921 of 1,273 people found the following review helpful
Don't Believe the Negativity,
This review is from: Microsoft Windows 8 Pro - Upgrade (Software)I have been running the Windows 8 Enterprise 64-bit edition for about four weeks now (you can download a 90-day trial of this version, which is the final bits that will be released to the public in October from Microsoft). I did run the Consumer and Release Previews as well, but this version offers many enhancements and some changes over these earlier beta versions that are worth noting and may be missed in previous reviews here and elsewhere.
First, the performance is incredible. From hitting the power button to having a Start screen in front of me, ready to use, takes about 10 seconds. Granted, my PC, which is a custom build, is rather high end. But, even with low to mid-range hardware, Windows 8 will offer you a performance boost over both Windows XP and Windows 7. With the low cost fo an upgrade (I believe $40 for users of XP, Vista, or 7), it is well worth making th emove to Windows 8, regardless of what some "techie" friends of yours might tell you.
The new Start screen is great. Don't let people tell you that it is "stupid," or that it "sucks," as most of the people making those claims either a) haven't even used it or b) have not taken the time to understand it. A well organized Start scree can increase productivity and put all of your most frequently accessed applications and folders right in front of you. Once you get the hang of putting new applications or folders on your Start screen, you will find that ti is much better to use this method than to have shortcuts on your Desktop.
Also, the new Windows 8 style (formerly called Metro) applications may take a bit of getting used to, but the full screen apps are nice for some things. They are not large in size, for the most part, and the fact that your downloads are tied to your Microsoft account means that recovering apps after a PC crash will be a breeze. Speaking of that, your settings are also tied to your Microsoft account, and you can even use SkyDrive to store pictures, documents, and other files, meaning that you can access these files from any of your Windows 8 devices, or have them stored here, in case of hard drive or computer crash. Again, this is a nice feature.
Microsoft released an application a couple of years ago called Microsoft Security Essentials. An enhanced version of this, called Windows Defender, comes pre-installed on Windows 8. It is a very lightweight application, taking up very little hard drive space or RAM, and it works very well. At this point, I haven't botehred to drop $50-$70 on a paid anti-virus software because I believe that Windows Defender is good enough protection that it would be a waste of money to do so. The built-in Windows firewall continues over from Windows 7 to be good enoug for me to not install a third-party firewall either. For the average user, this is a cost savings benefit. For an IT-savvy user, this is a security benefit that doesn't come with any additional cost or installations to manage.
Windows 8 Applications
I will admit that I am still not broken of the traditional Desktop applications. But, I do like the built-in Mail, Pictures, People, etc. applications taht come pre-loaded on Windows 8 and are of the "Metro" style. There are a lto of great apps already available in the Windows Store as well, and even the dumb little games are fun to pass the time with. While ti may not be something for everyone, the option to use standard Windows Desktop applications still exists, and you aren't forced to use these full-screen Windows 8 applications unless you want to. I recommend giving it a chance, even though it will be an adjustment. But, for now, it's a matter of preference, rather than necessity. I believe this style of app will be better suited to Windows 8 tablets, when they are available, such as Microsoft's Surface tablet or Samsung's ATIV tablet.
Mouse & Keyboard Usage
There's no doubt that Windows 8 was optimized for touch input. But, even if you use a traditional mouse and keyboard, like I do, you will not have an issue navigating the Windows 8 interface. Switching between applications, performing system tasks, and getting around within an application are all still as simple as they were on previous versions of Windows, once you know how to do so in Windows 8.
All in all, I am quite happy with the new version of Windows, and I will be upgrading to the full version, once it becomes available October 26. I look forward to seeing what kinds of new apps will appear in the Windows Store, and I encourage people not to let all of the negative coverage that is sure to bombard various bias media sites discourage you from trying a fast, secure, solid, new operating system. And, just to make it easier for you to know which comments to ignore, here are a few of teh common ones that people say every time a new version of Windows is released to try and discourage people from upgrading but taht have no validity to them.
"I'm waiting for the first Service Pack to be released because they won't have all the bugs worked out until then."
"Windows 8 will be the next Vista. Skip it."
"Stick with Windows XP or Windows 7. It isn't worth it to upgrade."
"Windows 8 is just Windows 7 with a new Start screen. It's not worth upgrading from Windows 7."
"Windows 8 is horrible. Switch to Linux."
