Microsoft just announced the release of Windows 8 and put the date at October 26th. So far, it’s already signed off copies of the system to manufacturers, so we’re expecting that they’re practically done with the entire operating system. Before they launch, it’s a best practice to have a look into the good, bad, and ugly side of the operating system before you think about getting yourself a clean copy or upgrade. In light of this, we’re going to lay out the pros and cons completely for you so you can decide whether you want this running on your computer.
Windows 8 Pros
Here are some of the things that we can look forward to in Windows 8:
The Metro Interface
OK, so there are a lot of people complaining about the Metro UI, and I also have a few grievances in that department, but we will get to that soon. All in all, there are a few positive things about it. First of all, I like the idea of having icons display useful information that I otherwise would have had to open the app for. In a traditional desktop environment, you have to open an app to see the information that it presents. Many, if not most, Metro apps allow you to see information related to them without even clicking a button. That’s quite a plus, honestly. Another positive thing about the Metro UI is the horizontal emphasis it has with scrolling. I like to read left-to-right, and this completely emphasizes that dire need.
Unlike with every other new release of Windows that required more and more resources, Windows 8 does a good job at keeping resource hunger to a minimum. It uses a lot less of my RAM, and so does Microsoft’s new Office 15. So far, so good!
The Task Manager
The new task manager within Win8 is much more user-friendly, provides more information, and has more transparency than the previous versions. You might recall having to search for some mystery process in the task manager to shut it off. Now, you get the full name of processes and how many network and disk resources they’re using, whereas the older task manager showed you only half the story along with a bunch of details no one wants to see.
It’s Less Glassy
I know this is arbitrary, but for me, the Aero system was wonderful. The only problem was that the title bars took up more space than necessary and I could do without all the glassy effects. Windows 8 removes this by adding another kind of desktop interface that has square corners, smaller space occupation, and more emphasis on performance rather than presentation.
Now that we’ve covered the pros, let’s cover what’s ugly.
Windows 8 Cons
Windows 8 presents a lot of wonderful new additions, but I think it’s our duty to also discuss things that makes everyone ponder on what Microsoft was thinking about. So, here are the cons so far:
Where Did Aero Flip Go?
Some keyboard manufacturers even made keyboards to implement Aero Flip. It’s gone now! This was one of the things I used to quickly switch between windows, and now that key along with my productivity have gone down the drain. One of the ways to reach Aero flip was through the “Win+Tab” keys. I had to press only one key, and the interface came up. My mouse had a second wheel for this also. It’s now useless in Windows 8.
The Metro Interface, Again
There are pros to it, but we can’t forget how much it looks like it was put together without much thought of the consequences. Metro has its downside. It looks like a busy street with all the icons plastered all over the interface. It’s also rather cheesy to have differently-sized tiles all over the place. It’s not Tetris. It’s my computer.
No Start Button
This one’s self-explanatory. I’d rather hit the Start menu without having to be forced to use the Metro interface. In fact, besides a Start menu, I’d also like the ability to start the computer on one interface or the other by default. It’s an annoying extra 4 seconds to have to look for the desktop icon and click it whenever I turn on the computer and want to open Chrome.
Powering Off Is Like Exploring a Maze
So, I was reviewing the Consumer Preview of Windows 8 here at Make Tech Easier, and when I was done, I wanted to shut down Windows. Guess what? If I click the new Start, I end up directed to a screen with no “shut down” option. After growing two new gray hairs, I finally found out that I have to go on the top right corner of the screen, stay there for like a second, click “Settings,” and shut off the computer from there. Those extra steps really make the whole thing seem like Microsoft doesn’t want me to shut down the computer.
Back to Windows 95?
Does the color scheme makes you feel that you are back to the Windows 95 era? You are not alone.
I am not sure if I am going to incline either way. For the sake of neutrality, I’d say it’s up to you to decide. As for me, the pros outweigh the cons severely and I’d rather just upgrade and stick to what’s new, because that’s part of my job. If it’s not for you, there are obviously good reasons for that, and hopefully Microsoft can address what was written here in the “Cons” section. Some of them are kind of irritating, but as I said, the pros may well outweigh the cons. Leave your impressions in the comments section!