What Experts Really Think of Windows 8

The debut of Microsoft’s Windows 8 is just around the corner. The release to the general public is scheduled for October 26, 2012.

So we decided to find out what the Tech Talk experts – really think of Windows 8.


What do you like most about Windows 8?

“The speed and increased security.” — Terry Stockdale (Terry’s Computer Tips)

After testing Windows 8 on both a tablet since December (Developer Preview) and on the desktop since February (Consumer Preview) I have come to learn that the system is a strong desktop operating system and brings forward all the system enhancements of Windows 7 that make it such a popular Windows OS. Windows 8 adds some under the hood improvements in the areas of security and general system operations so it runs well and will run all the software that is already out there for Windows 7 and prior.

Yes as a desktop it has some changes that are very visual, such as the removal of the Aero interface and of course the Start Menu. I honestly do not miss the Start Menu as I mainly used it for the search function to pull up programs and in Windows 8 I can still easily do that. Otherwise I can pin programs to the taskbar just like I did in Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

On the touch side the new Start Screen is very configurable so I can have as much or as little as I want on it and in any order I want on it. Items that I choose not to have on the Start Screen are still in the All Apps menu until I uninstall them from the system.

Microsoft has done a good job of creating a system that merges both a touch-centric environment while maintaining a functioning desktop for users.”
— Richard Hay (Windows Observer)

Unlike everyone else I have yet to devote a lot of time to investigating Windows 8. While it looks new and cool and exciting and all that – it’s not something that the average computer user needs to run out and get. Most are best served by continuing to run the systems that they’re running and waiting for the Windows 8 ecosystem to develop and settle.– Leo Notenboom (Ask Leo)

“I think it will be a great OS for the tablet industry; less so for the consumer desktop PC industry which is fading anyway.
I also like the fact it comes with out-of-the box antivirus protection; I have always thought that this should have been part of Windows for some time now.”
— James Fisher (Windows Talk)

I like Windows 8 more each day. I like the concept. I (mostly) like the implementation a lot more than my original expectations. As the computer was booting for the first time I decided to make a conscious effort to approach Windows 8 with an open mind. Once I realized the new Start Screen is an overall improvement of the Start Menu we have all grown to love (and many hate to leave) it has been extremely easy. Are things different? Absolutely! Is the new interface better? In most ways, yes! I think the new App Store model is huge. If we think of the old Vista/Win7 desktop gadget model as a comparison many people didn’t know you could add gadgets and those that did would find the available gadgets were sorely lacking in capability. The new Start Screen, and the associated WinRT underpinnings it runs on, allows full fledged cross platform apps (programs) to run from within the Start Screen. Not only will users be able to use the same programs across multiple platforms, but they are easy to find from the Store located on the Start Screen. I think this will lead to exciting advances in the future.

The most important thing to remember is: while Windows 8 has been released to TechNet and MSDN subscribers, both groups are the ultimate testers and their use of the operating system over the next 2 months will result in a better user experience for those who end up with a Windows 8 platform when it is released to the public on October 26th.
–David Hartsock–(Daves Computer Tips)

What do you dislike the most about Windows 8?

After a period of time Explorer.exe develops a problem when browsing files which prevents the navigation pane from populating – only Favorites, Desktop, Libraries, and Homegroup display – and file/folder previews and icons don’t show. After a Restart browsing returns to normal.

Another issue I’ve encountered is the Connector software for Windows Home Server 2011 installs fine, but upon reboot the Launchpad fails to start properly and results in a “Launchpad has stopped working error”. My guess is this is related to the .Net framework installed as part of Win 8, but I truly haven’t had time to track either of these issues down completely.
The final issue has been drivers. OEM computer companies are notoriously slow at updating drivers – sometimes never. They often only update drivers to correct a serious issue and rarely update to improve performance or compatibility. In my instance the laptop has a switchable video card function where normal video is handled by the CPU to prolong battery life while tasks such as video games and video transcoding are handled by a dedicated video card. I also have a fingerprint reader. Getting both of these to function properly has been quite the battle of trial and error as the Windows 7 drivers I had did not function correctly. Luckily I have found working drivers for both and the improvement in performance and useability was worth the effort.–Dave Hartsock (Dave’s Computer Tips)

My biggest concern about Windows 8 is, of course, its new primary user interface. My experience is that many people see little need for the radical change, and are
reacting negatively to the “tablet-ification” of their desktops. There are definitely work-arounds, and it may eventually be a change that grows on people, but as a first
impression many folks are somewhat put off. Thus my counsel to the average consumer: Windows 8 is nothing you need to rush into.–Leo Notenboom (Ask Leo)

For non-touch screen laptops, I don’t like the new start screen with tiles. I prefer to use the more familiar Windows desktop.
The inclusion of a built-in antivirus may harm some third-party software AV applications, but they will have to market more aggressively to get folks to see the need for a more robust security software.
The Mail tile and its underlying app is not very useful if you already use Hotmail/Outlook.com for your email. For instance, I like to sort my mail into folders and I have rules set up to do so. I also like to group by conversation, and the Mail app does none of this.

