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 Post subject: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:27 am 
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If you were building a new computer, would you get Windows 7 or 8, and why?


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:02 am 
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I'd get Linux because it's better in so many ways. I don't use Windows except for playing some legacy games that do not run effectively under Wine.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 9:53 am 
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I installed Windows 8 as a test, I used it for half an hour, I then wiped the drive as there was obviously no way to get rid of the horrible "touch only" interface.

"Classic Shell" is a program that I have installed on W7 on my main PC, it now supports Windows 8 and removes some of the horrible interface, that would be a good place to start, and would allow you to use Windows 8 if you wanted to rather than Windows 7. Note of caution, find out for sure that it gets rid of the horrible touch interface completely and does not cause any problems.

http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-33642_7-57 ... ows-8-rtm/

Windows 8 does bring along a couple of new security features that will help stop viruses and rootkits, and if you want to get a "touch" device with W8 then syncing data between them should be a doddle. I am waiting to see just how good W8 is on phones before I make a decision about replacing my 2-year old Blackberry, its either W8 or one of the many Android devices.

If I then ended up with W8 on my mobile I might put it onto my PC, although I would need to be sure that when syncing between devices the phone would work with an unauthorised installation of W8 on my desktop, otherwise I will end up with an Android phone and stick with W7 on my PC.

As far as Linux is concerned, I have no problems with using it, but I wont use it myself due to the large amount of time I spend playing games.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:31 am 
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Haven't seen a feature yet that would drive me to install Win8 instead of Win7 at this time. Next year, when Haswell arrives, there will be more power management features that may appeal to me. Besides, I'd never buy the initial release of an OS - let other people be the beta testers.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 10:42 am 
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Though I can't say positively until I try to use it on a tablet (the Microsoft Surface looks quite nice), I think that W8 is going to be great for portable, touch devices.

As for a normal desktop, I'm ambivalent towards it. Some of the tweaks, like an improved Task Manager, better network file transfers, etc., are very welcome. Boot times are much improved. I'm running a quite modern system with a good SSD, and the boot difference between W7 and W8 is still very appreciable.

That said, I'm having a hard time getting used to Metro (even though we're not supposed to call it that anymore ;) on the desktop. For heavy multitasking or power usage, I just find the normal desktop so much more efficient. Too many gestures, too hard to switch between open windows, too hard to resize the screen to show multiple things at the same time. Honestly, I've been using the Metro interface as nothing more than a very customizable Start menu. My normal usage in Windows 7 when accessing a program from the Start menu has been to hit the Windows key, then type the name of the program that I want to use. This functionality is preserved in W8. So if I'm at my desktop, I can just hit the Windows key and start typing "Word" for example. Then I hit Enter, and the program opens. I then pin whatever apps I feel I use quite frequently onto the home screen. This way, it pretty much just functions as a full-screen Windows 7 start menu.

But most of my work is done in the classic desktop. Other than the Windows orb not being there, W8 doesn't feel much different at the desktop than W7. Sure, it's kind of wierd to find where stuff is, and having to gesture on the right side of the display in order to shut down my computer is annoying. But I can deal with it. And having a newer Task Manager and Bitlocker support in Windows 8 Pro (Finally! I don't need an enterprise version) is really nice.

My Windows admins at work are getting used to it too. The UI feels a little disjointed, but they're getting used to it and there are some pretty cool features in Server 2012 that they're excited about. So at the end of the day, I'm excited about the new features, and I can live with the new UI.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:05 pm 
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used it for about 30 mins before going back to 7.
most icons in metro were next to useless.
in desktop I really missed the start orb and easy standby/log off/shutdown options of previous versions of windows.

linux (and apple, ugh.) are really leaving windows behind in the desktop environment category, thats for sure.
now that i think about it, I also like the usability and user interface of just about any flavor of android over win8.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:16 pm 
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i don't like metro. at all.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 3:56 pm 
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*looks around*

No shills. No metrovangelists. No MS fanboys. No elitist muppet calling everyone else a backwards, fearful of change Luddite noob.


Ah... bliss.




