Overclock.net › Components › Software & Video Games › Operating Systems › Microsoft Windows 8 Pro

Microsoft Windows 8 Pro

100% Positive Reviews
Rated #3 in Operating Systems


Pros: Touch screen friendly, simple, elegant, performance boost.

Cons: Big adjustment for desktop environment, lack of driver support, limited app selection

Windows 8!

Here it is, Microsoft's next version of their Windows operating system. How does it compare to Windows 7? Well I've had quite awhile to play with this operating system since I've been through all of the preview releases, and got this on release date as well. I will do my absolute best for a thorough, HONEST, fair and at least mildly entertaining review.

For just a little background on myself, I work as a technical support analyst, and I have been using computers ever since I was a mere lad (a very socially awkward one).

--- The Installation ---

Installing Windows 8 is not much different than the installation process of Windows 7. You put in the disk or USB flash drive, pick which drive you want, and wait for the files to copy over, which seemed faster to me than the Windows 7 installation.

--- The Start Screen, ie. The Modern UI ---

Change! Change is bad! No change because we need things to be the same forever!...

Honestly, the Modern UI seemed simpler to use than the classic start menu in my experience. For example, when I want to launch an app such as CCleaner, all I have to do is hit the Windows key on my keyboard, click the big and obvious tile, and it's done. That's on my desktop. On my Samsung 500T tablet, I just hit the Windows button, and touch the same big and obvious tile. Great!

On Windows 7, I would click the start button, click all programs, and browse for it through the mini folder icons. Or I could type it into the search bar of the start menu. For me, both of these options took too much time, whereas Windows 8 makes it much simpler. I like this because my time using a computer is typically spent doing more important things like emulating old games, or trying to get the Windows version of iTunes to suck a little less (with no success. It's just horrible.)

If you are running Windows 8 and you really want the classic start menu back, you have options! Two I can safely recommend are "Start8" and "Pokki." Google away, you'll be most pleased with your findings.

The Modern UI is not very mouse/keyboard friendly though. The "Touch gestures" that would normally be a breeze for a tablet take a little more effort on the desktop environment.

--- The Desktop Environment ---

For the most part, the desktop in Windows 8 is exactly the same as the desktop in Windows 7. However, there are some noticeable differences. The big and obvious change..

The start menu is gone. Read the section above for more on that. Change isn't always a bad thing.

Windows Explorer now has the ribbon thing that Microsoft Office 2007 had. I find this new ribbon menu in Explorer to be more work than necessary. Windows 7 had it much simpler, and it was all laid out right there. On a tablet, this is especially annoying because I find there to be more clicking around. Of course, this may just be a learning curve that I need to turn on.

The desktop environment is NOT touch friendly at all. Of course this is to be expected, but this is something you'll need to keep in mind if you are looking into getting a Windows 8 tablet device (and no, not the awful Windows RT devices, but that's not for now).

--- Performance ---

There's not much to say here, so I'll cut to the point: Performance is better. Also on an interesting note, the WEI score system for performance and such got bumped up from 7.9 to 9.9. Time to buy more hardware fellas. Gotta have the straight 9.9's. Right?

--- Compatibility, Drivers, and Apps ---

I'm sure compatibility is expected to improve as time goes by with a new operating system, but I'm typing this review now, so let's talk about it now, yes?

Compatibility is horrible right now. iTunes syncing to an iPhone 5 always randomly disconnects, connecting a USB cable to a Samsung Galaxy S3 only works sometimes, ADB for a Galaxy Nexus only works sometimes, and my SNES emulator randomly crashes..

Yes, I've ensured that all available drivers are installed for said devices, which brings me onto my next point: Driver support for Windows 8 is very stale.

For a lot of devices and such, you will need to just use Windows 7 drivers and hope that they work, because Windows 8 drivers don't exist for all devices...yet. We can only hope that this gets better, which I'm sure it will. After all, technology is advancing so quickly, and the last thing you want as a manufacturer of electronics is to be left behind.

One of the pushing features for Windows 8 is the Microsoft App Store. This is obviously to compete against Apple's App Store, and the Google Play store. It has a lot of work to do, because the app selection for useful apps is very limited as of now. I know for a fact that this will get better as Windows 8 ages a little bit, but I'm thinking that maybe they should've just waited to release Windows 8 until more useful apps were available?

--- Games ---

I suppose this could've gone up with the previous category, but games are a big deal so I wanted them to be by themselves!

Games on Steam and Origin work great for the most part. I did have issues with some older games, such as Star Wars Jedi Knight, and Mysteries of the Sith. This was fixed by fiddling with the files in their directories, but it was still a hassle for awhile.

There are a few bad eggs, but the majority of games will work even better due to Windows 8's performance management.

