Windows 8 review (first 72hours)

So I’ve been a Windows Fanboy every since I was 7 using Windows 95 and MS-DOS, so I like to tout my own horn when I say that I know a thing or two about Windows Operating Systems. Windows 7 was a phenomenal OS in my opinion, a great comeback after Vista, and personally though it’s disputed and argued to be the best OS to date, I never really cared for WinXP, so to see what Microsoft could possibly make better with Win8 gave me high hopes. Unfortunately I do not have a touch-capable device, so I can’t hold a full idea about this OS, but I can give a review on what I have been able to do with it from the last 72hours of use.

A Small Disclaimer: I’m running a Virtual Installation of Window8 on my laptop with Ubuntu12.10 as the host. In the System Config I’ll detail what I’ve allocated.

System Configuration

Samsung R580 Laptop

    • Ram: 8GB (3GB is given to VBox Win8)
    • Video: 310M
    • Primary OS: Ubuntu 12.10 64bit
    • Windows 8: 32bit Win8Pro (Virtual Box GuestOS)
    • Harddrive: 256GB SSD (25GB given to VBox)
    • CPU: I5-370m

Initially installing Win8 was as anti-climatic as any Windows Installation prior to this, boot up from DVD, given choice to Upgrade or Install New, and away you go. Unlike other Installs, the process took about 20-25minutes, during which it start collecting basic information from you like Keyboard settings, language, and finally ends off with asking for a Microsoft account. I chose to instead say that I did not have an account, and created a new login that wouldn’t be associated with anything (this is more for personalization, email setup, etc and not needed for my testing). After install the first thing I took notice too was the quick start up. Being an SSD user I’m use to 10-15second boot times to get up and running. I was surprised though when on a virtual machine, piggy-backing off another system, Windows 8 still maintained an incredible 6seconds from turn off to start screen.

Moving about isn’t as bad as I originally thought. You’re presented with this array of tiles which are your apps that you can move through. Tiles such as “Weather”, “Mail”, “IM”, “Internet”, and “Desktop” were all very noticeable and presented in a nice way. The Weather had live data about my area, desktop showed a scaled version of my desktop background image, Mail and IM didn’t show anything since they were associated with an account, and Internet launch a very clean and sleek Internet Explorer. All seemed simple enough, but I wanted to mess with things, look for things, and learn how to maneuver. So it was obvious I wanted to move to the desktop and launch my start menu, go to control panel, and go around…but there was no start menu.

So as I always tell people when they use my German keyboard on my desktop, just act as if it’s there and do what you would normally do. So normally to pull up the Control Panel, I always pressed the Windows Key and started typing “Control Panel” as there was always a search box that I’d instantly be typing into. Pressing the Windows Key now brings up the start screen and typing instantly brings out a search panel from the Right-side and typing in “Control Panel” shows the icon I was looking for. Again, very anti-climatic, the control panel, is EXACTLY the same as Windows 7, infact alot of these internal features are the same windows and dialogs that have been around for some time, they’re just hidden. For instance, click on your Wireless/Ethernet icon by the Clock on windows 7 brings up that little box with connection info, right clicking brings up the menu to Troubleshoot and Open Networking. Well in Windows 8 left-clicking brings up a NEW Right-Panel with the same connection info displayed a bit different, right-clicking brings up the SAME old menu and options. The same things can be said about your Display/Personalize options when right-clicking on your desktop.

It’s all very much the same, the same OS, just some different layouts and displays. What is different and very noticeable is the speedy response. Everything moves flawlessly smooth with out any hiccups. I’m almost impressed and starting to think about keeping Win8 as my secondary OS on this laptop for development and constant use for when “Wine” doesn’t work.

There is a flaw I’ve found lately though, atleast with my setup. Many of you probably don’t share between your multiple computers, or own multiple computers, but where Win7 use to always pick up other devices instantly on the Network, I’m finding myself needing to Restart the “Network List” service. After restarting the service, everything works fine, but somethings wrong during it’s initial startup that it NEEDS to be reset.

 

Like I said, it’s a very initial point of view, haven’t had much play with it other than to move my Visual Studio on to it and my Rosetta Stone on it, but so far: I give it a green light.

 

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