How Windows 8 Surprised Me

Sections: Computers, Mobile Computers, Software / Applications

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I recently got a Windows 8 tablet and yes, I like it! I’ve been using Windows since the days of 3.0 (yes, I’m that old) but when I first heard about 8.0, I wasn’t exactly thrilled. Most of what I heard was negative and no start button? Really? When I got a new laptop last fall I chose not to upgrade it. I was perfectly happy with Windows 7, which is rock solid. Finally though, my curiosity got the best of me.  I picked up a Dell Latitude 10 tablet and was pleasantly surprised.

The learning curve was nothing like I expected, in fact it was pretty intuitive for the most part. The boot time is amazingly fast, and the Metro apps are gorgeous. I’m especially impressed by the News and Weather apps. Beautiful design and layout and tons of useful information.  Another plus is that Windows 8 runs smoothly and is noticeably faster than Windows 7. It wasn’t long before I was wondering what everyone was complaining about!

Oh yeah, the start button? I admit it is kind of strange not having it, but there are several third party apps that fix this issue nicely. I personally recommend Start8. I’m not keen on the new subscription structure for Office, but Office365 is worth it if you are a heavy user. You get Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Access, Publisher and Outlook for $9.99 a month. While it takes a little getting used to at first, switching between the Metro and desktop screens is really a breeze. I was apprehensive at first, but I can honestly say Windows 8 is great. I can’t think of a single negative.

Now in all fairness I will say that the Windows 8 experience is probably somewhat different on non-touch devices. Metro apps are definitely meant for touch, but if that new start screen isn’t your cup of tea, set Windows 8 to boot directly to the desktop (Start 8 can do this) and forget about it. You’ll get the same familiar feel of Windows 7 with all the advantages of Windows 8 (better speed and performance). I really believe the stink being raised about it is the result of a very human failing-people just doesn’t like change. If you have a chance, check out Windows 8 for yourself. Like me, you just might be surprised. If you’re still hesitant to put Windows 8 on your laptop, pick up a tablet instead. I’m betting you’ll really enjoy it.

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  • Dennis Ser

    Glad you like the XPS 10. I’m using XPS 12 myself and I’m very happy too. My only wish is for the machine to be lighter. If Dell can craft out something below 1kg, I’d be most happy!! But that’s still ok because I’m using XPS 12 as my primary machine while Surface RT as my leisure machine so for now it’s all good. Also had a friend who kept telling me Windows 8 suck last week but when I asked him why, he just keep saying Windows 8 suck but can’t explain to me why. Guess there are just people who hates something for no apparent reason.

  • Lynn Brown

    Refreshing to see an article that isn’t bashing Win 8. I’m using it on a PC, and there was an adjustment period, but I like it now and find the Start menu in Win 7….archaic (shocking, I know). When I’m on the Win 8 Start screen, I just start typing the name of whatever I need (app name, Control Panel…) and a list comes up automatically. Win key + I lets me access the Power button and some other settings. I find I’m not using the Start menu as much on my old Win 7 system anymore — just using the Search box at the bottom of the menu. Microsoft might not have hit the learning curve from the best angle, but I find it really isn’t as bad as you would think by looking at the online reviews.