now I cannot start messenger live. Win8 is a buggy pile of poo.

      Still can’t change background color for windows explorer

        • Ifalna
        • 7 years ago

        The drivers work fine, but they don’t retain their custom settings. Doing these every reboot sucked. But I testet Win8 back when MSDNAA was fresh so it’s possible they fixed it by now. (Haha I know I know, creative and fixing software issues 😀 )

          • Kaleid
          • 7 years ago

          I read somewhere that non-beta drivers will soon be released. This is much faster than for Vista for sure.

          Anyhow, I’m done with Win8, one week trying it was enough so I bought a fast SSD instead for win7.

      • bcronce
      • 7 years ago

      Creative have never had good drivers. They make Monster Cable type over-priced decent hardware, but don’t support it.

        • Ifalna
        • 7 years ago

        I really wouldn’t put the Titanium HD into the “Monster” hardware category. As for their other stuff: Don’t know whether that’s good or not. But Titanium HD + DT 880 sound like a dream.

        • Kaleid
        • 7 years ago

        I’d take Creative over any other soundcard maker (including integrated) any day of the week.

          • Ifalna
          • 7 years ago

          I’d be careful with that statement, I think Onkyo does some pretty high end Soundcards, but these puppies probably are not what the day to day user looks for.

            • Kaleid
            • 7 years ago

            Well yes I know, but do they for instance have EAX support or are they simply pure audiophile cards?
            I’d rather get an external DAC for my current card rather than buying another internal audiocard.
            Electronics are easier to get right than speakers/room anyway..

            • Ifalna
            • 7 years ago

            Aye to that last sentence, matey. That’s why I stuck to Headphones. (Poor student ^_^ )

          • jdaven
          • 7 years ago

          I like ht omega and I hear good things about asus. I think creative is popular because of old school DIYers.

            • Ifalna
            • 7 years ago

            Creative are popular b/c they pretty much pioneered the consumer oriented soundcard market.

            Asus Xonar Soundcards are excellent audiophile choices and I was on the fence between the Titanium HD and the DX2.

            But since I’ve always been a Creative owner.. well. you stick to the devil you know. 😉

            • jdaven
            • 7 years ago

            I was doing the same thing and then I realized I hate creative cards.

        • deb0
        • 7 years ago

        Oh Really now? I’ve been using creative cards for many many years, and rarely had driver issues. With win7, I have had none. Perhaps you have other issues with your system contributing to some perceived driver issues with your sound card.

          • Jason181
          • 7 years ago

          Yeah, I think the Creative driver issues are overblown and result from the past (like 5+ years past) and not current.

      • Bauxite
      • 7 years ago

      WoW loads just fine for me, and I often run [i<]many[/i<] accounts at once too. Spelling out stuff on the ground, and other [s<]annoying[/s<] fun stuff with a bunch of extra free accounts 🙂 If you were only testing in the last day or two, they did have some serious intermittent server issues this week. Been using Win8 for about 6 weeks now, of course with classic shell installed since hour 3 or so.

      • RenatoPassos
      • 7 years ago

      When I was using Release Preview, my Creative X-Fi card worked nicely with the default drivers provided by Win 8 itself – I didn’t even try to install any other stuff. Maybe that’s why it worked at all… =]

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    Apple is not at all clearly segmenting the 2 OSes they are just taking another path unifying them.

    Anyway your conclusion seems to be that Win 8 is ok except Metro. The problem is that Metro will be the UI being pushed forward,chances are M$ wants to get rid of the desktop as soon as the Metro ecosystem is big enough.Fun times…

      • Arclight
      • 7 years ago

      I’d accept metro if it retained the old desktop functionality, i.e. they should leave settings to allow me to configure it to work basically like the old desktop (let me see the taskbar, let me right click on empty space for additional options, let me set an image as a wallpaper, let me move tiles around, let me change the way tiles look, let me create folders, files, shortcuts etc.), while on default it should look like it does now.

      Metro should be the desktop imo, there shouldn’t be another layer behind it, you should have all the functionalities there and not need to “go deeper”. And what’s up with the lack of the options to put an image as an wallpaper behind the tiles? Are we in the 90s?

        • Geistbar
        • 7 years ago

        I think your “metro as the desktop” idea would have created a far too ‘busy’ interface; instead of consolidating commands and OS interfaces to a single section of the screen (the bottom), that area would be the entire screen. Misclicks would be much more irritating than they are today, and for most people I suspect it’d be information overload. To go with that, the types of software that MS seems to be going for with Metro is rather different from applications that can be run on the desktop (both stylistically and functionally) — the visual and cognitive clash would be awkward, at best.

