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Windows 8 - Any first hand experiences?


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129 replies to this topic

#51 ONLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 09:19 PM

This is now the third OS on my HTPC. It came with Windows XP, I installed Windows 7 when it came out, and this last weekend Windows 8. I can honestly say that I LOVE how quickly you go from cold boot to login - Microsoft did a nice job there. I can only imagine how much faster that would be with a newer machine, more memory and a faster CPU!

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#52 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:20 AM

This is now the third OS on my HTPC. It came with Windows XP, I installed Windows 7 when it came out, and this last weekend Windows 8. I can honestly say that I LOVE how quickly you go from cold boot to login - Microsoft did a nice job there. I can only imagine how much faster that would be with a newer machine, more memory and a faster CPU!


Skip the newer machine, more memory and faster CPU and just throw an SSD drive in there as the boot drive. You'll see a huge improvement. My laptops, both of wich have SSD drives, boot nearly instantly. One is Windows 7 Ultimate and the other is Ubuntu.
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#53 OFFLINE   wingrider01

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 04:35 AM

It was given to me as a gift. After 4 days of use I am looking for a way to go back to Windows 7. Played with the tiles for a couple days and have since gone back to the now downgraded desktop. Don't waste your money. Other than for those who want to use a touchscreen, I see nothing but disadvantages to the new software. MS must have just needed some money to push this out the door. I won't be installing it on any other computers as long as 7 is available.


Install the trial of START 8 and see how that works for you. If it does it is a 4.99 app for windows 8, works very well

http://www.stardock....roducts/start8/

#54 OFFLINE   Blurayfan

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:01 PM

That's what I am saying. There are actually two IE apps in Windows 8. The one in the desktop is just like the one on Windows 7, with multiple tabs. However, the one from the start screen is one window, no tabs. The two apps don't share preferences or bookmarks but both are called "Internet explorer 10." Very confusing.


The Metro Internet Explorer 10 does do tabs and show Favorites on a non touch system.

After opening IE10 from the start page right click anywhere on the screen. A new menu will appear with a + and three ... symbols. Clicking the + opens a new tab and shows your frequent sites and Favorites on the bottom of the screen.

Also position the mouse to the bottom of the screen and right clicking in the current tab will show the address bar clicking that will display the frequent and Favorites again.

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#55 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:05 PM

well, they could have made that a bit more obvious. I see it now.
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#56 OFFLINE   Blurayfan

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:16 PM

well, they could have made that a bit more obvious. I see it now.


I agree with you, MS could have designed the app better, they really could have made Win 8 as a whole better.

They should offer a way for users who dislike Metro to disable it and use the Desktop instead. Also when using the desktop it should be the classic Desktop with the Start menu included.

Another thing I don't like is the removal of the Aero effects, translucent glass, and the others. Windows 8 almost looks like an older version rather than being brand new.

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#57 OFFLINE   Steveknj

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 12:31 PM

I agree with you, MS could have designed the app better, they really could have made Win 8 as a whole better.

They should offer a way for users who dislike Metro to disable it and use the Desktop instead. Also when using the desktop it should be the classic Desktop with the Start menu included.

Another thing I don't like is the removal of the Aero effects, translucent glass, and the others. Windows 8 almost looks like an older version rather than being brand new.


Seriously, there are so many benefits under the hood with Windows 8, that, if they just offered that one simple toggle to disable the Start page and go to the desktop by default, it would be a no brainer to upgrade. Fortunately that app mentioned here, Start8, looks very promising.

#58 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:08 PM

This may be going down the path of ridiculousness, but what the heck.

Thinking back to the last really big change in the GUI (and I'm not talking Aero), all the way back to Windows 95. I heard complaints back then, along with the start to shutdown jokes. Should they have made it an easier option to use Program Manager as the GUI? Eventually, everyone got used to the new way, and even liked it.

I wonder if the same will happen with Metro?

#59 OFFLINE   Blurayfan

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:17 PM

This may be going down the path of ridiculousness, but what the heck.

Thinking back to the last really big change in the GUI (and I'm not talking Aero), all the way back to Windows 95. I heard complaints back then, along with the start to shutdown jokes. Should they have made it an easier option to use Program Manager as the GUI? Eventually, everyone got used to the new way, and even liked it.

I wonder if the same will happen with Metro?


