First off let me say – some people will think it’s wonderful and others will absolutely hate it. Here’s my experience to date:
I downloaded and installed Windows 8 on my laptop at the weekend replacing my much loved Windows 7. First thing that struck me was the amount of incompatibilities with my laptop and the software on it. My laptop is 1 month old and yet I had to uninstall a lot of the laptop specific software before I could install Windows 8. The other big issue was that my anti-virus wasn’t compatible – ooops! Anyway I removed all of that and installed it.
First impressions were “what the hell have Microsoft done!?!” On boot up you are presented with a tiled window with big tiles! “Where’s my desktop? Where’s my icons? How do I do anything? What’s a Metro? Ok, calm down Geoff. Deep breath” – Not a good start! So I started to look and “play”.
I could see what they were trying to do, get a consistent experience across mobile devices, tablets and pcs. I could see that if I was using a touch screen device how intuitive it would be. Closing windows by swiping down from the top of the screen to the bottom being one example. Incorporating your single Microsoft Live account into everything. Bringing Skydrive (Microsoft’s cloud storage offering) to the fore.
After 2 hours of “play” I have to say I liked it. I found my desktop! Except no Start button. I customized the front screen and put on it any of my frequently used applications. I like the way you can move to the right side of the screen and the big menu pops up. I like the use of the screen. I like the fact they are trying to move us away from “desktop icons”, it’s about time! So I’m giving it a big “yes” for personal users. So what about business users?
Here’s where the problems start. People are so used to Windows and icons and the Start button that for most this will be an enormous change, there will be major user resistence and will cause major headaches for IT Departments and businesses. Moving from XP to Windows 7 was a big change, now moving to Windows 8 will be even bigger. Software isn’t going to be compatible, vendors are playing catch-up and if companies move it’s going to be very painful.
My advice use Windows 7, if you are buying new pcs or laptops make sure that they come with a downgradable copy of Windows 7. Take your time with Windows 8, test it thoroughly. Businesses are still using XP even though it is 10 years old because it is solid and it works. I can see the same happening with Windows 7, it’s solid, it works and business user’s comfortable with it. I think Microsoft are going to have a tough sell to business.