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Old 11-14-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
Darth_Andrea
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Default Windows 8 The Good The Bad And The Xbox

Well Anna talked me into installing Windows 8 on one of our laptops just to test it out. So I did, and here is what I found.

First and foremost, Say good by to your Start Button. It was removed and replaced with a full screen Start Screen originally called Metro and rechristened Modern UI. This new Start Screen, which I will call Metro because I like being contrary, is the first thing you see when you boot Windows 8.

The desktop is no longer the heart of the OS for the user. In Metro you find a lot of pre-installed Microsoft App's. All link to MS based services. Along with a App for the Microsoft App Store. Metro acts like the old Start Button in a few ways. Any program or App Pinned to "Start" will appear in the Metro screen.

App installed from the Microsoft Store aren't standard programs. Their like apps found on any tablet or the Xbox 360. They run Full Screen with no way of re-sizing or minimizing them. You can only move them to the background. The Desktop itself has become a App. Any Desktop Program or App started will launch the Desktop App and the program will run as usual. You will be able to Window, re-size, minimize, and tile as many windows on it as you would on any previous version of Windows.

Another issue with the desktop I have found is that any program you have installed that you don't option to put a icon on the desktop you will be forced to launch from Metro. I haven't found a way of adding Icons to the desktop after installation. So be sure that with any new (Non-App) you install you choose "Add Icon To The Desktop" in the install options.

As far as functionality there are several issues. No native USB 3.0 Support 3rd party drivers will be required and may not always work. Using Multiple Monitors in Win 8 is exceedingly difficult. I never got it to work properly even after watching a few tutorials on youtube.

Multiple Audio Mixing in Windows 8 is even worse than with 7. Virtual Audio Cables (Audio Mixing Program) will not work properly. I tired 4 times and 4 different clean installations of the program and every time I started audio feeds into the program Windows had a freak out and I would loose all sound until I uninstalled VAC and rebooted the computer.

So multi-monitor gaming or video editing is going to be a serious issue. Also if your into streaming trying to mix your game play audio with say skype or anything else is going to be a issue because of the Audio issues.

As for Windows 8's other controls. There are 2 sidebars that give you access to various features. To access the side bars you have to put your mouse in the lower Right Hand Corner, or the Upper Left Hand Corner for the two sidebars. The Right Side bar has Windows basic controls. Search, Share, Start, Device Settings.

Search isn't internet search it's what takes you to a list of all installed apps and program packages.

Share I believe allows you to share files and documents online and via internal networks, I never tired this function myself.

Start takes you back to the main Metro Screen, Device allows you to control second monitors, eternal hard drives and other connected devices.

Settings takes you to a list of commands. Desktop, Control Panel, Personalization, PC Info, Help.

Settings is a important one. The Restart, Sleep, Shut Down, commands are listed under settings. Took me nearly 20 minutes to find that .

Multitasking between Apps or a App and the Desktop is possible through the Left Screen Sidebar. Again activated by placing your mouse in the upper left hand corner. Once there you will see all your currently open apps including Desktop if it isn't on top.

To Multitask between Apps or a App and the desktop you can grab a App from the left sidebar and drag it onto the screen and it will move the on top app to the side and you can basically split screen it and re-size them to a extent by dragging a center divider bar left or right. Both screens will remain "Full Screen" top and bottom you can only re-size left and right.

Now I said the Metro start screen was a lot like a Xbox 360 OS. For very obvious Reasons.

Xbox Desktop Screen


Windows 8 Metro Screen


As you can see both have very obvious similarities. Windows 8 is basically Xbox software with a Windows Desktop App installed. I used a upgrade to Windows 8 instead of a clean install so I still had my installed programs on the hard drive. I had 2 stop working after the upgrade. Office/Student 2010 and Microsoft Movie Maker v2.6 both had to be uninstalled.

One other final issue with Windows 8 is that at install it asks you to create a log in. It at first asks you put in your Microsoft Account info. Basically your Hotmail address. If you don't have one it asks you if you want to create one. I opted for the 3rd option a local log in with no connections to a outside service. I at present don't see web security as being tight enough to link my desktop log in ID to a online service. The chances of a remote wipe after a Hack on a MS site is to great IMHO. Its happened to people with Apple ID's having their I-devices and Mac's remote wiped.

I would recommend that if your are on Windows 7 or Vista stay with it until your forced to upgrade when you buy a new machine.

As far as Windows 7 support Microsoft has already made some announcements about its continuing support of 7. First they have announced a new version of DirectX, Version 11.1, and it will be a Windows 8 exclusive. Windows 7 will not have support for or receive a Windows 7 version of it. They announced that Windows 7 will not receive a Service Pack 2 upgrade, and that its support life has been cut and will end Q3 2015.

Well that's my take on Windows 8. I have re-installed Windows 7 and am much happier with it. I also took the precaution of buying several copies of Windows 7 before they were pulled from shelves. I'm set for a while I think.



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