Some months before Windows 8 was released, I thought I would install a preview copy on a VM in my computer. (A VM is a "virtual machine," and it allows you to create entirely new computers, virtually, within your computer! So, for example, it allowed me to have a "new" Windows 8 computer inside my Windows 7 system).
I went through the procedure of the install and fired it up. A bloated, funky-looking fish greeted me at the outset. First impression, wth? (This has since been replaced with a more modern windows logo that looks better).
I then tried to wend my way through the torturous new Metro interface. Ha! After 15 minutes I was ready to scrap the whole thing! What confusion, what a mess!
So why in the world did I trot down to MicroCenter the day it was released and install it?
I'm still asking myself that, but the fact is, we all do things sometimes on impulse. All I can say is, I figured I'd give it another chance, and I also know that it's an inevitable thing: the Microsoft engine does NOT stop for the little guy!
I thought I would give the new OS a fair chance, and also install a Logitech touchpad (T650). Windows 8 is supposed to work better with touch screens, so I figured giving myself a touch pad would make sense. But theory isn't the same as practice.
Well after the installation of the OS and the touch pad, I can say it is a much better experience than the preview was...it's less confusing, probably because I did a lot of googling and got some background on the changes.
I still have significant reservations about the new OS. Keep in mind I've been teaching computers for nearly 20 years, so I'm no stranger to learning new things. But this Windows 8 is just NOT intuititve!
Using the corners to bring up menu options seems clever, since users don't use the corners too much, right?
I'm constantly fighting the popping up icons in the right side of the screen when I go to close a program, since the close "X" is in the upper right corner. And in the upper left, I have a similar problem when I'm using websites or other apps.
To be fair, Metro-based apps are totally full-screen, so this shouldn't present a problem long-term. But right now it's a PITA.
Also, the touch pad. SUCKS! Sorry, but even though the concept is cool, it's jumpy and sluggish and does NOT smoothly respond initially when I go to use it. Once it "catches" it's fine, and moves smoothly (sort of). Perhaps it's because it's wireless (although the receiver is 1.5 ft away in my setup!). In any case, when it does kick in and work, it's really nice. But having to swipe 7 times from the left to the right to bring open the Windows 8 menu system is REALLY annoying!
I think if it worked as smoothly and reliably as the Apple touch pads, it would be great. But, it doesn't. At least not on my computer. I returned the touch pad today. Sadly, because I liked it and wanted it to work well. But you can only fight a product so much before just giving up on it. Logitech, if you're listening, this is a GREAT product that NEEDS some serious refining before it's ready for prime-time. Try again.
As for my overall experience with Windows 8, from Oct. 26th to date (11/4), I can say, I reservedly like it. But the constant issues of the menus popping up unwanted is really annoying. This thing really is a touch-based OS, and in my opinion is NOT ready for the mouse-based rest of us. Lots to like, but lots of little annoying quirks and hiccups.
For now, I'm keeping Windows 8 on my system. I may need to teach it, and perhaps I'll grow to love the clunky ol' thing. It does have some cool additions, like showing you the speed when you are copying things, and upgraded Task Manager, and lots of other little upgrades.
Enough of my opinions; what do YOU think about Windows 8?