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Windows 8:

Reviews make highly wary of this thing. Seems........just tiresome to deal with. Unfortunately I want to buy a new laptop and a Macbook's out of the question and all the ones I've considered are sold with 8 now.

EDIT: Read this before asking anything: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-reimagined-a-review-of-windows-8/

And the other links on the first page.

edited 27th Oct '12 4:40:19 PM by occono

Dumbo
 2 Best Of, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:13:51 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
The OP's tone is negative, but I don't want this to be a bitching thread. Go ahead and discuss Windows 8, but don't focus only on the bad things - or if you do, at least try to write posts that might be interesting for others to read; so not just "Windows sux" or other such drivel.

@OP: You could buy a laptop and install Linux on it.

edited 26th Oct '12 5:14:38 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
You're right, I don't want just a negative topic either.

http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/windows-reimagined-a-review-of-windows-8/ Here's a review, should have included some coverage. It's a really odd design and I don't know what they're thinking. But, uh, it's definitely something different. I suppose it could become interesting.

Feel free to convince me, sorry if I came across as just wanting to mock it.

Oh, and nah, I need Windows. I need Office and I want Steam. But at least I could afford Linux...I suppose I could use both, but I'm not that smart.

edited 26th Oct '12 5:23:22 PM by occono

Dumbo
 4 Best Of, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:23:32 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I looked up Windows 8 on YouTube and saw someone/something called Lifehack describing the basic idea of how you use it. To me, it looked much better than anything else I've seen from Microsoft recently.

Although admittedly, it doesn't seem as if they really cared about desktop users, so that's something that'll take some getting used to.

edited 26th Oct '12 5:24:27 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 5 Enkufka, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:28:17 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Or install a fresh copy of Windows 7.

My opinion of windows 8 is that it is trying too hard to appeal to the tablet market. The appeal of tablets is not the touchscreen.

The touchscreen is a necessity to have a large screen on a small device. A touchscreen does not let you see what it is that you're working on. Creating content is typically done with the work away from the display, if that makes sense.

Artists use tablet and pens because it gives them tactile feedback and feels more natural. Keyboards provide all necessary symbols and characters very quickly, while on a touchscreen, capitals need more button presses, and non-punctuation symbols take more.

A mouse pointer is more efficient than a finger on a screen. It hides less and allows for more precise control. It also transmits intent better. Left click, right click, middle click, shift click, and various combinations of click and drag, all provide different intent. With a touch-surface, you have... touch, and touch and hold, and touch and hold for a while.

Touchscreens aren't useful because they're touchable, they're useful because they're a necessity.

The one exception I can think of is a large touchscreen I see at conventions and in some dev-diaries for videogames.

RE the topic of steam: Gabe Newell has said that Valve will start development for porting Steam to Linux, because he believes that Windows 8 is catastrophic for pc gaming.

edited 26th Oct '12 5:29:34 PM by Enkufka

Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
Or install a fresh copy of Windows 7.

That requires buying it yes? I'm too klutzy to "acquire" it.
Dumbo
 7 Enkufka, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:37:12 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Yeah, purchasing 7 is probably necessary. Unless you get Windows 8 Pro, which will let you downgrade to 7 or Vista.
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
Also costs money, the laptops come with basic. Thanks though.
Dumbo
 9 Best Of, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:48:21 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
I'm not done reading it yet, but the review linked in post #3 is exactly what I needed to see now. I haven't looked into Windows 8 at all yet (well, except for the YT video I mentioned, ) so I needed to have the basics explained to me. The review is about 70% description and 30% commentary, which is a good ratio when you're looking into a product that is similar to stuff you already know. (If I had no previous experience with Windows at all, I'd want 95% description and 5% commentary.)

I think this thing is looking fantastic so far, especially as it'll probably take me a couple of years yet before I buy a desktop that I'll want to have running Windows 8. (My current desktop isn't new, but it's good enough for me for a couple more years; and my girlfriend recently bought a new laptop that'll be good for her for, well, probably until it breaks, so several years at least.) By the time I'm buying a Windows 8 desktop most of the issues will have been fixed.

