questionswhat are your thoughts on windows 8?

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Not a big fan of it, but I have a few thoughts to add.

They designed it for a touch screen. To the point that it's hard to find out how it works if you don't have a touch screen.

If you end up on the start screen, press the windows logo key to go back to where you were. When at the start screen, you can just start typing the name of a program and it goes into a search. If you want to run Notepad, just start typing "Note" and hit enter when it appears.

To turn the computer off, you can also go to the start screen, click on your name, and choose log off, where you get the option to power down I believe.

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@omnichad: Yes, basically there are several paths to shut down but they are all a three or four step operation. One of the things I like about Win7 is the one-step shut down. I haven't ever used the windows logo button or alt-F4, but from what I am reading about Win8 these are going to be important. A second thing I do like about Win8 is that they brought back Move To and Copy To, something I have really missed in Win7. I was just readnig an article about escaping screens and it said to drag the mouse from the top of the screen to the bottom, which is going to be a pain with a laptop mouse. I'll eventually get used to it, but it's going to be a big learning curve for people used to the old Windows.

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I upgraded to Windows 8 from XP when I finally replaced my dog of a laptop (some folks here might be happy to hear that I will stop complaining about it finally) and am stuggling with liking the new operating system. I agree with @omnichad in that it was designed for a touchscreen but was preloaded onto my new non touchscreen laptop. Hoping that as I get more time to learn it I will be less frustrated with it and actually learn to like it

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@moondrake: I love the new file copy progress bar.

With shutting down, I think they're trying to tell you not to shut down. Just let your computer go into sleep or hybrid sleep. Why do you want to shut it down?

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@omnichad:
1. It is over 100 degrees for months in the summer, and my bedroom where this computer stays is usually hotter than the ambient outdoor temperature when I am not home and running the AC. Even now as November is waning into December, it is in the mid-70s here and my bedroom is running about 80 in the afternoons.
2. A laptop that is turned off and unplugged uses no electricity and is not vulnerable to power surges or incursions.
3. Computers that never shut down get neurotic. I rarely turn off my tablet and it starts getting dodgy on me if I don't power it down at least once a week.
4. Machines have only so many hours of functional life. Starting and stopping machines is somewhat taxing on them, but if you are not going to be using them for a long period there is a net savings in wear and tear if you shut them down.

This computer is only in active use for about 4 hours a day during the week, so running it for the other 20 hours just doesn't make good fiscal sense to me.

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Haven't used it, but I heard you can use ESC to exit the Start Screen and return to where you were.

Also, if you have a physical power button on the computer, that might work for powering off, I think I read something about that too.

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@moondrake: I guess you're not familiar with how little power is drawn with the new sleep modes.

1. When a computer goes into sleep mode in Windows 8, the computer goes completely silent. Everything but the RAM powers off - no heat generated, no fans running, just a blinky light to tell you it's not fully off. You can adjust the power settings so it goes to sleep even sooner. Closing the lid probably accomplishes the same.

2. True. But you have to make sure that the AC adapter is completely removed from the wall, too. That's the part most likely to be damaged in a power surge.

3. This is less true with anything after XP. I go at least a month without rebooting with no issues. Having more than 4GB of RAM helps a lot with this. Just letting it reboot for Windows Updates seems to be enough for me.

4. Putting to sleep stops wear and tear on almost every component too - equal to a shutdown.

The cost of sleep is near zero. And it's faster than waiting on startup every day.

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@omnichad: Since this is a Microsoft product we are talking about here, there are many reasons you would want to shut down. Many Linux and Unix systems are able to stay on for several years without crashing but that just doesn't seem to be the case for any Microsoft operating system including their top end server software.

Haven't had much experience with Windows 8 yet but if past operating systems are any indication of how Windows 8 will work, you'll want to shut down periodically to release memory leaks and locked files and other issues that are known to haunt the system. Can't tell you how many times I try to delete a file only for it to tell me that it's being used by some application and that application was closed hours ago. Sure I could probably run some command line utility to find and kill the process but it's just as easy to reboot and or shutdown.

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@cengland0: So a process not closing completely is somehow Microsoft's fault? I could find you just as many apps on Linux that would do the same.

I can say from actual experience at least with Windows 7 (that's been out long enough to say this) that you will have minimal slowdowns after a month without rebooting.

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@cengland0: My win 7 desktop and laptops are rebooted once every couple of months, when necessary to install a critical security patch.

If you need to reboot more often than that your applications are at fault.

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I run more Windows machines then I run Mac's or Linux. I never have to shut down my Mac or Linux machines REGARDLESS of what software is on them. It's a lot easier for Microsoft to point the finger then to fix the issue.

