6 Aug 2012

Windows 8 – My Experience today

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Last night, a ‘vaps’ took me. (For non-Trinidadian readers, a ‘vaps’ is an idea or feeling out of the blue).

I decided to install Windows 8 on my desktop for myself to see whether it was an Operating System (OS) I would like or whether I ought to stick with Linux/Windows7/Chrome.

INSTALLATION:

After a few false starts, (my version of Windows 7 was not updatable by the version of Windows 8), I then mounted an image of Windows 8 on a virtual drive (using the free DAEMON Tools Lite version), and ran it from there.

The installation copied all of the needed files to the hard drive, then (because I did not format the hard drive) gave me the option of saving my old Windows 7 installation under a Windows.old (Windows dot old) folder. This was my choice (at present one cannot uninstall Windows 8 to return to Windows 7).

The installation took about 20 minutes, although I did not time it. During this time, the computer restarted several times, and though the virtual drive mounted under Windows 7 was not available, all the necessary files were already on the hard drive, so the installation continued without interruption.

During installation, I entered my router’s WEP code, my location (keyboard and language is chosen automatically here), and my Windows Live email address (Live ID). Users can opt out of providing a Live ID, but apparently it help integrate Microsoft services directly to the desktop (Email for example is ‘pushed’ directly to the built in email client on the desktop).

All my usual software, such as AVAST antivirus, Office etc. installed trouble free. All my hardware were detected and drivers automatically installed, again trouble free.

DIFFERENCES TO PREVIOUS WINDOWS:

In my case, providing my Live ID means I have to enter my password every time to log in to my PC. Similar to a password on a User Account.

There is NO “Start” button. Instead, users are taken to a Start page as below:

http://cdn1.mos.techradar.com///art/software/Windows/Windows8_releasepreview/releasepreview-review-images/Screenshot%20(2)-580-75.jpg

Formerly called Metro, this is now under a lawsuit by German company Metro AG, and therefore Microsoft is dropping the name.

When a mouse is dragged to the upper left corner a tiny window appears which leads to the desktop. Moving the mouse back to the lower left corner will lead to the tiled Start page. Tapping the Windows key toggles between the two. Moving the mouse to the upper right corner will open a “Charms” toolbar on the right side of the monitor that has a Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings ‘charms’ (no longer called ‘icons’ or ‘buttons’ apparently). The names should suggest what they are. Switching off your PC is done accessing the Power charm under Settings.

More tips can be found at the Windows 8 Frequently Asked Questions webpage.

Finally, Windows 8 does not have a need to switch off (from the app store). After not being in use, they will close automatically. Or, to manually turn off, you can use your mouse (or touch screen) to grab the top of the app window, and drag to the bottom of the screen. This closes the app. Normal programs such as Word etc have the usual red X in the upper right corner.

For those who feel brave enough to try, I can tell you I am thoroughly enjoying my experience today. Open-mouthed smile

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