Oh, and Metro sucks. It doesn't belong in a desktop OS. It deserves to DIAF. So, other than that eye-bleaching inducing mess, Windows 8 is not that bad.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2012 11:55 pm 
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Metro is useless on a big screen. Not just the start screen. The actual Metro Apps are worse. Too much wasted space all around, the fonts are too large. I'll be boycotting 8 just to send the message.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:15 am 
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While I wouldn't use it on a desktop, I've actually switched to Windows 8 for my home server, as the "Storage Spaces" let me do proper drive pooling, just like good old Windows Home Server v1. It's also a proper 64bit OS so I can use more than 4gb of RAM :). However I did have to pay $5 to buy Start8 from Stardock, as the Metro interface is just completely useless (I had to Google to figure out how to switch off the machine from the Metro interface!). Start8 boots Win8 into the Desktop interface and gives me a fully-functional start menu again.

I do like the improved task manager, and Win8 seems pretty easy on resources. Also fast to boot up (not that that's much of a concern for my always-on server).

So, for me (in comparison to WHS v1, which is based on 32bit Server 2003) :

+ Gives me back Drive Pooling!
+ 64 bit.
+ Better security options.
+ Can use "regular" antivirus software.

- Metro is horrific on the desktop.
- Had to pay to restore functionality.
- It's just ... kinda gaudy.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:55 am 
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Computing technology is moving forward in two directions, whether we like it or not:

1) More and more people will be using touch screens; farther down the road, even more intimate links between human beings and their machines are conceivable;

2) Apps will migrate to the "cloud" and take most of the hardware with them, so that most PCs will consist of an interface between the human operator and the cloud and not much else. (That, in turn, could mean the end of home-built computers, alas).

Windows 8 is an attempt to keep pace. In my opinion, it succeeds only partly. It's neither fish nor fowl. The design is daring, some of its elements are admirable, but it is half-baked.

It's likely that most consumers and especially government and business will remain true to Windows 7 or even XP over the next 1-2 years.

Windows 8 reminds me of the Gramsci quotation: "The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:26 am 
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RHN wrote:
even more intimate links between human beings and their machines are conceivable;

This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'metrosexual'.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:04 am 
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edh wrote:
RHN wrote:
even more intimate links between human beings and their machines are conceivable;

This gives a whole new meaning to the term 'metrosexual'.


Ah! :)

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:31 am 
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"Metrosexual": that made me laugh and groan at the same time. Touché.

There's an insight buried in your humor, namely that in interactions between enthusiasts and computers, displaced erotic and narcissistic projections abound.

Would like to see some discussion (in other threads; off-topic here) about what it means to be computer enthusiast, what the motivation behind it is, what parts of it are healthy or unhealthy.

Or about the quest for a silent computer: is the motive simply the understandable need for a quiet work or play environment or does it go beyond this? Considering that much of humanity now spends most of its waking hours staring at computer displays, the question might not seem that irrelevant.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:07 am 
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TLDR :wink:

Win8 doesn't make sense without a touchscreen. If you don't own one or happen to use Windows PCd in business: Wait for Windows 9.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:16 am 
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mentawl wrote:
While I wouldn't use it on a desktop, I've actually switched to Windows 8 for my home server, as the "Storage Spaces" let me do proper drive pooling, just like good old Windows Home Server v1.


Some users have complained about potential problems with the new Storage Spaces feature:
http://social.technet.microsoft.com/For ... f99a40eea/


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:18 am 
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Windows 8 seems to have a bad interface for desktop PC use, and it is Microsoft's blatant attempt to cash in on the App Store/iTunes lock-in logic, a step towards closed systems. Experimental, all compromises and includes bullshit, I'd steer well clear and "W8" for Win9.

Windows 7 isn't half bad to look at and work with, even though it has its fair share of idiocy in the form of standard options getting removed for no good reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 5:52 am 
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The problem with that logic is that you are all assuming Microsoft will mend their ways and learn from their mistakes when making Windows 9.


