Opinions and user experience with Windows 8

Discussion in 'Windows 8' started by vjott, Sep 3, 2012.

  1. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Hi, this is my first thread on this forum. I would like to solicit the opinions, of my fellow posters, on Windows 8 (final, not any of the previews) and your experience using it. There are a few things I would like to note before we begin. First, I hope that you've taken note of my use of the word 'opinion'. Therefore, I hope that we will stay clear of dogmatism and respect the opinions of one another for what they are; opinions. Second, I would like to request that we refrain from personal attacks and name calling (I believe that those are parts of the forum's rules anyway) On that note, we must acknowledge that there are foreign posters who speak English with varying levels of aptitude, please try to be accommodating. Third, I hope that we will be mature and refrain from this sort of thing:

    Poster A: "I like Windows 8 because of A, B and C"
    Poster B: "I spot a Microsoft employee. LOL. :)"

    Fourth, follow forums rules and we'll all have an enjoyable time learning something from one another :)

    So, to kick this off I will begin with a bit of my background:

    I am a final year Computing and Information Systems student and intern and my interests have mostly been in software development. I am currently completing my final project which will be a distributed information system with 2 desktop clients (one in C# and the other in Java) and a web interface (using ASP.net). I use Visual Studio 2008 (currently experimenting with 2012) and Netbeans very regularly. I am also using the Microsoft Word 2013 Preview to type my report and synchronise the changes with my SkyDrive. I also spend a fair amount of time on the Web hanging around in forums, doing research and checking my email.

    I've enjoyed using Windows 8 thus far on my laptop which is a Samsung SF510 (nothing fancy but it gets the job done). I'm not thrilled about the new Modern UI apps although do I enjoy using a couple of them (OneNote MX and Fresh Paint). I have no need for the social features of Windows 8 and have unpinned the Messaging and People tiles from the Start Screen. On the desktop side, I like the updated interface as I prefer sharp, non-rounded corners on the window borders and the other control elements. I disliked Aero and aliased corners which were driving me crazy everytime I noticed it. The removal of the transparencies is an improvement, I think, because I never saw a reason for them in the first place. I only wished that they'd removed the transparency of the taskbar. The Ribbon in Explorer was a nice idea (I like the Ribbon interface) and allows me easy access to some basic commands.

    Overall, my productivity has been the same between Windows 7 and Windows 8. I spend most of my time using the traditional desktop and only use the Start Screen when I need to open a new program which is not often as I open all the applications I frequently use as soon as I startup my computer. I don't shutdown my PC often, instead preferring to put it in Sleep or Hibernate and I restart only when an application requires it. In fact, I only see the Start Screen about twice every 8 hours. My Windows 8 experience has been an enjoyable one and I look forward to purchasing it once it becomes available.
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  2. night.fox

    night.fox MDL Member

    Sep 21, 2009
    I like windows 8 because of the following:
    1. New OS. Its nice to work with.
    2. I found out that Win 8 use lesser resources than Win 7 when I play a game. Its because when I play a game in win 7 before, my CPU fan spins alot. I am using laptop by the way. But with win 8, it doesnt spin alot.
    3. At first I dislike the metro UI but after a while I get used to it. I never install classic shell to get the start button because why would I upgrade to win 8 if I still looking for the usual win 7 desktop. But please people thats me. you can do what you want to do with your system.
    4. I like win 8 new task manager, copying files and so and so fort.
    5. I like win 8 simplicity (on desktop part). Metro UI is something new. and I kinda like it. Looking forward for a more Metro UI apps in the near future. (i.e. firefox, skype, outlook (maybe). some office programs (maybe).

    what I dont like about win 8,,, :confused: hmmmmm... I dont know none so far... there might be in the future..... oh..... there is one thing. Win 8 is like win 7 with metro UI o_O :dance::tounge5:

