Some days ago, I chose to give a chance to Windows 8. The changes can be disconcerting but once you are used to them, it's fine.
I didn't choose yet which theme to use, so it's the default "Nature" theme, because the current season is spring (at least in the northern hemisphere).
You can notice my program Ribbon Notepad works on it. The big update 1.3 is scheduled.
Below is my impressions of the system:
What I like
I've a dual-monitor system. Finally Windows adds natively a best management, with different wallpapers and a taskbar for each screen!
This will avoid me to buy a shareware for this ^^
ISO files can be mounted into virtual drives without installing some invader like DaemonTools or Alcohol!
Windows Defender now integrates features of Security Essentials. In other words, Windows 8 comes with an integrated antivirus and antimalwares solution. Good point for neophytes who are lost with protection softwares. Of course you can install other software, Defender will be deactivated.
The Ribbon Explorer (I love ribbon softwares). Although it takes more place, commands are quicker accessible than older Windows with their menus. The Quick Access bar is very interesting for customizing your own shortcuts.
The "Win+X" menu (right click on the bottom left corner of the screen). It already has all shortcut I manually added in the Computer context menu in Windows 7.
The boot speed. Even with my SSD, I can see the difference with Windows 7. My best record with the Hybrid boot is 6 seconds to access the logon screen!
The new account system and settings synchronization. I'm not a multi-machines user, but I think it's a good thing to add only one account for all Microsoft products and services. However it could be a problem for people who don't have a permanent Internet connection.
Windows 8 doesn't let programs associate themselves to your files without asking you what to do. I spent so many time restoring associations that I can only approve this choice.
The new Task Manager. It really needed an improvement. I especially like the new "Start" section, to manage programs launched at login.
The Start screen showed at logon. It's a personnal choice: My Desktop contains only few icons, and the 1st
thing I did on older Windows was to open the Start menu. 1 click less.
Homegroups are still compatible with Windows 7 machines. Very good, I can still use my parent's printer!
The system weight. Be lighter than Windows 7? Mission completed with success.
File History, the new files backup system, seems more efficient than the old process, which bring me a lot of problems...
Windows 8 includes a PDF viewer. Cool and practical, especially when I will get an answer to the following question: how do you change the zoom level???
What I don't like
The separated search system. WTF is that? On Windows 7, typing in the Start menu searches in applications, documents and Control Panel settings at the same time! Why Microsoft didn't keep that in Windows 8?! Searching a document or a setting from the Metro interface multiply clicks by 3!!! Because the document search is not even in real-time, you must press Enter to start it!
Context menus are totally absent in the Metro search results. You want to know where a particular file is? Go away, or find it manually via an Explorer window.
The Aero style (I don't speak about Metro). Okay, squares are funny, but there is an exaggeration here, isn't it? I don't love Minecraft so much to add squares and cubes absolutely everywhere.
One feature I used on Windows 7 was the creation of system images, to quickly restore the full system in case of big problem. This is a real maze to find this in Windows 8!
How to close a Metro app? Place your cursor on the top left corner of the screen. A Metro app thumbnail will appear. Move your cursor along the left side to show all opened apps. Right click one of them and choose "Close". Seriously Microsoft, didn't are you able to find a more complicated way?
How to add other files and directories in the File History list? You cannot! Expect create libraries which include them. I hope it will be improved in the final version...
The Metro Internet Explorer (navigation in fullscreen) is completely disabled when you define another browser as default browser. Microsoft will never be fair-play with the concurrence -_-°
About the Metro interface
I didn't speak about the Metro interface itself, which is however the main Windows 8 new feature.
The reason is simple: I'm one of these who want an option to revert to the Windows 7 Start menu, at least on PC clients. However, I recreated all shortcuts I want in the Start screen, using it as a "fullscreen start menu", and I don't need Vistart or equivalents.
I can't say I like Metro, but I can't say I dislike it. I do my way with, or without.
Note about some extensions
2 things on my preview doesn't come from Windows 8: Ribbon Notepad
, my software (the window on the left screen). I spoke about it several times ago, check here
for more info. QTTabBar
, an Explorer extension (second tabbar in the Explorer window, with 3 opened tabs). QTTabBar adds tabs navigation and a lot of other stuff. Works well on Windows XP/Vista/7/8. More info here