The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide

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tpi2007

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The interface in Windows 8 does not allow you to do the same things as in Windows 7.

1. The Start screen does not place tiles of recently used applications first for your convenience;

2. The Start screen does not allow for program tiles to display jump lists of recently opened files for your convenience;

3. The search function does not display results from all categories in one go, meaning that if what you are looking for does not fall in the first category, you have to click on the right category, meaning more work than previously;

4. The search function does not have a "See more results" option that opens a window with all search results so that you can browse at will whenever you want; useful for opening multiple files, for example, files that contain a specific text string like work files that have financial reports, or pictures that have a specific theme / keywords to them;

5. The Start screen search function also has the following features missing:

- delete some / all of those files; in the Start screen you can't perform file operations;

- send those files to a zip folder, extract compressed files; or send files as e-mail attachements, with the Start screen you can't because it doesn't have context menus, because the interface was designed with tablets primarily in mind, with desktops as an afterthought, meaning they didn't have time to implement desktop features properly;

6. When you are browsing the Start screen you are taken away from the desktop. This has several consequences:

- any program that requires you attention does not show on the Start screen. Examples: a finished download, Steam notifications, Anti-virus / Internet Security packages notifications, a multiple file copy / transfer that just finished, etc;

- you can't see programs or webpages that automatically refresh (Outlook, Thunderbird or any e-mail client that checks for messages periodically, certain news sites, facebook, your e-mail account), because you are on the Start screen.


7. These annoyances do get in the way because they make the workflow feel clunky, it takes longer to achieve the same results, for crying out loud, they even managed to hide the Shut down, Restart, Sleep, Hibernate, etc, options, making it take longer to get there, whichever way you want to get there: Charms menu, Ctrl+Alt+Del or Alt+F4 when you are on the Desktop with all programs minimized. How screwed up is that ? More, in the Charms Menu they are under Settings. Shutting down your PC isn't a setting LOL, it's a function. How can they screw up such basic things ? People have come to the ridicule of suggesting making our own options on the desktop or on the Start screen. I'm sorry, when people have to start making their own basic easy access to Windows features something is seriously wrong.

8. Along wit the problems above, Microsoft brought back the "Up" button in the File Explorer, when it is plainly redundant now. Had they made a better job of explaining how beautifully simple Windows 7's address bar works, the "Up" button wouldn't be needed again. The address bar lets you explore all the directory tree that is above the directory you're in, you just have to click the folder you want to go to, it is not only faster in the sense you only have to click once to go, for example, two directory levels up, because you just click on the directory name you want to go to, as it is also much clearer, as the directory name is plainly written for you to know where you're going.


The only reason they put the Start screen as the first screen you see is because they want you to look at all those apps and the app store, hoping you'll buy some apps. I have nothing against them wanting to make money, but Windows has lost functionality and ease of use the way they implemented it, and it honestly feels insulting that they sacrificed desktop usage just so they could show you how nice their tablets work. People haven't had any difficulties in adapting to using mobile OSes. People use Nokia's Symbian, iOS and Android, and have no difficulty in using desktop OSes; having the same user interface for devices with different input methods, which has been shown on several reviews to be a compromise, serves no useful purpose other than to promote their hopeful money making machine.


Intel's CEO, Paul Otellini is right, Windows 8 was launched without being ready. I bet they are going to be adding features very soon. They didn't even manage to ship the Windows RT tablets with the final version of Office 2013 Home and Student - it's not even the full suite, so it should take less time to get it ready on time, talk about praise for Steven Sinofsky's ability to release software on schedule, he did it in the past, he failed this time, according to reports the final version will only be made available in January.
 
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Charms instead of shortcuts? Are MS after the Harry Potter market? CTR F for search etc ... hang on search starts with an S. Obtuse for the billions of English speakers around the globe. I use my PC's for work - resource hungry applications like Adobe CS, Avid Media Composer, Sorenson Media encoder... I don't want a new look, I just want a crash proof super snappy computer.. and when I'm working the last thing I need is the weather or anything else clogging up my system. So why would the Pro application have all these things?
 

felipetga

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One thing that really improved for me was the boot time, I was about to get a SSD until I installed Win8 Pro. Aint gona buy it no more... Also, been using the Classi Shell Start menu 3.6.1, works like a charm.
 

AndreT

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[citation][nom]brandonvi[/nom]man i hope microsoft makes a PC verson of windows 8 eather in SP1 or when they put out windows 9 because what they have there is a OS for a smartphone or tablet just got to pray i am not going to be stuck with windows 7 for the next 8-10 years[/citation]


They won't do this because it flies in the face of their efforts to build an app store full of Windows 8 UI based Apps. That's what this OS is all about. Give you the desktop (as an app by the way) so you can keep running what you currently have and build on the future which will be the Win 8 apps. Developers can build apps for all hardware platforms in one fell swipe. Don't like the Win 8 UI? Get used to it.
 

brandonvi

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[citation][nom]andret[/nom]They won't do this because it flies in the face of their efforts to build an app store full of Windows 8 UI based Apps. That's what this OS is all about. Give you the desktop (as an app by the way) so you can keep running what you currently have and build on the future which will be the Win 8 apps. Developers can build apps for all hardware platforms in one fell swipe. Don't like the Win 8 UI? Get used to it.[/citation]
this thing is going to single handedly stop forward movment in OS's for years

for a smartphone or tablet this would be great i have neather and dont want eather and since my screen is not in arms length a touchscreen would be useless even if they where giving the things away

this is going to end up being like windows Vista how everyone avoided it only a LOT worse

 

cknobman

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Nice review Adam!

