The Definitive Windows 8 Review And User Guide

Page 7 - Seeking answers? Join the Tom's Hardware community: where nearly two million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.
Status
Not open for further replies.

ccalvert

Distinguished
Jun 3, 2011
1
0
18,510
0
Sometimes I think all the hand wringing is a bit overdone. In Windows 7, I pressed the Windows key or moved my mouse to the lower left hand corner and up came the Start Menu. In Windows 8 I press the Windows key or move my mouse to the lower left hand corner and up comes the start screen. Start button/menu, start screen. Okay, they are different. But not that different. And we still access them the same way.

Like the start button/menu, the start screen is configurable, and in much the same way.

There are cool features in Windows 8 that aren't part of Windows 7, but overall, its just the same experience with an updated start button that is now called the start screen.

Don't get me wrong. I really like Windows 8 -- but not because it is so different from Windows 7. It just isn't that different. And what is different, is generally better - and kind of fun.

But everybody is way too freaked out by the fact that the start menu is replaced with the start screen. You access it the same way, it does the same things. It just isn't that different.
 

Ragnar-Kon

Distinguished
Apr 13, 2010
517
0
18,990
2
So... I bought it and installed it on my second PC.

It is completely obvious that it was designed with a tablet in mind. I'm sure the tablet experience is fantastic.... I just feel like the entire UI is restricting me from unlocking the full potential of my computer. I really wanted to give it a honest look, so I will continue to keep it installed, but it isn't looking good after a week and a half of use.

I use Macintosh PCs as well, and while many aspects of iOS were integrated into Mac OS X over the past few releases, the traditional Mac OS X desktop and desktop functions are still there. I really wish Microsoft had done the same with Windows 8. Give me all of those "amazing" new features, but let me return to what I know.

That said, kudos for Microsoft for offering a $40 promotional price. I honestly would have given Win 8 the cold shoulder if it wasn't for that $40 price.
 

jonjonjon

Honorable
Sep 7, 2012
781
0
11,060
32
sorry but windows 8 a such a fail. have installed windows 8 cp, rp, dp and rtm and they all sucked. i kept thinking maybe something would change. its just windows 7 redesigned for a tablet/touchscreen. thats all well and good for tablets but its useless on a desktop/laptop. i have a keyboard and mouse why am i going to use a touchscreen? i have a touchscreen monitor and once the novelty wore off in 30 seconds i regret buying it. there is no reason that metro should be in the desktop version of windows. the only possible reason is so the 1% of people with an ultra book that can turn into a tablet can swipe like their cool? using metro ie on a desktop will make you want to break your computer. end of story.

also since when did all these crappy $0.99 ios "apps" become the new must have and best thing ever? i dont want a store full of a 100,000 garbage "apps" i want full blown professional PROGRAMS! i liked windows 7 and will continue to use it until ms smartens up and fixes this mess of an os in windows 9. its to bad linux is more of a mess with its 100 different versions and the package nightmares or i would consider switching.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Win8 it´s not bad, but:

1. There is not a real replacement for desktop gadgets (sidebar gadgets) as they works in windows 7.
2. If it runs on a Netbook, the new UI lost meaning, because screen resolution
3. The windows on desktop seems flat, as the classic theme from win95 to win7, goodbye aero peek, windows seems ugly
4. Mail application cannot send emails with big attachements (5-6 Mbytes) using hotmail or gmail, so bad...
 
G

Guest

Guest
I love windows 8, i was skeptical at first, and was running the CP on my laptop for months and grew to like it. once I found out about the aero being removed i was distraught.. but then I discovered that the window color changes automatically to match yoru dektop wallpaper, and the taskbar is opaque. regarding the start menu, when you RIGHT CLICK the start menu, you get all your tools and utilities (the only things i used the start menu for in windows 7) and honestly the whole OS seems a lot smoother and snappier. I tried running WoW on full graphics(full screen windowed mode), 2 HD videos, 2 browsers loaded with tabs, and file explorer loaded with TONS of folders, just to see how well it would handle, and you know what? my system didnt even come close to 25%utilization, beat that windows 7! honestly the new UI is the future and were moving into a new pc era where all of our electronics are integrated, so we need to adjust to the times. you would be a fool not to try this OS and I can see this OS going far once people actually start using it, hell i bought a full copy already after trying the RTM. and as for the avg consumer? well I dont see them having too much trouble learning an ipad or droid, and the new ui is very intuitive. a couple of hours and I bet the avg consumer will be able to use this system just fine, there really is not that much to learn
 
