When you own an IT business, there is no way you can just say ‘I am not going to use this new Windows OS’ or ‘I’ll skip Windows 8 until everything is fixed’. When you build applications for clients, you simply have to know if it will work. So, bashing a new OS simply because you haven’t used it yet, or because it is different, is from an IT point of perspective silly. Sure, we all don’t like change too much once you feel so comfortable in how you handle your PC right now. But, you at least need to know how it all works, and test your applications.
Today Windows 8 became available for the public, and since I did not have a lot to do tonight, I actually purchased my copy just after midnight. Ah… the nostalgia! I remember when Windows 95 was released, my and my best friend had to travel to our capital to pick up our copy. Now, 17 years later, it was at 12.30 that I noticed Windows 8 was available, clicked a few buttons, and voila… the installation started.
I felt pretty excited about this update. Not so much because it is different, but, that it had a somewhat new approach to using your computer. And I wanted to experience it first-hand. And although it has just been installed, my experience right away is that a lot of the ‘fear-talking’ online about how difficult it is to get used to this new system, is heavily over-stated. Windows 8 simply feels, well, logical.
I was surprised. I have it installed on my desktop, simply with a mouse, and it took about 2 minutes to get the hang of it, and I like it.
First of all, I like the start menu. It makes sense now. It is a very quick way of just keeping track of the small stuff. You know, checking if there is new mail, launching often used stuff, checking the news. And then, back to work on the desktop. And I think this switch between the two worlds of Windows, is a perfect transition to what will be coming next. The Start Screen is perfect for people who use their computers for everyday things. It is an easy, pleasant way to get your things done without getting lost in the hierarchy of the computer’s file system. I can’t wait to install this on my father-in-law’s computer so that he is not blind-sided anymore by all the things that are happening on his computer, that do not require his attention at all.
And for the more tech, or in-depth users of the computer, the desktop is there. And, well, it works exactly like Windows 7 / Vista / XP only then without the start button. But everything works, only a slight bit faster.
But besides that, a thing that I haven’t seen being discussed on the sites, is the multiple screen support. I work with systems with at least 2 screens, sometimes 3 or 4. And finally (and I never knew I missed it until I started using Windows 8, about, well, an hour ago): both screens are equal. I mean, Both screens have the toolbar now, and both screens can run the start screen. There is no ‘primary’ screen anymore. Whatever screen is available to you, will have the toolbar. Simple, yet, smart.
My first impression leaves me with the feeling that Windows 8 is not such a big jump for people who were fearing the ‘Edge UI’. It is not there as a bothersome new thing. It is simple. And for the desktop users, it is just there when you need it. And when not, voila, there’s the desktop.
And, I love IE 10. Sure, there will be a lot of people bashing it. Fine. But it is full-screen, fast, and uses every single pixel available. Nice. Finally, something to work with.
I am actually surprised… Microsoft, you might have been onto something here.