Me? Call me cynic but I'd bet you Windows 9 will be more of the same, or dare I say, even more Metrosexualised ( ;) )


Tablets, 'BYOD' and 'the Cloud' are all the rage right now so I don't see Microsoft backing down from this ludicrous strategy.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:11 am 
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Every other Windows version has been better. It's like a law at this point, or something. :wink:

It's all up to the buyers to show what they want through their purchases. If they don't mind garbage, they'll get more garbage, that's for certain. MS was going the right way with the microkernel and everything, so I don't know what happened (Apple profits happened, that's what).

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:15 am 
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I'm sure Microsoft will proudly tell the world how many millions of copies it 'sold' of Windows 8 as proof people want Metro, when in fact they were never sold but merely pre-installed on OEM computers where people had no choice in the matter. You know, like what happened with Vista (not to say Vista was crap). Let's just hope a lot of manufacturers offer 'downgrades' ( :roll:) to Windows 7


It's the spin game. Spin the story, spin the facts.


I'm not optimistic enough to believe things will improve, be it with Windows 9 or with a service pack or whatnot. The legions of rabid fanboys that will stop at nothing to belittle, mock and insult anyone who speaks up against Metro are not helping either. You know, because if you don't like Windows 8 (well, Metro) you're backwards and afraid of change (because all change is good) and you're not fit to be called an enthusiast.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:18 am 
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My Q9550 is now 4+ years old. I'm probably going to be upgrading it when Haswell comes out, and I will be installing W8 when I do. It's not because I love W8 (I'm a software dev so I spend all of my life in desktop, metro is of no use to me unless I decide to write apps for it), but because it's a new box, I have to keep up with times, have to move to the "latest" and "greatest", and because W8 is not actually THAT bad.

Yes, lack of start menu button is very annoying - I can't easily run "most often" used programs, the ones that I use often, just not all the time (notepad for example), and if I install new application suite I can't easily see what it actually installed. However, this can be remedied by installing "Classic Shell", which is free. It also helps to think of Metro Screen as the new start menu, because in a very weird and unconventional way that's what it is essentially. You press WinKey, it takes you to the Metro screen, you start typing, it starts looking for program, you hit enter, it starts the program on the desktop. It's exactly the same as the Start Menu in W7. You can use tiles to create shortcuts to the most often used programs, therefore kind of replicating the start menu functionality. The shortcuts to Control Panel, My Computer, Administrative Tools are still there on Metro screen. So like I said, Metro Screen is nothing more than a significantly reworked Start Menu.

I think a lot of initial negative feedback towards W8 was overblown out of proportion. People saw MS removed start menu button and failed to realize that Metro Screen has all the same functionality as Start Menu. Sure it's vastly different, and will take some time getting used to, but it is not the end of the world as we know it.

And on the last note, there is actually one reason I'm looking forward to W8, and that is the lack of Aero interface. I hate it with a passion, it's nothing more than an eye candy that makes it more difficult to find active window. I made mine as untransparent as possible, but it's still not good enough. Down with the aero!


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:22 am 
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JazzJackRabbit wrote:
And on the last note, there is actually one reason I'm looking forward to W8, and that is the lack of Aero interface. I hate it with a passion, it's nothing more than an eye candy that makes it more difficult to find active window. I made mine as untransparent as possible, but it's still not good enough. Down with the aero!


Then I guess it's a good thing you have a choice to have it or not in Windows 7.


With Windows 8 you don't have a choice, with anything.


Oh, you want the Start Menu? Too bad.
Oh, you don't like Metro? Too bad.
Oh, you like Aero? Too bad.
Oh, you think 'Hot Corners' and 'Charms Bars' are stupid and don't belong in a desktop OS? Too bad.

How long before they remove the desktop? How long before they lock down the OS so that only 'apps' from their store can be installed and ran?


Still think the problem is overblown?

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 7:46 am 
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I run OS X, but I have a secondary SSD for gaming only (Windows). I took a look at Win 8, and Win 7.

Went with Win 7.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:10 am 
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People are so used to the windows desktop, trying to force people to change is daft things like Metro need to be introduced slowly.
No matter how much some people proclaim to like change there talking BS humans like familiarity, when people have problems
even shutting down there PC they will get frustrated, just look at What do people think of Windows 8? from TeamPokki.

