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What are your experiences with Windows 8?
Old 03-20-2013, 11:48 AM   #1
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What are your experiences with Windows 8?

I'm in the market for a new desktop and when I read reviews of computers, most people have some really bad things to say about Windows 8. I know many said the same things about going from XP to Windows 7, but the comments seem much more negative now. Plus, the change from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is more noticeable than from XP to Windows 7. For those who have made the transition from XP to Windows 7 to Windows 8, can you share your experiences? Is 8.0 really that difficult to learn? I believe you can get to the familiar desktop view in one or two clicks. And I've also read that it is more difficult to shut down. I use my computer mostly for Word and Excel files, editing music files, and web browsing. And I'd say I'm mild to moderately proficient in Windows 7 - can do the basics. Of course, it's not like I'll have a choice of operating systems and will have to go with Windows 8, but was wondering what bugs or issues folks have experienced in going from Windows 7 to Windows 8. How long did it take for you to get familiar with Windows 8? Were you able to successfully load Microsoft Office and access the files you saved in Windows 7? I'm keeping my eye on the book "Windows 8 For Dummies". Thanks!
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:16 PM   #2
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I still have Vista, but I've played with Win8 extensively (45 minutes straight once) in stores and I thought it was pretty intuitive, though I welcome change (some people just don't). I really liked it with touchscreen on a laptop too (using touch, trackpad & keyboard as seemed natural), though "gorilla arm" could be an issue with a touchscreen desktop. Live tiles are a good idea IMO. It's the biggest OS change MS has done that I can remember, though you can still toggle to a Win7 like desktop.

It seems to me whenever Microsoft, Apple or most anyone changes anything there are a rash of complaints. Some are indeed borne out in time, others not. I decide based on my own impression first, and chalk up bad reviews to who is most likely to actively review? Unhappy users want to share their experiences, satisfied users seem less likely to IME.

For those who say they don't like Win8, I'd love to know how many were also leery of all the previous Win updates at first, but we'll never know.

Touchscreen laptop/PC, the future?

Windows 8? Sounds Confusing....
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:18 PM   #3
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I realize this isn't the answer to the question you asked, but you can still order a computer with Windows 7.

I do know that Windows 8 doesn't support xp emulation mode, if that's a factor.
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:24 PM   #4
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From someone who has used almost all of the operating systems from Microsoft... I am feeling lucky that I do not have Windows 8 on my machine...

It is on my DWs laptop and she seems to be able to work it (or at least our son has taught her enough)... but if I have to do something and it is not on desktop mode... I do not know how to get there... it is not 'natural' IMO...

I have not tried to search or do much other system operations so I can not say how good or bad... but I already stay clear of that computer if I can...

I have Windows 7 on my computer and it works just fine... all the knowledge I had transferred over to it...
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:34 PM   #5
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It is on my DWs laptop and she seems to be able to work it (or at least our son has taught her enough)... but if I have to do something and it is not on desktop mode... I do not know how to get there... it is not 'natural' IMO...
Since I said it was intuitive/natural, I should qualify my impression. Having used an iPad for almost 2 years (and iPod Touch before that), Win8 with or without touchscreen seemed very natural to me. However to be fair, without my iPad/iPod experience, I suspect my impression would have been more like Texas Proud's. FWIW...
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Old 03-20-2013, 12:42 PM   #6
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I recently got an 'ultrabook' (combined laptop PC/convertible to tablet) with Windows 8. I find the Windows 8 mostly relevant in the tablet format/touch screen. If I am doing any 'normal' PC work (i.e., Word documents Excel sheets, PPT, etc.), it is literally one click to the regular/familiar desktop mode, where there is little difference to what youíre used to. That being said, the desktop mode is not exactly the same as Windows 7/XP, so I have had to figure out how to set it up so that it provides me with easy and quick access to basic things Ė like shortcuts to Windows Explorer, My Computer, and some frequently used programs (since there is no íStartí button where you could normally do this, and I donít feel like going back to the tiles page all the time). Admittedly, Iím still finding out more efficient ways to use the functions Windows 8 does have, and am still learning how to navigate to the functions Iím used to.

Re: the OPís original question re turning off the computer. Yes, it is different than Windows 7, requiring two actions instead of one via the touch screen interface. However, if I donít feel like doing that, I just use the on/off button (I changed the Power settings to make simply shutting the laptop cover or moving the power button default to shutting down the computer). Itís SSD so turning the thing on and off this way is almost instantaneous. (And if I end up not liking either of these options, I can just change them back).

The biggest issue Iíve had with Windows 8 is in tablet/touch screen mode. Mostly it works just fine, but it has been Ďglitchyí from time to time, e.g., freezing up or whatever. When that happens, I have to reboot Ė again, not a huge deal because of the incredible fast SSD. Would be a major pain in the butt if it werenít so fast. On the other hand, if youíre thinking about a desktop computer where youíre not using the touch screen that much, this probably would be less of an issue. (And BTW Iím not sure that Windows 8 is alone in having problems with glitchy touch screen issuesÖ.?).

