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What do we think about Windows 8? An exclusive hands-on review

Windows 8As one of the Microsoft Official re-sellers we’ve received an RTM (release to manufacturing) version of Windows 8 so we could have a closer look at it before it hits the shops.

Our IT technicians Rupert and Andrew spent last week exploring, trying and testing Windows 8 and you can read their first thoughts about it here:

Positives of Windows 8

  • Fast & user-friendly installation

It took only about 10 to 15 minutes to install Windows 8 on the computer and the setup was pretty straight forward.

  • Different menu – New Start Screen

The main menu of Windows 8 is completely different to the one on Windows 7.  The new Start Screen is based on a tiles style layout; these tiles are applications you can select and arrange the way you want it. However, by pressing the Windows key on your keyboard you will be back to desktop environment similar to Windows 7.

The new Start Menu in Windows 8

The new Start Menu in Windows 8 – a tiles based layout

The new Start Menu in Windows 8

A preview of the Weather Application in Windows 8

Windows 8 has extra corner menus, for example if you move your mouse to top right corner the Extra menu, called Charms bar, will come up. Top left corner will show you the running applications and bottom left corner displays the Start screen.

Charms bar - The Corner menu in Windows 8

Charms bar – The Corner menu in Windows 8

  • Compatibility

So far, we haven’t had any compatibility issues and all the programs we ran were working smoothly without any problems.

  • Built-in PDF reader

For the first time ever Windows 8 comes with built-in PDF reader. This feature will certainly save you time and prevent the need to download/install/update separate PDF reader (e.g. Acrobat) software like you’ve had to do in the past.

Negatives of Windows 8

  • Touchscreen-orientated Windows

The new tiles menu is great for touch screen computers however not so compelling for classic Notebooks and desktops.

  • Windows Start Menu gone

The new tiles style layout has replaced the Start menu, which means that you will still get the familiar desktop with Recycle bin and Task bar but the Start button has gone. It took us quite a while to get used to it.

Windows 8 desktop (on the left) without the Start button vs Windows 7 desktop (on the right) with the Start button

Windows key - important in Windows 8Windows key on your keyboard plays essential role in Windows 8 as it enables you to quickly switch from any application you’re currently running back to the Start screen.

  • Windows 8 requirements

If you have a computer with an older processor (CPU) you may have trouble running Windows 8.  In general, a 3-5 year-old computer should run Windows 8 without problems, however, for the best experience you may consider investing in a new more powerful computer.

Windows 8 so far…

Rupert says: “Running Windows 8 as my primary operating system for the last 2 weeks hasn’t caused any problems and all of my hardware & software is working fine. The interface changes haven’t slowed me down, but at the same time they haven’t revolutionised the way I work either. If you were to ask me if you should upgrade immediately, I’d say probably not, but time will tell if some of the new functionality is more useful as Windows 8 reaches a wider audience over the next few months.”

Andrew says: “From the technical point of view I like Windows 8 as it’s really fast and time efficient. However, it does take some time to get used to the new interface.” 

We will keep testing Windows 8 over the upcoming months to familiarise with it so we can provide full support if you decide to install Windows 8 on your computers.

Got a question about Windows 8? Contact us today:

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