Under the hood Windows 8 has several improvements.. The easiest to find is the boot time is much faster it takes about 5 seconds. Also games run smoother due to windows 8 being a less demanding os. Overall running this os will take less cpu power and memory compared to windows 7. Other notable improvements include several new programs included such as a automatic wifi connection, meaning there is no longer a need to download or intall drivers for wifi device. Automatic image mounting for iso files. And a antivirus already built in.
Other feature to make windows 8 faster is the use of a freeze dry technology used in the Metro interface. Basically, this allows you to cycle through many programs without using more and more resources. You cycle out of the program and the resources are no longer used but you can return instantly without a loading time.
As far as overall look it no longer includes aero (the clear / glass look). So the look is more simple but everything takes up less resources so everything also runs more smooth. The UI, is the part that gets mixed reviews. The start menu has been removed in favor for the metro screen, In my opinion it is mostly geared for a touch interface although it does get easier with a mouse.... This isn't a big issue however because custom made start menu's are starting to blow up the web. If you want a start menu back it will be easy to find one for windows 8.
Personally, I got a start menu on my version of windows 8 and now think this is the best OS I have used from MS.
Last edited by the author 7 hours ago Jason says: This is an honest question. For starters I never had any problems with vista and I really like windows 7. My computer takes 20 -25 seconds to boot to desktop with win 7. (that includes the loading of the Gigabyte bios settings screen and win 7 password log on screen) (I love it when I here people say their computer boots in 10 seconds. lol). Win 7 runs great, doesn't crash and no compatibility issues at all. If you respond to this please don't be pissy. Honestly what can win 8 do that is truly better than win 7 or that win 7 can't do? I'm not knocking win 8, I just really would like to know? Win 7 runs so well I don't see any reason to mess with it. A lot of people will probably say if win 7 runs so well for me then just stick with it and that's what I fully intend to do. I just don't understand why win 7 user's would switch. I haven't heard any major complaints about it. My biggest concern with win 8 is this app concept, it makes me wonder if ms is locking you into a system were everything becomes an extra that you have to purchase separately. (like media center, although apparently free at this time) I should specify that my question is in reference to a desktop pc. I can honestly see the advantages to a small touch screen or tablet but Is there really any advantage for a desktop?
As far as I'm concerned on a modern day computer the os ui demand on the system resources is an absolute non issue. The things that would need to be considered as an up grade would be.... Is the ui truly more intuitive, easier to use, more productive and better looking. And to a degree is the hard drive footprint smaller and cpu demand smaller. Are there compatibility issues? Is it more secure and is the price right? Does win 8 honestly qualify as an upgrade for a desk top pc, or just for tablets, phones and touch pads?
As far as I'm concerned, just because something is new doesn't make it the way of the future or better. And I think a lot of techies are unable to separate Star Trek from reality.
And this nonsense that people are throwing around about being afraid of the future is just that. No one is afraid of the future if it is a step in the right direction.
Without being too much of a tech-weenie about it, here's roughly what the key differences are beyond that new splashy start menu:
- Windows 8 supports 64-bit Hyper-V and takes advantage of Second-Level Addressing Technology (SLAT) on hardware that has it to make virtual machines run better - It is an overhaul of the Windows 7 code that includes removing services that were taking up more memory than was useful and consolidating resource usage under the covers - It has better support for Solid-State Drives (SSDs) and can optimize them (in Windows 7 you had to turn off defragmentation, check and adjust some settings at a low level, and/or get an SSD optimization tool like PerfectDisk). - It supports 3DTVs, so that if you have hardware like the nVidia 3DVision cards, it works a bit better/easier when connecting to a 3DTV. - The Win 8 side of the interface has a "one app at a time" approach that doesn't really "close" programs so much as put them to sleep so they're ready when you need them again. Hard to describe (and I'm wondering how necessary that is on a PC versus a phone or tablet), but it's designed to quickly swap OS resources back and forth to meet user demands - There are little bits here and there that are useful, such as the newer Task Manager and Performance Monitor providing you more detail on what's running and how well it is running.
So technically, I'd call it an upgrade. There's enough there, even if it's not visible, that it's a different OS. I really liked SweetDaddy's observation though:
"As far as I'm concerned, just because something is new doesn't make it the way of the future or better. And I think a lot of techies are unable to separate Star Trek from reality. "
For me it's been a mixed bag and I've given it three stars: no 5-star "Wow! Must upgrade!" moments, no 1-star "Stay away! Awful!" moments...just lots of 4-star "hey, that's neat" times balanced with 2-star "Oh, that's awkward" times. :)
if you're a desktop / laptop user, the only noticable advantages you'll get from upgrading to Windows 7 to Windows 8 is increased support for older hardware, and a slight performance increase. Otherwise it functions like a patched, slightly improved and slightly cleaner looking version of Windows 7 -- with one major difference. It gets a tablet interface strapped onto the front of it.
The tablet interface comprises large, customisable tiles designed to be worked by fingers on a touch screen. It is a new operating system that can run "apps" similar to the iOS of the iPad. When you start Windows 8 on it, the first thing you'll see is this new tablet interface, known as "Metro" with its arge square tiles. Clicking on certain tiles will open full screen Metro apps that look and behave like simple smart phone apps, while clicking on other tiles will take you to the familiar Windows desktop and windowed desktop applications. So what you actually have are two different environments, the Metro UI and the Desktop UI.
