File-It-Under: Observing the OS By: D.F.Skinner
We've had 7 days to digest Windows 8 and so far the reviews from many websites abroad have been very positive.So here at Tekspecz its only right that I give my strong astute opinion on Windows 8.In order to critique an operating system you have to break down the software into several categories, one of them being installation,features and user interface. I must say this though,Windows 8 like Windows 7 is the most stable operating system to date,partly because Windows 8 doesn't stray far from the Windows 7 ecosystem,but that doesn't mean that Windows 8 isn't loaded with new features,it is,aside from the famed,much talked about Metro Interface (More on Metro Tile Live later).
I didn't get the full installation Windows 8 Pro disk because Microsoft boasted that upgrading to Windows 8 would be a lot simpler,and guess what,they were right.Not only easy,but this time Microsoft went the Apple route and made upgrading from your older Windows OS to Windows 8 a little bit cheaper,well not cheap by Apple standards but the pricing is fairly reasonable ( I paid $39.99 to upgrade versus paying $19.99 to upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion).Aside from that,installing or upgrading to Windows 8 is fairly an easy and smooth process, especially if you'er doing a clean installation.For me I went the upgrade route,despite my distaste for upgrading within Windows.In the past I've had my issues when it came to upgrading Windows OS,but with Windows 8 the upgrade process was seamlessly and smooth.Probably the only time consuming factor when upgrading to Windows 8 is transferring files and settings.
In years past it seem like you needed to have the perfect hardware setup to install the newest version of Windows (well at least it seemed that way to me). With Windows 8 Pro, there is no need for heavy duty hardware,meaning you don't have to have an enormous amount of RAM or an incredibly fast processor.The systems requirements goes as follows: 1GB of RAM, 20 GB of free storage space, 1GHz processor or faster and a Graphic card that supports the latest Microsoft DirectX 9 graphic device.
The User Interface
There is so much to talk about in terms of features within Windows 8,but lets talk about the one feature in Windows 8 that has garnished a lot of attention and that is Metro Live Tile.When viewing Windows 8,you see two different operating systems,one that's a desktop and one that's geared toward touchscreen.With Live Metro Tile,you basically have an Interface that has tablet like function.The biggest question many are asking and been asking for past couple of months,can Metro Tile work with a mouse and keyboard? That depends,I know for me in using Metro Tile the learning curve is a little bit steep and a bit confusing.Navigating around Metro Tile can be daunting task,especially when you'er flip flopping between desktop and Metro Tile.
Though I have yet to purchase a Surface Tablet,seeing most of the Demo videos around the Internet it seems like Metro Tile operates flawlessly on a Windows 8 tablet than on a desktop.When you flip right over to the desktop,you'll notice that Windows 8 and Windows 7 are very much identical,gone though is the "Start" button a move by Microsoft that has many perplexed and confused. In case you're wondering how to access the 'Start" menu or in the case of Windows 8, how to flip back over to Metro Tile desktop,simply hover your cursor in the left hand corner of your screen a Start menu pop will appear. Also missing from Windows 8 is the Aero transparent task bar,Windows users have gotten used to the transparent task bar since Windows Vista,its now replaced by a more opaque flat colored task bar.In Windows 8 in whole,there are some added new features that is pretty cool and beneficial.The one feature I like is being able to refresh your entire operating system to its pristine state,gone are the days where a full system restore was the be all and cure all.Another changed feature is Windows Explorer which is now renamed File Explorer,Microsoft has added a ribbon interface to File Explorer,which by default collapses.
The Task Manager is now updated and is more simplified,the default view lists all of the current running apps.Another critical improvement in Windows 8 in desktop mode Microsoft now has the ability to support multiple monitor's,in previous Windows supporting multiple monitors was a big struggle and tough task.
Final Thoughts On Windows 8
It is very clear that Microsoft just like Apple are pushing their operating system towards mobile computing and want users to adapt whether they like it or not.Even though you're a traditional computer user where a a keyboard and mouse is present,Microsoft is force feeding us fingered gesture based interface (Metro Tile) .In all,I really like Windows 8,love the smoothness and stability of the operating system.I loathe the fact there is no Start button present which makes it all a bit confusing,if you're a casual computer user and just wondered into Windows 8,no Start button can make for a tough computing experience,but play around with the operating system for a couple of days and you'll eventually adapt.Microsoft has made some ballsy moves with Windows 8,moves I believe will change the landscape of computing.