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Old 11-03-2012, 08:37 AM   #1
Rob Lister
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Windows 8: Dissociative Identity Disorder

A disappointment; utterly and completely. Unintuitive. Abysmal.

The only thing good about it is the speed; very fast. But honestly, I'd rather use a command prompt than this ... very non-windows interface, and I bet booting MS-Dos 3.1 would be pretty damn snappy too.

What.Were.They.Thinking! Never mind, I know what they were thinking; what they are trying to achieve in terms of tablet market share.

I suppose it is fine for a tablet but not for a moused desk/laptop. No-one in their right mind would install (and keep) this on a traditional computer.

I hope their working on 9. I hope they don't go bankrupt first.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:44 AM   #2
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I've had the preview installed on a hybrid / convertible since it was available. So I guess that counts as both a traditional computer and not. Win 8 is definitely polarizing. I love it - but only for that computer. If it didn't work so well with the touchscreen, i'd be in the "meh" camp for sure. I'll be replacing that install with the Win 8 upgrade later today. But I'd never even consider upgrading my desktop or primary laptop. That would feel like moving into a new house just to get a different front door. Too much trouble for too little return and likely a host of kinks to work out.

But on the convertible? It shines.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:50 AM   #3
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Unfortunately both Apple and Microsoft have taken the step to turn desktop OSes into Tablet OSes. Both Win8 and (to a lesser extent) OSX Mountain Lion are moving tablet features and functions to the desktop. It doesn't make sense to me.

Microsoft took the opposite approach years ago... trying to shoehorn a desktop OS onto tablet. That didn't work out too well.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:56 PM   #4
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Have 8 on two units, one is a touchscreen and it is nice in a few ways but the non-touchscreen - why bother?

the thought of them going for tablet is right on, the touchscreen will catch some. In fact I assumed that was what they were up to but I haven't seen that many touchscreens coming out in the poor man's price range. Mine is a last years model and of course the screen is not compatible with 8????????

A bomb for the most part till we get used to it - uhhh if we do :-)
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Old 11-03-2012, 05:50 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by WillysJeepMan View Post
Microsoft took the opposite approach years ago... trying to shoehorn a desktop OS onto tablet. That didn't work out too well.
Y'know, KDE (a Linux frontend) does both? It has both a desktop and a "netbook" tablet interface in one install, and you can switch between the two somewhat easily.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:45 PM   #6
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Unfortunately both Apple and Microsoft have taken the step to turn desktop OSes into Tablet OSes. Both Win8 and (to a lesser extent) OSX Mountain Lion are moving tablet features and functions to the desktop. It doesn't make sense to me.

Microsoft took the opposite approach years ago... trying to shoehorn a desktop OS onto tablet. That didn't work out too well.
How on earth can you regard Mountain Lion as being like a tablet OS? It is nothing like Windows 8 or any form of tablet OS. It has included some compatibility features with iOS 6 but that is about all. The only things that are problematic on Apple computers are - guess what? - Microsoft products. Like Office suite, particularly Outlook.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:04 PM   #7
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This is my first post from my new Windows 8 PC.

This morning I posted from my Vista computer, now useless trash because the last part of putting together my new new Windows 8 PC was to take out the DVD and hard drive from the old computer for the new one. (I bought a new primary hard drive but am keeping the old one for backups and files.)

Am I yet accustomed to the Metro/Modern interface? No, so I pressed Winkey-D to get to post this from Chrome in the old/Desktop environment.

If you don't like the new environment, there are free programs that can hide it. Pressing Winkey-D is easy enough that's I have no need for such. Overtime, I surely will find good uses for the new environment.

However, I would not upgrade an existing computer to a new version of Windows. Wait until you need a new computer AKA your old one dies.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:05 PM   #8
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I read some reviews and decided to buy an older, clearance Win7 model than deal with Windows 8--sounded great for tablets and touchscreens, but at the cost of some of the older features that I use a LOT. Since my most recent OS was Vista, I'm pretty satisfied but I am also a user who would probably honestly be mostly fine with DOS, since for larger basic tasks such as filecopying I find the command prompt to be the way to go. Every try copying your Calibre library using Windows? Ugh.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:54 AM   #9
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First Impressions:

As a student, I was able to download a gratis copy of Windows 8 Pro thanks to the Microsoft Dreamspark program. I have to say that I am very impressed. This operating is fast in three dimensions: booting, launching programs and performing tasks, and shutting down. I like the new user interface, Internet Explorer 10 actually looks to be a half-way decent web browser (CSS3 transitions actually work!), I like the inclusion of Powershell, and I dig that they baked in social media from the ground up. There were some hitch-ups, though. I had to hunt down drivers from shady places to get my laptop's trackpad to function properly (it works out of the box on most Linux distros). I also had to download the drivers for my built-in microphone from the manufacturer's site. Oh and ads. Why does an OS have advertisements baked into it? I don't need to see an advertisement for detergent as I check out the weather for today. Also, I noticed an annoying bug: when I was extracting the cab file that the aforementioned drivers came wrapped in, I had to manually confirm that I wanted to extract each and every file. All 200+ of them. That was annoying. Fortunately, this bug doesn't seem to affect zip files. My computer is pretty up to day- I bought it in the spring and it has a Sandy Bridge Corei3 with 4 gigs of ram and an Intel SSD that I installed. If my experience matches those of other people, I think Microsoft may have a hit on its hands.

Oh, and by fast booting, I mean it boots in ~7 seconds from pressing the power button to hitting the log in screen (about a second to get from there to the start screen). Even Arch Linux doesn't boot that fast on this laptop, though it comes close at 9 seconds. Fedora is about 16 seconds, with a plain vanilla install (no tweaking). Take that, MacBook Air!

