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So I gave Windows 8 Pro another shot...

post #1 of 10
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I have been extremely critical of windows 8 since its first inception regarding metro (now called modern ui but I'm going to keep calling it metro). But, wanting to have a fair opinion about windows 8, and being the last time I used it was during its alpha days, I decided to go ahead and give it another try in its final released form. So I purchased windows 8 Pro System Builder and did a fresh clean install to give it another go.

the negatives

The taskbar just looks weird, sorta empty, and not complete without having the start button visible at all times. With it being hidden it also makes accessing metro "start menu" somewhat of an annoying, tedious task with the mouse. Accessing metro is a three step process with the mouse. You have to hover over the bottom left area of the taskbar, the metro icon to appears, and then click on it.

sGJUUl.png

It's just weird having it hidden. Especially when accessing it is still relativity the same except its hidden and you have to hover over it to make it appear... Why not simply just have the start menu button visible at all times?

I'll admit it, I have gotten use to using metro as my start menu. You can easily remove everything that would make it a Desktop Manager by uninstalling pretty much all of metros apps and use it only as a start menu.

Being use to it though doesn't mean I like it. I still don't. Running both a 24inch 1920x1200 screen and a 23inch 1920x1080 screen, having my start menu take up an entire screen is just ridiculous. Just take a look at this screenshot I took.

xUQk2l.jpg

It's just weird and a waste of so much space.

Speaking of wasted space, accessing the good old "All Programs" now simply called "All apps" requires you to right click inside metro to activate a menu that brings up the icon to allow you to click on All apps.

fRhB4l.png

It went from:
click on start - click on all programs

to:
hover over bottom left corner of taskbar - click on metro start when icon appears - right click inside of metro - click on all apps

Wouldn't it be far more accessible and simpler if it was just visible at all times? There's plenty of space for it. Since metro scrolls horizontally instead of vertically, they could of easily kept it in its current place except having it always visible.

Accessing search compared to 7 and vista is another tedious task. Its no more start - type away.

Now its:
Win key + F

or

Win key + C - Click on search

or with a mouse:
Move mouse to the bottom right corner of the screen, hover for about a second and a half and the "charm" side bar comes up, click on search.

MnjXRl.png

Not only is it more annoying to access it with the mouse, but it is also with the key binding. In 7 and Vista it was win key, that's it.

They could have built in the search function into the start page and all apps page of metro. There's plenty of space...

The search function in metro is slightly different than the search function in explorer. If you search for applications in metro, it only searches what you have in the all apps menu. It doesn't actually search your entire hard drive.

To do a full search, you have to open explorer to my computer and then search. It will find both files and software with the name you searched for.

HLs8bl.png

It's really easier to just use explorer now to search.

Shutting down and restarting is also more tedious.

Now its:
Win key + C - Settings - Power - Shutdown

or
hover over bottom right corner of the taskbar - side bar comes up, Settings - Power - Shutdown

I6qIol.png

No more simple:
win key - shutdown

or

click start - shutdown

The lack of the ability to configure metro in Control Panel makes no sense. Control Panels main purpose was to be a main, central place to configure windows. Even some software devs used Control Panel to configure their software, like Adobe with Flash for example. So why did Microsoft split it up by having the metro control panel do some things control panel could do like windows update and time, but you cannot change anything about metro in the regular control panel?

vtQi5l.png

the posties

Resource management does appear to be better than windows 7. I was surprised to see after booting into Windows 8 with nothing else running in the background besides Windows own services that my system was using only 1.6gb of ram. windows 7 use to always use 2.2gb of ram with the same setup for me. Vista was the same as 7.

Windows 8 does feel more optimized over 7. It boots faster, everything is snappier, and I also noticed the smoother FPS in games people have talked about. With time as graphic drivers mature more for Windows 8 it will be interesting to see the greater performance increase over 7. For performance, windows 8 is an upgrade over 7 like 7 was over vista.

I like the new "flat" theme of windows 8. It looks very sleek and modern.

The new ribbon explorer is also nice. I find the toolbars to be more useful now. Even though I know some people don't like ribbon, I like the compromise microsoft did by giving us the option to hide the toolbar when not in use. Ribbon does take up a lot more space, but being able to hide it when not in use is nice. Compared to the extremely minimal and not so useful toolbar in 7 and vista, its a nice change in the right direction.

CpsSWl.png

The new look of the task manager is very sleek. It was long over due for a change and they made it look great.

Multi monitor support has improved greatly over 7. You can now have a taskbar on each additional screen you have connected. You can choose the taskbar to either show all windows open across all the screens on all the taskbars, only show the windows opened in the taskbar on the screen its self, or disable the taskbar being on multiple screens.

EUvqsl.jpg

Microsoft security essentials is no longer a separate download. Its now included by default in windows 8 and replaces windows defender. Though they now call MSE as windows defender.


So in the end, the main complaint I have is metro. Metro causes windows 8 to have an identity crisis. It's UI is trying to behave as two different things. One for touch, and one for desktop. Some of the deign decisions they made make sense on a tablet, but they don't on the desktop. Yeah you can get use to it, but getting use to it doesn't mean its better. Microsoft would be better off just bringing back the classic start menu.

