Initial Thoughts on Windows 8

I have been using Windows 8 on my primary laptop for about 30 days now, and have been very pleased with the experience.

I am a semi-typical knowledge worker /  technology consultant who travels a lot.   My office is wherever I can find a small desk area and an internet connection.    My laptop is configure in a way that I have several Virtual Machines working at the same time, one for the corporate image, another for my personal use (with Windows 8 and Office 2013) and one for a bit of fun and dev.work, (Ubuntu 12.04)

It took me  a bit to get use-to the new interface, but once I got the idea,  it was smooth sailing.

Part of my goal was to look at how application / drivers and device compatibility was going to impact my migration process.   Pleased to report that I have found no application, device or driver compatibility issues.    This has been a big surprise, as so much of my work has been focused on these topics in the past few years, migrating people to Windows 7. (I am pretty sure you are aware how involved this has been! )

I have to admit, that the primary UI interface has been the desktop.  Metro works fine, but I just have not found it very useful on my keyboard-mouse laptop.    I have missed the Start Button a bit but not as much as I thought I would.  Just a matter of getting used to doing things slightly different..

Things I Like:

  • remarkably easy to install and update (from win7)
  • Boot time:   whether from hybernation state or full boot – WOW – It is super fast!  This I love!  it takes less time than saying: “superfragilistic expialidocious“ – It’s nice.
  • Although at first, it did not make sense, the integration with the Microsoft account is very nice.   (especially with SkyDrive is super helpful)
  • I miss the start-button, but have gotten use to hit the Window key and type the next app I need..
  • Office 2013 is very nice…  Microsoft Office team has improved the product considerably – I will write something up on this topic separately
  • Internet Explorer 10 on the desktop is speedy.  Have found no issues with web-site or web apps.

Things I do not use or yet “get” :

  • The “formerly known as”  Metro interface  — Metro works fine, but it I find it that it excels on touch-screen devices.
  • How do you close an app in the Metro Interface (ie: Adobe PDF, or IE) There is not X or close “buttons” in the Metro.
  • Regarding IE10  within the Metro interface:   It is very nice to look at, but I have found it a bit impractical as I can not doe multiple tabs, or windows…

One last thing:  I can’t use Snip to take a picture of  a region if the Metro interface.  Checked the Microsoft App Store, and was not able to find anything to do screen shorts of it.. Anyone knows of a suitable replacement…   Do you know?

Look forward to the official release in late October, and the tablet experience – Some cool devices coming out!

2 Comments

  1. Mike Criss

    Jorge, do you find anything in Win 8 that would compelling for a business to adopt the new OS for the desktop? I have been working with Win 8 since the beta and I can’t find enough to justify a desktop upgrade. Metro is interesting but is aimed at a touch interface. As you found, it gets in the way of the desktop. After you move Metro out of the way, Win 8 is marginally better than Win 7. I do like what is coming for the tablets but, sadly, the desktop is feeling more and more like the launch of Vista.

    Mike

    • jorge

      Hi Mike —
      I was just having this conversation last week with a colleague.

      Aside from the fact that it boots much, much faster, I am not seen much of an upswing here..

      From a UI point of view, like you said, the “formerly known as Metro” interface is rarely used when using a standard laptop / keyboard. I and others go directly to the desktop and stay there most of the time. I am sure this will change when the new devices come to market.

      From the security point of view, Windows To Go is very nice. Remote FX support, network management, Bitlocker (much faster) AppLocker & Direct Access & Branch Cache have improved. The question is, How many organizations will be using them ?

      Print Service have added a new universal Print driver — Not sure how this one works yet – but it is promising..

      From a management point of view, I think we are in the same place, except for the newly file access control system… SCCM 2012 is the one that has most of the updates.

      I am not sure how successful will Microsoft be in getting enterprises that have just completed their Windows 7 migrations on to Windows 8, but with over 45% of Corporate PCs out there still in XP, plus the avalanche of new touch devices coming on board. I know we will be busy supporting multiple Microsoft OSes for a while..

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