Windows 8 is the latest new technology from Microsoft, and as such it is bound to have both a large number of lovers and an equally great mass of detractors to it. Ever since the first version of Windows, there has been a certain trepidation with which a lot of people have approached each new offering. Is it better to keep what you already have, or is it better to embrace the next iteration of Windows and go with the flow? There are a lot of different opinions on this, and each has a certain validity to it.
As anyone who used Windows 98 Special Edition knows, attempting to “upgrade” to Windows ME was an annoying affair at its best and a small tragedy at its worst. A few years afterward the stalwart Microsoft product user was once again given a sad choice: stay with Windows XP or go onto Windows Vista? For the most part, the people who chose Vista quickly came to regret their decision. Is Windows 8 proving itself to be another XP or 98SE, or will it go down in the annals of history as the successor to ME and Vista?
The good news is that Windows 8 is all about making things bright, easy to use and fast. Windows 8 features a new Metro style of interacting with the system that a lot of users will enjoy because it is the same as the kind of interface you would find on a smart phone or a tablet PC. Notebooks and desktops that run Windows 8 will also be given an easier method of programming for the Metro interface, since this is how the user interacts with the entire system.
Other good points of Windows 8 include how fast and how efficient it is. Making use of all of the latest developments in hardware over the past few years, this version of Windows is good at maximizing battery life and making applications work more swiftly. Windows 8 also starts up more quickly than earlier versions of the operating system do. This efficiency also extends into the realm of the software side, as the task manager is now more easy to use and allows users to see what is active and what is not responding, and it features an extra view for power users who want more information.
In addition to these upgrades, Windows 8 also has its own app store. Now developers can offer apps from a single location that will make it easier for users to pick up independently developed applications.
Windows 8 makes a lot of assumptions. For one thing, it assumes that people who have access to a mouse and a keyboard want to use their PC via an interface that tends to work far better on phones and tablet PCs. The entire view can be cluttered to the point of being overwhelming, with potentially dozens of different applications running at the same time. Beyond this, the learning curve for many users is going to be somewhat daunting, as the keyboard and mouse they have spent decades using are suddenly far less important to the overall scheme of the operating system.
The ugliest thing about Windows 8 is that it is essentially Microsoft’s attempt to be Apple. Microsoft is businesslike, while Apple is cool. Microsoft’s previous attempts to be cool have largely failed miserably. As well, Windows 7 is still a fairly new and perfectly viable operating system that Windows 8 will have a hard time convincing many people of a need to replace it. Until it does this, Windows 7 may hold out until Windows 8 is replaced by something a bit more moderate and familiar to “old time” users.
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