It is hard to say that win8 has functional upgrades... more like DYSfunctional to me.
Lets do it in order:
Installation. Win 8 has a more streamlined installation process, but if you have more than 1 device installed in your computer you are screwed It is a fact that more advanced users that understand in how to build a computer in order to install win 8 have to first disassemble their rigs leaving the bare minimum to fire it up, since otherwise win 8 just errors out and does not install.
First impression. Pretty… kind of… ehm I have a mouse and multiple monitors so windows is giving me huge icons on 1 monitor without the ability to move it to a different screen, no ability to stretch it. that is useful… So microsoft is pushing to desktops clunky interfaces that can be used on one monitor only regardless that I have several more monitors that now become useless. Well sure it is a new take on unifying the OSes so lets cut it some slack. Btw, you cannot switch out of the music player if you don’t want the music to stop. Wat?!
Evading metro. So now that we know that metro is just a piece of bloatware designed to distract users and make life terrible trying to evade this dysfunctional piece and just use the desktop mode. So great you actually can use more than one monitor, it even has special corner snaps to make multimonitor life easier and allow you to target a specific corner with your mouse. Ehm, well that piece is almost functional, you still cannot snap a window to a shared edge, you still have to use hotkeys to achieve this. Well small things aside lets start working… speaking of start… where is the button? ok, I’ve played pranks like this back in the school days on other people - hid the start button, but it can easily be bypassed by pressing the windows key on the keyboard! But in win 8 that key is bound to show you the metro interface, so that’s a bust. Oh look if you go into the left bottom corner you see a tooltip mentioning the start… it also takes you back to metro. That is just great. It is very functional to remove the button and make the menu fullscreen with huge icons (could be bigger - my grandma still has trouble seeing them from the other room) that appears with a big lag on my i7 with SSD and 16GB RAM. I do believe that was done on purpose since power naps are known to increase productivity.
I speak other languages. It so happened that I speak other languages besides english and work with people speaking those languages, so I’ve installed additional keyboard layouts to be able to type in those languages. Oh the default combination changed to win+space? That was unexpected. Actually something useful. Mac OS had it nailed down for decades, but that is besides the point. So lets get to typing in other languages. My password doesn’t work? Wait, why did it switch the input language for all my apps and not just the im that I switched the language for? I guess it was to be expected that if they’d fix something in windows, they’d also take the time to break something else. So sorry, my colleagues, but windows encourages me to use transliteration in order to talk to you.
Time for a movie. So far windows 8 was a huge disappointment, so let me pop in a DVD and watch a movie while I calm myself. Oh! There is no player capable of playing a DVD movie in Win 8 Out Of The Box? Win 7 had it, Mac OS has it, Linux has it, Win XP had it for what its worth! So there is no way that Win 8 cannot play DVDs. A quick search on the internet revealed that in order to play DVDs on Win 8 you have to buy the Media Center edition and in order to buy the Media Center edition you have to have Win 8 Professional regardless of the needs of the user. So a yet another dysfunctional feature implemented by Microsoft. No built in games either. You can register for free and download some of the free games from the games market and some of them might even work without an internet connection, the rest… your ISP has a hiccup and you can’t play those games, in fact without connection those games just freeze. I understand that this despite being completely dysfunctional is a very useful feature and exactly why microsoft is introducing the always online requirement for the Xbox One.
I can still go wireless. At least I thought I could, but apparently Win 8 cannot how WiFi networks. Wait What?! Not even AdHoc? At least it has ICS (internet connection sharing). That is good, right? But why would I need ICS on a computer with a single wired port and incapable to host a WiFi network? It is like having a car,but without wheels - it can still burn gas and make noise, regardless that it cannot actually drive you anywhere. So the ICS is still there, but you can’t use it because you just cannot host a network with which you could share your internet. I take it microsoft guys never stop at a hotel that has only wired connection and the phone in roaming. So now you can’t just share the internet with your other devices that cannot be connected wit a wire.
And this is just a short list of the most DYSfunctional upgrades that Win 8 offers. That said if you are planing to use your computer for anything else but being a decoration in your house or a colorful brick in you bag - stay away from Win 8 or be ready for pain.
P.S.: a laptop is also a computer, and so is your phone nowadays.
Yeah it is a long rant and possibly a bit biased, I haven’t tried it either and no intentions to if I can avoid it, that Metro interface it definitely not popular, personally I couldn’t bear being faced with that when I booted up my PC, but by all accounts it seems that’s it’s ok underneath, apparently faster than Win 7, but it won’t make any difference to me one way or the other because I wont be using it.
Windows has a lot of catching up to do to be as good as any Linux distro I’ve tried and that includes Windows 7
Yesterday I used win8.1 to try recover some files from a failing external HDD.
a) chkdsk run from the GUI just failed … no worthwhile info on why … and nor does it appear to give you the option to run a “surface scan” any more.
b) I kept getting a box top right that said push your mouse into the corner to switch applications … erm I only had one open … and there was NO way to dismiss that box … the box also seemed set to stay on top of everything else, so half the start menu was hidden … argh.
(only way to get rid was to reboot … I’m told that the box should have had an X to close, but it didn’t)
So it seems in 8.1 they’ve reinstated the start button, then positioned popups (that you can’t close) over the menu making it pretty unusable again.
No idea why that box kept appearing, it just seemed to appear randomly … probably a fault somewhere, but I couldn’t even find a way to dismiss it in the task manager.
c) running chkdsk in a terminal also failed after locking the system
d) running recovery software that reads sector by sector is a slow process at the best of times, but in win8.1 it had covered 3% of the drive in 8 hours so I gave up … connected it to a Vista PC and so far it’s scanned 54% in about the same time … so I have no idea where this “it’s quicker than Win7” comes from … maybe a little quicker at booting, but DEFINITELY not in operation.
at least that’s my experience … it’s just horrible, and that’s 8.1 which people say is a big improvement :o
In Windows 8.1 there is, in Windows 8 there wasn’t, and it was the biggest complaint.
