9 members have voted
1. Are you planning on upgrading to Windows 8?
Yes, as soon as circumstances allow.0
Maybe, I'll wait to see how it turns out over the next few months/years1
No, I prefer a previous OS more.4
No, I usually skip a generation.3
I don't use Windows1
So Windows 8, Microsoft's attempt at breathing new life into their traditional OS, to put it bluntly; SUCKS.
Now, I'm not one to be against change, quite the opposite rather, I welcome it, embrace it, give it ...well anyway I think change is good. Change keeps the ball rolling, helps things improve upon previous mistakes and all that fun stuff. So I decided to give Windows 8 a fair chance.
The Boot Up Time
Never before has an operating system started so quickly and so seamlessly. From the moment I press the power button to the moment I am on the "desktop", it takes under 15 seconds. Now, I upgraded to Windows 8 in conjunction with installing an SSD into my system, which likely also helped the boot time, but I am told the Win 8 boots fast no matter if its an SSD or HDD.
The OS itself...
So much wasted space
Now to the real meat and potatoes of Windows 8. The UI. The Metro UI. Probably the most controversial change Microsoft has made to their tried and true Windows platform.
Lets take the standard Windows interface, the desktop with icons and a taskbar at the bottom. To the left of the taskbar you have the start button, a nifty button that lets you access a menu to get to other regions of your PC. The right has a clock with the date, as well as icons for programs you use. Simple, effective, easy to use and understand.
Now lets take away that pesky Start Menu (You didn't really need that did you?). Lets get rid of the standard desktop as your starting point and replace it with a bunch of tiles of various shapes and sizes for different programs and apps. Lets take that useful little desktop and turn it into an app to be run alongside other apps.
How do I switch between programs if I don't have a task bar you might ask, well Microsoft has replaced the oh so annoying taskbar with a much simpler option. To see which programs you have running (because apps are fullscreen and can't be put into windowed mode) simple move your mouse to the top left of the screen, then swipe down. Voila all your open apps appear down the left hand side! Ingenious!
What about shutting your system down? The Metro UI main interface has no power off button anywhere. Or does it? Simply move your mouse to the top right of the screen, swipe down and voila there are those essential Windows functions you've been looking for! Search, Start, Options, and whats this? A Power button! Simple click that, which brings you to another menu, then click "Shut Down". So much simpler right?
Notice the third party start menu, the odd shape/spacing of the taskbar
Back to the desktop, which functions as an app, meaning every program you run in the desktop (Non-Win 8 native programs) will essentially be a program running within an app! Appception am I right? Not to mention the lack of a start button which means find programs, or anything really is incredibly out of your way as the "Search" function in the left side menu (known as the Charms menu) only searches your apps, if you want to find a program to run on your desktop app, you'll need to search within the desktop app itself (an advanced search if you will).
The taskbar it gives you is about 50% thicker than the Win 8 default taskbar, and the icons on it are about 50% larger as well making everything seem like you're running at a lower resolution than you actually are. And did I mention, you can't customize or change any of that (Well, you can...by installing 3rd party software)? Fun stuff eh?
Now the apps themselves. The new start menu has a bunch of default apps already on it, such essentials such as mail or messaging or games...etc. It's safe to say all are generally terrible. All have terrible UI's and almost every app with prompt you to "log in using your Microsoft account". The Games app for example, looks and acts very much like the Xbox 360 dashboard, complete with advertisements! Because we all want advertisements in our Minesweeper right?
The only, slightly, positive...actually I won't even say positive but amusing thing I discovered was that these Windows games have achievements. Which amused me for a good 5 minutes trying to get an achievement in Minesweeper. Other than that. Garbage, the whole lot of apps.
I'll specifically throw Skype under the bus here. Skype (being Microsoft owned) has a Win 8 app, which WON'T LET YOU LOG IN WITH YOUR EXISTING SKYPE ACCOUNT, that is unless your existing Skype account is your Microsoft account. So I ended up having to install the Windows 7 version of Skype, on the desktop app, to be able to sign in with my Skype account and have Skype windowed while I worked on a Google Doc with someone, something the app would not let me do.
Sure, the Metro UI looks nice....at first, sure the boot time improvement is nice as well. The search (when it worked) was also seemingly a bit faster (though once again that may have been the SSD not the OS) but other than that, Windows 8 seems not like a step backward but rather a step out of the world of Desktop OS's into the world of Tablet and Mobile Phone OS's where the Metro UI actually works WELL. WITH A TOUCHSCREEN. ON A DEVICE NOT MEANT FOR EXTREME MULTITASKING. Imagine that.
I feel slightly obligated to give this a score now because I did put review in the title of this post, so I'll give Windows 8....
How about you guys? Anyone made the leap yet? Anyone planning to? What are your thoughts? Leave a comment below !