I understand why M$ wants to change, but not giving people the choice to do tasks the way that is best for them is asking for trouble imho.
But then again IMHO no M$ OS is worth using until its at least 1-2 years old so people have time to work a way around the annoyances,
look at ClassicShell it came about because people didn't like the new Windows Start menu.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 8:51 am 
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The Start button is gone, finally. Since I don't use a Happy Hacking keyboard that lacks a Windows key, I'm perfectly fine with that.

Restart, Standby and Shutdown can be added the context menu, the desktop, the start screen, as a key combination, a sub menu in the task bar, and in the new Windows X menu (also right click in the lower left corner).
If you don't find any of those solutions good enough, you're just being stubborn. However, it doesn't solve issues that newbies will have.

I hate the way MS is forcing customers to use the new start screen. However, I realize that I don't miss the old start menu.

I don't mind the new Start screen, I just don't have any use for it, yet. All that it have done is forced me to put a lot more programs in the task bar, something I should have done three years ago when W7 came.
Right now I have about 15 programs in the task bar, and I think there's room for about 38 in total on my 24" display. Do I need more? No. I guess some poeple does, though, but I'm willing to use the start screen for the 39:th program.
38 in the task bar + 84 in the start screen (without scrolling) = 122 programs. I think that will work for me.
By using small task bar buttons, set to "never combine" (combine is the most stupid setting ever), and then hide the labels in the registry by setting the icon width to 38 (same as in W7), you'll get more room.

I've started questioning Windows users obsession (mine included) for having as few programs in the task bar as possible ever since I found that registry setting last year.

In short, I don't miss the old start menu because I don't have any use for it anymore. If I had to go back to W7 I'd still put all programs in the task bar.



All the settings is more of a mess than ever though, now there are three different layouts.

- The oldest ones looks pretty much the same as they did in W4 or even W3, like this one.

- Then we have the more modern layout that came with Vista, like Personalization, Power options etc. I guess it was changed because higher resolutions were used compared to the '90s.

- Now there's also "Metro" style settings. :roll:

The first and the second category is just a matter of looks, it doesn't really affect the usability, but it did make Vista look half finished, and I was surprised when it still was like that in W7.
W8 makes it worse though, settings are ALL OVER THE PLACE. For instance, try to find cursor blink rate and cursor width settings. You would expect that they'd be in the same menu... haha.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:37 am 
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Quote:
So like I said, Metro Screen is nothing more than a significantly reworked Start Menu.


I agree with you in principle, but it actually goes way beyond that, it also replaces the start bar, the system tray, the quick launch icons and to some degree it IS the desktop. This I am sure is just fine for many people who only really run one app (their preferred web-browser), but for me this just wont do. My most commonly used programs are on the Quick Launch/Taskbar, my rarely used programs all reside on the Start Menu (I never search for a program to run, I know where they are because I put them where I wanted them to be), and all of my Games are on my desktop (due to the fact that many games do not work well with other apps open, this is changing though there can still be problems).

This might seem counter intuitive to some people but there are very good reasons for this and they all revolve around my personal preferences of how I use my PC, with W8 comes a dictatorial edict that says "though shalt use Metro or be damned", my response to MS is "sod off you are not Apple, I will use Windows how I want to not how you tell me I must". The single best thing about Windows up until W8 is that you can do the same thing in many different ways, none are right and none are wrong, with W8 this changed the moment that they removed the "Classic" option.

I will not put up with this, I will not buy W8 as I do not give my money to Dictators, unless I get a W8 phone which the Metro interface looks perfectly good on, mostly due to the fact that a phone and a desktop PC are used in very different ways and the Metro interface was designed for such a purpose and not for a desktop environment.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:51 am 
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I'd say overall I like Win8. Metro is definitely weird and kind of useless on a desktop PC, but the start screen itself doesn't bother me. The transition from desktop to Start screen, surprisingly, feels pretty natural to me and not as jarring as I remember the first time I tried it in the early preview releases. I am, however, one of those people who, early in the Win7 release cycle, trained himself to pin common apps to the taskbar, so I don't use Start much anyway. I haven't tried it on a tablet so I can't comment on Metro in it's intended environment.