Some of the big surprises here for me are the removal of DVD playback and Media Center which now are a separate cost. I currently use the media center extender sometimes on my Xbox from a Windows 7 server and would not be happy about coughing up $70 extra to keep that in Windows 8.

I really excited to see some of the potential productivity boosts that are possible with Windows 8. The example of the classic desktop with snap (2 apps each taking half) and then a Win 8 UI snap taking another part of the screen looked really nice. That would make it possible to work with 3 apps at the same time on one screen without any minimizing or "switching". I don't know how many people would use this but I for one would benefit greatly from it.
 

ojas

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@adam: would you agree with this?

http://www.osnews.com/story/25951/What_s_wrong_with_Windows_8

Contrary to popular belief, Metro is not a replacement for the Start Menu. Metro is a replacement for the Explorer Shell. The Explorer Shell itself has been turned into an application. Traditional applications run within this Explorer Shell, and cannot be managed from Metro. In other words, the Explorer Shell has become an application with a multiple document interface, running in Metro.
 
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I grabbed a copy to refresh an aging core2quad box. It was booting very slowly (7200 rpm) and I wanted to try win8 so I took the plunge. I have a newer box that screams (i5@4.5ghz + vertex3 ssd). My old box surprisingly now boots only 1 second slower than my new box.

I went into it like the reviewer; wary of the changes. I thought I hated that the start button was gone since everybody else did. It all grew on my very quickly and I ended up upgrading my newer computer. I'm now planning to upgrade my work laptop.

The installation process is crazy fast and the OS just feels snappier and more polished than win7. Against all odds, Microsoft has a winner.
 

ojas

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Just finished reading. Really good review Adam, i like! :D

Will still stick to 7 though. Waiting for Win NT 7. If they completely switch to this Metro crap then i'll probably buy windows 8 then :p

CTR F for search etc ... hang on search starts with an S. Obtuse for the billions of English speakers around the globe.
Ever heard of the word "find"?
 

tomfreak

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u guys do know the RPenabled registry can disable metro UI and convert win8 function exactly the same like win7? There is also a App call Start8 from stardock, or the classic shell for win8 for free. u'll get ur start menu back in 3 easy solutions.

I still not quite sure how these hater can ignore all the new features like better security, more efficient faster boot times every other advantage win8 has over win7 and they just put all their focus to all win8 metro UI "weakness". Which can be disabled easily with 3 solutions.

Do u guys actually own a win 8 & spend time playing with it or just playing in PC shop for 5mins? or youtube review? tomshardware review?
 

brandonvi

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[citation][nom]Tomfreak[/nom]u guys do know the RPenabled registry can disable metro UI and convert win8 function exactly the same like win7? There is also a App call Start8 from stardock, or the classic shell for win8 for free. u'll get ur start menu back in 3 easy solutions.I still not quite sure how these hater can ignore all the new features like better security, more efficient faster boot times every other advantage win8 has over win7 and they just put all their focus to all win8 metro UI "weakness". Which can be disabled easily with 3 solutions. Do u guys actually own a win 8 & spend time playing with it or just playing in PC shop for 5mins? or youtube review? tomshardware review?[/citation]
This really isnt about what "can" be done i power users have for years know hundereds of things you can do that the general public have no idea about hell many people have no idea about simple things like Ctrl-c and Ctrl-v commands

even if you can make windows 8 JUST like windows 7 exactly the fact that Microsft did not give people that option eather in setup or in something like a place in the contorl panel is just not good

for all the "advatages" your saying is so great i have yet to see 1 that would help me at all in any way

what i have read here is atleast 5 different things that windows 8 eather cant do or does not do that windows 7 did

As i said before windows 8 is great for a smartphone or a tablet but there is a BIG difference between those 2 and a Desktop

the metro thing is only there to help them sell programs in there app store it should of been a thing just like steam instead of the whole OS
 

tburns1

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What focus group did they use to determine that people no longer like slick graphics? "No, I hate rounded edges, 3D windows, and shadows. Anything beyond 16 color boxes confuses me."
 

brandonvi

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[citation][nom]tburns1[/nom]What focus group did they use to determine that people no longer like slick graphics? "No, I hate rounded edges, 3D windows, and shadows. Anything beyond 16 color boxes confuses me."[/citation]
lol ya i would like to know that as well
 

Onus

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Amidst the differences, I see none that clearly benefit users (not saying functions are "worse," just that the differences are not a benefit), but I see many things intended to help Microsquishy "monetize" features and functions. It looks like another way to keep people paying. And paying. And paying.
Or, "What can I do with Windows 8 that I can't do in Windows 7?" Remember, my next question will be "And why do I need/want to do that?"
 

daglesj

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[citation][nom]agnickolov[/nom]I'm getting an upgrade copy for my wife's computer. She's struggling with Vista, so this should help I hope... (It better, she's getting a 128GB Samsung 830 as well.) For myself I'll likely stick with Windows 7 Ultimate.[/citation]

I have Windows 8 installed on a 6 year old Tecra M7 with SATA1 tech. I installed a Samsung 830 in it and its boots in just 10 seconds!