Well what really could be the deciding factor of how the Metro UI takes off is if and how many software developers of popular programs create Metro versions of their offerings.

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#60 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 01:33 PM

This may be going down the path of ridiculousness, but what the heck.

Thinking back to the last really big change in the GUI (and I'm not talking Aero), all the way back to Windows 95. I heard complaints back then, along with the start to shutdown jokes. Should they have made it an easier option to use Program Manager as the GUI? Eventually, everyone got used to the new way, and even liked it.

I wonder if the same will happen with Metro?


The change from Windows 3.1/Windows For Workgroups/NT4 to Win95 wasn't as drastic as the Win7 to Win8 change.

They stopped calling it Metro a few months ago.
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#61 OFFLINE   RasputinAXP

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 02:46 PM

hello from my new surface RT tablet that showed up in the FedEx truck today. still getting used to the keybord but i'm midding auto-caps amongst othr things. it's going to take a few days to learn hoeto type on this keyboard but overall it's not horrific.

yet.

:)

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#62 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 03:36 PM

hello from my new surface RT tablet that showed up in the FedEx truck today. still getting used to the keybord but i'm midding auto-caps amongst othr things. it's going to take a few days to learn hoeto type on this keyboard but overall it's not horrific.

yet.

:)

Looking at that spelling...or the lack of spell checking....now there's enough reason alone to avoid it... :D :lol:
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#63 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 05:17 PM

The change from Windows 3.1/Windows For Workgroups/NT4 to Win95 wasn't as drastic as the Win7 to Win8 change.

They stopped calling it Metro a few months ago.


Going from Windows 3.1 to 95 seemed like a bigger change.

I know they did, but I still seem to call it Metro. But then I still have an HR34, not a Genie :)

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One more edit, Paul Thurrott just released part 8 of his review, The Verdict.
http://www.winsupers...-verdict-144708

Edited by dpeters11, 31 October 2012 - 08:05 PM.


#64 OFFLINE   RasputinAXP

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:05 PM

Looking at that spelling...or the lack of spell checking....now there's enough reason alone to avoid it... :D :lol:


Seriously. It'll take me a few days to get used to it, but it should be doing a better job correcting my oopsies.

"Belligerent and numerous."

SlingTV, Tablo and Plex to Roku 3s and Chromecasts on a Vizio 42" in the living room and a Toshiba 32" in my bedroom. Xbox 360 client on a Westinghouse 42" in the game room. Tablets EVERYWHERE!

 

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#65 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 09:38 AM

Well what really could be the deciding factor of how the Metro UI takes off is if and how many software developers of popular programs create Metro versions of their offerings.


If the current batch of Metro software is any indication, I don't think that will be a factor at all. Every one of them I've looked at is mostly the same as apps on a tablet. Full screen always and somewhat simplistic in what they do.

Yeah, I wasn't going to get Win8, but I got to thinking that I've always got the newest OS on any computer I've owned, I don't use Windows much so one OS or another isn't going to make a big deal, and it was only $40. So what the hell, I bought and downloaded it.

After fiddling around a bit, it turns out I don't hate it as much as I would have expected. I had gotten the consumer preview, but put it on a virgin drive which wasn't personalized for me very much. But after the upgrade I noticed that when you go to a normal desktop app, the icons for the apps I already had there were still there and functional. The only thing lacking is the 'start' menu.

Right now I've not gotten one of the 'start' menu add-ons to see if it really is needed. I've got to say that I never used the start menu very much anyway, and frankly at this point, I don't miss it. I've got the apps that I want/use pinned to the Metro screen which you really can kind of think of as a big full screen start menu and that seems to be fine.

One thing they've killed off is Windows Live Mesh. Yeah the app is still there, but it doesn't actually do anything anymore. Since MS has killed off Live Mesh I suppose that shouldn't surprise me. The odd thing is that the Mac OSX version of Live Mesh works just fine.

The other oddity I've noticed is that when I access a document with the SkyDrive app, it opens it in the Office Starter Pack versions instead of the online versions at Skydrive. And for some odd reason creating a new document isn't an option.

The switching of screens back and forth is a bit irritating, but not enough to lose sleep over.

All in all, it doesn't change my opinion about Win8 much. Yeah it does things quicker, but the Metro UI really doesn't bring anything compelling to desktop/laptop.