That all said, the review calls this a transitional OS, and obviously it'd have to be that. The problem with that is that when Microsoft makes a sort of in-between OS, it's usually shit. (See Windows ME and Vista.) The review does mention a couple of OSs that Microsoft has made for tablets, but you don't need more than a glance to tell that they weren't really trying, so those don't count as the transitional version. OTOH, Windows 7 was great so going from that to 8 instead of a new name (like Windows Metro or something) gives me some confidence that Microsoft has faith in this product, and that it's for the most part a finished product rather than an experiment.

One thing that I can't help thinking of is that this is going to fuck Nokia, as Microsoft will probably not allow Nokia to develop phones that run this thing. Instead, this will be exclusive to Microsoft's own mobile hardware, which is unfair towards the promises they made to Nokia a couple of years back, but then Nokia got a new CEO from Microsoft so, yeah.

EDIT: I keep mentioning that YT video but I'm too stupid to realise that I should also link it for reference. Now that I noticed how dumb I was, here goes:

edited 26th Oct '12 5:50:54 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
 10 pvtnum 11, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:54:57 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
OMG NO NOSECONES
Huh? You can buy plenty of new machines with 7 on it, still. Modern cutting-edge machines, too.
Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 11 Enkufka, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:56:07 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Occono specifically stated that the systems he was looking at were all with 8. Other ones have 7, but he doesn't want those.
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
 12 pvtnum 11, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:57:16 PM from Kerbin low orbit Relationship Status: We finish each other's sandwiches
OMG NO NOSECONES
Oh. Well, I feel stupid now...

Happiness is zero-gee with a sinus cold.
 13 Enkufka, Fri, 26th Oct '12 5:57:42 PM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
Saright. Everyone has days when they miss important words. :v
Very big Daydream Believer.

"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
Yeah, the ones I've been looking at for a while and hoping to get eventually are all sold with 8 only very suddenly.
Dumbo
 15 Morven, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:12:24 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
@ Best Of: I don't see any reason why they'd fuck Nokia. I've seen no indication Microsoft is making phones. Tablets, yes, but not phones.
A brighter future for a darker age.
 16 Barkey, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:19:23 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
I'll give you my opinion from the standpoint of someone who works in IT:

I loaded up a beta copy of windows 8 in the office, we all did, and I didn't like it. Here is why:

Completely different GUI that is cumbersome to navigate, and even with practice not as efficient as windows 7 and before.

No real keynote features that sell the OS to me since 7. Being able to mount an .iso natively doesn't impress me, it isn't hard to download and install a free .iso mounting program.

It's main selling point is the ability to have touchscreen functionality.

I don't see why I would want this on a laptop or a desktop. This OS is almost purely made for a tablet or something similar. If it was on a tablet, I wouldn't mind it at all, as it would have functionality that would actually make me consider getting a tablet. Not enough to actually do it, but it wouldn't feel out of place.

The other thing is that while it does have a way to revert to the classic menu style, it does it by essentially virtualizing it into a separate window, almost like a program that is running. That is a highly inefficient and costly(resource wise) approach to giving consumers the GUI they are familiar with.

Microsoft has been trying to find ways to force people to use Microsoft ID for ages in their games, and now they are doing it with their OS. I hate this. A lot. I use Hotmail for my email, so I do have a microsoft ID, but the less omnipresent username/password sets I have kicking around, the better. I don't want my entire computer personality linked together, that screams privacy issue to me, and it's just an invasive pain in the ass.

The "Metro" UI fucking blows. Just want to reiterate that.

Now, on the lighter side..

Startfinity is a program that brings back the start button on your desktop, and there are also ways to boot directly to the desktop and skip metro altogether, thus giving you a normal and familiar windows OS, more or less.

Windows 8 is essentially a smartphone/tablet interface. Regardless of what Microsoft tells the consumer, it isn't meant for desktops and normal laptops. At all. If you're using a tablet however, it's a good and solid OS. I've tinkered with it on both.

Right clicking the lower left portion of the screen opens a start menu of sorts, for admin functions. It lets you have quick access to control panel, command prompt, the task manager, windows explorer, and more. All with one click. For people like me, this is useful.

