I must say, I am a bit surprised to report that I’m really liking Windows 8. I’ve only just installed it and started to work with it but I am enjoying the ecosystem. It is a big change in many areas, so those who don’t like change might be upset. However, those who don’t like change must be very upset in general because everything is changing in this world.
Here are three things that I like so far:
1. I like the integration with Microsoft services, such as Skydrive, Hotmail, Live.com etc. They are moving toward a more seamless environment and I have to say that I love it. There is a move toward a single-sign on environment that makes it so you’re not always having to put in your username and password. Even Microsoft websites are more integrated.
2. It’s quick. I installed it on a 5-year-old machine that had Windows XP on it. Windows XP was running pretty slowly on the machine, and Windows 8 is running with almost no lag at all. It seems to me that Microsoft has gone in the other direction from Apple and it’s a good direction. They are going for a minimalist environment that is more two-dimensional with an emphasis on getting out of your way. Thank you!
3. I like the move to the tiled full-screen start bar. This is the thing that most people have been focusing on. I look at it like this. Before you clicked on a Start button and it gave you a little menu with all kinds of flyouts to find things. Then Windows 7 put more emphasis on the search field. Now with this environment Windows has made the Start Menu full screen and tiled applications like on its phone. I like it a lot. I’m a visual person so I like to see things all laid out there for me. Their use of color is excellent also. Microsoft has always been bad with design elements, so when they keep the designs simple like this it can be beautiful. Also I think the less shadows beveling the computer has to generate, the fast the machine will work. The other great simplicity is that now if you want to search for an application, you can just start typing from the start screen and it will search for the application without even having to put a cursor in a search field. Hit enter and the application will open.
There are things I don’t like, of course, one being that my Office365 account isn’t up to speed with this yet, but for the most part I am enjoying this quite a bit so far.
Although Microsoft has started to build computers, i.e. the Surface, with their emphasis still being on software, building leaner software that runs on more machines, even old ones like this one seems like a great way to go. Every iteration of Apple OS X seems to need more processor and RAM while Microsoft can afford to make software that works on more machines because in general they are not pushing you to buy new hardware, as much as Apple is.