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Xanather

So, windows 8?


99 posts in this topic

I find Windows 8 (on desktop) to be a mish mash of two idea's/platforms, if anything to me it looks like more confusion.

I will be getting a laptop soon for uni next year and I'm wondering if I should get Windows 8 on it.

General question: What do people think about Windows 8? its obviously a big change. Edited by Xanather
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It's not a big change if you don't want it to be. I've been using it on my desktop for a couple months now, and I can just ignore the metro stuff entirely. If you do that, it works exactly like Windows 7. I don't like the flat default window border theme, but tweaks are available to try to rectify that.

My biggest complaint is Microsoft's new music app. I'm a ***heavy*** Zune Pass user (I download thousands of Psytrance albums to find new music). The old Zune Software has a bunch of bugs (can't jump to a song by title in my collection, can't sort an artist's songs by name in the marketplace to avoid downloading duplicates, etc). I was hoping their new software would be better, but it's actually much more limited. It's also completely unusable on a desktop because the app doesn't have independent volume control (not even the Mixer in desktop mode will let you independently control the volume). So I've just been using the old software and living with the bugs.

I haven't used it on any tablets yet since I'm waiting for the Surface Pro (it's the only thing so far where the specs match my tablet criteria), so I can't vouch for any of its touch support.

Overall, for mouse and keyboard use, there's no major difference in Win7 and Win8 that's worth picking between the two. If you have a touchscreen though, Win8 should be superior. Edited by Nypyren
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The metro touchscreen interface was a bad idea a year ago and it's a bad idea now. Sure, you can disable it, tweak the interface to your liking, as always, but trying to tack a tablet interface on a desktop just doesn't work. If the idea was to simplify things by trying to be consistent across their entire platform market, then Microsoft has failed. You can't find consistency where there isn't any, desktops and laptops just have a different workflow than handheld devices, sorry.

As for the operating system itself, there's no major difference visible to the end-user, really. The usual security patches, performance improvements here and there, etc.. But regarding the overall usability as a gamer and developer, it is all but a regression to me. As far as I am concerned, and because I have no obligation to support this operating system, it's not worth switching over and I'll happily stay on my Windows 7/Linux Mint dualboot configuration.

PS: this is from a laptop/desktop perspective, obviously. I do not own any handheld devices, so I cannot comment but I guess that's where Windows 8 really shines. Edited by Bacterius
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imho, either they separate completely PC and tablet/phone UIs (ie, one gets traditional desktop, other gets metro thing) or they just go all in with Metro ditching the traditional desktop for good.

I was disappointed the first time I saw that you could switch to the "good ol'" desktop in Windows 8. I thought they were going to change everything from ground up.

Instead, Windows 8 is a mashup of UIs. A bad one.
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After using it, it's not that bad. I honestly don't have any more problems with it than I have with 7 in general. I'm fine with the start screen. I can see why some people don't like it, but I only really have 15 icons on my desktop I ever use anyway; I used the start menu and taskbar more heavily, so others might have bigger issue with it. Personally I think the negatives are largely overblown. It's different, but I don't really mind.

I do think RT is hurt by having both desktop and modern interface. RT would have been a much more cohesive experience had it been entirely modern UI. That's my only major criticism that hasn't already been addressed by Microsoft in some fashion.
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@TheChubu. I agree, The first time I saw windows 8, I thought, why not separate all this and have a Windows 8 Desktop OS and a Windows 8 Tablet OS?
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I've been using it for the last couple of weeks (in fact I drank all the Kool-Aid in one weekend and got a Windows Phone too...) and honestly I really like it BUT I will point out the first thing I did was install 'start8' from Stardock so that I had a start menu + boot to desktop. Beyond that however I find the OS to be faster and more responsive than Win7 (the boot time is INSANELY fast, faster than a fresh Win7 on the same hardware I find) and I've even come to prefer the visual style (I use Win7 at work on a comparable setup so plenty of compare and contrast time). For the upgrade price it really was a no brainer imo... that said, I do wish the 'enter' key would work in these forums in IE10 *sigh*
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Since windows vista I've been able to get a genuine license for each window OS as soon as they go RTM for evaluation purposes, so I've been running Windows 8 for quite some time now, and wouldn't consider going back to 7.