The Charms bar. It's essentially like the taskbar when you pin applications to it, which is something I always use anyway. Only now it's mandatory to have on there, and you move the mouse to the top of the screen to have the charms bar slide out and act as a quick access toolbar. The charms bar has a cool context feature for devices and printers, allowing you to jump back and forth between alternative screens, printers, and connected devies/hard drives a la My Computer.

The touch screen gestures available are pretty exhaustive, and allow you to navigate very quickly through everything that isn't a third party app. Essentially for everything that isn't gaming, you can navigate the UI on this computer flawlessly and efficiently using the touch screen once you learn the gesture system and a few keyboard shortcuts. The learning curve is sort of steep though.

The Start8 program by Stardock(Same people who made sins of a solar empire, lol) is a program that lets you do what Startfinity did, and get the start menu back, but it also gives you the option to boot straight to the desktop right out of the box. The difference is that Start8 is a 30 day trial or 5 dollars for the actual program, and startfinity doesn't let you boot to desktop in the free starter version, you have to buy it for 15 bucks.

So in other words, you can, if you are determined, bypass the shortcomings of windows 8 with third party programs that don't cost much, and also leverage some of the cool features that come with the OS.

Or you could take my advice, and just shop online for a laptop with windows 7, if none of the physical retailer locations have them.

edited 26th Oct '12 6:20:10 PM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
 17 Best Of, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:22:46 PM from Finland Relationship Status: Falling within your bell curve
FABRICATI DIEM, PVNC!
[up][up]Seems that I misremembered some articles I've read about phones running a Windows OS. So they're not fucking Nokia completely. There was some talk of Nokia being the only company allowed to make phones for the Windows Phone OS, but I can't find references to that on Wikipedia so it was probably never official. People who bought Nokia phones with an earlier Windows OS apparently won't be able to update to Windows Phone 8 'cause its kernel isn't compatible, but I don't really think Nokia can blame Microsoft for that.

So, I was wrong.

edited 26th Oct '12 6:25:38 PM by BestOf

Quod gratis asseritur, gratis negatur.
[up][up] Re: the last point, it's actually the opposite way around for me. It's online retailers that are forcing 8 into everything for me. Physical retailers don't.

Problem is, physical retailers here overcharge for terrible outdated laptops and few of them can play games whatsoever. So it's not worth looking anymore.

[up] Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 are separate, even though they share Metro.

edited 26th Oct '12 6:26:04 PM by occono

Dumbo
 19 Barkey, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:34:02 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Where are you shopping online?

Windows 7 Home

Professional

Tigerdirect is also an option.

edited 26th Oct '12 6:35:42 PM by Barkey

The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
Irish stores. I already had so much trouble before after two aborted attempts to buy one, one of which was problems with just a UK store, I'm not going to try and buy one from the US.
Dumbo
 21 Barkey, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:40:32 PM from Bunker 051 Relationship Status: [TOP SECRET]
War Profiteer
Both of those sites ship internationally, and tend to be pretty good about it too.
The AR-15 is responsible for 95% of all deaths each year. The rest of the deaths are from obesity and drone strikes.
I believe you, but it's already been so much stress I just won't go through with it, it'll worry me too much. :/ Thanks though.....I mean, I'll consider it.

Anyway, I believe W8 honestly might kill off Windows PC dominance, but not necessarily mean Mac will take it place exactly. Tablets already do most of what mainstream consumers need. Business are just going to stick with XP/Vista/7 for as long as they can.

Once Office is on iPads/Droid/Windows 8 tablets, I think PC/Macs will be more niche.

edited 26th Oct '12 6:46:35 PM by occono

Dumbo
 23 Morven, Fri, 26th Oct '12 6:48:14 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
I wouldn't be surprised it eventually at least the corporate version of 8 comes in a state where it boots into regular Windows mode by default. It's either that or have corporates stick firmly to 7.

A brighter future for a darker age.
It doesn't have a "Regular Windows mode". The Desktop isn't the same as before, some functionality has to be done in Metro. So it would be a big change to the OS.
Dumbo
 25 Morven, Fri, 26th Oct '12 7:17:15 PM from Seattle, WA, USA
Nemesis
From what was posted above, there are third party programs that restore that functionality already. Wouldn't be that hard.
A brighter future for a darker age.
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