G

Guest

Guest
I installed Windows 8 pro on my Samsung Ultrabook. And I love it, it's so much easier doing everything with swipe motions through the trackpad. Battery time is better. And i love the metro chrome browser!
 

l_mckeon

Distinguished
Dec 23, 2009
12
0
18,510
0
Thank you for the comprehensive article, But WHATS WITH ALL THE DAMN .png IMAGES when you could have converted them to .jpg's and saved a lot of download time and and put less of a burden on my data cap?

Do we really need almost 1.6MB just to display 4 blue squares of a Windows logo?
 

ilikegirls

Distinguished
Jan 26, 2009
702
0
19,010
12
In some games the Start-menu pops up when I click the edge of the screen. Does this happen do anyone else?

I am using the customer preview, and I am thinking even though I can get the OS for free, I dont want it!
 

epdm2be

Distinguished
Feb 15, 2011
150
0
18,680
0
[citation][nom]brandonvi[/nom]lol ya i would like to know that as well[/citation]
Remember that Bill Gates is going to his 60's!
There you have MS' focus group :)
 

epdm2be

Distinguished
Feb 15, 2011
150
0
18,680
0
[citation][nom]slabbo[/nom]Toms please benchmark Win 8 with older cpu's. I heard it's not as bloated and runs much faster for those of us with older hardware. Kinda like how Linux doesn't need crazy specs to run.[/citation]
Linux does need crazy specs to run. If you see it running on e.g. a Raspberry Pi where it SHOULD run quite good. It runs like crap. The only OS that runs quick without crazy specs is on PC's MenuetOS and on the raspberry Pi, RISC OS.
 

Oli999

Honorable
Nov 2, 2012
12
0
10,510
0
Windows 8 may be good for tablets, touch screen e.t.c. but for anyone with a traditional mouse and keyboard pc, best to stick with windows 7 imo. Like the new start screen with the tiles on it but wish they could have kept the start menu from windows 7. I dispute Microsoft's claim that Windows 8 is supposed to run quicker and smoother than windows 7. Mine seemed to run significantly slower after installing windows 8 and several of my steam games didn't work properly on windows 8 either.

If you buy it direct from Microsoft's website then you're entitled to a refund within 14 days of purchase so you can try it out and send it back if you don't like it. To be fair to Microsoft the refund process was very easy and straight forward and only took a single 5 minute phone call.
 
G

Guest

Guest
Windows 8 is terrible. Faster boots, no. It just wants to disable stuff you have in startup. Metro and active tiles, ok (actually useless) but you have to go to places to get to them. Power of the computer, don't go to the start button, go to some other part of the screen to get a popup to show to pick an unlabeled icon to get to power off.

Sorry I wasted the money on the upgrade as Windows 7 was just fine. To me Windows 8 is not an upgrade but a downgrade. Time to blow the machine(s) away and reinstall 7. I guess the media I burned from the upgrade(s) will make good targets at the shooting range.
 
I really like Windows 8 and have found it easier and faster to navigate in Windows 8 than Windows 7. While there may not be any killer reasons to update I feel it is really worth the price. Yes there may be a little learning curve involved with the Windows 8 UI it is really not hard to get used to and once you do you will find it is really faster to navigate the OS. As for compatibility with Windows 7 apps and games I have found very few problems with any of the games I have and I have quite a few between Steam Origin and boxed games. Have not had any problems with my apps that I use.
 
G

Guest

Guest
In terms of operating systems, 'progress' should mean more control and more individualism on top of better performance.
 
G

Guest

Guest
The old people (meaning 30 and up) want regular computers, the young ones likely never even use a computer, only their telephones and tablets. Microsoft Co. had to ask "Who" are our customers? The kids always win out.
 