Overall, windows 8 isn't bad. It's performance increase over 7 is great and I have to hand it to microsoft for continuing to make great strives in increasing overall performance. The (non metro) changes to the desktop side of things are great and I just love the new explorer. Ultimately I will continue to use windows 8 over 7 sine I have it installed. Ignoring metro, i really like Windows 8. I'll probably give classic shell a try.
Edited by konoii - 11/21/12 at 9:56pm
post #2 of 10
I am getting used to Windows 8 on my laptop, and to be honest I had a lot of the same qualms as you at first. Once you know your way around the start menu, though, it is just as easy as Windows 7, if not easier, to navigate around.

It does take some getting used to, and as most people don't like change, I can understand the dislike. I even had classic shell installed for a while, but I decided to give the new menu a chance, and once I figured things out, I actually like it.

I've done the research to make sure the drivers are all up-to-date for Windows 8 on my main rig (they are), so when I get time, I think I will make the switch there too (along with my HTPC).
post #3 of 10
Regarding searching, you can just hit the windows key / bring up modern UI and just start typing as well. It will search.
post #4 of 10
after installing start 8 or classic shell and booking right to the desktop with a normal start menu i like it.
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post #5 of 10
You can just click the corner for the start menu, don't have to wait for the hover icon. Aswell as what anubis said, you can just start typing away when you open up the start menu it will search.

With time to come you'll get used to it, especially if the positives outweigh the negatives for you. It's just that we're so used to the classic style we've had for so long with the start menu etc. If we were using the 'modern ui' style all these years then switch to the classic style we would feel the same way.
Edited by NoiseTemper - 11/29/12 at 6:45am
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post #6 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by burksdb View Post

after installing start 8 or classic shell and booking right to the desktop with a normal start menu i like it.

why then would you even bother upgrading? the under the hood performance gains can't really be noticeable. until the windows store reach's a certain mass I have trouble seeing why anyone would upgrade from 7 unless they liked metro. I don't use /pay attention to windows so please enlighen me if I'm wrong, but other then metro/$15deal why would anyone bother upgrading?
post #7 of 10
A friend of mine just bought an new laptop with Windows 8 installed, and (coming from XP) he just can't deal with it, and I can't either - and this is with me being used to touch interfaces on smartphones and tablets. I think the classic desktop paradigm has been with us so long because, quite frankly, it works. If any part of the Human Computer Interface needs work, it's voice commands/natural speech.

Anyway, having discovered Classic Shell and Start 8, I can avoid having to install Windows 7 for him. smile.gif
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post #8 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by anubis1127 View Post

Regarding searching, you can just hit the windows key / bring up modern UI and just start typing as well. It will search.

this.

if i was forced to use windows 8, i would, just like i forced my parents to use it after I fixed their macbook (just as an experiment of sorts)

it's not a complete failure, but the lack of a option/context menu that appears right next to the cursor when right clicking is a terrible HCI feature for desktops (heck, even a touch screen would benefit from it). Instead, i have to mouse up to an app, right click, mouse to the bottom of my screen, then pin to start > rinse and repeat for everything i want.
There's no way to select multiple apps or select apps in bulk > pin to start in 2 (+ selecting the individual apps) steps.

it's tedious, and should be improved.

The only hot key I use is the Windows/Start button on the keyboard. Everything else I imagine as swiping motions with the mouse. To get to a previous app or full screen metro app, down or top left corners and swipe up/down respectively.

If i want to get to the shutdown menu, swipe to top right or bottom corner, select settings > power > shutdown.

the fact that the power menu is embedded inside Settings is also bad HCI. None of the adults i've introduced W8 to were able to figure it out intuitively.
Edited by ez12a - 12/6/12 at 2:19pm
 
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post #9 of 10
I literally did what you did and nuked the metro half. However I like windows 8 once metro is nuked. Under the hood enhancements + a nifty looking start screen if you set it up right!
I hated what the icons looked like for desktop apps, so I have been using some custom ones! (Looked ancient before).
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)

I am trying to populate my start screen, and I am using more as a launcher more than anything. But i'm out of ideas right now. I am willing to download metro apps, but really I have no use for them unless they are replacing things I would normally do web based (Eg: countdown timers). Otherwise I just end up with metro vs desktop competition.

Also,
I think the charms bar has pretty useless commands, needs some more function in there (stuff out of control panel).

As some other posters said:
Metro UI start typing to search
Shutdown> charms> settings> shutdown
Edited by invena - 12/7/12 at 5:08pm
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post #10 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonjryjo View Post

...
I've done the research to make sure the drivers are all up-to-date for Windows 8 on my main rig (they are), so when I get time, I think I will make the switch there too (along with my HTPC).
Have fun with that. I put Windows 8 on my bedroom HTPC and can't stand it. Windows 8 will not automatically start WMC full screen, it starts in the background on the desktop, the Metro UI is still on top. I have reasearched a few workarounds, but that should not be needed.
I am glad I only wasted $15 on the upgrade, since after 2 weeks of trying to get it working like it should, I have gone back to Windows 7 on it and have no plans what so ever of using Windows 8 again.
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