Windows 8 Thoughts

I’ve had the Windows 8 preview since it was first available, and then the release version as soon at it was available on MSDN, running on a secondary laptop. A week ago I installed it on my primary machine, a Lenovo X201 Tablet PC with 2 touch points. Everyone I’ve talked (including me) agrees that it takes a week to two weeks to make the mental shift from Windows 7 to Windows 8. It’s about a week to get comfortable and another week to discover all the little things you missed initially. I feel like I’ve used it enough to toss out some comments.

  • The touch interface rocks, even on a machine with only 2 touch points.
  • Draggling down to close take a while to get right. After that, no big deal.
  • If you are upgrading, drivers are an issue. Shame on Microsoft and manufacturers for not being ready. Neither my Acer Aspire One or my Lenovo X201 have completely updated drivers.  Every error, every blue screen so far has been a driver issue.
    • On the Lenovo, I just found an updated driver to make the camera work and the fingerprint scanner is still on the fritz.
    • On the Acer I’m getting weird issues. I tried to install Office 2013 from the ISO download and it repeatedly failed. Finally I dragged out a portable DVD player, burned a disc and installed it successfully that way. I had similar issues with Win8 on this machine.
  • I can scroll Metro style screens using the mouse wheel which is nice. I still wish that I could hold the mouse to the right and have the window scroll like the Start screen does. That behavior is really inconsistent.
  • I’m in love with the People app. I just wish they had taken it even farther.
  • I miss browser add ins in the Metro style IE 10. I want to push stuff to Blogger and save items to Pocket and I can’t. I end up having to just email things to myself and it feels like a step backward.
  • The fact that charms like search and settings are contextual is a shift for MS. Whatever app I’m in, when I hit the Search charm, it searches that app. When I hit Settings, the options are different depending on the app I’m in.

All in all, I’m pretty happy. I want a Pocket Metro style app, Flipboard would be nice too. So will Apple make a Metro friendly iTunes app before Microsoft makes an iPad friendly version of Office?

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