If you use Remote Desktop a lot, the hot corners will drive you crazy though. Hopefully someone will make a utility that gives you visible click targets for start, charms, and task switching (there may already be something like this). Using the Windows key doesn't always work, because the RDP window doesn't always have keyboard focus, so you have to click in the window, and THEN hit the key, which is annoying. Or worse, hit the windows key, realize you just brought up the local start menu, dismiss that, THEN click in the RDP window, etc.

However I'm really starting to like the improved task manager, the file copy dialog, the return of the File Explorer toolbar, etc. I have to wonder if people who compare it to Vista ever used Vista in the first few months after release. Slow, buggy, lots of driver incompatibilities (not entirely MS's fault there). Windows 8 is nothing like that at all. It's more like a leaner Windows 7 with a weird Start Screen and lots of weird apps that you can ignore. If you can get past that, it's all upside from there, IMHO

I'm under no illusions that the average user will love this new UI though. That said, I understand MS's motives. They are in a bad position right now, blindsided by iOS like many other big players in the industry (e.g. Intel). They absolutely must get in front of this tablet thing before iOS penetrates too deeply into the enterprise. To do that, they need to push Metro (oops, "Modern UI") hard and put it right in your face, even if it means a lot of people will skip Windows 8 on desktop/laptop systems. A lot of customers have only made the transition to Windows 7 in the past year or two, so realistically they probably would have skipped Windows 8 anyway, even if it were more like a tweaked Windows 7.5.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:30 am 
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Posts: 81
RHN wrote:
Windows 8 is an attempt to keep pace. In my opinion, it succeeds only partly. It's neither fish nor fowl. The design is daring, some of its elements are admirable, but it is half-baked.

Aren't most of Microsoft's consumer products half-baked?

I find it curious that MS seems to hire a lot of smart people, but the best/brightest seem to migrate towards developing concept technologies (e.g. PixelSense [formerly Surface], Tablet editions of Windows going back to XP) or research. At least this is my impression from the occasional tech demos and from knowing people who work for MS Research.


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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:41 pm 
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So much attention being directed to the UI. To me that is secondary at best - I'll get used to it if I have to, and indeed what little I tried it, it worked much like the "automated" Start Menu we've seen in the last two consumer iterations. Robbing the users of the usual choice and at least semi-open platform (no authorisation/signature/interface/whatever required to install and run software) is my biggest concern; so many options seem to be gone, and many of the rest are all over the place, and I'm not sure how many alternatives (shells and otherwise) we will be able to have under these new MS policies.

MS aren't famous for bringing back features (remembered my pet peeve: in Seven you cannot toggle the taskbar to not be on top like you could in XP, only hide it, which doesn't work nearly as well) or coding in new ones to an existing product, that's for sure, so whatever Eight looks like now I'm sure will be very much the final product.

Edit1: Clarified pet peeve.

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 Post subject: Re: Windows 8: what do you think about it?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Posts: 214
I'd intended to install Windows 8 on the new PC I'm building, but I've definitely had second thoughts after trying it.

With just the new desktop features it'd be the obvious choice, unfortunately I utterly hate and loathe that Metro/Modern UI crap. It may be mostly avoidable in Windows 8 (at least with 3rd party tweaks) but my concern is that it won't stay that way.

I think it's clear that Microsoft don't see Metro as just a tablet interface and replacement for the Start Menu, to them Metro (and its app store) are the future of Windows. They've been pushing the idea of one UI across all devices, claiming that Metro scales to everything from a phone to a full desktop computer, and they might even believe it.

My impression is that they see the desktop as little more than a compatibility mode, like the ability to run DOS and Windows 3.1 software in XP. I can see them pushing Metro more and more and trying to get developers to abandon the "legacy" desktop for it. If that's a success then sooner or later there are likely to be Metro apps that I need to use, and that bastardized phone interface will stop being so easy to avoid.

Considering what a complete and utter joke Metro is on a large desktop monitor, that's something I'd hate to see happen. In my opinion I'd be voting for it with my wallet if I did buy Windows 8.


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