All in all, not a problem, and I like it more than I donít like it, but again MAINLY because of the tablet mode. Not sure Iíd feel the same way about my desktop computer, where Iíd probably prefer Windows 7 or XP.
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Old 03-20-2013, 01:52 PM   #7
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I realize this isn't the answer to the question you asked, but you can still order a computer with Windows 7.
Just out of curiosity, do you have to order these directly from the manufacturer or would stores be able to order them?
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Old 03-20-2013, 03:24 PM   #8
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Just out of curiosity, do you have to order these directly from the manufacturer or would stores be able to order them?
Both Dell and Amazon show desktops and laptops with windows 7 preloaded. Don't know about local stores.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:02 PM   #9
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I get many off-lease, refurbed units from ebay at a very good price ( bid on them ), also lenovo has an outlet store as do others. You can install any OS you want within the support of your hardware. If you stay with a name brand, Dell, HP etc you can find a OS CD for them or even order one from them. You can still get new PCs with windows 7 preloaded Desktop Computers, All-in-One PCs - Newegg.com


I prefer linux, I've had the windows 8 preview edition installed on a few PCs/laptops ( non touch screens ) I spent most of the time trying to figure out how to get back to the desktop so I could do something. If I got a PC with W8, I'd install something else over it.
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Old 03-20-2013, 04:11 PM   #10
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My kids' pc's have windows 8 so I had to learn quick.

Once you learn the corners are "magic" - it's all good.
If you like the familiarity of the desktop - you hit the windows button on the keyboard - or move the mouse (or finger if you've got a touch screen) to the upper right corner - that brings up a "magic" set of icons - one of them switches you to desktop. (And does the same when you're in desktop if you want to go back to tiles).

The bottom left corner on the desk top side, brings up a quick icon to switch modes.

The other key tool is the "windows key-X" - press the windows key and the letter x at the same time and you get a lot of the things that are hard to find but useful - like control panel. This is a care over from windows 7 - but I never discovered in in win 7.

Or you can order a book to tell you this stuff...
Windows 8 For Dummies Book + DVD Bundle: Andy Rathbone: 9781118271674: Amazon.com: Books
disclaimer - I've known the author since we were in the 7th grade together.
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Old 03-20-2013, 09:54 PM   #11
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I hated Win8 for two weeks but I'm a convert now. I have a touchscreen and like to use the tablet mode for browsing music and organizing my icons into categories, then I use desktop mode for most application work. Once you get into it, there are some fun little perks. Lock an app to the left 1/5th of the screen and have a nice little "sidebar" for the music player. Just start typing the name of any program in tablet mode and it will pop up.

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Old 03-20-2013, 10:56 PM   #12
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I recently purchased a new laptop with Windows 8 and like it. There is a little bit of a learning curve but find I can do anything that I can do with Windows 7. It also starts up very fast when booting up or waking up from sleep/hibernate mode, much faster than any previous Windows versions I've used.
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Old 03-21-2013, 04:49 AM   #13
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I still have difficult opening up applications, because I want to be able to click on the start button and use the search, and the Windows 8 analogue for that just doesn't stick in my head. (So what I've done is made liberal use of the pin to taskbar feature.) Other than that, I have no problem with it.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:32 AM   #14
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I recently bought a netbook with touch screen. Previous to this, I used XP and very very limited exposure to touch screen navigation. After going through the short tutorial that came installed on the netbook, I have no problem using Win 8. I like Win 8. But, I think if you are not using a touch screen, you loss some of Win8's advantage.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:35 AM   #15
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Whenever I have to change from one OS to another I get one of those big thick books that goes through every menu option and setting there is. And I actually read it cover to cover, some sections more than once. I don't try to remember all that stuff, I just want to know what is available and where to find the information.

Only then do I get the sense that I have an understanding of how to use the OS and use its capabilities. But I realize that path is not for everyone.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:38 AM   #16
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But, I think if you are not using a touch screen, you loss some of Win8's advantage.
That was my impression too, touchscreen adds a lot of capability that you would not have with keyboard & mouse/trackpad alone IMO, though better suited to a laptop than a desktop maybe. It was very surprising to me until I actually spent some time with Win8 - and my previous iPad experience made it all the more intuitive when to use which (keyboard, trackpad or touch). Sorry to pile on, but the touchscreen provided an unexpected benefit to me...
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:00 AM   #17
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IMO, the worst part of Win8 is the UEFI. Just google it and you will find out why.

Basically, if your new computer motherboard does not allow you to toggle it off by changing back to the legacy boot mode (prior to Win8), then most likely you will be stuck with it forever. Even if you can turn it off, the Win8 will decease to function immediately and your computer will not boot at all because only Microsoft and the computer manufactures know the unlocking key because they signed the booting block and burned the signature into the UEFI. This is a very effective way to prevent anyone from trying any OS other than Win8 on your new computer. There is a way to go around this however, but it is definitely not for the faint of heart. So I would say to avoid any new computer preloaded with Win8 like plague if you can unless you're tech savvy and have a lot of time to kill.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:56 AM   #18
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IMO, the worst part of Win8 is the UEFI. Just google it and you will find out why.


So I would say to avoid any new computer preloaded with Win8 like plague if you can unless you're tech savvy and have a lot of time to kill.
+1, it's the secure boot feature that is the killer. The surface tablets are essentially locked. If the secure boot can not be disabled you may not even be able to downgrade to win 7 let alone linux.

2013: Installing Linux on Windows 8 PC is still a pain | ZDNet
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