Boot times are ridiculously fast, even more so with an SSD. I pretty much see the lock/login-screen instantly after the POST stage, which is something I've never experienced with any previous windows version (or any other OS for that matter).
The start screen doesn't bother me one bit, I make sure all the applications I use on a daily basis are nicely grouped together, but I also provide shortcuits to them on my task bar. I don't use the modern UI all that much though, sometimes I'll use their media player app docked to the side of one of my screens so I always have an overview of my playlist, but that's about it.

One thing that bothers me though is that the modern UI can only work on one screen at all times, so if I have the media player app docked to the left of my leftmost screen and open up the start menu or the side bar (or whatever they call it) on my rightmost screen, the app will suddenly switch screens, which gets really annoying after a while.
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Silent deployment, new standards in GUI, extended DirectX API.
Another thing would be "Windows App Store".

For me it is good. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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[quote name='Radikalizm' timestamp='1355578172' post='5010934']
One thing that bothers me though is that the modern UI can only work on one screen at all times, so if I have the media player app docked to the left of my leftmost screen and open up the start menu or the side bar (or whatever they call it) on my rightmost screen, the app will suddenly switch screens, which gets really annoying after a while.
[/quote]

I've had severe issues with multiple screens and Windows 8, particularly when trying to view video on the secondary screen. Many applications just seem only to work on my primary monitor. Hopefully that's just an NVidia problem.

As for boot times, I guess I'm just fortunate to have had a great PC when I had Windows 7, that the upgrade to Windows 8 really wasn't anything noticeable for me. It boots up about 1 1/2 seconds faster than Windows 7.

Definitely get the start bar back if you get it. That being said, I'm honestly not too thrilled with the OS. The Metro interface is now cluttered with executables, even if they're the uninstall program that would never be shown on the desktop. And even things such as turning the computer off before you have the start button is not a 1 step affair. Yes, there are ways to alleviate both of the above issues, but a solid OS should not require intervening steps, but work right off the bat. This is an area where Apple does things right imho. All too often the UI gets put on the back burner, because management seems to think anyone can make one, but there's a difference between a UI and a good UI. And making a useful UI is an art. Edited by Nytegard
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It looks like it has been made by someone who has just learnt how to make a GUI application in Visual Basic and has made a little launcher to access their favorite applications.

Like most "launcher" projects, they should keep that stuff to themselves ;)

Additionally, I find the metro stuff claustrophobic and awkward but my biggest issue is the fact that they are spending time and effort on the GUI. That stuff is always superficial and gimmicky and really doesn't interest me. Next release it will be removed (like Aero was) and they will probably start from scratch again with their next little theme.

Luckily the command prompt and everything else has remained the same and other than some improvements in virtualization (Useless for 3D still), I cant really find any new features which have been added.

The stupid shortsighted (already crackable) DRM is still there however [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/angry.png[/img] Edited by Karsten_
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Kind of like it, but I miss the 3D feature(alt tab function from win 7), also installed the start button in the lower left corner and do find that the metro is kind of weird so I have disabled it. All in all I will not install win 8 on my desktop(currently installed on my laptop).
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1355573539' post='5010918']
For the upgrade price it really was a no brainer imo... that said, I do wish the 'enter' key would work in these forums in IE10 *sigh*
[/quote]
You could also follow this [url="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TGplftLI9Fo"]link[/url].
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Thanks for the feedback everyone, the poll displays just about 50/50 likes/dislikes. based on that ill probably try to get a win7 laptop but if I cant I guess ill just try win8.
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[quote name='phantom' timestamp='1355573539' post='5010918']the boot time is INSANELY fast, faster than a fresh Win7 on the same hardware I find[/quote]OK, but one needs to be real about that one too. In reality it is both insignificant and not true. Win8 appears to boot insanely fast, [i]because it doesn't boot[/i]. What it does is much closer to "reading a memory dump from disk" than actually booting. It's not surprising that this is faster.