G

Guest

Guest
No wonder why Steven Sinosky "quit" Microsoft. IMHO, Windows 8 is a really bad joke. On the plus side, it's pure marketing genius, here's why:

1. All the OEMs are now bundling Windows 8 with their latest laptops.
2. OEMs are not (yet) giving consumers the option to "downgrade" to Windows 7 for free.
3. Consumers have to buy Windows 7.

I just bought a Samsung 700Z7C-S02UK that came pre-loaded with Windows 8. There was no option to buy this unit with Windows 7 or without an OS pre-installed (which is actually against the law (anti-trust/competition), but no-one seems to care about that minor point). I gave it a week, it's still awful and has not "grown" on me. The user experience (for me, at least) is terrible. Depending on what app you open, the UI will jump between the desktop mode and the Metro UI (or vice versa). The Metro apps take up the entire screen, most of which look absurd on a 17.3 inch 1920 x 1080 screen. Aero glass is gone. It crashes frequently (at least once a day). Network IO feels much, much, much slower (transferring large files over the Internet).

To those who seem to enjoy Windows 8 on a desktop PC (the traditional mouse/keyboard computing paradigm), good for you! Just please don't go around calling those of us who just don't like Windows 8 "trolls", please!!
 

charles hammill

Honorable
Jan 2, 2013
1
0
10,510
0
Overall I like the fast boot time and quick response. However, I am severely annoyed by the fact that I have to manually switch from Tile mode to normal Desktop mode. Plus, I had to install the Start Button software to regain normal functionality. WTF were the people at Microsoft thinking when they released this version? Seriously needs to have a secondary version for Desktop users that contains Start Button and boots directly into Desktop!!!
 

Thorfkin

Distinguished
Dec 22, 2006
81
0
18,630
0
dows 7. Vista had a clean interface and was a pleasure to work with as long as you didn't try to use a crappy Intel graphics chipset with it. Windows 7 muddied things by integrating those obnoxious features that compete with Apple's dock. Initially I just disliked the Windows 7 taskbar but after a while I truly grew to hate it. The OCD in me likes to know exactly what applications are running at all time. I want to see a separate task bar entry for every window of every application I have open. I constantly open new apps and windows and close others. I keep track of them in my head like a stack. I found that it only slowed me down to have to navigate through the grouped icons on the task bar so I unpinned everything and created a Quicklaunch bar like in previous Windows versions. I don't have a problem with Microsoft adding new interface features. Adding new features is always a good thing. Taking away older but still very useful features is NOT. I should not have had to manually create my own quicklaunch folder and bar. Microsoft should have left the original QuickLaunch code in place but just turned it off by default. If they'd done that then I probably would have enjoyed Windows 7 as much as Vista. Windows 8 on the other hand has thrown out so much of what works that I simply can't help but despise it. It's utter shit for anyone like me who wants fast accurate and navigation in a desktop environment. Everything they added works great on a tablet PC but in doing so they destroyed the delicate waltz that previous Windows UIs were able to provide. I uses the release preview for a month and admittedly I loved the improved overall performance. Everything from app loading to web surfing felt quite a lot faster and snappier than Windows 7. But they broke so much basic UI history that I found the OS completely unusable on my desktop. I don't WANT new applications to open full screen. EVER. I could have coped with the new start screen. That part was pretty good. But the fact that all apps open directly to the Notro UI was complete garbage for me. Want to defrag your disk while surfing the web and playing a game in separate windows? Tough. Now you have to navigate that awful switcher to keep track of everything you're doing. But that wasn't what really killed it for me. It was Microsoft's decision to up the minimum resolution to 768 that broke the camel's back so-to-speak. See my primary interest in Windows 8 was to use on my old netbook. Said netbook originally came with XP which ran fine on it but was horribly out of date and unfortunately all in Japanese as I purchased the machine while on Vacation in Japan. So I bought a copy of Windows 7 for it. That did run but it was painfully slow. The W8 developer preview ran surprisngly fast on it though so I was hoping Windows 8 would extend the life of my netbook. Have you ever tried to use Windows 8 on a machine where the maximum resolution is below the notro UI's minimum? It's a disaster. NOTHING will even run from the start screen. You have to create shortcuts all over your desktop because the start screen just obsessively throws errors at you. To make matters worse. The same problem applies to my home theater PC. I run that machine at 720p most of the time because my eyes just aren't good enough to make 1080p comfortable from my couch. Sure you can increase the font size but there's always some element of the UI that doesn't scale up with everything else and that just makes it feel unbalanced. 720p is my preferred resolution for general surfing from my couch. But with Windows 8 I run into the same problem I had on my netbook. Nothin will run from the start screen which makes the entire Notro UI unusable. All because of microsoft's arbitrary and idiotic decision to increase the minimum resolution. So to tally this up, W8 is useless on my netbook and useless on my HTPC. The only machine it might work on is my work machine and there's no way in hell they would ever convince me to try and cope with that hell while trying to get any work done. So in my opinion Windows 8 is total shit. Microsoft won't see a dime from me for it.