    I was thinking about buying the win 8 but for now maybe not cause my win 8 was already activated :D
  3. gtype

    gtype MDL Novice

    Aug 4, 2012
    I like it, except I still haven't found any use for metro apps, and something is wrong, either with DNS or something similar, webpages don't load at first, sometimes I have to reload, and well, it's difficult to explain, but the whole browsing experience is weird. Might be the wireless drivers though. Speaking about it, there a few other details, for example, if I just remove the Wireless USB Pen from the socket I get KERNEL SECURITY CHECK FAILURE, or whatever. There have been one or two other situations where it appeared. Anyway it seems rough, I hope it will come with a few updates in October, and I hope to find some use in the metro Apps too, I still can't put it in my head.. hmm how can I say it, Metro Apps kind of get in the way of the workflow of how I use the computer. Once I figure how to properly multitask various Metro Apps in conjunction with various Desktop Apps, and the OS gets some updates I believe it has the potential to be awesome. Actually it has that potential even if I never use Metro Apps.
    That's it, its Windows 7 only better, faster, and with Metro.
  4. omnimodis78

    omnimodis78 MDL Novice

    Sep 4, 2012
    #4 omnimodis78, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    Windows 8 (RTM, Pro x64)

    I like it because:
    1. It's new and "fresh"
    2. Feels faster (just how W7 felt at first...no doubt things will slow down once updates start rolling out).
    3. I really like the integration of ribbons in folders, etc.
    4. Task Manager is actually informative and modern. It gives me info I actually like to see.

    Things I don't like/understand/feel comfortable with (yet...or indefinitely):
    1. I hate IE10 - it feels unpolished and I have had issues with it. Settings don't seem to stick.
    2. I despise (!) the integration of Windows Defender! It doesn't show in the notification area, you cannot right click on a file and do a manual scan, you cannot disable "recommended settings" (so good luck with false positives). During a manual scan, the program has to remain open for the scan to complete (with MSE you can close it, the scan will continue). If you do get a false positive that has been quarantined, if you actually remove the file, which should then "white list" it, it just goes back to quarantine in a few seconds (again, this goes back to the BUG of not being able to specify that you do not want the program to take the recommended action --- not to mention, how is it "recommended" if you have no choice in the matter? Honestly, Windows Defender is perhaps the most troubling issue for me, albeit it's not a deal breaker, but it just seems like such a badly deployed "solution".
    3. Sound Blaster X-Fi XtremeGamer is unusable as per driver/application incompatibility (at this point, and yes, the driver is still in Beta mode...but by the RTM milestone, drivers should be baked).
    4. The OS makes it clear that my mouse/keyboard is actually handicapping my experience.

    Final thoughts:
    I like this OS, but I'm already back to W7. I will wait until a few wrinkles have been ironed out (Windows Defender must be adjusted to become functional, because right now it's broken). I have to wait until Creative releases working drivers/apps for my sound card (not Microsoft's problem). I think that comparing this to the whole Vista situation is unwarranted. This OS will be great in no time, but at this time there are wrinkles. I know that sooner rather than later this will be my next OS of choice.
  5. phailyoor

    phailyoor MDL Junior Member

    Aug 6, 2012
    I like it because:
    ribbons are nice
    I don't like
    Retinal damage because it's so ugly
    metro bits are really wtf.
    Add user
    network connections
    changing lock/start screen
  6. zokstar

    zokstar MDL Novice

    Aug 24, 2012
    Windows 8 (RTM, Pro x64)

    I like
    1. It's new - I love trying out new OS's
    2. Fast and smooth
    3. Copy & paste info
    4. New task manager is very informative
    5. Start up & shutdown times
    6. IE10 - for now

    At first i hated it like everyone else, but once i kept using it it actually grew on me and now i like metro and understand it.
  7. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    #7 vjott, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    Yes, I understand your third point very well. I did install Classic Shell for a while but then noted that I was getting accustomed to using the Start Screen so I removed it.

    There aren't many useful Modern UI apps because, I think, Microsoft is pushing the games too much. I'm not a gamer but I've tinkered with a couple of the simpler games. What I really want from the Modern UI is rich applications with a lot of functionality while retaining the simplicity of the Modern UI design language. That problem with your Wireless USB Pen is unfortunate, perhaps it's a problem with the driver. I guess the fact that we're having these problems is a testament to the fact that Windows 8 is still only RTM and not GA. The manufacturers need time to ensure that their devices are compatible and write new drivers when necessary.
    I understand your point about the Modern UI getting in the way of your workflow. After using Windows 8 since the previews, I've found little ways of minimizing my usage of the Start Screen and becoming more productive. I particularly like the pop-up menu when I right-click in the bottom left corner as it gives me access to the Command Prompt and the 'Run' dialogue. In time we'll get used to it. Perhaps Windows 8 could have been possible without Modern UI but would there then have been that many differences between Windows 7 and Windows 8 to justify a new release? Some people I've spoken to don't think so. They think that Microsoft could have simply issued another Service Pack to Windows 7.