There are others, but those are a few of the common ones that should immediately discredit anyone claiming to be an "IT Pro." Start asking them for specific reasons for these claims, and they'll either stutter and repeat their initial claim, without any evidence, or they'll rattle off something in techie language that makes absolutely no sense hoping that you won't understand it and that you won't question them because of that. What qualifies me to make these statements?
Master's of Science in Information Technology from Carnegie Mellon University
10 years of experience as a PC technician, system builder, and IT professional in various professional and personal roles
Now that you know my opinions, I encourage you to at least give Windows 8 a try and form your own opinions, before dismissing it based on what others tell you.
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Showing 1-10 of 168 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 22, 2012 5:34:05 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 22, 2012 5:36:00 PM PDT
I must agree with your comments and a very good product review. I also hated Windows 8 but as I use it more and more I like it better than before. Windows 8 is very quick to boot and is usable within 10 seconds from power on. My OS is installed on a 650 SATA HD but in the next few days I plan to install it on my Plextor 128 GIG SSD where Windows 7 U lives right now. Thanks again for a good review!
Posted on Sep 23, 2012 10:36:13 PM PDT
Although I thumbed you up, I was ready to dig in and counter your assertion that Windows 8 is the right move for current Windows users. The only fault I find in your review is the potential for software incompatibilities, but in the end--you're right. It's really a matter of preference, and who can pass up a $40 upgrade to a great OS? My biggest gripes (after ten years of System Administration) is that Windows 8 is really Windows 7 SP2. The menial improvements provided by 7-SP1 (as opposed to the vast system improvements of XP-SP1) make me want to protest the upgrade, but that's a personal thing, I guess... I'm not sure any current computer user remembers when MS released XP-SP1 and SP2...and the dramatic improvements provided therein...
Either way (cuz I'm rambling at this point):
Great review...and great way to encourage people to give it a try!
Have a good one!
Windows 8 will probably NOT be Vista if only for the decreased price of upgrading...
Great review, either way...
Posted on Sep 24, 2012 5:54:05 AM PDT
Windows defender is standard on windows vista, 7 and 8. Windows 8 just has more virus definitions. ANyway very good positive review.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 6:24:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 24, 2012 6:31:49 AM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 11:08:46 AM PDT
That's not a Windows 8 problem though. That's a change problem. There are many people who won't accept any new technology, but they were adverse to teh idea of using technology in the first place. If your wife wasn't willing to change, she wouldn't have started using XP. If she uses Windows 8 for a period of time, she will adjust, just as she adjusted tousing XP and came to prefer it. As far as e-mail addresses go, people who aren't big into technology are better off using GMail, Hotmail, Yahoo, or some other address that can stay with them, rather than an ISP-provided address that may not be able to go where you go. All in all, the "my (insert relative/friend/co-worker name here) won't accept anything new" argument only works if they're using a typewriter to do their document processing. Otherwise, they aren't against it, just adverse to it. Given time, even begrudgingly, they'll accept the change, even if it isn't immediate.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 11:18:43 AM PDT
@A. L. Green - I'm inclined to agree with you, in part. However, most new releases of OS X are nothing mroe than service packs, and they often come at three times the cost of this particular release. I do remember the performance improvements of the XP service packs (especially SP 2), and I agree that many have too short a memory for that. But, there are things that Windows 8 will do that 7 can't, which do make it a bit more than a service pack, if not a bit less than a full-fledged new release. Yes, the new Start screen is the most obvious change. But, even passed the drastic performance improvements, there is one ace in the hole for Microsoft here, and that is the unification of the platforms across devices. Being able to do the exact same things on a desktop and a tablet, using the exact same interface and the exact same applications is a huge deal, in my opinion, especially in the enterprise. Many non-technical facilities have begun to implement tablets (mostly iPads) to handle tasks that are better suited to mobility. With a Windows 8 tablet, you basically have a Desktop PC in your hand, and everything that can be done on the traditional PC will be available to you on the tablet as well. No need to learn a new interface, search for a replacement app, or transfer data (thanks to SkyDrive). Just turn on your tablet (or undock it, perhaps), and you're good to go in the field, be it in a medical facility with nurses or a dig site with a newly discovered tomb. I like Windows 7. I like the Desktop It has taken me time to adjust to the way Windows 8 does things. But, all told, after about a month of use, I've become more efficient in Windows 8 than I am in Windows 7, which I still use at work to compare a day's worth of experience between the two. Your argument is valid, at least to an extent, but I wouldn't have any reservations about recommending people to Windows 8, especially with a $40 upgrade price tag on it, and let them decide for themselves if it was worth it. I honestly believe that most will say that it was.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 6:51:41 PM PDT
Of course your wife isn't a techie, so she's not excited about the changes. You already know that XP is a very antiquated OS that was not built with the modern internet in mind... Windows 8 is not for everyone, but--as I said--it's a personal deal. Other than potential software compatibilities, there's no reason to not upgrade to Windows 8 (can't believe I'm saying this since six months ago I was very much against Windows 8).
