March 15, 2013

First day of Windows 8

So after a few months of holding back on upgrading my Windows operating system from Windows 7 to Windows 8, I finally decided to take the plunge after seeing many others do so. As any other tech-minded guy, I did my research, asked around in various websites, read some news and everything. I wasn't fully convinced to do the switch after doing all that, and after playing around with it a bit on my friend's new laptop, I decided that it wasn't the right time to do so.

A few weeks later and slowly, the overly hyped Microsoft Surface TV commercials and electronic store advertisements finally penetrated my rock solid heart and in the end, I gave in to community pressure and decided to make the switch.

So after backing everything up to my external hard drive and syncing my precious files to DropBox, I performed the upgrade. It was surprisingly quick and smooth for the transition over to Windows 8. I chucked the installer DVD in, loaded it up in Windows 7, did the whole set-up procedure and waiting for less than 30 minutes.

The upgrade prompted me whether I wanted to keep my files, but I wanted to do a clean install to immerse myself in the whole experience. Surprisingly, the installation did a back-up of my current files into a folder called "Windows.old". This took up quite a large amount of space so afterwards, I had to manually remove it via Disk Cleanup.
After Windows 8 was installed I was greeting my the login screen. After logging in, I was greeted by the controversial Start screen with the "Modern UI" interface. It took a while to get used to the whole 'hotspot corner' thing; but I can see that the whole experience is definitely better on touch screen devices. One thing I still can't get the hang of is the side menu bar. It switches between apps that you previously loaded and not  to the Start screen.

Here is my findings for the stuff I liked and didn't like:
  • Windows 8 is quick to load and is definitely faster than before
  • The tiles is an interesting idea, I kind of understand where Microsoft is taking the OS with the compatibility between PCs and tablets
  • Simple and clean user interface (solid colours is definitely a plus)
  • Modern UI - it's good and bad, just scrolling through your apps using your mouse isn't so user friendly
  • Sidebar - it is still taking a while to get used to the whole "Start" button on sidebar thing
  • Compressed wallpapers - Windows 8 compresses your wallpaper to a JPEG lossy format so you may notice some artifacts (but it doesn't bother me as I spend most my time on Chrome)
Overall, I must say that I was impressed by what I experienced and actually come to acknowledge that it is not a bad operating system at all. Sure enough there are a few minor annoyances, but if you overlook the minor details, Microsoft has delivered a solid experience with it.