    Hmm...very balanced view you have here. I agree with you with regards to Internet Explorer 10 and Windows Defender. I haven't really had a need to interfere with Defender though. I'm usually very scrupulous with where I download software applications from so it hasn't given me any notifications yet.

    I also understand your fourth point. The Windows Team has often indicated that Windows 8 is a "touch first" OS but I choose to ignore them because a lot of my work will be terribly unnecessarily tedious with a touch screen. I only bought my laptop last year, I'm not going to buy a new one with a touchscreen just to experience the supposed benefits of using Windows 8 with a touchscreen device. I do have a multitouch touchpad (Elantech) which should support Windows 8 multitouch gestures once Elantech releases a driver update.

    "Retinal damage" :) True, the new aesthetics of the desktop and Modern UI is not for everyone. Would you prefer the transparencies back? There is a thread that mentions that someone is working on bringing the transparent effects of the Previews back: http://forums.mydigitallife.net/thr...s-8-RTM-by-re-instating-the-Aero-Source-Codes

    Yeah, it grew on me too the more I used it
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  8. TonyTones

    TonyTones MDL Novice

    Jul 13, 2010
    I really enjoy using it on my media center... It boots up fast, the metro apps on the big screen look great, pictures and videos take advantage of the full screen, and I like reading the news while kicking back on my lounge without having to zoom the text. Playing some games also makes me realize that a media center can be a whole lot more fun now than ever possible before. I can't wait for some more cool titles to be released in the future... (a golf game would be neat).
  9. antony_blu3

    antony_blu3 MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    What I like :
    - Faster boot, even with normal HDD
    - Informative Task Manager
    - Sound quality improved
    - All drivers installed completely, which in win 7, i need some more (except sound driver, but still works with default driver)

    What I dislike :
    - No aero glass, but not bad at all with new simple color ;)
    - Must manually install NET 2.0-3.5, this really sucks
    - Metro apps bugs, not stable at all, Store sometimes close itself everytime I tried to download something
  10. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Some people will continue to miss Aero. I was never a big fan of it but there is a thread discussing an effort to reintroduce the blurred glass effect to the desktop: http://forums.mydigitallife.net/thr...s-8-RTM-by-re-instating-the-Aero-Source-Codes

    I was also surprised that those .NET Frameworks were not included by default. It wasn't much of a hassle installing it through 'Turn Windows features on or off' but I would have preferred if it was already there because it needs to connect to the Internet to download the files and that would be bad if I needed any of those frameworks on a fresh installation but no Internet connection.

    Modern UI app glitches are being frequently reported, even in this very forum. I don't use Modern UI apps often but sometime while using the Release Preview, I resolved an issue with Modern UI apps quitting suddenly by running sfc /scannow and restarting my computer. I surely hope that if there is a bug, that Microsoft releases a fix for it before General Availability seeing that they still have approximately 8 weeks before launch.
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  11. hbhb

    hbhb MDL Expert

    Dec 15, 2010
    "I was also surprised that those .NET Frameworks were not included by default. It wasn't much of a hassle installing it through 'Turn Windows features on or off' but I would have preferred if it was already there because it needs to connect to the Internet to download the files and that would be bad if I needed any of those frameworks on a fresh installation but no Internet connection."

    look at post #9 here http://forums.mydigitallife.net/threads/29348-Netframework-3-5-SP1-offline-installer-for-W8
    netframework can be just enabled within , that is how I did mine too, it may take couple minutes:D
  12. Izlude

    Izlude MDL Novice

    Aug 6, 2012
    I'm having a pretty easy time with Win8. In fact, Dolphin runs really well on it! I'm not sure maybe it's just the Windows 8 Catalyst, but never before was I able to play in 3D (iz3D) with good frames. Overall I've eliminated desktop icons and use keyboard shortcuts. I've removed all those pinned tiles and put my own program's icons there. It's very useful and organized :eek: I really like it. The start screen beginning to grow on me now :p Also I was able to OC to 4.2 on an i7920 without (intervals of 12 hours or so) BSOD. It's very solid. My next step to rake in performance would be to get a revodrive.
  13. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012

    Overclocking an i7-920 to 4.2 GHz? Hope that remains stable for you, what temperatures does it operate at?
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  14. moderate

    moderate MDL Guru

    Aug 31, 2009
    #14 moderate, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2012
    BTW: It is very nice idea.
    Still I didn't read your rules. :D