In short, I think Windows 8 will be great for touch devices, but not as necessary for those of us using laptops and desktops with Windows 7 installed.
— James Fisher (Windows Talk)

That ugly, touch-screen interface shoe-horned onto the desktop. It may be fine on a smart phone or tablet, but not on a 22-inch monitor!
— Terry Stockdale (Terry’s Computer Tips)

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24 thoughts on “What Experts Really Think of Windows 8

  1. Been running it for a while, and I still find the navigation through the new interface cumbersome and rather superfluous. They may have made some improvements “Under the Hood” so to speak, but on top I think their new interface just is not up to par for desktop or laptop computing.

  2. At first I didn’t want to install it, a two weeks went by, than I said why not? After I did install it?, The only thing I say say is this – WOW! Very Very nice I really lost two weeks of Joy.
    I love it.
    Thank you MicroSoft Corp.

  3. I like Win8, 😀 , the desktop is still there for my PC and I am yet to get a phone or tablet with it installed. One thing I notice nobody seems top be talking about is the massive improvement in network speeds, especially for those with high speed upload capability. I have 100Mbps down and up, and I see that Win8 allows almost the same data transfer rates in both directions, unlike any previous OS. I have been using the RC and now the CP on 2 machines, AMD and Intel, 64 bit and 32 bit respectively and both seem to be functioning perfectly stable, with nearly no issues at all. I give it a 9/10 rating.

  4. I will not jump into getting windows 8… I like to wait at least 6 monts to a year so they can get all the bugs out… Sometimes longer. I stayed away from w-7 for about a year before I got it.

  5. Consumer desktop PC industry fading away? Leo needs to put the crack pipe down.I'm staying with win 7 64bit! Tablets have thier place but PC's will have thier own! Tablets maybe taking over the Laptop PC's but that's way diffrent!

    • You've been ripped off if you paid for that retroui program. Classic Shell will do the same thing plus it's freeware and supports Win 7 along with Win 8.

      • @Eric Curtis: I actually have them both and got them both for free. They both work well but like Eric says, Classicshell wtll support both Windows 7 & 8, but I have no need to use it in Windows 7.

  6. I have tried the Windows 8 on this computer and even though I personally like the program, It’s just to resource demanding and there is a mayor problem with Internet Explorer, slow or errors showing up or just plainly kicking in and out. It could be that my computer is just to old but it works with Windows 7 OK and definitely works great with XP. I hope that they iron out the bugs before October as I am going to try the program only if they give me the discount that I have been waiting for the last 5 months.

  7. I get put on test mode because of my 4G WiMAX Clear dongle that I had to force unsigned. That's okay though because this OS is totally worth the time, plus it seems like there is endless fun to discover in hidden nook and crannies of the system. LOL

  8. I still have problems with things that worked fine on vistor but not on 7. My emails won't send pictures from MAIL my prefered mail agent. It refuses some addresses & blocks out pictures on forward but I can see no reason as pictures r there infront of me. I can get everything working using incredimail but hate the childish bits on it so I have to either go to my mail accounts on their sites , pain after having them under all one roof for so long or put up with a Dr & a dog telling me I have male. I'm starting to miss dos.

  9. Good: removing the aero stuff.
    Bad: removing the start button

    What nobody talks about, Win8 will run on ARM architecture, however all applications will have to be written specifically for that architecture. An Intel x86 architecture based program will not run on ARM.
    That was the info at the Delphi XE3 seminar I attended.

  10. No one has said anything about windows eight contacting and giving microsoft your personal info when it checks for pirated software when it finds you downloaded something that may be illegal..8 checks all of your downloads and reports home,, heard that on the TV this morning..

    • @Jess Tolbirt: That’s the same BS the dumbtards have been saying since XP, then even more for Vista & W7, but as always it’s completely false. Do you think for one second that MS could pull off something like that without the Tech community finding out about it? And if that ever happened, MS would be toast and they know it.
      The only thing MS checks for legality is the OS itself on Windows Update, nothing else.

  11. For Windows 8, can you create a window within the Start Screen that includes the icons for programs you want to use more often?
    Can you mimic the Windows 7 desktop accessed by a window on the Windows 8 Start Screen?

    • @ron: You can pin older Windows programs to the Start screen. When you click them, they open in the desktop. They don’t have live tiles, obviously, and look a little messy.

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