The debut of Microsoft’s Windows 8 is just around the corner. The release to the general public is scheduled for October 26, 2012.
So we decided to find out what the Tech Talk experts – really think of Windows 8.
What do you like most about Windows 8?
“The speed and increased security.” — Terry Stockdale (Terry’s Computer Tips)
After testing Windows 8 on both a tablet since December (Developer Preview) and on the desktop since February (Consumer Preview) I have come to learn that the system is a strong desktop operating system and brings forward all the system enhancements of Windows 7 that make it such a popular Windows OS. Windows 8 adds some under the hood improvements in the areas of security and general system operations so it runs well and will run all the software that is already out there for Windows 7 and prior.
Yes as a desktop it has some changes that are very visual, such as the removal of the Aero interface and of course the Start Menu. I honestly do not miss the Start Menu as I mainly used it for the search function to pull up programs and in Windows 8 I can still easily do that. Otherwise I can pin programs to the taskbar just like I did in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.
On the touch side the new Start Screen is very configurable so I can have as much or as little as I want on it and in any order I want on it. Items that I choose not to have on the Start Screen are still in the All Apps menu until I uninstall them from the system.
Microsoft has done a good job of creating a system that merges both a touch-centric environment while maintaining a functioning desktop for users.”
— Richard Hay (Windows Observer)
Unlike everyone else I have yet to devote a lot of time to investigating Windows 8. While it looks new and cool and exciting and all that – it’s not something that the average computer user needs to run out and get. Most are best served by continuing to run the systems that they’re running and waiting for the Windows 8 ecosystem to develop and settle.– Leo Notenboom (Ask Leo)
“I think it will be a great OS for the tablet industry; less so for the consumer desktop PC industry which is fading anyway.
I also like the fact it comes with out-of-the box antivirus protection; I have always thought that this should have been part of Windows for some time now.”
— James Fisher (Windows Talk)
I like Windows 8 more each day. I like the concept. I (mostly) like the implementation a lot more than my original expectations. As the computer was booting for the first time I decided to make a conscious effort to approach Windows 8 with an open mind. Once I realized the new Start Screen is an overall improvement of the Start Menu we have all grown to love (and many hate to leave) it has been extremely easy. Are things different? Absolutely! Is the new interface better? In most ways, yes! I think the new App Store model is huge. If we think of the old Vista/Win7 desktop gadget model as a comparison many people didn’t know you could add gadgets and those that did would find the available gadgets were sorely lacking in capability. The new Start Screen, and the associated WinRT underpinnings it runs on, allows full fledged cross platform apps (programs) to run from within the Start Screen. Not only will users be able to use the same programs across multiple platforms, but they are easy to find from the Store located on the Start Screen. I think this will lead to exciting advances in the future.
The most important thing to remember is: while Windows 8 has been released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers, both groups are the ultimate testers and their use of the operating system over the next 2 months will result in a better user experience for those who end up with a Windows 8 platform when it is released to the public on October 26th.
–David Hartsock–(Daves Computer Tips)
What do you dislike the most about Windows 8?
After a period of time Explorer.exe develops a problem when browsing files which prevents the navigation pane from populating – only Favorites, Desktop, Libraries, and Homegroup display – and file/folder previews and icons don’t show. After a Restart browsing returns to normal.
Another issue I’ve encountered is the Connector software for Windows Home Server 2011 installs fine, but upon reboot the Launchpad fails to start properly and results in a “Launchpad has stopped working error”. My guess is this is related to the .Net framework installed as part of Win 8, but I truly haven’t had time to track either of these issues down completely.
The final issue has been drivers. OEM computer companies are notoriously slow at updating drivers – sometimes never. They often only update drivers to correct a serious issue and rarely update to improve performance or compatibility. In my instance the laptop has a switchable video card function where normal video is handled by the CPU to prolong battery life while tasks such as video games and video transcoding are handled by a dedicated video card. I also have a fingerprint reader. Getting both of these to function properly has been quite the battle of trial and error as the Windows 7 drivers I had did not function correctly. Luckily I have found working drivers for both and the improvement in performance and useability was worth the effort.–Dave Hartsock (Dave’s Computer Tips)
My biggest concern about Windows 8 is, of course, its new primary user interface. My experience is that many people see little need for the radical change, and are
reacting negatively to the “tablet-ification” of their desktops. There are definitely work-arounds, and it may eventually be a change that grows on people, but as a first
impression many folks are somewhat put off. Thus my counsel to the average consumer: Windows 8 is nothing you need to rush into.–Leo Notenboom (Ask Leo)
For non-touch screen laptops, I don’t like the new start screen with tiles. I prefer to use the more familiar Windows desktop.
The inclusion of a built-in antivirus may harm some third-party software AV applications, but they will have to market more aggressively to get folks to see the need for a more robust security software.
The Mail tile and its underlying app is not very useful if you already use Hotmail/Outlook.com for your email. For instance, I like to sort my mail into folders and I have rules set up to do so. I also like to group by conversation, and the Mail app does none of this.
In short, I think Windows 8 will be great for touch devices, but not as necessary for those of us using laptops and desktops with Windows 7 installed.
— James Fisher (Windows Talk)
That ugly, touch-screen interface shoe-horned onto the desktop. It may be fine on a smart phone or tablet, but not on a 22-inch monitor!
— Terry Stockdale (Terry’s Computer Tips)
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