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Hey guys, Windows 8 won’t ruin your life…

windows-8-logoBut it won’t necessarily revolutionize it either.

Many folks are proclaiming Windows 8 to be the next Windows Vista and are utilizing developer comments as a source of ammunition. Well at least some are. Most of the comments I’ve read is just FUD.

Windows Store

Game developers haven’t explicitly stated why they’re panning Windows 8 but it’s safe to look at the Windows Store as the source for worry. They see it as potential threat to their own stores because Microsoft has included it on the operating system level.

I think it’s a little late to worry about the Windows Store toppling the likes of Steam. It’s not going to happen unless Microsoft somehow gets away with forcibly locking out “unauthorized applications”. Apple’s Mac OS X Mountain Lion gives the user the “Gatekeeper” option to lock out unauthorized applications but they also recognize that people need to be able to install whatever application they want. Desktops are not tablets or smartphones and no matter how things look on the interface side, that kind of “walled garden” approach won’t fly.

Start Screen

I griped against the Start Screen during the Consumer Preview build. I griped about how it’s so jarring and how it really has no place in the desktop environment. However, now that I’m using the Release Preview, it has become a non-issue. I don’t even look at the Start Screen anymore. I use it and view it as nothing more than a glorified Start Menu.

I do wish it wasn’t the first thing I see after logon but it’s not the sticking point anymore. I don’t use Metro Windows 8 apps at all. I dove head first into the Windows 8 Release Preview on a mission to get the work I want done. I installed drivers, I installed Steam and I configured my PC to recognize my HDTV. It’s just like my experience with Windows 7 with minor differences.

Not Windows Vista on a Technical Level

Two of the key problems with Windows Vista were performance and hardware compatibility. None of those are an issue with Windows 8. All my hardware works with many manufacturers already providing drivers for their hardware.

I can’t really gauge the performance differences because I’m actually running my Windows 8 instance on a Virtual Hard Disk. I’m tempted to go full production and install it on my solid state drive but with the retail release just a few months away. I will say that it’s not slower than Windows 7. Microsoft claims it is faster in key areas like text and other desktop rendering and it does seem to ring true in applications such as Word 2013 but I don’t know if that’s an Office 2013 improvement or Windows 8 improvement.

There are numerous documented improvements under the hood including boot time and power management which is, quite frankly, more than enough reason to plop down the $40 for the upgrade.

Change is good?

The Start Screen takes some getting used to but it’s ultimately not the most disruptive addition to the Windows experience. It will take time to get a hang of where things are and how they are. You will be asking yourself the most basic questions like: how do I shutdown Windows 8? But once you overcome the initial shock and learning curve, it’s actually quite nice for an operating system.

Personally, I’m tired of Aero glass and welcome the new coat of paint.

Welcome Windows 8

Maybe I’m just too forgiving or maybe I’m not a crotchety old timer who latches onto what works. Whatever the case may be, I welcome Windows 8. It may end up being rejected by the masses like Windows Vista but like with Vista I will be there to experience Windows 8 first hand.


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