As @cengland0 mentioned, how many times do you have to reboot the system after a new program is installed. Or to release something that should not be hung up on an application. How many times have you gone into the Task Manager to kill a process because Windows is handling it horribly?

Those issues have always been issues in the past and will be in Windows 8. Since we all know those issues will still be around why the heck maybe it complicated to reboot or shut down? Regardless if you have to reboot your PC every night or once a month to "fix" something you have to shut it down. Why make it any more difficult then your previous systems?

cont.

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If you really are that hung up on a start button and an easy way to shut down check out the link below from Google. Its a program called Power 8 that will add a start button to Windows 8 for you. Essentially it links shortcuts to all the commands and apps that you would need in the start menu.

http://code.google.com/p/power8/

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And yes, it was designed around touchscreens so when you have those slick "metro" screens that take up the entire window and they don't have an X in the corner to shut the window you will have to click the window and drag it off the screen. BRILLIANT!!!!!

Touchscreens aren't affordable enough to be the standard in a business or home so why build an entire OS around a tablet? It would be like trying to run Mountain Lion on the iPad and iPhone. It would be a nightmare!

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@coondogg97: Not really, when I clicked on snipping tool (a part of windows now) from the metro mode it launches the windows 7 desk top mode. If it was truly designed to be touch it should just stay in touch mode. Why would I want to snip something I am not looking at? I use snipping tool a lot (pic is worth 1000 words).

Win8 is not as bad as WinMe. I would say it is even with Vista (it has some annoyances but is moving to something better). Some will like it some will not.

It is no XP or Win7. When I tried them I knew it was worth the upgrade.

'windows 8 is faster' (are you sure your comparing it on the same hardware that is running Windows 7)
I think it feels slower (my comparisons are an old laptop that was running XP that I loaded 8 on) the apps take forever to load.
Perhaps shutdowns are only for patch Tuesday? (kidding shutting down is not intuitive but someone will make an 'app for that' (not kidding))

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@caffeine_dude: Win8 is not as bad as WinMe. I would say it is even with Vista (it has some annoyances but is moving to something better). Some will like it some will not.

Ouch. That's like saying Jeffrey Dahmer was more level headed then Charles Manson.

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I don't get all the comparisons with vista.

If you currently like windows 7, then you like vista. The biggest problem with vista wasn't the UI, it was the fact that it could cripple even state of the art machines with how bloated and inefficient the code was. While that landed vista in the bin of failure along with several other MS OS's - let's all be clear as to why they failed. windows 7 is mostly vista, in terms of UI, drivers, etc.

Win 8 now... I'm still torn about it. As a desktop environment - it's pretty meh. I dual boot into either 7 or 8, and find myself going back to 7 each and every time. On my wife's new touchscreen ultrabook however... you really see the interface come to life. forget the mouse - a touchscreen is why this OS exists, and where most casual computing will be headed. I'm not even talking about a fully tabletized laptop - a traditional ultrabook with keyboard, but just using the touch interface... In that scenario, i'm a fan of it.

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of interesting note, unlike vista... win8 is benchmarking (under otherwise equal equipment) as good or higher than win7, depending on the activity...

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I am loving Windows 8, I have installed it on a desktop, and while yes, it is different, and yes, it has a learning curve just like any other OS, I am finding that once you actually learn to use it, it is quick and efficient.

The one thing I did modify is I added custom buttons on the desktop taskbar for "Start", "Shut Off", "Sleep" and "Hibernate". It just takes too many clicks to get to most of these options otherwise and the charms bar is not quite quick enough for me.

So overall I am VERY happy with the OS, I would not go back to 7, and really think all the haters have not really given it a chance or taken the time to learn how to use it.

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I just started using Windows 8 after upgrading from Windows XP. The only reason I upgraded is that there is a great upgrade offer right now and XP has one foot in the grave anyway. So far I like the potential, although there is a lot to get used to and figure out. The system seems to run more efficiently than XP so my 3 year old mediocre computer actually seems to run faster than before. The design choices are not very intuitive (especially for a non-touch screen), but I can see where some tweaking and customizing can make it run as close to an XP experience as I was used to and still get some of the benefits of the new features such as the apps. I have not explored the apps as much as I would like, but those definitely seem to have potential.

Also, I really like a lot of the Microsoft Live, Xbox, and other Microsoft service integration. It really makes me more interested in the potential of a Surface tablet or Windows phone (especially since I am not a big Apple fan).

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@coondogg97: I calls it like I seez it.
Heck (for a limited time only) the windows 8 launcher looks pretty good on my tablet running android running on the HP Touch Pad and to be fair the tiles are live on the Android. Of course if I was only locked into one launcher I could not use it, but I have my day to day stuff on there. When I get home I use my other launcher.

