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Microsoft Windows 8 Operating System Forum

    
Experiences with Windows 8 OS
SevenCubed




msg:4532902
 5:37 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)


System: The following 4 messages were cut out of thread at: http://www.webmasterworld.com/windows8/4512356.htm [webmasterworld.com] by bill - 4:49 pm on Jan 4, 2013 (jst +9)


Well a new laptop preloaded with Windows 8 fell into my lap over the holidays! I think I've arrived! 2.5Ghz, Core i5, 8GB RAM. I just went from an old desktop with 512MB of RAM to this. You can all imagine the smile on my face. Best of all, a client of mine bought it for me! Wow, I was moved considering it's me who should be gifting my clients right?!

But on to the OS itself. I was going to be buying a new laptop about this time (the client had no knowledge of this btw) but I was intent on getting a Windows 7 OS. Also, the brand is one that I personally would not have bought from; only because I worked for them as a contractor for 2 years and wasn't well treated. So, I would not have wanted to give them my consumer dollars. But hey a gift is a gift and I am very grateful for it.

For the first 36-48 hours of use -- I wanted to pitch it against the wall so many times, and I rarely have anger or a temper in me. They REALLY moved the cheese in this thing! Keep in mind that I went from XP to this so I never got the warmup by experiencing Windows 7.

In the first hours I managed to figure out how to open a browser ;) then went straight to Firefox to get a real one. After that I locked it down and went ecom browsing for an OEM version of Windows 7. I found a source with a good price and filed it. Figured I would sit with this thing for a few days. I continued to use the old box and just played on this one (everything is now transferred to it).

For the first week I REALLY didn't like it at all. But now into the end of the second week (he didn't wait for Christmas to give it to me so I didn't wait for Christmas to open it) I have to admit I am absolutely loving this laptop and Windows 8 OS. Of course I turned it into a desktop with an HDMI connected 24" LED monitor and wireless keyboard and mouse :)

There are soooooo many nice features about it that I would have to go on all day about them and probably still forget a few good ones.

But it's not all fun and games. There is something about it that very seriously got my monkey in a knot. On the first day I was experimenting with the default desktop apps (the tiled push ones) and was getting ads pushed to my desktop! when browsing the weather or news ones, can't remember which. I messed around with a bunch of settings and eventually got rid of them. Keep in mind this was not via a browser, it was ads for a Cadillac Esplanade SUV.

There is something VERY fundamentally wrong with that. This is not a free OS or hardware that has to be supported by ads. It is a paid-for system. MSFT what the heck are you thinking pushing commercialism to my desktop via the OS?! Seriously there is something extremely wrong with this.

I eventually got rid of the ads but still don't know how. Then I uninstalled most of the desktop tiles that were receiving live pushes. The parasites seem to be gone now. But if they rear their ugly heads again I'll have to decide how bad I want up-to-the-minute weather details in my face. It will probably come down to a choice of pretty colours, numbers, as well as exquisite flow and design (and tolerating trying to be sold an SUV) vs licking my finger and hanging it out an open window.

I was going to wait a while and write a full review of this beast but I cannot contain myself any longer and had to jump in with the preliminary report.

It has been a bumpy ride though. I have already reinstalled the OS from the original recovery but I was intent on trying to break it anyway to see what it was made of. The reformat and reinstall (they've assigned a consumer-friendly term to it -- reset), took 3 hours from the partitioned recovery drive. It was pretty much a 2 or 3 mouse click event then walk away.

I have had issues with software not working properly, WAMP in particular, but eventually got it tweaked and running fine. There have also been run-time errors which I have not seen since way back in 2000 which would have been blue screens of death but now you just dismiss it and carry on. I guess those will be the woes of any early adopter prior to at least the first service pack being rolled out.

Somewhere I remember incrediBill saying it was counter-intuitive -- it really is. But I stuck with it and forced my brain to rewire itself to the new environment. I'm glad I did, I won't be looking back.

As for my old box it's going to be reborn as a Ubuntu beast so I can begin my preparation for the coming future of a Ubuntu world :)

I would NOT recommend this OS in it's current skin to be adopted by the corporate culture. Having worked many years as an IMAC tech I know it would be total chaos to throw this OS into the business culture. It's clearly geared towards being a transition OS bridging the gap between desktop/laptop and mobile.

That's it for now but I'm sure I'll have more to say about it down the line.

