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The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide

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davewolfgang

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Wow...do we need a new Win8Fanboi designation?

Some of ya'll who find Win8 "nice" and "great" and "easy" - You clearly weren't a power user for Win 7 (and Vista, XP, 98, NT before it) - because for us power users - there is so much waste and 100's and 1,000's of extra clicks - just to do stuff we could do in 2-3 clicks. Why?!?!?!?????!?!?

Because they want to push everyone to the App Store for $$$$$$$.

And as was asked by many here - why should I have to go to 3rd party programs to get it to do what Windows has already done for the last 5 versions?????

Prediction - 1,000's of returned desktops and laptops because once the buyers power them on, they won't know what to do - and they will NOT put up with having to call their computer wiz every week when they can't do something they did on their old computer.
 

ojas

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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]
See that's true, but the point is, if you're going to pay money to upgrade, and then spend time making it look the same as before...why upgrade?

I mean, you have to disable stuff, wade through menus, learn shortcuts, etc. just to go about your normal tasks in Windows 7. Why would you PAY to do that?

I think that if Vista SP2 tells us anything it's this: As long as it's NT 6, the OS till a large extent will be the same. If you discount Metro, how much is the change from 7? 10%?

I went from XP to 7, so i got a sense of progression. I could play DX10/11 games + better security + a much better looking interface + 64-bit support that wasn't flakey, etc. I lost, what? Support for 16-bit programs (DOSBox solved that), and Command Prompt won't enter full-screen mode.

Adam says it in the article, it's been my analysis too: There's not really a compelling reason to upgrade from Win 7.

Anyway, i think those who upgrade will, those who won't, won't. I just don't see a reason yet. If they release Halo 3, Reach, 4 and beyond for the PC, maybe i'll upgrade. Or something else i can't think of.

[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]
+1
 

hrmes

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Anyone who believes that Metro apps are the future deserve to have their head checked because they obviously can't tell a kid app from a real application with real functionality.
 

diddo

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[citation][nom]hrmes[/nom]Anyone who believes that Metro apps are the future deserve to have their head checked because they obviously can't tell a kid app from a real application with real functionality.[/citation]
Unfortunately, this applies to Ballmer...
 

cscott_it

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I'm looking forward to it. Already running the preview and picking up a couple of cheap upgrades and doing fresh installs. The improved multi-monitor had a large part to play in it.

The learning curve doesn't seem to be too steep to someone like myself (I was already living off of shortcut keys, now they are used to circumvent any gesture). Honestly, I'm going to disagree with people who are arguing the "majority" factor, as the majority will have no use for most of the gestures on their desktop. It's going to be just as easy for them to check their e-mail, access youtube/facebook, use wordpad, and play the $10 games from Wal-Mart/Best Buy/etc.

I think the same style of power user who resisted the start menu and mouse interface initially will resist the change in UI. From my perspective, it's a middle ground, somewhere between mid-entry level IT and casual user. I'm not sure if it will be a success and I'm sure there will always be people who hate Windows 8, but I don't think it's a huge problem everyone is making it out to be. After all, I'd say that if you are smart enough to regular Tom's, then you can adapt to Windows 8 with only a minor inconvenience.
 
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"Windows RT apps won't run on Windows 8 unless they're ported to Windows 8"

What?! Pretty sure this is not true - the whole point of WinRT was to provide a common platform across devices types.
 

hrmes

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Yes, I could get used to Windows 8 if I tried hard enough to suppress the sickness that causes to me the sight of the Metro UI and the uglyness of the flat square desktop, but for what ?
I won't be subjected to all this just for the sake of installing the latest MS OS.
 

tipoo

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I have been running it day one since the RTM so two months now, plus a bit in the betas. I hated all the betas, but I have zero regrets with the RTM, it does everything 7 does just fine and a few things better. The complainers, as usual, probably haven't given it the old college try. Two days after installing it I was just as productive as in 7. Don't like Metro apps, don't use them, just use the start menu as a glorified launcher and enjoy the rest of the benefits of 8. But there are a few good Metro apps that there are no desktop equivalents of too.