It really bugs me too. I really wanted to like it. I even sent them loads of feedback during the developer and consumer previews and later from the release candidate. They blindly ignored my feedback and trundled on anyway. Unless they do a huge about-face and start listening to their customers, that company is history as far as I'm concerned.
 

Thorfkin

Distinguished
Dec 22, 2006
81
0
18,630
0
Yep. I absolutely hate it. I'm definitely a hater this time around. I loved Vista and liked Windows 7. Vista had a clean interface and was a pleasure to work with as long as you didn't try to use a crappy Intel graphics chipset with it. Windows 7 muddied things by integrating those obnoxious features that compete with Apple's dock. Initially I just disliked the Windows 7 taskbar but after a while I truly grew to hate it. The OCD in me likes to know exactly what applications are running at all time. I want to see a separate task bar entry for every window of every application I have open. I constantly open new apps and windows and close others. I keep track of them in my head like a stack. I found that it only slowed me down to have to navigate through the grouped icons on the task bar so I unpinned everything and created a Quicklaunch bar like in previous Windows versions. I don't have a problem with Microsoft adding new interface features. Adding new features is always a good thing. Taking away older but still very useful features is NOT. I should not have had to manually create my own quicklaunch folder and bar. Microsoft should have left the original QuickLaunch code in place but just turned it off by default. If they'd done that then I probably would have enjoyed Windows 7 as much as Vista. Windows 8 on the other hand has thrown out so much of what works that I simply can't help but despise it. It's utter shit for anyone like me who wants fast accurate and navigation in a desktop environment. Everything they added works great on a tablet PC but in doing so they destroyed the delicate waltz that previous Windows UIs were able to provide. I uses the release preview for a month and admittedly I loved the improved overall performance. Everything from app loading to web surfing felt quite a lot faster and snappier than Windows 7. But they broke so much basic UI history that I found the OS completely unusable on my desktop. I don't WANT new applications to open full screen. EVER. I could have coped with the new start screen. That part was pretty good. But the fact that all apps open directly to the Notro UI was complete garbage for me. Want to defrag your disk while surfing the web and playing a game in separate windows? Tough. Now you have to navigate that awful switcher to keep track of everything you're doing. But that wasn't what really killed it for me. It was Microsoft's decision to up the minimum resolution to 768 that broke the camel's back so-to-speak. See my primary interest in Windows 8 was to use on my old netbook. Said netbook originally came with XP which ran fine on it but was horribly out of date and unfortunately all in Japanese as I purchased the machine while on Vacation in Japan. So I bought a copy of Windows 7 for it. That did run but it was painfully slow. The W8 developer preview ran surprisngly fast on it though so I was hoping Windows 8 would extend the life of my netbook. Have you ever tried to use Windows 8 on a machine where the maximum resolution is below the notro UI's minimum? It's a disaster. NOTHING will even run from the start screen. You have to create shortcuts all over your desktop because the start screen just obsessively throws errors at you. To make matters worse. The same problem applies to my home theater PC. I run that machine at 720p most of the time because my eyes just aren't good enough to make 1080p comfortable from my couch. Sure you can increase the font size but there's always some element of the UI that doesn't scale up with everything else and that just makes it feel unbalanced. 720p is my preferred resolution for general surfing from my couch. But with Windows 8 I run into the same problem I had on my netbook. Nothin will run from the start screen which makes the entire Notro UI unusable. All because of microsoft's arbitrary and idiotic decision to increase the minimum resolution. So to tally this up, W8 is useless on my netbook and useless on my HTPC. The only machine it might work on is my work machine and there's no way in hell they would ever convince me to try and cope with that hell while trying to get any work done. So in my opinion Windows 8 is total shit. Microsoft won't see a dime from me for it.