Then again, how often do you really need to (and [i]should [/i]need to!) boot? There is no operating system that requires such an insane amount of needless reboots as Windows. This is what should be tuned, not the boot time. This, and the fact that still almost every installer and every program pops up UAC for administrative rights. I don't get it why every program needs administrative rights. This suggests that the security model isn't very well thought through.

I've recently installed the new Visual Studio on my Win7 box for laughs. It needed to reboot 3 times for installing a version of .NET that was already installed and some SQL server stuff that isn't needed (and that gave a "user aborted" error after reboot, which is a lie). On any other operating system, boot times aren't significant, because you don't need to reboot for something as trivial as installing a normal program.
An IDE is a somewhat better text editor that can launch some utility programs. Who would expect that you need to reboot your computer (even more so several times) to copy such a thing to your harddisk?

If I could install Visual Studio <insert any other product> without rebooting, why would I care how long it takes to boot?

Booting is the time between hitting the "On" button in the morning and coming back from the coffee machine. Or, it [i]should be [/i]like that. On some operating systems, it's perfectly OK to let a system run for a year or two without rebooting.

I'm not a big Linux fanboy because of the everlasting driver story (though it seems nVidia is working hard on that now) and due to leaving the graphical user interface to Gnome/X11 or KDE/X11, it still gives a "doesn't work" experience after so many years, but hey... you really have to acknowledge that you only [i]need to [/i]reboot your Linux box when you installed a new kernel. Or maybe twice in your life otherwise.
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[quote name='samoth' timestamp='1355748036' post='5011661']
Booting is the time between hitting the "On" button in the morning and coming back from the coffee machine. Or, it [i]should be [/i]like that. On some operating systems, it's perfectly OK to let a system run for a year or two without rebooting.
[/quote]

Well, for starters I don't drink coffee... This is a home PC as such it doesn't run 24/7 given that for about 16 of those 24 hours I'm not in the flat 5 days a week, which means it gets at least 1 boot a day, maybe 2 if I need to do something quickly first thing before leaving for the bus (which is a very tight bit of timing so a slow boot of my Win7 install was becoming a problem), at which point the faster it can get from off to 'login' the better.

In fact I'd argue that given the rising costs of power the ability to run your home PC for months at a time without rebooting is a redundant 'feature' which most have no use for.
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It's funny but I think we're observing the classic "youtube video has equal likes/dislikes" psychological phenomenon. People will tend to equalize the poll, so the 50/50 we are observing right now might actually be somewhat biased [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]
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I voted "I like." If you would have asked me a month or so ago I would have said the opposite. Though after using it more and more (Every since the Pro version became available on my Universities DreamSpark Premium account) I like it.

Desktop: I believe their are more changes to the desktop than what meets the eye. The UI is different but I feel the way things are operating that even internally things are different on the desktop. I had Windows 7 on this computer before I installed Windows 8. I at first just did a dual boot to test it out. Even though I at first hated the new UI (Metro, Modern UI, whatever MS wants to call it) and the start screen, I noticed one thing for me: Windows 8 is crazy fast. Very rarely did I find myself going back to Windows 7. I really only did when I was having problems with the Metro UI and I would get upset and just go back to Windows 7. lol. Such a kiddy thing to do. Though their was something about Windows 7 that was starting to bug me. I honestly felt like with each update I did to Windows 7 the more bugs I kept finding. Windows 7 started out excellent. Then IMO it has had a lot of bugs all of a sudden pop their head out at me. That was bothering me.