--- Skydrive ---

Skydrive is fantastic. Skydrive is a cloud service offered by Microsoft. If you are familiar with Apple's iCloud, or Dropbox, you'll feel right at home with Skydrive.

With this service, I am able to transfer files between my desktop computer and my tablet MUCH quicker than I could with USB flash drives.

You just click and drag files into your Skydrive folder, then they will show up on your other devices in the same Skydrive folder. Brilliant! You get 7.0GB to play with, but that's plenty for most people. Not much else to say on this.

--- Conclusion ---

Windows 8 is not for everybody. If you are currently running Windows 7 on a desktop environment and love it, there is honestly no reason to upgrade to Windows 8. However, games do perform better (assuming they'll work), system performance as a whole is better, and Skydrive built in is a perk as well. Driver support is still sketchy, but give that time to change.

If you have a mobile device or touch screen capable interface with an x86 capable processor, absolutely get Windows 8. Windows 8 works extremely well in a touch screen environment, and is well worth the $69.99 price tag (subject to change).

Should you buy Windows 8? Sure, it's only $69.99. That's better than the price that Windows 7 was (and still is on most websites).

-- UPDATE: Price Change? --

It has just been brought to my attention that the price for Windows 8 has increased.
Now the regular edition of Windows 8 sells for $99.99 (USD).

It seems like there's a $39.99 Windows 8 Pro upgrade offer on Microsoft's website, as shown here:


I'm going to give Windows 8 a 4/5 on that scale. But on a 1-10 scale, I'm going to give it a 7/10 because of driver support being so poor for the time being.


Pros: Fast, Looks nice, No more Aero GPU hogging, DX 11.1

Cons: NO START BUTTON, Modern UI apps a little hard to use, A few compatibility issues, Administration privileges not right

Welcome to my review of Windows 8 Pro (w/ added Media Center).
To start off my review, here is a picture of the new (some could call it improved) Start Menu.

Of course, your Start Menu will not look like that!

Windows 8 is the new Operating System developed by Microsoft. It is the designated successor to Windows 7, a well received Operating System released way back in 2009.

Windows 8 is a worthy upgrade to Windows 7, and in my opinion not a bad OS, at all.
There has been much opposition to Windows 8's new Modern/Metro UI, and the more "locked down" nature of the OS. I was also afraid of Windows 8 being a desktop version of iOS.
Gabe Newell said that "Windows 8 will be a catastrophe for everyone in the PC space."
I couldn't disagree more.
Sure, Valve's margins may drop a little, but the chances of people ditching Steam for the Windows Store/XBOX Store are VERY low. I can tell you I haven't.

Unfortunately, Microsoft removed the start button/old start menu from Windows 8. Personally, I've used Windows too long to not have it. So to remedy the situation, I purchased Start8, for 5 USD.
Basically, it puts back the old Start Menu and button, except with the square Windows 8 feel, and the new Windows logo.

The new Explorer:
Microsoft has upgraded the Windows Explorer (now called File Explorer) with the Modern ribbon UI, seen in MS Office since 2007. Below is a picture of Computer:

I think it is a nice new addition to Windows, although it can get a bit confusing.

Modern UI apps:

Overall, I like the new Modern UI full-screen apps, although the they can be hard to navigate at times, and when you select something else on another screen they instantly close.
Most look very nice, and have some great functions, for example the above Weather Pro app, which can be very handy. They also load fairly quickly.

There are many small changes in Windows, including the below one, which occurs when you click the wifi icon in the notification area of the taskbar.

Windows Experience Index - Does it actually mean anything this time?
In short, no. They increased the maximum performance numbers from 7.9 to 9.9 it seems, although the are still a terrible representation of performance.

Should you upgrade to Windows 8?
If you are running Windows XP/Vista: DEFINITELY YES. For $40, Windows 8 is a fantastic upgrade. Even when it becomes $80, it would still be worth it.
If you have Windows 7, the answer is a little more complicated: If you are completely happy with Windows 7, it doesn't really matter which option you choose. Windows 8 also has a lot of kernel improvements and bug fixes. If you are sick of little bugs in Windows 7 (e.g The annoying message: Your computer is too slow, change to Windows Basic), go with Windows 8.
Rating: 4 flames out of 5.
Windows 8 is a fantastic OS overall, but it has issues. Hopefully they will be rectified in time, but don't count on it.


Pros: Drivers auto-install without a hitch, uninstalling very easy, apps easy to use, folder up button back, very smooth animations

Cons: Comfortable to use but may be shocking to new users, Control Panel and other system functions (run, cmd, dxdiag) harder to access

Review: Windows 8

Microsoft's newest run of their operating system is in full spring; what does it bring to the table?