    1. I like on Windows 8:
    a) It is quicker
    b) It has better storage management
    c) I can start apps by typing in Metro
    d) Although I don't use Windows Explorer (ever), I like ribbon.
    e) I like Hyper-V option in client OS
    f) There are the new technologies like NDIS 6.3, WDDM 1.2, DirectX 11.1, PowerShell 3.0, Net Framework 4.5...
    g) I like that Start menu is killed (only used it for shutdown, Run dialog and searching - now I have 3 shortcuts in my TrueLaunchBar, it is much better)
    h) As Czech person, I like new language panel in sys-tray
    g) New taskmgr is slightly better
    h) ReFS support can be added from 2012 Server
    i) Windows2Go is really handy (it will change devices in minute on the flash drive on the new computer)
    j) Multi Monitor support was nicely improved
    k) File History is much better then former backup

    I don't like:
    a) I can't officially boot to desktop (using Skip Metro Suite v2-1-1)
    b) Lock screen is another waste of time (it can be disabled and even autologon can be enabled)
    c) Trasparent Windows was removed together with uxsms service (well, somebody will add this later I think)
  15. Izlude

    Izlude MDL Novice

    Aug 6, 2012
    @ vjott In the BIOS it says 54c (would be idle) I'm going to assume loaded, it's around 68 or 70. Windows 8 won't let me install ASUS Probe II (ACPI driver installed failed, PC Probe II does not support this model.) Once I figure it out, I'll see what my highest readings are. Using Corsair H100 cooler.
  16. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    #16 vjott, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    Hyper-V is another reason that I like Windows 8 too! I haven't had the opportunity to use ReFS but I will if I ever get my hands on Server 2012. Speaking of Server 2012, I believe that it was made officially available today (general availability). Windows2Go is another exciting feature of Windows 8 that I have not had an opportunity to test yet.

    I understand your point about being unable to boot directly to the desktop. If the Start Screen is supposed to replace the Start Menu, having the Start Screen appear as soon as you log is like being greeted by the Start Menu which doesn't make sense. I think that despite what Microsoft says, the Start Screen is more than just a Start Menu replacement; it is part of their strategy for catering more to touchscreen devices. There are disadvantages and advantages with the Start Screen. For people whose workflow includes getting to the desktop to access program icons or files, the Start Screen is a hindrance. I have adapted my workflow to include using the Start Screen as a launching platform for all my most commonly grouped programs. I have tiles organised in the following groups: Basic, Productivity, Development, Info, Utilities, Entertainment and Media Players.

    Basic holds the very basic items that I access: Desktop and web browsers. Productivity hold all the Office suite tiles. Development holds my development tools such as Netbeans, Visual Studio 2008 and 2012, SQL Server Management Studio, SQL Server Configuration Manager and Windows Performance Analyser. Info holds the tiles that provide live information such as the Weather tile and News. Utilities holds the tiles of programs like CCleaner, Auslogics Disk Defrag and 7-Zip File Manager. Entertainment holds the Music and Video tiles and a Pengyou (a Reversi/Othello game) and Media Players holds Media Player Classic, Audacious (an audio player), MPlayer and PotPlayer.

    I've found that this method of organisation works best for me and I keep the groups that I use most often closer to the left (Basic, Productivity and Development) and the other groups to the right so that I can access my most frequently used apps faster. If an app I would like to use is off-screen (i.e., I would have to scroll right to see them), I usually begin typing the name of the app for it to come up quicker.

    In addition, I'm also beginning to memorise some of the keyboard shortcuts to improve my efficiency. Hope some of these tips give you some ideas for improving your experience.

    Note: I wrote those guidelines because I don't want the thread to descend into a flame war with people asserting the "superiority" of their opinions over another. I would like to thank all the previous posters for sharing their opinions and experience in a polite manner. :)
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  17. moderate

    moderate MDL Guru

    Aug 31, 2009
    #17 moderate, Sep 4, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2012
    I've also put programs to groups, but directly at the desktop mode to avoid switching from Metro:
    I've following groups (icons with arrows) on the picture:
    Start (opened), System, OS (inner tools), Network, Developer, Wireless, Burning, Editors, Office, Players, Video, Multimedia, Devices, User, Games


    On the Metro screen I have most important applications (for desktop mode, since I have Metro applications disabled and unpinned): Total Commander, Opera, The Bat, Miranda, uTorrent, eMule, Notepad++, Winamp, Zoom Player, MPC-HC, Firefox, Windows Live Mail...

