Dan Fox bio photo

Dan Fox

Software developer interested in learning New Things and applying them in Real Life

OK, so it’s second impressions really.  I tried the beta out on a netbook months ago… it didn’t go well. But, betas are betas, and the hardware wasn’t really suitable… so here is your second chance Windows 8.  On a simple laptop (no touchscreen).

Firstly, the start screen.  I don’t like it.  Why should everything have the same weight (ignoring a small adjustment on size you can make)?  Where is the automatic “these are your most commonly used applications” list?  Why is there no visual indicator that I can type something to search? Even Google’s homepage has a carat waiting for me to type!

The charms… almost, but not quite.  Why is the top-right of the screen a hotspot, which is traditionally where the close/minimize/maximize buttons are? They just conflict with each other all of the time.  And why is the power-off button so hard to find?

I like the consistency across apps.  It’s nice to have a common way to access the same functionality, and we’ve seen similar moves from Android (and possibly iOS) to bring a measure of consistency across all apps.  The problem Windows suffers though is that it isn’t across all applications - because Windows 8 feels like two separate OSs stuck together via a start screen.  The desktop application behaviour is very different from a native app.  The appearance is flatter and makes better use of the screen.  Right-mouse button behaviour is different.  Dragging native apps to the bottom of the screen isn’t intuitive compared to clicking a “close” button.  And why if I try to uninstall a desktop application from the start screen does it take me to “Add/Remove Programs” instead of just uninstalling it like I asked?

Having said all that, the core - is in the stability - seems very good.  But why no safe mode?  Things can still go wrong…

Am I looking forward to Windows 8.1?  Absolutely.  Would I choose Windows 8 over Windows 7?  No.  Not yet at least.