Every single time Microsoft release a new version of Windows, the internet hits the roof. Usually before the final version (or as final as any version of Windows ever is) has even been released the Windows users of the world have split in to three camps. I tend to think of these camps by the following names, and definitions.
They’ve ruined…’s: These people seem to pretty much immediately decide that any change, of any kind, be it ever so small, to any aspect of the previous Windows release is an utter disaster, which will destroy computing as we know it, leaving the world in a thousand-year darkness which mankind may not manage to claw its way back out of.
Wait and see’s: Ah, my people. The ones who look at the available information, take a deep breath, and decide to wait and try the release version before making any judgements.
Best thing ever!’s: Just like Apple, Microsoft has fanboys. Rabid, batshit crazy fanboys. The sort of people who if Microsoft released a box with a turd in it, charged $200 for it, and then teabagged you as you installed it…orally, well they’d gush unendingly about the improved texture, and scent. Basically the people who thought Vista was great from day one.
Well Windows 8 came out recently, and I’m sitting here writing this on my brand new 17″ I7 Dell (admittedly 3.6kg weight) laptop. Guess what it runs on? Go on, guess.
Yup Windows 8. And after all the shite I read on various websites, forums, and fanboy facial tattoo’s, it’s pretty good. I would even go so far as to say, I like it. I mean admittedly I still prefer XP. (Yes I know I’m a minority on that topic, but I was genuinely still running Windows XP up until a month ago, when my PC died a glorious ozone soaked death. I tell you, it was like a scene from the Dominion War in DS9, it was just that awesome a death.) But it’s a lovely operating system, that does everything I ask of it, is actually very user-friendly if you engage the ole grey matter, and it doesn’t hang up constantly.
Yes, the Start page kind of confused me for an hour or two, until I actually sat through the tutorials, and in fact engaged the aforementioned “grey matter”. And yes, it’s a little odd being on your desktop, with no sign of a “Start” tab. But after a week of playing, and working on my new machine, with its new version of Windows I have to say that I am happy with it. No serious problems. Which was, from the vitriol on some sites, not what I expected.
The biggest issue for me was of course the lack of a “Start” tab, just as it was for 95% of users. I mean how in the world, am I supposed to start a second program (I refuse to call them apps, now or ever!) without leaving the deskto……oh yeah hang on, I STILL have a desktop. Duh! That is genuinely how easy it was to overcome the “Having to leave the desktop to start something else.” YOU HAVE A FRIKKIN’ DESKTOP PEOPLE!
You know, a desktop, with the icons, which represent shortcuts, to the .EXE files for various programs. The space you can entirely control the content of. Oh and look at the bottom of the screen, see that blue bar? Yes, that one, the one with the clock on it. You can pin programs to it. Any program you like. See how easy that is?
To explain how easy I’ll use a pretty normal way of working for me as an example.
I use ArtRage 3 all the time for drawing webcomic type stuff. But I use Paint.Net to lay it out, and put in word bubbles, and the panel borders, page numbers, that sort of stuff. Different programs make it easier to do different things. That’s pretty self-explanatory. But, I also use Wordpad, ALL THE TIME, for taking quick notes, but also for working out dialogue. Well I have all three pinned to the bar at the bottom of the screen. If I want one of them there programs opened up, I just click it.
It took me 30 seconds to set it up. So when I’m working with multiple programs, which I open and close constantly that’s where the shortcuts go. Simple.
But that said, while I do spend most of my time working through the desktop, I also am a fan of the Start page. Putting all my most used programs, webpages, even weather, and news feeds in one easy to access, easy to navigate space, just makes sense. It makes for a stress free way to run my digital life.
I suppose I can just say that I am a convert to Windows 8. While XP was a wonderful platform for me, for many, many years, (probably too many years really), Win 8 feels right. It feels, to me, the way an operating system should feel, that you’re using it, not working with it. Because, let’s face it, an operating system shouldn’t be something you think too much about. It should just do it’s job, while it lets you get on with yours. And Windows 8 does that for me.