So Windows 8 is finally here and I got it day one. Typically I like to wait a bit before things get released and get the latest reviews. But the deals for Windows 8 Pro were too good to pass up, especially on Amazon. We already have an article on what to expect from Windows 8, so does this new operating system change the way you’ll use Windows? Or is it Windows ME and Vista all over again?
Since Windows 95, Microsoft hasn’t changed their formula too much. We have had our start button, icons, and background application icons for some time. So what happens when Microsoft decides to change things up? Before Windows 8 release we heard a lot of doom and gloom from Windows fans. They feared the whole new user interface, and Microsoft changing their open application attitude. What I discovered after using Windows 8 for a week was that not much has changed.
The beloved Windows Desktop is still there, and on first glance, not many people would notice a difference. The major thing missing is the start button, that is now it’s own interface. The “metro” style user interface is really a more advance start button. You can reach all of your applications from this section of Windows, as well as run many background applications with ease. A big bonus is the customization in how your start screen looks and operates. I found myself making special rows, one for social, one for media, and one for games. What makes this layout even cooler are the live updates from certain social apps. You can link Facebook to the people app which will slide in the newest updates right on your start screen.
Another thing people complained about was the difficulty, or lack of ability, to close applications. I found the way to do this rather easily. Putting your mouse in the left top corner will show a list of applications you have
running. You simply right click the app and select close… simple as that. After playing with Windows 8, since it is devoid of any manual, it became rather easy to navigate. In fact, I now prefer it’s way of organizing all of the apps I have running. You know that windows button you have on your keyboard, the one that didn’t serve much purpose? Now, when you press it, it brings you to your start screen, and back to your desktop (if you press it again).
Ok, so there is plenty to talk about that is good, but what about the bad? Bad news is that there aren’t that many apps available for Windows 8 or it’s phone/tablet counterparts. This will soon change, of course, but it is annoying for someone with an Android or iOS device who is used to having thousands of choices. The other bad news is Microsoft’s new policy in how Windows works. For instance, if you’re a fan of pirating software, Windows 8 makes it very hard for you to even run a program needed to run pirated software. Companies like Valve are also upset with the way Windows 8 has made it difficult for 3rd party software stores to integrate. Steam, Valves online store front and social media machine, depends on their library software for easy installation and purchasing of games. Windows 8 makes this difficult to integrate into the new user interface.
In closing, this update is a must have… after a few months. Once the app store is more stocked with applications, Windows 8 will be a powerhouse. It’s easy integration to the Xbox360, Windows phones and Windows tablets makes this a no brainer upgrade for any Microsoft fan. If you have an iPhone 4 and other iOS device, this upgrade is a big “wait and see” moment, So I wouldn’t trade in my iPhone 4 for a Windows phone just yet. I am a huge fan of this upgrade, but even I have to admit that it takes the full judgement of the masses before it becomes a permanent staple of Microsoft’s future. Whether Windows 8 will be another Windows ME or Vista, will be very obvious in the next coming months. But I have a feeling this is a new dawn for the Windows OS.