Windows 8...#1 - My Thoughts...

By now you all know I have been in this business for a LONG time (19 years... Jesus...) and have been running a version of this website for a LONG time.

As such, I get emails from folks who would like for me to speak about everything from what is BitCoin to what's my favorite FTP application. 

Recently, I had a Small Business email me asking my thought's on how they could upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7. My first question back to them was "why not Windows 8?" There response was: "Windows 8? We heard it was for tablets!" I asked them if they had actually see or looked at Windows 8 and they sorta "duh'd me" and said: "Of course we did! It was on a tablet!" I think they saw the Surface.

Now weare speaking of a SMB (Small Business for those who don't know what SMB means) and while I assume EVERYONE knows about Window 8, really most SMB's don't! They know, well what they know... and that's pretty much what's in front of them or what they see at the local computer store.

I think a lot of folks get confused thinking Windows 8 is somehow only for certain devices (mobile and tablet seem to be the most confusing for folks) which cannot be further from the truth.

I have not done a lot of articles about Windows 8, from my perspective, as I truly believe you cannot write any articles about an OS (without the obligatory "Oh-Ah..." ) without having used it for a period of time. Sure, you can write about all the new bells and whistles but you can't write a true user review of how the OS preforms WITHOUT using it for a period of time in the REAL world. You have to travel with it. You have to install it on numerous devices. You have to really put though it's paces. You also have to wait for the drivers to become "mature" and functional and actually provide enhancements to the environment you are working in (printers, fax, and peripherals come to mind).

Now that I have had a solid year with the OS (I have only been using it on all my devices for about a year...), and after having to overcome my true distaste for the OS (yep, really thought this was a 'worse than Vista moment' for MS) I came around and have really come to like it.

So, over the next few weeks (since Summer = SLOW ass news time in the tech world) I want to really 'talk' to you all about this OS and let you make up YOUR mind about it.

I want to present you with real world facts, both good and bad, and let you decide about the OS.

The beginning...

When I first saw Windows 8 I have to admit, I was intrigued. It was different enough for me to be interested but not 'sold' on the OS. I, like the rest of the world, was using Windows 7 and just LOVING it! LOVING IT, but MS was in a bit of a pickle as mobile was coming into being and was selling like HOT-CAKES and MS thought, as they normally do, 'hey the market loves Mobile so we have to NOW be in Mobile!' and so the touch-centric OS was put into development and walla... Windows 8.

I remember watching the announcement demo from MS wondering all along where in the hell the desktop had gone? Was Windows over as we knew it? Sure as hell seemed to be! The only reason, in my opinion, the Desktop was even included in the OS was MS needed to support legacy PC's and Business customers. Metro, as it was initially called, was the new world for MS. It was a touch, app based, store fronted, colorful and pretty OS which all centered around MS's new Store which they thought could compete with Apple.

I was one of the early adopters and had it on my PC for about a week. I was so frustrated with the lack of... anything familiar...I uninstalled it and literally threw it under the bus. I mentioned on my Podcast how... disappointed I was in the new OS and like just about everyone out in the real world the lack of a Start menu was so... frustrating for me I went RUNNING back to Windows 7 and truly had ZERO intention of going back to Windows 8. If this was the new computing path for MS, I was going to MAC. Seriously, I was so upset with MS throwing us PC users who had stood by MS for so long under the bus I was going to revolt.


Then I read about a couple of very creative companies who were putting out Start menu replacements for Windows 8 (and being download like crazy!) which made Windows 8 somewhat tolerable. Then I heard it was POSSIBLE to boot directly to the desktop if you wanted, basically bypassing Metro completely.

Hmmmm..... maybe I might give it another shot.

New PC... New OS...

At the time Windows 8 was being released, I was building a new very high-end PC. I originally installed Windows 7 spent, hell... about 2 hours just getting all the drivers installed and stable. I had read Windows 8 was MUCH better with the new hardware I was installing (RAID SSD's, NVIDIA's SLI, RAID 0 10K gaming drivers, 32GB of memory, etc...) all requiring VERY little 3rd party driver support as most of the drivers were already built in. Eh... what the hell... let's see.

Windows 8 Install.... Beautiful....

Windows 8 went on beautifully! I am not kidding. Just slick as hell! No RAID drivers needed for the OS to see the RAID 0 partition. All my chipset drivers were installed and configured. Really all I needed was the video driver (directly from NVIDIA) and I think a SMB driver for my MARVELL SATA connector. Really, a slick install.

The "Desktop Interface..."

Metro... or as it's referred to now... The "New User Interface..." was the first thing I saw. I had to learn about "charms" and Metro Apps. I had to learn to get to the desktop I had to find and click a button.


No Start Menu...

As soon as I hit the desktop I noticed the missing start menu. I had to "mouse-right" and use the "new start-menu" which was such a pain in the ass and so kludge the OS almost was deleted right then and there but I had read (and seen) these Start menu replacements and I decided to give one of them a shot. As soon as I installed it, I knew we had a winner. I truly exhaled and thought to myself: "Okay...I can use this..."

The new Start menu replacement saved Windows 8 for me. I had a comfortable landing spot and something familiar to work with.

Now... I had to learn what was new and how to use it.

.....come back in a few days... we'll start with something we all know and use everyday... Explorer.

Later - Digital

Last modified on Friday, 25 July 2014 17:35

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