Fickle geek that I am, I succumbed to Microsoft’s fiendishly clever marketing campaign and upgraded my Windows 7 Home Premium laptop to Windows 8 Pro last night. (Richard Stallman appeared in a flash of smoke as I clicked the Send button to finalize the $40 upgrade payment. I kept him from inflicting serious bodily harm upon my person but he did manage to pull all of the proprietary codecs off my CentOS desktop.)
What convinced me to go ahead and bite the bullet was when I found that closing apps in the user interface formerly known as Metro is easier than I had first thought. If you hover in the top left portion of the screen or hit Windows + Tab, your open Metro apps pop up as thumbnails along the left side of the screen. You can right click on them and close them as you desire. There’s no need to drag a Metro app all the way to the bottom of the screen to close it, thank goodness.
I opted for a clean install, burned the iso image to a DVD, followed the prompts, and the installation went smoothly. Earlier, I’d downloaded the Win 7 drivers for my little Compaq Presario CQ61 but Windows found workable drivers with no problems. So, I installed a few sizable updates, disabled Windows Defender (Microsoft Security Essentials with different branding), installed AVG Free, defragged, yadda, yadda, etc. and here’s my opinion approximately 24 hours later.
Microsoft got a lot of things right:
- Bundled antivirus protection.
- App store to ensure you aren’t download virusware.
- Ability to restore your PC to factory freshness while keeping your programs and settings intact.
- Faster boot times.
- Search results appear immediately when you start typing with the Start Screen up.
- Ability to automatically back up files in Libraries to network attached storage.
- Start up applications are easily turned off in Task Manager.
- Live Tiles are a good idea but they need to be regular apps, not Metro apps (see below).
But they have goobered a lot of things up:
- Metro apps on anything without a touchscreen is completely nonsensical (Metro IE is the most confusing thing I’ve found on Win 8 so far).
- Live Tiles are a good idea but they need to be regular apps, not Metro apps (see above).
- Removing global search is just ignorant, who wants to tell the computer whether you’re looking for an app, a function, or a file? I just want to type the query!
- Separate update processes with separate notifications in separate locations for Metro apps vs. regular apps? Really?
- There doesn’t appear to be any way to have two folders open at the same time.
And my lappy seems to be running hotter under Win 8. I sense a cooling pad in my near future. I’m beginning to suspect that a Mac would suit me well but Santa didn’t leave $1,200 in the old stocking. Oh well, at least I got rid of the “HP Tools Partition.” May it rest in peace. And I can encrypt the entire drive with Bit Locker. Hope I remember the password.