It really bugs me too. I really wanted to like it. I even sent them loads of feedback during the developer and consumer previews and later from the release candidate. They blindly ignored my feedback and trundled on anyway. Unless they do a huge about-face and start listening to their customers, that company is history as far as I'm concerned.

*Posted again due to a copy-paste error on my part. Seriously? I can't edit or withdraw my own posts??
 

danwat1234

Distinguished
Jun 13, 2008
1,392
0
19,310
9
The only thing I don't like about the new Task Manager is that on the "Processes" tab (the tab with the heat map), the memory values in the memory column is of "Memory (Private Working Set)", not "Working Set: (Memory)".
So, in the processes tab, you don't see the true amount of RAM some process is using, usually it is slighter larger and sometimes a much larger value in real life. You can see the true value in the Details tab if you have the "Working Set: (Memory)" column.

1 other little gripe is that the new task manager is a bit bloated, needs a bit of code refinement. It takes about 1 seconds to load up on a 3GHZ Core 2 duo machine even if cached in memory (not hard drive bottleneck). About 3 seconds if not in RAM yet. The Windows 7 Task Manager was a lot smaller program.

All in all I like the new task manager, it adds a lot of usefulness and the slowality really is a big deal since I’m a speed freak and my next computer will probably have 3x the single core performance so it’ll be super fast again.


Windows; Awesome. It's Windows 7 with a revised Explorer.exe, a few new features like refresh/reset and some under the hood efficiency tweaks.
Using Start8, Metro is hidden and I have the awesome Win7 start menu back with jumplists and the green XP start menu button graphic. Nice
 
G

Guest

Guest
So far actually I'm loving the changes. But I'm coming from XP on my machine so the upgrade really gave me noticeable speed improvements. I understand that coming from 7 you won't see the speed jump. The PnP drivers from Microsoft are great though. After having slogged through multiple versions of Windows that claimed "Plug and Play" it is great to finally have a version that does just that.

My only gripe is with dual monitor setups - the charms bar and switcher bar are really tough to get to. (Assuming you have the monitors side by side and use an extended desktop setup.) Windows 8 has a charms bar and switcher on both screens, and inevitably the one where your screens break will be nearly impossible to activate. (unless you have touchscreen monitors)
 
G

Guest

Guest
How does one disable unwanted "Refresh Your PC" and "Reset Your PC"?

How do these UI settings correspond to registry settings?

IMO, a power user is more likely to maintain an installation rather than leave it with duhfauilt settings and "just" wipe and rebuild every now and then. Having to re-apply settings makes one reluctant to "just" re-install Windows; we'd more likely want to try Safe Mode, Safe Cmd, Last Known Good, yet these are hidden away or entirely missing. Newbies will encounter "reset" (like reset button?) and "refresh" (like pressing F5 to refresh a web page) first.
 

defg0003

Distinguished
Aug 16, 2010
39
0
18,530
0
I don't want "apps" on my desktop. I prefer programs. I don't want direct connections to Micro$oft's "Appy" Store - I have no need or desire to every purchase "apps" or any other "digital Media" from Micro$oft. Please end this dumbed down nightmare.

Micro$oft is killing the PC. Single-handedly.
 

gaborbarla

Distinguished
Feb 6, 2009
972
1
19,665
244
In win8 everything seems one or two more clicks away now (Yeah I know of win+q, win+r etc). Can't close programs without pressing ALT F4. Search is now categorised so, when you type WIN + seachphrase, you need to click system or programs instead of just selecting what you need like in 7. Not sure how is this better.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS