The first two parts (Part 1 & Part 2) of ‘My First Hour with Windows 8’ went through the installation process, and some videos of how you actually use it. This final part will be my review (the good and bad) of Windows 8.
Let’s start positive:
- It’s beautiful! The installation process is simple and intuitive. Actually using the OS is smooth and, to be honest, enjoyable.
- One OS to rule them all. Okay, I can’t see Windows 8 knocking Ubuntu from the top spot in my favourite OS list (what do you mean you don’t have a favourite OS list?) but the cross platform use of Windows 8 is a killer feature. Whether you have a PC, Laptop, Tablet or Windows mobile. The interplay between the devices (if all running the OS) is going to be great.
- Windows App Store. Obviously a problem with Windows is that things go wrong – one of the reasons I’ve always thought that this happens is because of the number of random programs that people can download from the internet and install on their system. I’m hoping the Windows App Store can provide users with a shed load of apps that they want, but which have also passed Microsoft’s security certificates.
- Windows for the touch-centric, app loving age. This point may in fact combine some of the others, but basically, Windows 8 feels right. The last major shift in design came with Windows 95 – since then Windows has fundamentally looked and felt the same. However this major shift is a shift towards what the new generation of Windows users are use to. The generation who use Android / iPhone devices will just know how to work this.
- The biggest problem for me is that Windows 8 works better on a touch screen device than with a mouse and keyboard – and a mouse and keyboard layout is going to be the most common combination. Some simple things like how you navigate across the panels could be improved – like dragging across, rather than needing to use the scroll bar at the bottom of the screen.
- Also the flexibility is too “hidden” – one of the great problems with Windows is when you want to get something done, that isn’t a “default” option. As time goes on Windows gets harder and harder “to do stuff”, and Windows 8 is no exception.
- Apps. Yes I know they were in the good list, but they’ve also got to be in the bad list, at least initially There just aren’t any. The number of apps is shockingly small, and some of obvious ones are missing. Where is the official Facebook app? Or Twitter? Or Dropbox? Or Instagram….?
- And finally they really have missed a trick – although the OS across all the platforms looks the same, and in some ways work together. There could have been so much more. Imagine the scene: you install Microsoft Office on your Windows 8 PC and then you go to your tablet, or smartphone, and low and behold there is Office! Seamlessly synced – don’t be absurd. Underneath that shiny cross platform interface the OS’s work completely differently, making this dream impossible.
So after using the OS for an hour (or so) what do I think of it? Well it doesn’t matter, since every computer will be eventually upgraded to using it, you might as well get use to it!
But I’ve got to be honest, I was rather terrified of using Windows 8 with all the horror stories I had read on the internet, but luckily all is fine. This is a new Windows, a Windows more suitable, and in line, with the current age of computing. Yes it is different, but that does not mean it is worse, give it a chance and make up your own mind.