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edit sorry for the double post
@goatcrapp: Sorry but wrong:
Task bar rocks on 7 (worth 7 right there)
VM xp mode is on 7 (and works at work)
7 is more stable.
7 had the UAC fixed (I almost got migraines from the flash flash flash of UAC in vista)

7 does run better.
Start and search, could get you to buried menu options.

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Just an FYI:
You only have to click and drag to the bottom if you are closing a program launched from the start menu. Windows 8 still has the same desktop that you are used to in Win 7. If you launch a program from the desktop, you still have the X button to use for closing the program.
@moondrake
@coondogg97

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@samstag: assuming you are using the PC on a daily basis, and it is not a server, I would not recommend only rebooting every couple months. A reboot will clear the ram, which is critical to program performance, also some applications only take the time to perform administrative tasks during boot. So if you don't reboot for a long time, you might find programs behaving strangely. For example you might have less system restore points created if you reboot less often. Anyway, my main concern would be the ram. With programs running for months on end continuously requesting and then freeing memory, the ram is likely to be more fragmented than a windows 98 hard drive, which is bad for performance.

This has nothing to do with windows 8, but I saw that and had to say something. *retreats back into hole*

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@caffeine_dude:

I think you misunderstand me - i'm not sticking up for vista.
you do realize all of those same problems were fixed in vista, the minute they hit 7 (and you seem to forget the major UAC headache in 7's initial release, and still existing in win7 home - the home flavor is actually extremely close to vista. from an as-coded standpoint). The taskbar is literally a regedit away in an updated vista machine.

They share the same base code, that's not up for debate. 7 could have just as easily been released as a major service pack, but unfortunately the fixes would be destructive.. no one likes service packs that require migrating settings and data imperfectly (yet they tolerate it very well, when it's a purchased update) Also the stigma of a horrible OS was already there... so like winME - cut the losses and run.

7's stability comes from not maxing resources / releasing memory spaces properly, - this is granted, still a vista issue, and one they won't bother fixing.

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@hirshy: It's not the programs that are lacking the X to close. Its the metro(?) pages. The PC Settings page is the worst, I have tried everything I can think of to get rid of it and so far control-alt-delete is the only one that has worked. I'll be trying to drag it off the screen this evening and see if that works. But the built in laptop mouse is not well suited to full screen sweeps.

I got this less than a week ago so I am sure I will eventually learn my way around its idiosyncrasies. But right now they seem more like idiots and crazies. LOL. I have been around a while, started on DOS, and have been through every iteration of Windows except Vista (held onto my XP PCs till that storm passed). This one's taking a major learning curve. A friend called last night when I was arguing with the new computer and I grumped about it. He asked what I was trying to do and I replied I was just trying to use the danged thing, which he laughed at heartily.

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Does nobody use the windows key at all? I mean... windows key by itself will bring up the start screen or return you to what you were previously doing, windows+e launched an explorer window, windows+tab brings up a sidebar that lets you right-click and close individual programs or switch to them...
People really need to learn to use that key.

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@stryker4526: I honestly didn't even know it had a function. It's been purely decorative for all the years I have been using PCs. Once or twice I pressed it in curiosity, but nothing blew up and no dimensional door opened-- nothing happened in fact. So I decided it must be one of those keys like the tilde that was so rarely used and so specialized in function that I was never going to have to worry about it. Guess Windows 8 is going to make me find it now.

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@countdown: I've been going months between reboots for 3+ years. Do you have a source for your information? I'm no OS expert but I've been developing software for 25+ years and haven't seen an OS where memory management was a real issue since the DOS days.

Your warning sounds like something the guys at Best Buy would say.

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Did you find an answer? Methinks your question went just a little off-topic. :)

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@moondrake: The windows key has ALWAYS at least brought up the start menu when pressed by itself.
Something was wrong with either your keyboard or your OS if pressing it did absolutely nothing.

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@moondrake: As stryker4526 noted, the windows key is a crucial component now with Win8, as it lets you go back and forth quickly between the desktop/tiles or whatever screen you were last at. Alt+Tab is also very important to help switch between screens- in the off chance you've never used it before, hold both down and you'll have all the open screens on your computer pop up and then you, while still holding Alt, cycle through the various screens by hitting Tab again. Alt+F4 is also great for closing programs quickly, especially those pesky tiles programs that don't have a close button built in. And even better, on the desktop screen, if you press Alt+F4 you will have a little window pop up that will give you options to log out, lock the computer, put the computer to sleep, shut down the computer, or restart the computer. Overall it seems like the Win8 engineers tried to make a system that is usable sans-mouse. I'm starting to enjoy it. (Definitely better than Vista)

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@goatcrapp:

7's stability compared to Vista's had more to do with drivers having most of the bugs worked out. When Vista came out it was using a completely different driver architecture from XP and required that hardware manufacturing develop drivers for this new system. 99% of the crashes I had from Vista were crappy drivers from nvidia and few other companies that were still learning the new system.