Oh, and Minesweeper has an ADVENTURE mode. Minesweeper. Plus daily challenges. Goodbye office productivity.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]mayankleoboy1[/nom]Adam, where are the UI performance improvement benchmarks ? Win8 is supposed to have everything GPU accelerated, to "better handle big texts" like MS-Word.So how will you measure FPS in MS-Word ?Plus, how do you measure the 2D performance improvements, the much touted smoothness of win8 ?[/citation]
Interesting - I didn't do any benches this time (except the WBGP), Windows 8 is so big and so different that we split the review into a guide plus several benchmark articles. I think the application benchmarks will publish tomorrow or the next.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]SteelCity1981[/nom]Without Aero the Windows in Windows 8 looks like something you would see in Windows Windows 9x which makes Windows 7 with Aero look more modern then Windows 8 without Aero. I would even say Windows XP's Luna Windows looks more modern then Windows 8 Windows.I gave Windows 8 a chance for months in its preview version and not much has changed since the preview version went to the RTM version and always found myself navigating back to Windows 7. I mean Windows 8 felt like an OS that had things i didn't want then an OS that had things I did want. I didn't want a Modern UI as my main screen. I didn't want MS to get rid of the start menu, I didn't want Aeroless Windows that looks like something you would see on Windows 9x. Sure there are programs like classic shell the helps ease the pain of not having a start menu, but that won't be a gurantee to always work esp if MS tries to block it from working with future update patches to Windows 8. And even if they don't patch it all i'm doing is trying to make Windows 8 look like Windows 7 so why don't just stick with Windows 7 instead if that's the case. Now I think Windows 8 is great on touch screen devices, but for pc's it's another story. Which is why I always thought that MS should have made two diff versions of Windows 8 one for touch screens and one for non touch screens without the Modern UI and with a start menu. Those two simple changes would have made a lot more people that use anon touch screen pc more satisfied with Windows 8.I read people on here saying people are haters of Windows 8, but those so called haters of Windows 8 reflect on reality off the frustration that most consumers will feel the first time they try to use Windows 8. I think what some of you are missing is the avg consumer that aren't tech savvy doesn't like a lot of change presented to them at once, because it took them a while to understand the Windows that they are using now and making a big change to that will generate almost instant frustration and this is where I feel MS is at a big disconnect with Windows 8 and the avg consumer who are vastly makeup the computer market and when you impose something that seems radical to them and what they have been soo used to for years, it's going to have a big negative effect on that product.[/citation]
I actually have to agree with you on aero. I actually liked aero and thought it was the most appropriate Windows UI theme to date (think about it, glass... windows...). But I disagree on the "average" user, that is if you're talking about the customer who buys a pre-built PC from a big box retailer and mostly just uses a Web browser. A very large portion of that user demographic has grown accustomed to UI change via their CE gadgets. But more importantly, people love the App Store model. Once they plug in their new Windows 8 PC and see apps and games available for immediate download on the Windows Store, I don't think they'll care very much that it's different from Windows 7. Plus, websites are creating Windows 8 apps specifically tailored to deliver their content, which could end up being a better experience than through a desktop Web browser. And once again, due to the App Store, people are used to accessing websites via individual apps. Besides, I have no doubt that consumers purchasing a touchscreen-equipped Windows 8 PC will have a fantastic experience, Windows 8 actually works properly here, whereas Window 7 and every other desktop OS have not. Although the power user will always be a desktop person in the end, most of you also have laptops, and I for one, am going to be very happy with the MacBook-like smooth scrolling on my next laptop (at PC prices).
 

livingthedream

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I was trying to pin a pdf to the new Start Screen and found I couldn't. I had to make a folder and pin that instead. Why wouldn't Microsoft think that some people might want quick access to a document without having to make a folder.
 

tipoo

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[citation][nom]BigMack70[/nom]Because obviously people who have tried it would agree with you... /sarcasmI've tried it and all I see are things that make it worse than Windows 7 for my use on the desktop. Just because something is new doesn't mean that it's better.[/citation]