Windows 8 presents Windows's solution to PC and mobile integration: Modern UI. It certainly is a foray into the field in which Apple has dominated for such a long time. Although the Desktop is still there, the arrival of the Modern UI saw the removal of an important friend - the Windows Start Menu (start button), which has now been replaced by the Windows Start Screen. For some users this may be very uncomfortable, as the search function introduced in Vista now has been moved to the Charm Menu, another new feature. 

Windows 8 may be absolutely hideous to some with the added moves, clicks, types, swipes, taps, and doodahs required to reach something. However, with a bit of getting used to, Windows 8 is quite easy to use.

Score: 4/5 Flames


Pros: Easily Organized "Start" Menu, Good Capability with Most Windows 7 Software, Great Use of Windows Key and Right-Click Shortcuts.

Cons: Access to Control Panel and Other System Features, Barely any Aero Features Left

I have found an option to enable Aero Peek from the desktop (when you hover over the program buttons on the taskbar). Also the new Snap feature is pretty handy.

Overall, All the drivers and software that came with my VAIO seem to work with no problems. I can't seem to get my Borderlands 2 to work on my laptop since the upgrade to Release Preview. Maybe that will get fixed in an update or for the full release.

I find being able to organize the "Start Menu" very handy when it comes to finding frequently used programs. The shutdown function, until I found out about the shortcuts (Control+I or Alt+F4 from the Desktop), was certainly annoying.

As for the Control Panel, it and other options (i.e. Driver Management System Properties and more) can be easily found when you right click in the bottom left hand corner of the screen.

I do agree that the Metro UI is a bold move that Microsoft did, but since I have started using it, there hasn't been many things I don't like from it. A lot of features you need to start making use of the right-click and start button more often than you used to.

Windows 8 will take time to get used to for new users, as will new shortcuts for veteren Windows users. Everyone remembers the step from XP to Windows 7, right?



Pros: Fast, mainly due to losing Windows Aero, driver support for recent hardware, etc.

Cons: Retarded UI designed for touchscreens

I have been using Microsoft products since MSDOS, as well as Debian-based /Fedora Linux. It seems like ME/Vista (the two version of Windows I skipped), this is not ironed out as of the Preview.

Specifically, MS DOS -> Win 3.1 -> Win NT -> Win 95 -> Win 98SE/2000 -> Windows XP / Windows XP Media Center Ed. / Windows XP Media Center 2005-> Windows 7 Home/Pro

Basically XP was an upgrade because it was based on Windows NT. At its core, Windows 7 and Windows 8 are essentially still Windows NT.

The good
The driver support out of the box is improved for recent hardware

Windows Aero is gone, so the UI is faster

If you use a touch screen I could see the UI being useful.

There's supposedly optimizations for SSDs (TRIM right out of the box), which I saw and used

Supposedly faster graphics for DX11 enabled stuff

Task Manager changed to be more informative

File copying streamlined

The bad:
Sure it boots in 10 seconds out of the box (no updates), but Windows 7 boots in 8 seconds for me (may be due to drivers).

It's a hassle to find what used to be Control Panel options until you show them in the Start screen

It takes 2 steps just to shutdown, you need to hover over to the right side and then hit the shutdown button.

The formerly known as "Metro" UI could be better designed, but you need to adjust to using the bottom right Peek button (and left side Metro sidebar) rather than relying on a taskbar. It's essentially supposed to be like the Metro in London (or subway in NYC): with billboards all over.

Overclocking results in blue screens, a lot of lame unhappy smiley icons.

If you don't have a Windows 8 certified motherboard, I think it will be very problematic to find utilities but the back end is more or less Windows 7 so you could try those utilities.

What has improved is driver support for hardware made in the past 2 years. It recognized Marvell USB ports/controller (as in the ones not part of chipset) without plugging into internet, something I can't say for Windows 7 Pro. It recognized and installed drivers for Intel HD graphics.

It needs to be ironed out (bug fixes) and the UI made to be more Desktop friendly. I may have changed opinions when I finish Windows Update, but I doubt the UI will be drastically altered.