    This is System group opened. Of course it can't fit in Metro.

  18. vjott

    vjott MDL Member

    Aug 7, 2012
    Nice setup :) What program are you using to manage those groups? You're right. Using the Start Screen to manage that many applications would be messy and would result in endless scrolling if you cannot recall the name of the application but only its icon (happens to me). The Start Screen remains a touch-centric feature as tablet users can simply swipe their fingers across to quickly browse the Start Screen. Scrolling is not as efficient and until Elantech releases a Windows 8 specific driver, it could be tedious.
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  19. Redsand

    Redsand MDL Novice

    Sep 1, 2012
    I've been running Windows 8 on my TM2 tablet ever since the consumer preview ~6 months. Went from W8 CP, to RP, to the Enterprise Evaluation x64. After extensive use, I've decided I won't be upgrading to Windows 8 even though I have a touchscreen tablet. I won't even use this s**t for free anymore. My tablet is used for taking notes, annotating documents, htpc via hdmi, and the usual web/email/facebook.

    1. Metro UI/Apps suck. Multitasking is a nightmare in Metro and for many reasons, most of which the people on this site already know. Fullscreen apps with no minimize/resize option + constantly swiping the side of the screen + pressing the Winkey over and over again to switch between apps = frustrating and inefficient. The traditional desktop and taskbar are far more superior for multitasking, even for touch.
    Most of the available metro apps are useless... if I want to check the news, weather, email, facebook, then all I have to do is touch a link on my browser's bookmark bar. The only way I can see myself using the Metro UI/Apps again is if the Microsoft Store becomes larger than Apple's or Google's and offers exclusive apps and features.

    2. Touch Input Panel is crippled in Windows 8 for most applications (non-metro). Considering Windows 8 is based on touch input, this s**t is beyond me. Any non-metro app (most programs) will have no automatic keyboard for text fields, the main onscreen keyboard takes up most of the screen, and the handwriting input panel is limited to 2 lines vs infinite scrolling in W7. In short, my stylus is far more useful in Windows 7 w/ auto, resizable, and infinite scrolling input for all applications.
    • answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_cp-desktop/feedback-win-8-cp-appears-to-be-discouraging-pen/32a1a424-96cf-4edb-9e52-93793653b06e

    3. Search sucks. Half the time I can't find anything I'm looking for in the Windows 8 search and the limited results are all split up into app, file, settings categories.... once again adding step after step for a such a simple task.

    As a tablet pc owner, the only thing I like about Windows 8 is it's speed. The boot up is quick and everything is snappy, but all that time saved during boot up is quickly lost with poor multitasking due to metro and jumping through other unnecessary hoops. Touch support is great except for the huge drawback of the limited text input panel, which directly limits my pen and finger inputs for most applications, especially compared to Windows 7.
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  20. bk109

    bk109 MDL Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2012
    What I like:
    1. It's basically a lightened Win7(with extras)
    2. SecureBoot (Though it still could prove to be a bugger with various LinuxDistros down the line)
    3. Hyper-V (Which is probably gonna displace VMWare's offerings @work with the improvements introduced in its newest iteration)
    4. StorageSpaces
    5. New TaskManager/Explorer UI
    6. Directx11 (not that there are any games for it yet XD)
    7. The concept of the MetroUI
    8. Windows Refresh/Recycle options (if that doesn't cut my time doing family ITSupport,nothing ever will XD)
    9. Windows Store concept
    10. Including a bundled AV solution (which again should help keep family IT to a bare minimum)
    11. (And how could I forget it!) - Windows To Go

    What I dislike
    1. Metro execution - the interface isn't completely polished and consistent(ie - the network interface in desktop mode)
    2. Exclusion of 7-like Aero themes (though I'm dead certain the creative folks here in MDL will find a way to resurrect it)
    3. Windows store app variety-Yes,it's barely started,but I'd have expected a bigger starting lineup including core MS products like Skype or Office tools(at the very least Office viewers,but preferably full-blown tools)
    4. Lock screen on non-tablet devices (seriously, was it that hard to have it enabled only on devices that have touch input ONLY)
    5.(Sorta) Exclusion of a Start menu button for the desktop, but there are plenty of tools that already compensate that

    What angered me
    1. Changing Windows Media Center to a paid addon
    2. Driver issues (Yes,I'll blame MS for HP's and AMD's failings!)