Sure people will stick with it for a while and still dislike it, I should have phrased that better. But I didn't say it's better just because it's newer either, I'm saying there are several improvements in the explorer desktop and the underlying systems of the OS that make it worth it for me (free for me or 15 dollars for a recent 7 licence, 40 dollars at most for an upgrade right now) alone, plus there are some cool Metro/Modern UI apps. Don't like Metro, you can avoid it most of the time. Like the article says you can pin a bunch of things to the taskbar so that you barely ever have to go to the start screen. There are touches of Metro here and there in the UI elsewhere sure, but nothing as obstructive as the actual start screen, you can get to the control panel and everything else you need within the old explorer UI. I just think the complaints are overly critical, it's a bit faster, explorer is a bit better, and if you hate the start screen so much (which I do not) you can avoid it.
 

tipoo

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The Tomshardware Metro app is great by the way, and a good example of the use case 8 caters to, I can see if there's a new article without going to the website so much.
 
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Well.. this convinced me to switch to linux on desktop.

How can they even call this "windows", when there aren't even winodws in the default ui anymore.

It looks alright for tablets, but I'd much rather use android for that, and looks atrocious for desktops and proper notebooks.
 

omnimodis78

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Surprise, surprise: Tom's Hardware Recommended Buy.

Great write-up though. I still think that there should be an entire article on nothing else but the W8 experience on a keyboard/mouse set-up. I get the sense that you, and your contemporaries on other sites keep saying the same thing, which are essentially as follows:
1. Windows 7 users no need to upgrade
2. Keyboard/mouse users no need to upgrade
3. Even if the Modern UI is a non-issue, the new features aren't stellar new features

There's nothing inherently wrong with W8, and yet, it doesn't get a "wow" factor from anyone, but, every reviewer keeps recommending it. Why can't somebody just say "it's great for portable touchscreen devices, it is a flop with the traditional PC set-ups, so avoid.
 

xrodney

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[citation][nom]Tomfreak[/nom]win8 user here who finally get the grasp on how to use win8 wisely/effectively and possibly better than 7. People who hate win8 UI is either.1. denial to drastic change UI2. tried win8 for 5mins on some PC shop that they didnt really get the whole idea of how to effective use win8 UI, things like pinning and unpinning the shortcut to UI is a really important thing u need to do, so u can do something as productive as u were in win7. Startmenu will be forgotten when u do this.[/citation]
Well try to pin few hundreds applications and shortcuts or manage them in Metro which is btw very ugly and and hard to search thru. Add few dozens of applications you are switching thru few times per minute and windows 8 just totally killed your productivity.

Fell free to count me as hater as I really hate metro style applications and also hate ribon.
 
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Hope someone can help. I installed Windows 8 and during set up logged in with my live.com email. Also created another account/user for my family. When I then logged in as Family, I could not see any of the pictures, videos etc. on our laptop - I could only see them with the other profile I used in the set up process. Then I - stupidly - went to the command prompt and deleted the first profile (using "net user username /delete command)", I guess hoping that the Family profile would then become the default and I would see pics, install apps etc.


Alas, the profile I deleted was apparently the administrator user profile. Now, I can not add new user accounts or anything as it says I have to log on as Administrator. When I go to advanced startup mode, it there too asks for the administrator password. I am able to continue without any password so did that and did the "Restore PC" - did not help, still don't have administrator profile or privileges...


Further, when I go to the Desktop view and try to e.g. add a user from there, it pops up a window asking me to sign in as Administrator. HOWEVER, that pop up window has no place for me to actually even try to enter a password, and the "Yes" option is greyed out, so the only thing I can do is to click No and exit the whole thing.

When I boot up/restart, I can enter my computer's setup mode where I can select e.g. advanced settings, security settings and boot up menu (hard drive, USB storage, CD/DVD, removable storage, network, diagnostics are the options there).


Under Security tab it says:

Supervisor password: clear

User Password: locked

HDD Password: Frozen


And it does not let me change the user password (I would not have even dared to change it but just noticed that I would not have been able anyway).


Also, under the Exit tab one optio is "Load Setup Values" = "Load default values for all setup items". Just thought that looked interesting.. :) Again, would not try it before someone has given me advice.

I have in the past been able to boot into safe mode by pressing F8 during the boot up sequence. I tried it again but does not work any more - no matter if I press and hold or franticly repeatedly press F8. Instead it ALWAYS briefly blinks a cursor at top left corner of the screen and then goes to the Windows 8 logo and startup... rather frustrating. :(

Yes, I am an idiot - have compassion and help one out! :)
 

clonazepam

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What about saved game files when transitioning from Win7 to Win8?

