The Era of Windows 8 Has Arrived

October 27, 2012

The announcement has been made, the boxes are being shipped and the airwaves of full of advertising. We have entered the era of Windows 8 and now it is time to decide if we want to stay with what we have or move to the latest and greatest.

I’ve done a couple of previous posts on Windows 8 and you may want to go back and read them.

Along with this version of Windows comes a completely redesigned interface for both desktops and tablets and it is a gamble for Microsoft. For those using Windows 8 on a desktop, there is no way to default to the “desktop” interface. You will always boot to the “Metro” or “Windows 8” interface. While there will be third parties who develop workarounds for this, it is an absolute dealbreaker for me. Note that if I wanted to install Windows 8, I have a copy ready to install.

Why do I consider this an issue? The new interface works best if you have a touchscreen monitor (or tablet). I don’t. It allows you to run apps. While I may be interested in some apps, most of the software I run on a daily basis is much more than an “app”. Ideally Microsoft is hoping we all have Windows 8 on our computers, our tablets and our phones. Maybe I’ll change my mind someday, but it just doesn’t sound at all appealing to me.

It feels odd to me right now that the latest version doesn’t interest me. I have always upgraded to the newest version of Windows soon after (or even before) it was released. Maybe I’ve just become a crusty old curmudgeon resistant to change. Yet I’ve embraced the ribbon interface that was introduced to Microsoft Office. Right now it just seems that in trying to win all of our screens that Microsoft has failed to win the screen most important to me. Should an update become available that recognizes the importance of desktop computing, I’m sure I’ll be all over it.

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4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    My initial observations after installing Windows 8 Pro 2 days ago are as follows:

    • Starts in half the time Windows 7 did on the same computer
    • File transfers are noticeably faster
    • It browses my USB 2.0 hard drive noticeably faster
    • Task Manager is more useful with more information
    • Can control start-up programs from Task Manager
    • Some dialogs show more information, e.g. file transfer dialogs
    • The operating system is generally faster
    • Antivirus software now integrated into the Operating System
    • My Epson MFC Printer software installed way faster
    • Some of the features in CDGS are noticeably faster
    • The Ribbon Bar in Windows Explorer has convenient shortcuts

    I am beginning to get the impression that Windows 8 makes better use of multi-core processors than Windows 7 did, but that is only a guess. The Smart Carver tool in Photo-Paint used to take too long IMO to process the item(s) being removed from the image. I noticed an instant “massive” increase in the performance of this tool in Windows 8. I have a tutorial video I made in Windows 7 where I remove a girl from a line of beauty contestants. I timed it when playing the video back and from pressing the particular process button to achieving the removal takes 4.8 seconds. In Windows 8 using the same computer, same image, same removal selection – it takes 1 second! I tested some other images with similar results. I then tested out some of my macros in CorelDraw and any of the heavy processing tasks are done noticeably faster to the point that I feel like I have just bought a much faster computer.

    For those who never liked the transparent aero glass in Windows Vista/7 it has been removed. The task bar is the only thing left with transparency and it seems less transparent than it was. This means the interface is generally cleaner and less distracting for those working with graphics, but still looks a lot nicer than the ugly Windows Classic theme, which was like working at the morgue (and hence, I never used it).

    Reply
  2. Foster D. Coburn III

    I agree there are lots of positives and it is all lost on me because of one negative. Give me the ability to boot to a desktop instead of the tablet interface and I’ll jump all over it.

    Reply
  3. Anonymous

    Hi Foster,

    I can’t remember if you use a dual monitor setup? If you do, one monitor goes to the desktop view and the other to the new interface, by default. You can still use either or both monitors to run normal desktop applications, but you initially get both views as your computer fires up.

    Keep in mind that for the one sacrifice (you have to press a tile to enter Desktop view) your computer starts in about half the time. So you are way ahead in productivity time anyway.

    I do respect your point of view though and to be honest I recommended my dad not to install Windows 8 because I know he would hate it. I recommended my brother to see it in action at a shop before buying it for his systems. I love it, personally, but I love change. “A change is as good as a holiday” is a popular old English saying 🙂

    Reply
  4. Foster D. Coburn III

    I do not use dual monitors.

    Given that I only reboot about once a week (or less), bootup time isn’t that big of a deal to me.

    Microsoft is very stubbornly forcing users to the new interface, whether they like it or not. All I ask is for a way to boot to a “desktop” interface rather than a “tablet” interface best suited for touch computing. Since Microsoft doesn’t make that available, I can just as stubbornly choose to stick with Windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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