Sunday, December 9, 2012

An Update on My Windows 8 Experience

I took another shot at installing Windows 8 this weekend. For some reason this time the moon and stars aligned and I was able to complete a successful install and activation. I also received my Windows Media Center key 7 days after my initial request, and was able load this feature. This time applying updates did not introduce any undesired side effects. The only difference this time is that I wiped my hard drives clean before beginning the install. I was able to set up permissions in Windows 8 to stream recorded video to my PS3. My other goal was set up a dual boot environment between Windows 8 and Ubuntu 12.10, and after quite a few hours of loading operating systems it was completed.

My overall impressions of Windows 8 remain similar to my original post.

On the positive side:
  1. I like the Metro UI and think it will be very effective on the Surface.
  2. There appear to significant performance improvements (thank God!) over previous versions of windows.
  3. The app store feature is intended make the platform "idiot proof."
  4. Task Manager functionality has been significantly improved.
  5. Ability to pause and resume file transfers.
  6. Search feature is very powerful and fast.
  7. Media Center does a nice job of recording and playback of signals off of the TV antennae.
  8. Improved boot times.
  9. Integration with web apps of Microsoft's choice.
The cons:
  1. Feels like two desperate operating systems bolted together. It suffers from split personality syndrome.
  2. Moderate learning curve for users to become proficient with Windows 8.
  3. Windows close action is tedious from mouse users.
  4. Ads are annoying.
  5. Can't help but have the feeling data is being collection about my browsing habits, and my app usage.
  6. It is easy for the unsophisticated user to get lost admin the confusion of different screens and styles.
  7. Power users may be less empowered by Windows 8 than previous versions.
  8. Can't display more than one Metro app and a screen at a time.
  9. I find horizontal scrolling in general very annoying. Metro institutionalizes horizontal scrolling.
  10. Emphasis of Metro appears to more on cosmetics than delivery of information.
  11. Unveiling the password log in screen is an unnecessary step.
  12. No obvious reason to upgrade from Windows 7..... Vista on the other hand still sucks, and is worth the upgrade.
I've made significant strides from last weekend in getting Windows 8 installed and up and running. But the jury is still out in my mind as to whether this is an improvement over Windows 7 or not. The performance improvements are a welcomed relief, but the disjointedness of the user interface and overall user experience should cause user to think twice about upgrading. Those on Windows 7 should stay put. Anyone on prior versions of Windows should consider upgrading.

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