Friday, June 8, 2012

Windows 8

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I’m in a difficult place being both a photographer and a network administrator. Many people in this day and age still swear by using Apple for their photo editing and other artistic work they have. And I can agree with them to a certain degree. Well, I use Windows for my daily rituals. Not because I can’t afford an Apple... Well, I actually can’t afford an Apple at the moment, but that’s a different story, its just that I use the tools I have available and Microsoft is where I am right now.

It’s that time again. Upgrading the operating system time. I remember about two or three years ago when I started using Windows 7 on my desktop. It was fairly different than any other version of windows out to that moment in time. Windows 8 will soon be released to the masses this fall. I am going to attempt to give my take on this beast.

I installed the Release Preview version, which is basically the build right before the actual version that will be for retail with new computers and off the shelves at Tigerdirect or Newegg.

Start Menu -

Probably the most drastic change that has come to Windows since the GUI desktop back in the late 80s and early 90s. there is a basic screen that you can configure with your most used applications or with some premade Microsoft templates, such as Mail, Calendar, Photos, Music, and a few others. You can delete the presets if you chose, which I did, and then add more of the programs that you use everyday. Think of this more as a newer version of the quicklaunch bar.

If you right click on that screen, you can select All Programs, and then you get a list of everything you have on your programs menu, as if you clicked All Programs on the Start menu on Windows XP. This menu is such a change, that I think even casual computer users will have to get aquanted with the new menu, not to mention older people and the technologically helpless.

Desktop -

This option will only be available on desktops and laptops, but not on tablet devices using the OS. It just looks like the old windows 7 desktop, obviously minus the start menu. All of my widgets showed up when I upgraded. Even the taskbar hasn’t changed much.

Programs -

All of my programs that were installed on windows 7 have been ported over here with very little to worry about. There will be problems with some programs so be ready and expect issues with some of your more useful applications.I was using Macdrive so I could have a Mac formatted hard drive on my PC. That one no longer works, as far as I can tell. But all the good ones like Photoshop, Illustrator, and Lightroom all work just handy dandy.

Here are a couple screens I pulled off my laptop.

New Settings screen

Toolbar, hit the little gear at the bottom to get to the settings screen and the power controls.

New Start Menu. Kinda flashy but hard to get used to. Can be accessed with the Windows button or buy hovering mouse in lower left corner.

My desktop. It looks the same as windows 7 minus the start button.

I don't really want to get too much more technical, but Windows 8 has some other new optimizations, such as support for USB 3, a stronger support for multiple monitors, and its support for new types of tablet devices.

For me, i don't really see too much of a change, because I’ve always had an easy time switching to newer technologies. But there will be a learning curve for some less computer inclined, so watch out for that.

I barely scratched the surface, but If you want to read more on what is new to Windows 8 Click Here, and you can download the Release Preview here.

What are your thoughts, positive or negative. Have you tried it out yet or do you think you will upgrade when it comes out?