 

martinibuster




msg:4532907
 5:49 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

Really nice post, thanks for your summary. :)

I'm still not sold on the concept of having to rewire my head to fit the OS. Has anyone tried using Windows 8 in Classic Desktop mode?

[edited by: martinibuster at 5:55 pm (utc) on Jan 3, 2013]

SevenCubed




msg:4532908
 5:54 pm on Jan 3, 2013 (gmt 0)

You're all welcome. Oh yeah and I think I'm going to go open the instruction booklet now to find out what I may have missed. You know, typical guy thing, put it together first then parse some tutorials to discover a few features we missed :) and where those extra parts fit.

bill




msg:4533156
 7:28 am on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

Ditto. Great summary. I tried to approach Windows 8 with an open mind and wasn't thrilled in the beginning either, but I started off with preview builds. Once the RTM was out I downloaded a copy and replaced my home machine's Windows 7. I was determined to give it a chance.

The new "Metro" start screen was what threw me most. On a dual monitor PC I didn't see the point...and still don't. But I hardly ever see it. I don't bring it up except when I'm searching for programs, and I simply work off the desktop. It's not really hard to work around. The other new additions to the OS have made it worth the change for me. I've just converted my main Vista workstation to Windows 8 and it has been a great OS.

incrediBILL




msg:4533184
 8:58 am on Jan 4, 2013 (gmt 0)

The other new additions to the OS have made it worth the change for me.


Specifics would be nice.

What makes it worth the upgrade?

I guess at this point with both an Android phone and tablet, the cross device capabilities isn't compelling for me as I'm not replacing my phone and tablet. Therefore, the only thing that could entice me to update would be new OS features above and beyond Win 7 which I'm perfectly content with at this time unless someone can give me a good reason to switch.

On a dual monitor PC I didn't see the point.


That was my real issue with Win 8 is how it treated dual monitors at that level was just nuts. Perhaps, just like suffers of herpes, whoever has a machine infected with Win 8 eventually gets used to it.

bill




msg:4533462
 3:14 am on Jan 5, 2013 (gmt 0)

The other new additions to the OS have made it worth the change for me.
Specifics would be nice.

What makes it worth the upgrade?

These are a few features that I've found have improved my Windows experience (in no particular order):
  • System search
    I love the new system search. It's faster and more comprehensive than previous versions. Just hit the Windows key and type
  • New Copy interface
    The new Copy dialog gives you a lot more information about the progress of your copy or move of files. You can easily pause/resume or stop operations. If you have multiple copy/move operations going on you now have them all consolidated in one dialog.
  • Faster
    As Windows 7 was faster on the same hardware than its predecessors, so Windows 8 is faster still. I put it on a netbook that originally came with Windows XP. That netbook was much more functional tithe Windows 7, but Windows 8 even improved on that. I've found the same to be true with my other hardware.
  • Multiple monitor support
    I used to have to use a 3rd party software to get multiple monitors to behave the way I wanted. Windows 8 finally go this right.
  • File History
    This is "set it and forget it" backup. Any files that you add to a Library are automatically backed up to a location you choose. I plug in a USB external drive for this. Windows 8 backs up everything at an interval I decide.
  • Fast secure booting
    Windows 8 supports UEFI which is known as Secure boot. This prevents bootkit infections. I've found it also boots faster than a normal BIOS on my machines that support this.
  • Built-in AV
    I never understood why MS allowed a 3rd party industry to develop for anti-virus software. This is a function Windows should handle natively IMHO. Finally, Win8 has this included via Security Essentials
  • System Refresh
    I haven't had to use this yet, but Refresh and Reset both revert Windows back to the system defaults. The difference between them is the extent to which the system gets reset. Refresh preserves user settings, user data, and applications purchased in the Windows store. Everything else is removed and restored to defaults. Reset removes all applications and data, and reinstalls the OS essentially from scratch.
  • Settings Sync
    If you log in with a Microsoft account (old Windows Live ID) you can sync your Windows 8 settings and personalizations on any machine. I've found this very handy working on different machines.
  • Task Manager
    The new Task Manager really appeals to me. I love to watch the system performance and have this window open constantly. The new design is more attractive in addition to the increased functionality. Don't know what a process does? Right click on it and check out all the options.
  • Keyboard commands
    Windows 8 adds a number of Windows key + combinations. I find myself missing them when I use older versions of Windows.
  • Faster screenshots
    Hit Win+Print Screen and you get a screenshot saved in PNG format. Or use the Snipping Tool to define a part of the screen and annotate it. It's great to have this built in to the OS.

blend27




msg:4533631
 12:08 am on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Faster screenshots
Hit Win+Print Screen and you get a screenshot saved in PNG format. Or use the Snipping Tool to define a part of the screen and annotate it. It's great to have this built in to the OS.