          • Arclight
          • 7 years ago

          Why should misclicks be so common if i can set the tiles to open only after 2 left mouse button clicks?

          As for the type of software MS wants to put on Metro, ok fine, but let me disable the darn thing if i don’t need it……it’s common sense.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            I’ll admit I put a lot of ideas out there, so I’ll specify that I think the information overload / busy interface are the major issues with that idea.

            I think there are a lot of mistakes MS made with respect to Win8 and little tweaks to make people more accepting of it (e.g. no boot to desktop option), so don’t get me wrong as saying that things as implemented are perfect. I just think a metro/desktop merger would be a very poor interface.

            • Arclight
            • 7 years ago

            I don’t see how my ideas of a metro as the new desktop would bother you, a person who preffers it the way it is now, if i said i want it to be configurable that way not to be that way by default….

            Other things that Metro should of had imo (idk if they do). I see the tiles are organized in groups, fine by me, excellent actually, but let me resize the tiles in a group by treating the edge of the group like an open resized folder, Let me enlarge/squeeze the group (the the tiles in it at the same time), let me move the group wherever i want on the screen by dragging it from the top.

            Also i noticed that when you have more than 4 full groups of tiles the 5th shows a bit of the tiles on the right edge of the screen and that’s pretty annoying in my opnion. The fix would have been to treat the start as a multi paged thing a put some huge numbers on the buttom to let me go through the pages with tiles (simillar to how you browse an multi paged article) and let me set which page to be shown first by default.

            The ideas that could improve metro are endless but they are too busy milking the portable/hand held market to take care of us. But hey, you get touch input now for your desktop screen, whoopty doo. Have fun with your soar hands.

            • Geistbar
            • 7 years ago

            Err..

            [quote<]I don't see how my ideas of a metro as the new desktop would bother you, a person who preffers it the way it is now, if i said i want it to be configurable that way not to be that way by default....[/quote<] Where did I say I prefer it the way it is now? I don't even have Win8 right now (and I probably won't for a while, as I don't want to fiddle with my current machines and can't afford a new one), but I think there are lots of minor interface mistakes they made with regards to metro and the non-RT version. All I've been saying is that your idea would create a very noisy interface, and that's likely why you won't see it -- the fundamentals of it would make it a generally bad interface, so there's little desire to design it, bugtest it, implement it, (etc.) for the few people that would prefer it. Maybe it would be better for you, but I doubt there are anywhere near enough other people around for whom it is true. There's certainly a lot they should (and almost certainly will in future SP/Win9) tweak or change about Metro, I just don't think your idea is one of those tweaks.

    • spuppy
    • 7 years ago

    My first few days were spent trying to figure out what was causing random bsods. Every single possible error was given.

    Turns out it was caused by some Gigabyte software, either the on/off drivers or energy saver.

    I actually like it besides that.

      • LostCat
      • 7 years ago

      I think a lot of mobo OEM software is going to be glitching…I had some trouble before removing mine too.

    • Arclight
    • 7 years ago

    [quote=”Cyril Kowaliski”<]It asked me to uninstall a couple of incompatible applications[/quote<] Like what? [quote="Cyril Kowaliski"<]I can think of only one instance where Modern UI would come in handy on the desktop. Let's say I had a Windows 8 tablet or a touch-enabled laptop[/quote<] You mean like [url=https://techreport.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=84325<]this[/url<] guy?

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      On my wife’s PC it was MS Security Essentials and the Toshiba DVD player that came on her laptop.

        • Arclight
        • 7 years ago

        That’s OK i guess…..or is it? dun Dun DUNNN!

        • MadManOriginal
        • 7 years ago

        MSSE? Really? Were you able to reinstall it after performing the upgrade?

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          why would you? it’s built into the OS. it would be redundant.

            • Arag0n
            • 7 years ago

            That’s likely why it asks to uninstall… to avoid redundancy….

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            yep.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          AV has been rolled into Windows Defender. Once you get to Windows 8 you don’t want it if you want MS’s AV.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Windows Defender has existed for a long time separately from MSSE. So, to be clear, on Windows 8 the built-in AV = Defender+MSSE?

            • LostCat
            • 7 years ago

            Yep.

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