:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)

by SchaOn Blodgett

Windows 8 is the next release of the Windows platform due out October 26th, 2012. Will Windows 8 have the “every other version of Windows is HORRIBLE curse”? Maybe.

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)
New Windows 8 Boot Screen (it’s very simple and sleek)

We have been utilizing various copies of Windows 8 for about 5 or 6 months now on our evening TV/Movie Media Center computer, and on two of our Netbook computers. In some ways, we love it… in other ways, it’s taken a LOT to get used to (and in many ways, we are still getting use to it – and still discovering how to do some things).

Windows 8 is pretty much a complete revamp, at least when it comes to the look and feel. It boots incredibly fast. On our Netbooks (Netbooks are very low powered mini-laptops that are excellent for browsing, some documents… and well, that’s about it), it is booted, and ready to use in about 38 seconds, and our MediaCenter Desktop computer with only 2 GB of RAM booted in 31 seconds! The Task Manager also seems to be revamped, with more detail, and more information, though most home users will not use these features. Another plus is that you can use a Windows Live Login that will save your settings to your online Microsoft Account, and if and when you log into another machine, it will setup that machine (and install most apps) like the other machines that you use. Personally, we have not tried this feature, though there seems to be some positive things with this, and the negative side is about some serious Privacy Concerns (though, it is something that Google Chrome has been doing for awhile).


So, those are the pluses that we’ve seen, thus far. Now onto the things that are taking us a LONG time to get use to.

First, there seems to be NO Start Button! Instead, it has been replaced by the new “Start Screen”, and from what we can find, there is no way of bringing back the old trusted Start Button 🙁 This has taken a LOT of getting use to, though I think that it’s very slowly starting to grow on us (or we’re just adapting). Also, now when you first boot, you are no longer shown your Desktop… instead, your screen is now the Start Screen, which you cannot customize like you can your desktop. This is even more frustrating as you cannot have Windows automatically go to the Desktop. To me, this is a huge hassle; as like many professional users, we save countless documents/folders/shortcuts to our desktop for quick access.

[Updated 9/3/12 @ 1:08 PM CST: There are ‘hacks’ to bring back the Windows Start Button/Orb. Stardock offers one on at http://www.stardock.com/products/start8/, though currently in beta; as well as Samsung has already build one for when they ship their computers with Windows 8, allowing for a smoother transition for users, though currently, it will only be available for Samsung computers.]

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)
New Windows 8 Start Screen

Secondly, ALL the apps on the Start Screen require a resolution too large for our Netbooks,

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)
This app can’t open
(Resolution to small on Netbooks)

though you can go to the Desktop and run the apps from there like normal. We find this VERY stupid on Microsoft’s part, as their new Windows 8 OS is the base for ALL devices, and Windows 8 was designed to be much like a Smart Phone. It’s like “Hello… you create this awesomely FAST operating system which is GREAT on netbooks… but you can’t really do much with it… WTF!”

Next… the new Operating System (OS) is not intuitive, and does not work how most users will use it. For example, on the *new* and *improved* Start Screen… you cannot click on the screen and drag it to the right to see more of your apps. Instead, you must go all the way to the bottom of the screen and find the Scroll Bar, and use that to scroll your screen. This makes no-sense-what-so-ever as with this new operating system, almost everything is mouse based, swiping to the right edge, dragging programs to close them, etc.

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)
To close an App, you first Click and Hold the top of the
Screen, the pull to the bottom of the page

Oh, and that brings me to my next point… how to close apps! This took us a VERY long time to figure out (if I remember correctly, André had to find out from Microsoft’s Tech page). Now, instead of closing program using the trusty Red X (or File>Close/Quit), you now click the top of the “App” and drag it to the bottom of the screen to close it. When we first started using Windows 8 (while it was still a Beta release), there was a screen that there seemed no way out of it… and we literally had to just restart the computer just to do anything else. Thankfully it booted in about 38 seconds, LOL. For the most part, this only is for Apps that you start from the Start Screen. If you load the desktop, and run the application there, you will still see the trusty Red X 🙂

Though, that’s not were our irritation stops with these new apps. Though Internet Explorer (IE) 10 is a slight upgrade, when you run it as an “App” from the Start Screen, there is no way of getting to the IE Menu’s like Settings, File, etc. Next, if you open a second tab, when it opens, it will show you the tab for about 2 seconds at the top of the screen, though, when you take your mouse to the top of the screen, it doesn’t show you the tabs you have open (this is kind of dumb). Instead, you have Right Click on the page, and this now will allow you to access the other tabs you have open. Personally, I wonder how people who are using a touchscreen will be able to access the other tabs as they don’t have a Right Click option, and Windows 8 is supposed to be designed specifically for people with touchscreens.

Lastly… the final issue we ran into was Shutting Down the computer! Seeing that we were using the Desktop “App”, with no trusty Start Button… it took us a bit to figure out that you put your mouse to the upper right hand corner of the screen, and this new bar appeared, and within that is a place to Turn Off, Restart, etc, the computer.

:: Review :: Windows 8 Release Preview (End User Experience)
To Shut Down/Restart or put the computer to sleep,
put your mouse in the upper Right Corner of your screen,
wait a few seconds, and a side bar appears…

So, overall… what do we think about Windows 8?

Well, we REALLY like that it boots in 30 to 40 seconds! That’s a very nice plus, though that is where our love for this new OS stops. Personally, we would like to see the boot time of Windows 8 with everything else of Windows 7. Personally, I think this should be called Windows Scorpio. Astrologically, Scorpio, in the negative sense, is about a graveyard of Hidden Secrets which makes it very hard for others to have a healthy and happy relationship with you.

The Break-Down


  • Fast Boot, Latest Technology, Sync-look/Feel for users between computers easily without the need for a server
  • Completely new Interface, Latest Technology, Lots of Changes, Not-Intuitive, Will take consumers a LONG time to adjust to new way of doing things by mostly stumbling on how to do things (or will have to do a LOT of reading), Not Professional-Friendly, Privacy Concerns

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