To be honest, I thought a lot of complaints against it, were more because people hate change. It reminded me EXACTLY of when Ubuntu switched to Unity as their prime DE (10.04?), but now people don’t think about it. And honestly, once I’d re-learnt where things were, I just got on with it. I don’t know about you, but I spend very little time interacting with the desktop etc - I spend my time using applications, which haven’t changed (well, the new IE is Metro, but it’s still not THAT different). My issue with Windows 8, is simply DirectX support. As long as I can use the latest version in 7, there is NO reason for me to switch. To be honest, I don’t have plans to buy a DX12 card when they release anyway, so even that’s kinda moot.
I take the chkdsk point though, that’s awful! Maybe BartPE is an option in the future?
And I expect they will iron out the UI bugs in time, just like all DE’s (as much as I love Cinnamon, it’s still buggy at times)
Ahh, but if someone GIVES me a car with doors that are stuck, a broken tachometer and uncomfortable seats I’ll take it without complaint … if I have to pay full price I’m going to feel somewhat let down to say the least.
Android is showing people there is another way, and that “that’s just how computers are” isn’t true … Microsoft made a killing off people thinking it wasn’t “their” fault.
Oh, and it’s been a LONG time since you bought a car and the radio was an optional extra that could only be had on the top end model
The question wasn’t will Win 8 improve (hell ANY change will probably be an improvement), it was “is it really that bad” and the answer is MOST DEFINITELY … it has all the downsides of previous versions of Windows, and a bunch more thrown in to boot.
And from what I can see, NO redeeming features besides a slightly quicker boot time.
To me (and admittedly I haven’t used it a ton) it seems like they took Win7 ripped out some useful features, downgraded others, left ALL the problems unaddressed, and bunged on a UI nobody wants … I’m yet to see a single improvement.
On a slightly different (but related) note … I see a lot of people (old Linux hands) saying “I’m not a Windows basher” as some kind of badge of honour, as though it makes them more sensible/believable/trustworthy/self assured/grown up/etc.
I’m unashamedly a Windows “basher” … I’ve worked with it for years, and it REALLY DOES SUCK, and it doesn’t have to be that way … finally the world is waking up to the fact.
Yeah I don’t think you’ll get many takers on this forum, most of us have already done our bit for Microsoft over the years anyway.
although by all accounts the Surface tablet seems quite a decent device but thats only my impression based on what I’ve learned from reading about it,
When I first started experimenting with Linux I started with Ubuntu I can’t remember which version but it was the one before they introduced Unity and I loved it, then I upgraded to the Unity version, I hated that interface so much because it was obviously designed for touchscreen I almost gave up on Linux completely then discovered Mint and never looked back.
The point I’m trying to make is a desktop PC/laptop and a tablet are 2 completely different beasts that require 2 entirely different UI’s and that Metro UI has got to be the ugliest interface I’ve ever had the misfortune to set eyes on, much worse than Unity,
With Linux because I didn’t like Unity desktop I was able to wipe Ubuntu install Mint and have virtually the same OS with a UI I liked, Windows 8 users won’t have that luxury.
In spite of Windows 8’s shortcomings it will still be the most popular desktop for years to come because amongst other reasons most PC users wouldn’t know a bad OS if it hit them square in the face, any problems they have will be their fault or their PC’s fault they won’t blame Windows, as Mark mentioned they’ll say " that’s just how computers are" because they don’t know any different or have anything to compare it to, to them a computer is Windows and Windows is a computer.
Getting back to the Ubuntu/Unity thing in spite of how i felt about Unity I think Cannonical has done a far better job of integrating the touch UI with the desktop than Microsoft have done with Metro, if only they could get it on hardware and in retail shops they could’ve be on a winner but it looks like (once again) they’re late for the party.
THIS is the kicker - this is Linux’s strength, and unfortunate weakness too. Before Windows 8, average Joe didn’t want UI options, and was even confused & afraid of them. Now, in post-Win8 world, people hate the change and refuse to budge from older versions, and this is where Linux could step in with an “Hate new-look Windows? Take a look at this!”
In some ways, it’s annoying that at this time, Canonical are looking to the future, and to tablets & phones to get Ubuntu out there, rather than going for the jugular as making a big stab for the desktop/laptop market with OEMs and retailers.
Mmm, if the hardware gets cheap enough I might be with you!
A little birdy tells me that even the own brand M$ tablets are tested with Android (nothing like hedging your bets eh?!) so in theory one could load Cyanogen up on it … just need to wait for Cyanogen to get their hands on the drivers the W$ guys were using to test on …
When you say the Surface is quite nice, I guess you mean the hardware ? … you can’t mean the OS/hardw2are combination ?
RT sucks … and the full Win8 on x86 (Surface Pro) had rubbish battery life … though I hear the Surface Pro 2 has improved this by 20%, it’s still likely to be rubbish (for a tablet).
They need to do a FULL Win8.1 on ARM and get the software available too … THEN they may be onto a winner (for businesses) … but it’ll never happen as the software (besides Office) is outside of their control.
So I guess we’re not all getting surface pro’s then, lol.
Question: Its time to upgrade my phone on 20th January and was looking at the samsung galaxy S4, can I put the ubuntu mobile interface on this? I haven’t seen or experimented with the cyanogenmod or any linux on mobile yet, but was thinking of giving it a try.