Windows 8 Impressions

By EliteEdge, Posted 21 Nov 2012

"Windows 8 is a great operating system, but it is one that feels trapped between Windows 7 and what Windows 8 was meant to be."


I have been using Windows 8 for about a month now and overall I have enjoyed the experience. It steps away from tradition and brings a new and innovative way to use Windows. The personal computer has become exciting again! It is not without its faults, but it is not a bad operating systen either. Below are what I liked most and disliked most with Windows 8.




Live Tiles. I love the live tiles! I love having everything I want right there where I need it. There are many personalization options and the screen is easy to navigate. Personalization really makes this feel like MY operating system and I love that. The live tile interface is a fun new approach to Windows that makes Microsoft's OS fun to use again.


Apps. Every review I have read so far seems to bash apps. But this is one thing I really like about Windows 8. Windows 8 is new, so it is understandable the app store is not very full yet. But this is Windows! The app store will fill up quickly. Having one place where I can find all the programs I need works so much better than anything in past operating systems. Uninstalling them is quick and easy. Another great thing is that Microsoft approves of all these apps before they go onto the app store, so you won't need to worry as much about viruses. All of the apps that I have tested run great. I do hope to see a dedicated Twitter app. but I am making do with an alternative called TweeTRO. All of the core applications that came preinstalled work great. I love the email app as well as the weather app and even the sports app (and I am not a sports fan but this has helped me to grow my interest in American football). If you want to use programs made for Windows 7 they will still work in desktop mode, so nothing to worry about. All in all, the apps that are out there, are a satisfying experience.



Charms bar. I like the charms bar. This is a bar that can come from the right side of your screen to give you search, share, and settings options, as well as view connected devices. It is convenient, though it does take a little getting used to.





The trapped feeling. Windows 8 is a great operating system, but it is one that feels trapped between Windows 7 and what Windows 8 was meant to be. Many programs simply do not work with the new, modern interface. You can only access them from desktop mode. Desktop mode is pretty much Windows 7, behind the curtain of Windows 8. It is because of this, that Windows 8 feels like nothing more than a nice new skin overtop of Windows 7. Sadly, the Start button is missing here. That makes absolutely no sense because Windows 8 seems far to dependent on the desktop mode. As you can imagine, navigating through files and programs is a pain. Not only is it a pain in desktop mode, but it is a pain in the modern interface as well. It is so much unnecessary trouble to move files around these days. It is far simpler in desktop mode; however, the lack of start menu makes this an even bigger pain.


Some things just do not work. It is exactly that. Some programs and websites have trouble with Windows 8. Two examples from this come from two websites I use for school. One, I cannot use outside of desktop mode because the modern interface has issues running flash content. The other, will not work at all (this is a major problem because it does not work in desktop mode, or the modern UI).



Windowsless Windows. One feature many of us take for granted is the windows feature. The ability to have multiple windows open was what gave Windows its name. Now you can do that, but it is limited to two windows of two different applications in the modern UI. It still works with desktop mode, but I bought Windows 8, not Windows 7. I am expecting the modern interface, not the same one I have been using for years. This makes having multiple monitors a big pain. Yes you can do it, yes it still works, but it does not work as well in the modern UI as in desktop mode.


Navigation. Navigating with a mouse is horrible in the modern interface. I invested in a Logitech Touchpad and it works incredibly well. Windows 8 gestures make it fun to navigate using different swipes of your finger, and if you have a laptop with multitouch trackpad you should be fin. However, if you are using a mouse you would get along best with using desktop mode, or just keeping Windows 7. I used a touchscreen in Staples when I was buying my Touchpad and it worked best of all. So Navigation is either a like or dislike depending on how you will be using it. For most of us, I do believe it will fall into the dislike category.


Windows 8 is a good operating system. It is not great, and it feels like the Vista of 2012, but it is still a fun, innovative operating system. I respect Microsoft beyond what words can say for risking it all and doing something different. I believe it will pay off in the end, though it will definitely be a slow start. Change had to come sooner or later. It came. So if you are interested in something new and wanting to move away from the traditional Windows experience, Windows 8 is for you. Do not worry if you are buying a new PC that comes with Windows 8, desktop mode will feel just like Windows 8 for you. Microsoft took its risk and in a few years I believe Windows 8 and the modern interface will be much more popular than it is now.


Kris Wood

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