Pros: Fast, sleek, good lucking

Cons: Confusing, Feels like a few things are missing, Only one screen used for "metro"

1) Quick Summary
2) Installation
3.a) Initial Pros
3.b) Initial Cons
3.c) Initial Thoughts
4) Initial Bugs (Hey its a new program)
5) After a month

Pre curser -> Im a techy that used both Linux and windows, and I call the metro button a start bar wink.gif how dare windows tell me io cant call the start menu a start menu wink.gif

If people want anything just ask smile.gif, also the spelling in this is probabley going to be better than usuly thanks to windows but still awfull wink.gif
1) Quick Summary

Amazing OS, similar philosophy to the Gnome 3 Project, Great Interface, Shame about the little niggles though

The "Metro" (it is no longer metro not sure of its new name) interface is good but has its shortcomings. Typing iniates a search just like the start bar in windows 8 but sadly you have to click to switch between files programs and setting .. bad choice in my opinion

To get back a "traditional" start bar there are 2 options. You can either download a new shell, OR you can enable the desctop toolbar and add all your shortcuts neetly to the destop and this acts as the start menu (ive taken to the second option)

You are able to install .exe's as normal, there is no "need" to use the app store. At the moment the app store has oooh 20 apps wink.gif

2) Installation

I Decided to do a clean Install of windows 8. I totally wiped the drive to stop any nasty ness of the upgrade process,

It is the same as most installs BUT you need to put in the product key in the install which was annoying as I did not have my key handy, I prefer to add them in after but hey.

After the normal copy and restart you are presented with customisation options,

You can do things such as ;
  • link up with your Hotmail account (this is option)
  • Chose update settings
  • Chose your Colour Scheme
  • Privavy options

When choosing the privacy options it was quite clear and concise to what the options done, from IE tracking to Microsoft tracking, nothing was forced on me at all.

There was also a small get to know the new pc but hey it was not very usefull ...

I have chosen to huck my PC up to Hotmail and skydrive to see how it goes


3.a) Initial Pros

The install was quick and easy, and I am likeing the interface. As more of a "power" user I think I have adapted pretty quickly to the changes but I worry other people wont want

The desktop is still present, and it is easy to get to. The only difference is that when you start windows It starts in the "metro" interface

The system seams snappy and quick to respond.

The desktop is very similar to the windows 8 one, however the start menue button in the bottom left is still there but invisible.

In the top right there is another way top access quick tools, there is search, share, start, devices and settings.


3.b) Initial Cons

The interface is different. There is no way different of saying this and it takes some getting used to.

Things are not always Obvious, somethings are converluted and hidden. For example to power off, there are three options.
alt+f4 -> power off,
quickmenue -> settings -> power -> off
start -> top icon (I didn't even know this was a button at first) -> logout -> unlock -> power -> shutdown

Fullscreen apps sometimes have the start bar on the bottem ...

The messanger app can not add other hotmail accounts

Setting are hard to find at first .....

3.c) Initial Thoughts

Metro apps ... i dont quite get them, they aim to restrict thigns to one screen which as a three screen person i dont like, you can not tell the metro menue (as i know currently) to open the "normal" version of somthing which is heckofalot annoying. Metro is stuck with one screen ¬_¬

I think its a good OS, seaming strong at the moment,

Also please add shutdown to the start menu, dont do a gnome foundation ;D!

4) Initial Bugs

* I have small icons on my start bar and it is set to hide, now it is no longer rendering when it pops back up .
* When playing media which played well in W7 I had a bit o stuttering

The rest is coming Soon!
Microsoft Windows 8 Pro

Windows 8 is an operating system produced by Microsoft for use on personal computers, including home and business desktops, laptops, tablets, and home theater PCs. It is part of the Windows NT family of operating systems and succeeds Windows 7. Development of this operating system started before the release of its predecessor in 2009. Its existence was first announced in January 2011 at Consumer Electronics Show. During its development and test phases, Microsoft released three pre-release versions: Developer Preview (September 13, 2011), Consumer Preview (February 29, 2012), and Release Preview (May 31, 2012). On August 1, 2012, Windows 8 graduated from the development stage and was released to manufacturing. Windows 8 is slated for general availability on October 26, 2012. Windows 8 is built based on Metro design language and introduces a new form of "Windows 8-style software", which may only be obtained through Windows Store. Windows 8 also features a new start screen, Internet Explorer 10, native support for USB 3.0, a new Windows Defender that combats malware (instead of only spyware), Windows To Go, and support for UEFI SecureBoot. The last of these has stirred controversy. ~~~~~~~~~ Taken From Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8

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Related Media/Links:

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Troubleshooting/Known Issues:

Had an issue other users should know about? Put it here.



How To:

1) How do I add stuff to the start menu?

After a program is istalled it is automatically added to the start menu. Sometimes you will need to add extra stuff like explorer and to do this, locate it by typing its name and thenpin to start menu.


2) How do i add Documents to the start menu?


This one is annoying, first create a shortcut to a program that will open the document inside "" IE "C:\Program Files (x86)\LibreOffice 3.6\program\scalc.exe".


Then add the full path of the file

"C:\Program Files (x86)\LibreOffice 3.6\program\scalc.exe" C:\Users\woopwoop\Documents\woopwoop.ods



This is a dirst workaround and the context menu missing add to start is just a bug at the moment


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