Works a charm!
 

luke904

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[citation][nom]Sensi23[/nom]Maybe people not too obtuse and who we will use the touch functionality whereas it is the most convenient : on the go, wherever your keyboard and mouse are of no use...[/citation]

Sure that'd be fine. Just don't design an operating system user interface meant for the desktop around the idea of making it touchscreen friendly. Even on a plane, I'd rather have a keyboard and touch pad rather than a touchscreen. Too many nerds just want to feel like they're in their favorite science fiction world with their stupid "high tech" touch screens.
 

tomfreak

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[citation][nom]brandonvi[/nom]This really isnt about what "can" be done i power users have for years know hundereds of things you can do that the general public have no idea about hell many people have no idea about simple things like Ctrl-c and Ctrl-v commands even if you can make windows 8 JUST like windows 7 exactly the fact that Microsft did not give people that option eather in setup or in something like a place in the contorl panel is just not good for all the "advatages" your saying is so great i have yet to see 1 that would help me at all in any way what i have read here is atleast 5 different things that windows 8 eather cant do or does not do that windows 7 did As i said before windows 8 is great for a smartphone or a tablet but there is a BIG difference between those 2 and a Desktop the metro thing is only there to help them sell programs in there app store it should of been a thing just like steam instead of the whole OS[/citation]I still can turn my win8 into win7. The start menu isnt entirely disabled. It is still a windows 7 with Apps/metro UI. The very same thing.
 

Bloob

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[citation][nom]jtt283[/nom]Amidst the differences, I see none that clearly benefit users (not saying functions are "worse," just that the differences are not a benefit), but I see many things intended to help Microsquishy "monetize" features and functions. It looks like another way to keep people paying. And paying. And paying.Or, "What can I do with Windows 8 that I can't do in Windows 7?" Remember, my next question will be "And why do I need/want to do that?"[/citation]

While I somewhat agree, I'd argue that a unified user experience is a big benefit for your average customer ( in the long run anyways ), also that the basic usage ( mail + web browsing + simple games ) is improved while keeping the options open for more. Also I'd count the ability to seamlessly "morph" into a variety of form factors ( based on model and accessories ) a big benefit.
 

brandonvi

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[citation][nom]Tomfreak[/nom]I still can turn my win8 into win7. The start menu isnt entirely disabled. It is still a windows 7 with Apps/metro UI. The very same thing.[/citation]
gats you can do it

now can somone that has no idea about any of those things your saying you did do it the answer is no

in every version of windows before its been fairly easy and built in to let you use a "classic" version to do that now you have to go in and do things that more then 90% or more of people would not even have an idea of where to start on
 

superflykicks03

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The color schemes, overall look, box art, and terms like "charms" scream "im a toy, not a real OS"... My opinion is that it just looks silly as opposed to modern/sleek. Funny thing is that's what the majority of power users describe after trying windows 8. I know that when 7 came out, it just felt right and, as a person who does a lot of work on my desktop, my efficiency was almost immediately improved when completing tasks in 7. My question would be, what advantage is there to moving to 8 when I have to relearn everything and change a bunch of crap around to make it work like im used to? More secure? Haven't had a security issue or a virus for YEARS on XP or 7. Faster boot times? LOL when I actually do shut down my PC it boots from my SSD in under 30 seconds. I think Microsoft had to do something to get competitive in the mobile market but and 8 seems great for touch (real productivity on a tablet device). But boy they really screwed up on the desktop. I'll wait and see what windows 9 has to offer....
 

AndreT

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[citation][nom]Tomfreak[/nom]I still can turn my win8 into win7. The start menu isnt entirely disabled. It is still a windows 7 with Apps/metro UI. The very same thing.[/citation]

You can do that, then what do you when when the developers start writing new "Apps" that you want to run? New Apps are only launchable by metro, or a VB script that you have to write yourself. You won't be able to use any new software. This is the problem that people are not realizing for some reason.

Developers will not continue in a year or two to write multiple version of their products. One for Windows 8UI (Metro) and another for the legacy Win 7 desktop. People will move forward and you will have to use that bastion of an interface to run new apps. If I was a developer and could write one app for phone, tablet and desktop to keep my costs down and be able to sell to all those users from one place, you better believe I would do it. Wouldn't you?
 
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