I found Metro to be ultimately an unnecessary encumbrance to accessing the desktop and desktop applications. There is no reason to use Metro apps on a desktop because they are optimised to run on tablet devices. They are not designed to utilise the massive processing power available on a desktop PC or laptop, and so are lighter and simpler than mainstream Windows applications. This problem is compounded by the fact that currently there aren't many quality apps available from the app store. I was looking at the Metro Skype app recently, and found it to be nowhere near as good as the Skype client for the desktop. As usual, half of it was missing off the screen, and what was on the screen was a massive waste of space due to empty looking boxes. It also insisted on merging an old account and suddenly I ended up with a lot of old contacts back in Skype that I didn't want there. The Skype app itself was poor. My camera would not work with it and it did not allow multiple connections. Why on earth anyone would want to use this version on a desktop PC, where they have the opportunity to use the full version, is beyond me. I deleted it quickly.
Just in case you thought you'd be clever and stick to the desktop in Windows 8, and ignore Metro, Microsoft have made sure that you can't. The system boots to Metro and you can only access the desktop from that interface by clicking on the tile or by using keyboard shortcut. Once on the desktop, you will quickly find out that there is no start button, otherwise, this environment has a new clean look and a number of improvements. This seems like the real Windows 8, hidden away under the trendy new interface, with its start button confiscated.
In many of the positive reviews and comments I've read, Windows 8 users say that they avoid using the Metro interface, some having gone so far as to install third party software to make the desktop appear and function like the one in Windows 7. The only positive comments I have heard from desktop users regarding the usefulness of Metro is that the apps tend to be fast and easy to use. Perhaps this is true if you have a touch screen and regard the apps as mere screen Widgets, giving quick access to weather, news, messages, calendar and so on.
For the many newcomers, using Windows 8 will be a confusing, blurry mess. The key to understanding it is to realise it is two different operating systems and clearly distinguish what each system looks like and how each system works. Unfortunately Microsoft, rather than taking steps to help the user clearly see this distinction, seems to have chosen instead to do the opposite and try to blur the distinction between the two systems. For example, the name itself, Metro, would have been useful to keep, if only for identifying the new OS in discussions and guides, yet Microsoft dropped it. A start button on the desktop would have allowed desktop users to stay on the desktop and keep the systems separated that way, but Microsoft took it away. Indeed, Windows 8 seems to try very hard to get you back into the Metro UI at every opportunity. For example, shortly after I had installed Windows 8, I downloaded an Excel file that I wanted to open. I wanted to see if Windows 8 had any built-in means of viewing it so I right-clicked on the file on the desktop to bring up the usual context menu, but when I clicked on Open with, a white dialogue box appeared asking me if I wanted to try to open it with an app from the app store. Remember, only Metro apps are available in the app store. Confusing.
To make matters even more confusing, some Windows 8 programs offered by third party vendors on external websites use the same tricks. When I visited the Skype website in Windows 8 to get the Skype client for my desktop, I was automatically taken to a screen that offered me Skype for Windows 8. Clicking on the button that said "Get Skype for Windows 8", I was taken through a couple more screens, and eventually arrived back at the Metro app store! Only by going back to the Skype website, and scrolling down to the bottom of the web page, did I see "Skype for Desktop", which was the version I wanted in the first place!
Even now, after several weeks of using Windows 8, I still have some difficulty in understanding how Metro applications and services, such as the cloud storage "Skydrive", are integrated with the desktop. I can only wonder at what the average consumer makes of it all. I've certainly had a lot of questions from friends and acquaintances confused by it. I'm sure many consumers who have bought new laptops and who were expecting to find an ordinary desktop in Windows 8 as in all the previous incarnations of Windows, are lost in the blurry mess of two different operating systems posing as one.
You'll find things like this happening all the time and unless you are savvy then you're going to find yourself using apps without realising it, then trying to do things that you can't and wondering what the hell is wrong.
One may ask why desktop users are pressurised to get the app? Or at least, why don't Microsoft make desktop software available in the app store also? I believe it's nothing more than an aggressive marketing tactic to spark interest in their tablet devices.
So, is it worth the upgrade? Not from Windows 7, no. Form an earlier operating system, it can breath life into it, but just make sure you know exactly what your getting in to, otherwise Metro will take over.
I agree that for most users there is no compelling reason to upgrade to Win 8, and it's clear that many of those who do will struggle with it. Microsoft has chosen for whatever reason to drop users into an unfamiliar maze and has moved the cheese from where it always was before, so a lot of them go nuts. The cheese is actually still there, but all their old instincts don't help them find it.
But I find the Metro interface very useful as an upgraded version of the old Desktop. You can easily pin (or unpin) almost anything there, move tiles around to create the layout you want, group tiles if you like, and open apps, folders or files from there. For most things (aside from the Metro apps), launch will jump you into the older Desktop interface, which is fine because that's where veteran users are most at home anyway. You're never more than one key-press way from the Start Screen, because hitting the Windows key will always take you there if you're not there already (just as Windows + D always gets you to the desktop). I see the tiles an an upgrade to the icons we've always had in the past -- I like the live tiles for things like mail, calendar and news, and I like that when I pin contacts to the Start Screen, the tile shows the associated picture (when there is one).