Monday, October 29, 2012

Initial Thoughts on Windows 8

I haven't been a Microsoft early adopter for a few years, so I hadn't seen Windows 8 until yesterday. The jury is out, but here are some initial thoughts:

  1. Things are a little too hidden. It's not always clear how to find familiar functions; for example, I still can't figure out how to change display settings. For a tinkerer like me, this is hard to get used to.
  2. Oh, wait--there it is. "Your PC can't project to another screen". Oh, well.
  3. The contextual search isn't second nature for me yet. I like the idea, but I haven't embraced it mentally yet. It requires two gestures to access (move mouse to upper corner, click the magnifying glass), which may be my barrier.

  1. I do like the simplified interface (even though things are hidden). The home screen can be customized.
  2. Easy upgrade process: My old apps can still be accessed in a Windows-7-like "desktop" user interface. At first I was disappointed that it appeared to be a shell on the old OS, but now I'm pleased with the compatibility.
  3. App store model: The app store model has become like the Apple or Android app stores, and it's really usable and easy to install applications that are compatible with the operating system.
  4. Messages I've seen so far are in plain language. I think my grandmother could've figured this out. (Yes, I know--Apple probably did it first, but MS is doing it well.)

I installed Windows 8 on a 7-year-old tablet laptop ("No!" you exclaim. "Yes!" I reply.).  Though I'm sure it's missing some wicked-cool new features that I will discover soon (oh, yeah, can't use dual monitors--yet), it's running, frankly, pretty great.

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