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Is life great with Windows 8?

Sunday, March 25, 2012 in Technical Articles (Views: 1795)
Windows 8 went into Beta at the end of February (or what was called that, now it is a "Community Preview". Here are my thoughts on the New OS.

First, I think that Microsoft may have something in this product - although early on, it appears to be a half-breed OS. What I mean by this is that there is the new Windows 8 interface, called Metro, coupled with the "legacy" desktop interface that we saw in Windows 7. The creepy, 2 headed desktop reminds me of KDE in some Linux distros.

Let's talk about Metro for a minute. Metro apps are at the core of Windows 8, as they were first introduced in Windows Phone 7. Metro apps are, at the core, a live tile (generally), and a flashy yet bold, and somewhat useful interface. The nice thing about Metro apps is that they integrate nicely with the OS - not to mention they offer a pretty deep experience. The only drawback to Windows 8 and Metro, is without a tablet, they are difficult to navigate.

So, overall - the idea of Windows 8 looks good, feels good, and has some great features with it. The one that hits me best is the addition of Hyper-V (as in the server product) to the desktop. I don't see VMWare shaking in their boots quite yet, but that's another blog.

Some other nice things of note, I like the use of screen space, but will take some learning and adapting. I like that the screen edges do bring up new windows. One thing that qouls be nice is the ability to customize these menus. I also like the Windows app store, which in Beta, has some decent non-Microsoft apps, and is updated relatively frequently.

Despite it's promise, it's not without its flaws. I know this product is still in beta, but here are some things that I have seen that set the alarms..
- Metro apps won't run with UAC turned off. Is this Microsoft's way of taking "Moron Mode" or "Users Are Children" mode to Windows 8, and forcing people to use it? If it is, Metro and Windows 8, we hardly knew ye. It was an immediate uninstall for a few apps like Mail, Contacts, etc.
- The apps aren't finished, but I found the Windows 8 Mail app was showing bcc content, when you weren't listed on the to or cc line. Hope they close this bug.
- In many places, the right click menu (context menu) is missing. Sure, it's iPad-like, but irritating when you just want to right click and take action, however, chances are, your options are at the bottom of the screen.
- Shut down is on the Windows "Security" screen, or hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del first.

Again, this software is only beta - meaning several changes need to be made, and most likely will. Hopefully, with this promise, it will break the cycle of every other OS release being a disappointment. Since Windows 7 was a good one, hopefully Windows 8 will not follow suit.


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