Something that might encourage her to use her GMail is to set her up with Thunderbird. I use it with several accounts at once (IMAP) and it works beautifully. It'll save her from having to log in every time she checks her email, and the taskbar notification is simpler than setting up Outlook to do the same thing...
Just a touch of advice...
PS: If she is that much against change, Windows 8 would actually be a more appropriate OS for her because of it's user friendliness and active tiles... It's really a great OS. Have you tried the Enterprise Evaluation version (=RTM)?
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2012 6:57:15 PM PDT
I really counldn't agree with you more! And indeed, the cross-platform compatibility is second to none (upon its release). I believe the engineers at Apple were trying to get this going (with iCloud, etc....) but it just didn't gain the traction they had hoped for.
I often overlook the cross-form-factor deal, but that will be irreplaceable once Microsoft's mobile impact really takes shape. I'm looking forward to purchasing a Windows Phone in the coming year and it will be nice to have that support. You are absolutely right!
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 4:27:33 PM PDT
My contract is up in February, and I intend to upgrade to a Windows Phone 8 device (assuming Verizon gets its act together and offers some choice on that platform, unlike the single Windows Phone 7 offering of the HTC Trophy, which I currently own and do like). I do see the cross-platform thing going well. The only concern I have is consumer confusion over the difference between a full-fledged Windows 8 tablet and the Windows 8 ARM tablets (I believe Samsung is releasing two tablets of almost identical names, one with an Intel i-Series CPU and one with an ARM). This could cause a lot of issues, if Microsoft doesn't find a way to ensure that there is a clear line between the two.
As far as the wife issue goes, I use Windows Live Mail myself, and I love it. It's similar to Outlook, but it's simpler and a bit more lightweight than the full-featured Outlook client, which really isn't necessary for a simple home user. The Mail Windows 8 app is nice, but it would take mor egetting used to, and the whole idea of the least amount of change would be lost in trying to go that route. I'll even admit that I have yet to stop clinging to my Windows Live Mail usage in favor of the Windows 8 app formerly known as Metro. I think the full screen apps are better left to the tablet, at least for now. Thunderbird is a good app also, but I think Windows Live Mail is a bit more user friendly (not by much, mind you). Still, as all of this is, it's a matter of personal preference.
On another note, Intel's CEO is now stating that Microsoft released Windows 8 too soon, and that it shouldn't have been called "finished" yet. Really? His reasons are trivial, at best. Amazon is selling Madden 13 for a discount today, which I only mention because it's a similar issue. Madden 13 received horrible reviews because EA removed franchise mode. Well, they didn't take i tout, but, rather, they changed it and actually made a lot of improvements. Still, perception is reality. If you spend only five minutes playing Madden 13, you may not like it because it is new and different. Similarly, if you spend only five minutes with Windows 8, you may not like it because it is new and different. But, the same could be said for XP, when it was released, and now people cling to it for dear life (even those who hated it with a passion at release). Windows 8 is different, but, as it turns out, it's different in a good way. Take the time to get yourself familiar with Windows 8, and you will find that it is an extremely well done OS. I give credit to Microsoft for taking a gamble in making a rather significant change. They were smart to keep the traditional Desktop interface available, as it does lend itself better to traditional PCs with a keyboard and mouse, while the Windows 8 Store apps work better on tablets and touch-screen devices. We have hybrid cars. Why not a hybrid OS? I agree that Apple tried to do this with their iCloud, and even trying to make recent releases of OS X look closer to the iOS interface. But, they did it in reverse. Rather than bring a mobile OS to the desktop, Microsoft brought a desktop OS to the mobile market, and that is the true killer feature of Windows 8.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 25, 2012 5:41:48 PM PDT