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@iggz: Thanks, now I have a really good reason to update from Windows 7 to Windows 8.

@goatcrapp: What I am looking for is the registration edit that puts Windows 7 task bar on Vista.
I forgot the Window slams (where Windows 7 auto resizes when you run into the side.)

For the OP, and Windows 8 makes me feel like I am testing an alpha release.

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@countdown: fragmented RAM? Not an issue.

First - it's extremely cheap to get 8GB or even 16GB of RAM. That alone means much less chance of fragmentation.

Second, fragmentation has almost zero performance impact. There's no hard drive head that has to seek to a position on a platter. Reading the next segment of memory or reading a random position of memory takes the exact same amount of time. So you have a brief instant of overhead when reading the address of the next page of memory. I'm not even sure if you can measure the small impact this might have.

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This is a serious comment, not a flame.
I multitask like a mad man on coke. I currently have 4 explores open:
1 notepad,
1 cmd,
4 word documents,
2 spreadsheets,
1 chrome with break time 9 tabs,
1 chrome with 4 work time tabs open,
1 streaming music player
a few industry specific programs running,
gv notifier,
google talk,
My email client,
sticky notes and it is still morning!
And if you tell me to use windows 7 mode, I will ask why not just stick to windows 7. I swear I will!

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What people have trouble understanding is that Windows 8 has essentially 2 user interfaces, not one. There is one that runs apps, and another that runs programs.

The one that runs apps, also has links to launch your desktop programs.

Windows 8 actually allows you to multi-task in more dimensions than Windows 7, due to the ability to switch between App and Desktop mode.

Windows 8 is still essentially very much like Windows 7, it's just that now you have the option to work with the OS in a different way. I think it's very innovative, and efficient if you take the time to understand how it was intended to work.

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@samstag: you and @omnichad make a good point that fragmentation is not really an issue for RAM, I suppose I did not think hard enough about that one. However what about memory leakage? Not an issue in most modern OOP languages, but in older languages (which I assume you use if youve been writing software for 25+ years) memory leakage can occur and even professional companies will find leaks 5-10 years later (speaking from experience).

I also have yet to hear a counterpoint to what I mentioned above about administrative tasks running.

Ultimately i would still argue it is not responsible nor recommendable to leave your computer running for months on end (unless it is a server). Even if you ignore the 2 points I make above, it is just a massive waste of energy.

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@countdown: I'm definitely familiar with memory leaks. Fortunately I've never seen one in Win 7. When I get one it's an application and can be cleared by killing that process.

I'm not sure I get your point about admin tasks. I have scheduled tasks to check windows update and keep my anti-virus up to speed. What do you think I'm missing out on that can only happen during a reboot?

As for leaving it running for months being irresponsible, I think you missed the part where we use sleep mode to save energy when the PC isn't in use. Mine is set to sleep after 15 minutes of inactivity, so it's running quite a bit less than the average user.

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@samstag: Fair points; taken. I'm not really trying to argue it's the end of the world (although it is convenient to argue extremes). But I just can't think of a reason that leaving it on would be more ideal over shutting it down. I guess I was hoping to hear that reason, but come to think of it you're not arguing that extremity either. I guess at the end of the day my only point is I would not recommend it, but people are free to, and like you point out it will not kill your machine.

One final PS though. I don't like the solution of killing a leaking process, surely it would be ideal if it exited "gracefully". I guess if it is a big leak then who cares; its a crappy program. But a leak over months was the original scale I was thinking in, which could go unnoticed until someone runs their PC for 3 months ;).

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@dmmutti: I am not sure anyone is still paying attention. The 2nd interface seems intent on single a application. I will refer to my snipping tool. The tablet mode will not let me snip a page from it. Even using tune in seemed odd.

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@caffeine_dude: I am listening but you are speaking a language I do not understand. :)

No need to try to explain. After reading the information that the device is flipping back and forth between Windows 8 with the frustrating full page Metro stuff, and Windows 7 with the familiar interface, I understand what's happening and I am able to stay in my Windows 7 comfort zone more easily.

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Looks like a 7th grader designed it instead of a multi-billion dollar corporation. I mean really. The awful color scheme makes me barf. I don't have a real problem with the UI as I use a touch screen, but the graphic design is not what I would expect from a company with limitless resources.

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@erunyon: I agree. The color scheme is very aggressive, which may be trendy but I prefer a more muted workspace. The icons on the Start page are also excessively huge. I generally use folders to endure that any file list will fit on a single screen. I do not like having to scan around on a page larger than my screen, and there's no need for it on the Start page if they'd made the icons smaller than a business card.