So I used Windows 8 for a little longer one night while using it I noticed something. I noticed that I absolutely loved the OS so I did a complete reformat and clean install, with Windows 8 being my sole OS on this computer. The Desktop seemed so much more responsive The Start Screen isn't the greatest and does need work but the Modern/Metro UI has a lot of potential (still needs some work though if they really want this to even catch on on the desktop). I find the UI to be absolutely gorgeous in most applications. Though using the Charms Bar and searching or settings in an App is excellent. I love how the settings and searching in the Charms Bar changes by what application you are in.

The biggest thing that I kept mentioning earlier was performance. Windows 8 has been a screamer for me. Windows 7 was fast too though with Windows 8 things just seem to be a little bit faster. Loading up programs on the desktop or Applications in the Modern/Metro UI. In my tests also Windows 8 is using up just a little bit less RAM than Windows 7 was. I like it when an OS gives me a little more to fill up my RAM with the stuff I want it filled up with.

So it looks like I'm going to stick with Windows 8. I haven't installed or even looked into a way to get the Start button back and right now I don't need it. The Start Screen is my start button and I mostly seem to find apps there just as fast as I would have with the Start button. If I don't someone on the Start Screen I just delete it off of it just like you have to do when an installer places a shortcut to your desktop. I have it organized the way I want and have a way to get to the Applications I use the most really fast.
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I follow the rule that every other MS OS is the test instead of the product so I won't be changing my 7 anytime soon.

From videos I saw of that annoying layout with blocks, I don't like it.

 

Just from a gotomeeting standpoint, I already have to blank out what my search history is for clients, I can't imagine if all my favorite sites had applications and showed off where I go online. It's really not something I can let be known especially because we have contracts that say two of the competing companies we work with shouldn't be allowed. Someone already got fired once it was known they were doing deals under the table.

 

For a computer where you work and play on it, I don't like that UI at all.

 

I also dump everything on my desktop, that looked tedious to go back and forth in a video I saw. I'll keep my plain old, non-updating, non-blocky, non-big, desktop.

 

Another thing I saw in videos was that applications no longer had windows, they were full screen - I want windows, I want the borders, to drag it out of the way, to put things side by side etc. The whole browser upgrade to surfing was tabs and doing more than one thing. Single minded applications sound like reversing time.

 

As for boot times uh... I turn off my computer maybe once every 2 months... the re-boot time is the most dangerous for data loss. That's when the arm could hit the platter on the HDD last I heard. Maybe it's an old wives nerd tale but I don't turn computers off all the time.

Edited by hybrid_ham
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Another thing I saw in videos was that applications no longer had windows, they were full screen - I want windows, I want the borders, to drag it out of the way, to put things side by side etc.


This is what I completely agree on. Opening a image on the Win8 Laptop i just got makes some metro fullscreen "Pictures" app show up, completely hiding the desktop. I changed the default application for images almost instantaneously.

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lol, i heard windows blue/9 will also not contain a start menu. so if they don't make any needed changes on desktop then windows 9 will break the cycle of that image above.

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Well first of all, 3.1, 95, and 98 were good. ME was horrible. 2000 and XP were good. Vista was horrible. 7 was good. So the pattern is not nearly as clear cut as some would have you believe. With that said, it's a shame that Win 8 is not as cohesive an OS as it should be. I had high hopes for it.

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I've seen the pattern go with 95 good and 98 First Edition bad (98 Second Edition doing the good step). Also I recall seeing people mentioning it may be Microsoft going in a tick tock pattern where the tick (bad) is where they implement the big changes and the tock (good) is when they make those new features more usable.

 

Also that poll is close, I actually untied it o_O;

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A rather good reason(to not get windows 8) I found on the net:
windows-8-prediction.jpg
That image is funny if you have no idea about what was released. They removed some of the stable releases on purpose..

Windows 2000, Windows NT? Hrmpf. Edited by SymLinked
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