The typical locations:
\username\saved games
\username\my documents\my games
\username\my documents\game's folder

What about those pesky saved game directories like:
\username\appdata\local\game's folder
\username\appdata\roaming\game's folder

For all of these saved game files, it is as simple as pasting into a fresh copy of Win8 after the games are installed? I'm not looking for a definitive answer as there are way too many titles to test, but in general, it should work?
 

bak0n

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The only touch screen I own is my phone and a kindle fire. I see no benefit since all I do on the PC is surf websites, watch netflix and game.

No thanks.
 

rpg_ash

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[citation][nom]DjEaZy[/nom]... classic shell FTW!!! http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/[/citation]
Tom's Tips + Classic Shell are looking good for Windows 8.
I bought my cheap upgrade DVD, though not sure when to switch.
 

cscott_it

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[citation][nom]xrodney[/nom]Well try to pin few hundreds applications and shortcuts or manage them in Metro which is by the way very ugly and and hard to search through. Add few dozens of applications you are switching through few times per minute and windows 8 just totally killed your productivity.Fell free to count me as hater as I really hate metro style applications and also hate ribbon.[/citation]

This is equal parts Devil's advocate and equal parts Re-self assessing workflow.
I hate to say that you are doing it inefficiently in the first place, but.... If you used keyboard binds to switch and launch applications (regardless of which OS) you'll be much faster. In addition, do you actually have hundreds of things sorted in your start menu? If you do, then I'm curious why you don't just use search (again, goes for both OSes). I regularly have multiple VNC sessions, RDP Sessions, office documents, Visual Studio, Crystal Reports, SQL Studio, etc. and I've never had an elaborate start menu.

It's not a pro or con Windows 8 thing at this point, my underlying question is how effectively are you doing it in Windows 7? Regardless of what operating system you use, have you considered using something like fences or taking the time to configure keyboard shortcuts or the like? Seems that would help you cut back on your spent time regardless of the operating system.

The only reason I'm saying this is because my workflow has been relatively unaffected. Of course, I did invest more time and as part of my job I had to learn the in's and out's of the new OS and Server (write best practices guides for the company, etc.). It just all goes back to the same argument - is it overall less efficient or have you be using inefficient processes to complete your daily tasks and they become more apparent when something relatively minor changes.

**Note** This isn't a knock on you or anyone else, if anything, I'm wanting to help people be more efficient overall - regardless of personal preference (because everything I've said rings true for both Windows 7 and Windows 8, keyboard shortcuts make life much easier and taking the extra time to set things up can make all the difference in the long run).
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]ojas[/nom]@adam: would you agree with this?http://www.osnews.com/story/25951/ [...] _Windows_8[/citation]
I read the whole original piece, and yes "Metro" is the new explorer shell, Start menu, and desktop, it's simply the new UI, period. And you can go directly to an open Desktop application from the Start screen if you have a tile for that desktop application - you do not have to switch to the Desktop and then use the taskbar like the author indicates.
 

tomfreak

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[citation][nom]clonazepam[/nom]What about saved game files when transitioning from Win7 to Win8?The typical locations:\username\saved games\username\my documents\my games\username\my documents\game's folderWhat about those pesky saved game directories like:\username\appdata\local\game's folder\username\appdata\roaming\game's folderFor all of these saved game files, it is as simple as pasting into a fresh copy of Win8 after the games are installed? I'm not looking for a definitive answer as there are way too many titles to test, but in general, it should work?[/citation]if u are from win7, u dont really have to move anything, just pick the option keep everythign during installation win8 will take care everything for u. I had move nothing or touch nothing at all, everything works fine so far, it is just like Microsoft adding the metro UI for me and touch nothing else.

For $15, it is too way hard for me to pass an OS.
 

adamovera

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[citation][nom]luke904[/nom]MS needs to put a desktop OS on their phones, not a phone operating system on their desktop.[/citation]
They did (Windows Mobile), they've also been trying to put their desktop OS on [convertible] tablets for a decade, and both failed miserably.
 
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