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#66 ONLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 11:46 AM

Metro Apps are now Windows Store Apps. Long live Windows Store Apps.

But I much preferred "Metro".

#67 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 01 November 2012 - 06:19 PM

Free Windows 8 e-book:

http://download.micr...Preview_PDF.pdf

#68 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:09 AM

I have been forcing myself to use Windows 8 for 10-15 minutes a day minimum on a secondary computer. It will take a lot of time for me to get to the point where I like it, but it is getting to be more useful. Without a touchscreen a lot of it really doesn't make sense, but I did find out there are a huge number of keyboard shortcuts, including Windows-F1, which replaces F1 for help. I'm not sure why Search can't just search everything like it does on the Windows 7 Start menu. As a second screen sitting next to my regular computer the start screen makes sense, although I have some complaints. It's too animated and distracting and as I said before I know my name but I don't always know what time it is.
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#69 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:29 AM

Well, just as I thought all apps were working fine, I just had to try out DirecTV2PC! It has worked fine on this laptop I have win8 on, but now it has decided that the damned thing doesn't support "screen capture protection"! :(

I've had a love/hate relationship with this app for a very long time. It is written in the poorest manner and is very picky about what it will run on. Other streaming apps, including with Dish don't seem to have these issues. It's kinda like the programmer wanted to make it more difficult than it has to be. And since they really haven't done squat with it for a very long time, it seems this will be the first app to get uninstalled! :(

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#70 OFFLINE   pfp

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 09:45 AM

I have been forcing myself to use Windows 8 for 10-15 minutes a day minimum on a secondary computer. It will take a lot of time for me to get to the point where I like it, but it is getting to be more useful. Without a touchscreen a lot of it really doesn't make sense, but I did find out there are a huge number of keyboard shortcuts, including Windows-F1, which replaces F1 for help. I'm not sure why Search can't just search everything like it does on the Windows 7 Start menu. As a second screen sitting next to my regular computer the start screen makes sense, although I have some complaints. It's too animated and distracting and as I said before I know my name but I don't always know what time it is.


If I'll have to spend a lot of time learning a new OS like that I might as well consider making the switch to mac as I'm already a bit familiar with it from my phone and tablet. Excellent move by Apple and dumb move from Microsoft.
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#71 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 10:24 AM

I have a 6 month old HP win 7 and it works fine, I see no need to spend money to update a new machine. Yes I have used win 8, If i need to learn a new interface I think I will go Mac like my wife did.

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#72 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 11:27 AM

If I'll have to spend a lot of time learning a new OS like that I might as well consider making the switch to mac as I'm already a bit familiar with it from my phone and tablet. Excellent move by Apple and dumb move from Microsoft.


Mac OS X is very different from iOS. Windows 8 is closer to Windows Phone 8 etc than OS X and iOS.

#73 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 01:45 PM

Mac OS X is very different from iOS.


For now... Every OSX update gets us closer to one OS for all Apple products.
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#74 ONLINE   Drew2k

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

I now have the HTPC and a laptop running Windows 8, and neither is touch screen, but I'm getting more used to it. I still spend all of my time in desktop mode, though, and have most of my quick-access apps pinned to the taskbar, so I rarely need to go to the Start screen.

When I do go there, though, I can't stand when I accidentally launch a Windows Store App and have to go through a lot of motion to close it. Is there no shorter way to close a Windows Store App than return to the Start Screen, click in the top-left corner to show the most recent app, and then right-click and pick Close??? Uugh.

I did learn today that PG UP and PG DN work great in the start screen to scroll left and right, so that makes it easier to use.

But the whole approach of seeing all program shortcut at once on the All Apps screen just bugs me. I blame Apple and Google for this: the Apps drawer/tray in iDevices and Android devices shows all apps at once and users have to scroll through them to launch them, so Microsoft decided it needed to be a copycat.

On the good news side, though, I was able to get my three ancient ATI Home Theater Pro tuner cards to work in the HTPC with minimal fuss. Instead of running the legacy ATI Catalyst Control Center installer, I just right-clicked on the "unknown devices" in device manager and picked "update driver", and then navigated to my ATI folder and had it find the driver from there. Windows 8 Media Center is up and running.

#75 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 02 November 2012 - 08:26 PM

Drew, to close a fullscreen app click and hold on the top of the screen and drag the entire window to the bottom.
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