After suffering one broken down desktop too many for too long, your author weakened and finally built himself a new PC. The construction process also involved the purchase of a shiny new operating system: Windows 8. Microsoft’s latest OS has received mixed reviews, but overall, I think it is a massive step in the right direction.
What I love About It
- It installs quickly. Seriously, it took me all of 15 minutes to get Windows onto my machine.
- It is fast. Windows 8 is significantly faster than its predecessor. Boot times are short enough that shutting down the computer is no longer a hassle.
- It seems more secure. Microsoft has worked hard on making Windows 8 less vulnerable to viruses than its predecessors and reducing the damage that a virus can do to system files once it gets past any countermeasures. Time will tell how effective Microsoft’s move was, but it is good to see developments in this regard
- It lets you refresh your system without reinstalling. When working with Windows, I have tended to do a fresh installation every six months. That has been a major hassle which I am hoping can be avoided thanks to this new feature.
- All versions are multi-language – it is about time considering that Apple has been doing this for years.
- SSD issues: I installed Windows on a 128GB SSD, which I was perfectly happy to use for the whole installation. Windows 8 had other ideas. It automatically partitioned my 3TB HDD – with an MBR partition. That is something of a problem because MBR allows for, at most, 2TB. That left me with a tiny little partition for Windows system files, a second partition of just under 2TB and 750GB of “change” that I can’t use. I would have liked to at least had the option to put said system files onto the C drive. The best course of action would be for Windows to format the drive as appropriate, or present an easy after-the-fact migration solution.
- The operating system is multi-language but the installer isn’t: I live in Japan, but my native language is English. Having to install in Japanese then switch back is a chore that I could really do without. How hard would it have been for Microsoft to include a multi-language installer, which automatically downloaded relevant language packs and applied language settings once the installation was complete? Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled that Microsoft finally decided to do the right thing with regard to multiple languages, I just wish the implementation had been a little bit more polished.
- The Start screen is great, so why do we still need a desktop? There has been a lot of bellyaching from assorted pundits about the missing start button. Personally, I haven’t found it an issue. Microsoft has been kind enough to give us a whole Start screen that can do a lot more than a single Start button. I love the Start screen – but I am finding myself scratching my head looking for reasons why Microsoft included the Start screen and the Desktop. I don’t see the need for two application launching platforms, when everything can be comfortably performed from the eye-catching Start screen.
While there are still a few design kinks, Windows 8 is a worthy successor to Windows 7. With the design overhaul, it takes some getting used to – but it gets much easier once you know where everything is.