It's on 7 Ultimate as well, maybe not via Win+Print. but who knows.. I got my short cuts remapped...

Jim_Berry




msg:4533774
 8:56 pm on Jan 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Thanks for the interesting observations here on Win 8.

Personally, I would not recommend Win 8, in it's current configuration, to casual users and ,certainly not, to business users.

I got the preview copy when it was first released and it looked ok. I'm rather old school and prefer my computer to be functionally a tool. And my other devices to be, well, other devices.

I understand the overall logic in Microsoft's decision to go with a multi-platform OS, given that they service several markets. But, a desktop is not a laptop, is not a notepad, is not a cell phone, etc.

I purchased the upgrade to Win 8 Pro. However, I will wait until I have seen several more of those "Install this update to correct issues with Windows" updates before I begin to use this OS full time. BTW, currently using Win 7 ultimate.

Thank you for your time. Have a great day!

cmendla




msg:4551736
 2:01 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

I had a client who recently purchased a win 8 laptop. The windows update a couple of days later was incompatible with the installed sound drivers. The result was a bricked laptop.. well almost bricked.. I was finally able to get to a restore point, remove the sound drivers and get it running.

Another client purchased win 8 and is still waiting for drivers for his recently purchased printer..


as a rprevious poster so well stated, I also object to reqiring my brain for the OS

Oh, and if you go win 8, you really should fork over anotheer 200 bucks for a touch screen

SevenCubed




msg:4551750
 3:02 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

The result was a bricked laptop.. well almost bricked.

Bricked based on sound card issues? I could be wrong but I thought the term 'bricked' refers to an unbootable device due to a corrupt BIOS? How can sound card driver incompatibility corrupt the BIOS, or in the case of Windows 8 the UEFI. Overstating issues can discourage potential adoption. It's certainly not that I'm in high favour of MSFT, or Windows 8, but that issue doesn't blend with my understanding of 'bricked'.

Oh, and if you go win 8, you really should fork over anotheer 200 bucks for a touch screen.

Why do you feel that way? I've been using it for a few months and not once have I felt I need a touch screen. In fact I know that I don't. Nor would anyone else using it on a desktop.

cmendla




msg:4551761
 3:32 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

sevencubed

yes I misused the term bricked a bit.. The machine would not boot in safe or regular mode. I forget how I got it going but I think I needed to use a boot cd and play with the hive. The short take is that one of two multi billion dollar companies screwed up. The windows update was not compatible with the installed sound drivers

as far as the touch screen. Yes, I know people using w8 without touch screens Some of these are small busineses using it for a limited range of applications. However, my 17 year old can run rings around anything I can do when he uses the new interface with a touchscreen. I was dubious until I watched him for a while. Haven't bendchmarked the productivity increase but it is dramatic

SevenCubed




msg:4551783
 4:13 pm on Mar 6, 2013 (gmt 0)

Some of these are small busineses using it for a limited range of applications.

Again that isn't a fair statement. It implies limited functionality. I can do everything with a mouse pointer that I can do with a swiping finger. Absolutely no functionality is forsaken if you don't have a touch screen.

As for the increased productivity I suppose that's possible to some extent if all you're doing is pressing and whooshing tiles around. But those tiles are only fancy buttons to get to the underlying functionality of an application. For my usage real productivity comes in the form of creating something. That requires a keyboard. try building a full scale...anything...using only touch and whoosh with let's say, on on screen keyboard and two fingers even.

bill




msg:4551950
 3:02 am on Mar 7, 2013 (gmt 0)

I've been using Windows 8 regularly since last August and I haven't tried it on a touchscreen yet...other than demo machines in stores or other people's hardware, so I can't comment on the helpfulness of a touch interface. It seems logical that I'll probably get a touchscreen on my next laptop, but I've survived just fine without it so far. Actually I've found the Windows Key shortcuts to be the biggest time saver for me.

Touch looks like it might be a benefit, but it certainly isn't necessary to work with Windows 8.

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