After another day of using it:

I've set up my laptop as a dual-boot Windows 8/Fedora 17 machine, but I have to say that Windows 8 is really winning me over. It's fast, customizable, keyboard friendly, offers me about 30% better battery life, and makes good use of the gestural capabilities of my laptop's trackpad. I love Linux, I love open source, and I still trust Linux when it comes to secure computing (especially outside of my home network), but for chilling at home I think I am going to find myself using Windows. They may have even gotten around the issue of system rot with with the PC Refresh option (time will tell on that one). And vim, being open source, works on Windows, as do Libre Office, Chrome, Firefox, and Calibre. I have noticed another issue- the function buttons on my laptop (controlling volume, screen brightness, WiFi, etc.) do not work. I suspect another driver search is in order. I guess one of the advantages of having a massive monolithic kernel is only rarely having to look for drivers, so that's +1 (or +3, if you're keeping track at home) for Linux.

Conclusion: Four stars out of five for being a breath-taking yet functional experience out of the box. It loses a star for the time I had to spend hunting and installing drivers. If you have a computer that is at all modern, I say go for it. You can even dual-boot Windows 8 and Linux for the best of both worlds. If your computer is older or doesn't meet the stated specs for Windows 8, I'd recommend using a light Linux distribution, like Lubuntu or Puppy Linux.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:19 AM   #10
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How on earth can you regard Mountain Lion as being like a tablet OS? It is nothing like Windows 8 or any form of tablet OS. It has included some compatibility features with iOS 6 but that is about all. The only things that are problematic on Apple computers are - guess what? - Microsoft products. Like Office suite, particularly Outlook.
I said that both Apple and Microsoft are moving tablet-centric elements to their desktop operating systems. The transition for OSX started with Lion and continues with Mountain Lion. OSX is not there yet, but that's where it's going.

Apple has clearly stated that they have taken elements from iOS and moved them to OSX, so I am confused as to why you are in disagreement with what I said. As just one example, Launchpad. Launchpad mimics the main interface for iOS devices... makes sense for a touchscreen, zero sense for a desktop.

Another example is "smart scrolling". Makes sense on a touchscreen device, not so much with a trackpad. (although that's the default behavior, it IS customizable)

Last edited by WillysJeepMan; 11-04-2012 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:27 AM   #11
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If you don't like the new environment, there are free programs that can hide it. Pressing Winkey-D is easy enough that's I have no need for such. Overtime, I surely will find good uses for the new environment.
The problem with those programs is revealed when you install apps. Smart installers will detect Win8 and install the Metro version of the app. You're not going to be able to have that app sit on the classic desktop.

In addition to adding a "start menu" app, you'll also need to install a few other "tweak" apps to give you customization control over the classic desktop window elements. Win8 offers very little control over font size, window borders, etc.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:37 AM   #12
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Apple has clearly stated that they have taken elements from iOS and moved them to OSX, so I am confused as to why you are in disagreement with what I said. As just one example, Launchpad. Launchpad mimics the main interface for iOS devices... makes sense for a touchscreen, zero sense for a desktop.

Another example is "smart scrolling". Makes sense on a touchscreen device, not so much with a trackpad. (although that's the default behavior, it IS customizable)
Apple has also said that touch paradigms don't make sense on a desktop. Even if you have a touch screen monitor.

So far their merging of the two has been fine with me, they've made all the features optional such as launchpad.

I installed windows 8 earlier this week, used it for a week, flailed around for a few days initially as it's far from intuitive to use. Once i'd googled for answers and got used to the way you were supposed to use it, i still didn't like it. It still felt wasteful in effort to do anything when using the mouse, unless you want to use keyboard shortcuts all the time. Sometimes i like to just use a mouse and windows makes that a pain with lots more movement to screen corners.

I've updated and got used to every mainline OS ms have released but for the first time i think i really will stick with win7 and hope a future windows release fixes all the issues i experienced with win8. If they don't i'll be a mac only user with osx until apple also screw that up :P

UI aside, the locked store only option for getting metro apps also puts me off. It's bad enough that tablets and phones are locked down, keep your app stores off my computer unless they're optional (which is the route apple have so far gone on osx)

Last edited by JoeD; 11-04-2012 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:39 AM   #13
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After I installed it I could run my mouse pointer to the right edge and the Metro Start Screen would scroll left, that is now gone. I really need a crash course in figuring how this moniker works.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:07 AM   #14
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After I installed it I could run my mouse pointer to the right edge and the Metro Start Screen would scroll left, that is now gone. I really need a crash course in figuring how this moniker works.
Microsoft internal programming guidelines require there to be multiple ways to do everything. What I am doing today may not be the easiest way. But it's easy enough for me:

Press Winkey and D

Where your shortcut icons are. This is the "desktop" environment for old programs, such as the one that's my signature line (although I plan a more Windows 8-friendly version.)

Winkey by itself

Modern desktop.

Winkey by itself, then simultaneously press Ctrl and Tab keys

Consolidated applications list. On left you have the new style apps. On the right are your old style programs. If all does not fit, move mouse arrow to the bottom and scroll left and right. The old apps can also be identified because the tile background color is the one you choose when you first launched Windows 8.

P.S. Here are typical Winkeys:


Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 11-04-2012 at 09:36 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:21 AM   #15
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Thanks for the tips. Getting to the Desktop is not an issue. On the Metro Start Screen I have more tiles (have to unlearn using icon) than there is room on the Start Screen, in the beginning I could just move the mouse cursor (arrow) to the right edge of the screen and the tiles would move left so I could reach those tiles "hidden" beyond the right edge. Now nothing happens, these changes (undocumented) are very frustrating. Just as I think I'm getting the hang of it they decide to change something. I'm just waiting for some good tutorials to appear on YouTube.
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