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Windows 8 RTM is here…

First things first… I am by heart a MICROSOFT FANBOY!!! And this is mainly because of influences from one of my previous bosses, Nick Davies.But don’t get me wrong, I love Linux, have a Galaxy Tab 10.1, iPad and I am playing with a MAC Mini. So I do look at other technologies and devices. 

 
So the eager beaver that I am, I made sure I kept myself busy with some work and my Xbox until 12 last night just to make sure I could get my copy of Windows 8 RTM from my companies MSDN subscription. Twelve came and I started my download. First in the morning all was done and I was ready to replace my Preview edition of Windows 8 on my production machine with the RTM version.
 
As luck would have it I was busy and still needed to do some backups before I could install. Close to 300GB of backups and I was ready. No just to note here, I have been running all three “Preview” version of Windows 8 in either production or as dual boot to get a feel for the operating system. So I was not expecting too many surprises since I have been using it on and off since last year.
 
Installation was predictable, although my first attempt failed due to something I discovered two versions ago but forgot. I tend to clear my partitions and then just select the “unallocated” space. For some reason Windows 8 creates 4 partitions and then fails on the first copying of files. If you create the delete all partitions, create a single partition first without formatting and then select that for installation, then all is fine. Anyway, installation was the same an I rushed through it to get to the login screen.
 
Now because this was my production machine, I expected certain things but was hoping to directly use domain authentication and not WindowsID (Previously known as LiveID). But I think I missed it somewhere and ended up using WindowsID. Subsequently I found the ability to add domain users and added my domain account. So all will be good tomorrow.
 
Now enough about that. What do I think, hate or love…
 
So lets get he bad out of the way.
 
1. Not easy to navigate “Metro” with a mouse or a touchpad. Good thing during installation is they mention the “Hotspots” which makes things easier. Navigation is not too bad, but you will have to get used to living on the “Windows” key and if you have a mouse with a “Wheel” things are a bit easier. Especially in the “Metro” UI.
 
2. Things are slightly different from Windows 7, although a fair amount of things are the same. But I miss my “Windows” button on the bottom left in “Desktop” mode.
 
3. Search is available in several areas, but to search for apps I need to go back to “Metro” first to search for them. There might be a simpler way, but I yet to find it.
 
4. Standard Apps for socal media, email etc still lacks a bit of polishing, but that will come soon.
 
5. WHY IS THE OS SHOUTING AT ME!?! For some reason CAPS seems to be the in thing, and that is all over the place, especially in the app.
 
6. Where is the clock on the “Metro” UI… I rely on my PC to tell me the time… 😦
 
Now what is good about Windows 8..
 
1. Performance is great for me. Scrolling is always smooth in all applications.
 
2. I love the file copy. You can have multiple copying processes going at the same time. The great thing is you can pause and resume and a nice graph shows you speed and performance all the time. This might sound trivial, but I love it.
 
3. Built in searching in all apps and across the system. Know I know Windows 7 had something similar, but not the same. You can write your Apps to enable searching throughout it and then accessing that via a mouse move to the top right of the screen and then selecting search.
 
4. Live tiles ROCK!!! Having these “Tiles” that constantly update and bring information to you, and not just number of messages etc. It means I can look at the “Metro” UI and just see what’s is happening without clicking.
 
5. New and refreshing UI. “Metro” is fantastic. It reminds me of LCARS, for all the trekkie (Star Trek) fans out there. It’s fast and easy to get into. Also see point 4… 🙂
 
6. Marketplace. Now this is something I have experiences on the iPAD, Galaxy Tab, Mac Mini and on my Windows Phone 7. And I must say the Microsoft market place is much better. Being able to try and app and then just purchasing it if you like it without having to install more than one app is great. App and Android can certainly learn from this.
 
So now where from here. Well this was just some things I like and dislike. Since my production machine is again Windows 8, I” be posting some more about my experiences. But for now I am happy with my Windows 8.
 
Microsoft is really taking a step into the unknown, and already I have read some bad review. But you know what, if you “Live” the Microsoft way you will be able to easily see where they are heading, and what a fantastic vision it is. Right now I have a unified UI experience between my Windows 8 laptop, my Windows Phone 7 and my Xbox 360. A consistent UI across all my Windows devices. And a development platform that will easily facilitate development between then. A great market place, albeit not too many apps yet.
 
Windows 8 was truly designed for touch, and knowing that most laptops / PCs do not have that capability, would still not defer me from enjoying it. If you cannot afford a touch device, then look into LEAP Motion for an alternative (http://www.leapmotion.com). Something I have pre ordered and that looks very promising as they have built Windows 8 gestures into their drivers.
 
And that’s me… Come back soon and I’ll have some more posts of Windows 8 RTM experiences and also some posts on the other devices I am fiddling with.
 
 
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