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Archive for October 2012

Windows 8 or not to Windows 8

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I clearly remember how exited I was when I got the Windows XP Beta CD with one of the magazines my friend use to subscribe (BYTE?). I used Windows 98 then. And I knew in and out of the OS like nothing else. After observing the UI overhaul in XP I was truly impressed. I actually use to peek inside the system dlls for cool icons shipped with XP.

Fast Forward 10 years and I’m in same situation. After using Windows 7 for over 2 years – I have my brain wired to it. And I love it. I have a win7 on laptop and HTPC which run 24/7. With dedicated linux NAS to store media. Windows 8  RTM was out on MSDN over two months ago, immediately I wanted to take it for a spin. So, I installed it on my HTPC. After two months all I can say is that the pain is unbelievable!

1. Start button – I must be the millionth person to say this. Listen MS – ability to view installed applications and quickly access it is necessary. Now you would argue you can do the same from Metro screen. No – it takes up lot of scrolling and searching for the “tile” and trying to recognize the icon for that application! I end up creating shortcuts of all the frequent programs on desktop -which is ugly. Even my wife misses the start button utterly. Utter pain without it.

2. Take me directly to desktop if I’m using a desktop! – Why do we have the metro welcome/lock screen? Then again I have to go through the metro apps screen to get to desktop!

3. Dropping out the HD codecs and filters! – the whole idea of skipping the hd codecs was pretty lame on MS part. I have a sizable bluray and hd library stored on NAS. With AV receiver and a flat screen hooked to the HTPC – it needs hd codecs out of the box to play these files. After the first day of installation – my wife got frustrated as to why those files aren’t working anymore. She resorted to the win7 laptop instead. When I was back from work I had to install FFDshow filters to get the files to work. Seriously MS – if people have to end up using opensource directshow filters why bother paying for windows at all. I will be more than happy to install Ubuntu or Openelec (XBMC).

4. I’m a power user and let me control my machine – The biggest gripe that I have is getting things done. It has become difficult on Windows 8 to perform day-today activities. Like accessing Control Panel, Searching for files, Shutting down PC, Restarting it, accessing Device manager etc. It is a desktop not a tablet. I was so use to accessing the search. running any app was just few keys away! Why take out the search? Why is Shut Down under Settings?

5. Mouse vs. touch gestures – When I park my mouse at right edge of the desktop it shows me unnecessary options. Also while trying to close a window using the ‘x’,  the options shows up. Again while trying to open the first app (windows explorer) on the task bar. It is not only confusing but frustrating. If I’m using a desktop and when I have no devices that support touch guestures – why does windows enable touch gestures?

After two months of using Win8, yesterday I went back to Windows 7.

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Written by Vivek Unune

October 25, 2012 at 9:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized