Sunday, July 29, 2012

After ~1 week of using Windows 8

Here are some updates on my experience using Windows 8 Release Preview, Evaluation copy build 8400, now that it's been a little while. You can download, install, and use the same build for free courtesy of MS (google it).

I still like it better than 7, although I have had it freeze on me once (7 never did this). If it does so again I will swap back to my 7 ssd most likely until it's ready for prime-time.

I noticed that if you swipe in from the very left or right edge of the touchpad, it opens the tile/metro-styled app manager or the charms bar, respectively, in a similar fashion to mobile OSes (think dragging down notification bar from the top with Android).

This is the charms bar, in case you don't know:

I tried plugging in a foreign (not previously installed) printer, and it installed without any notifications and was immediately available for printing.

I also hooked up my bluetooth earphones (Motorola S305s, which cost ~$25) pretty much instantaneously. (Aside: for other cool gadgets I carry with me, check out this post).

Being a heavy user of the start button to initiate a gnome-do//spotlight search for programs and files, I do find it somewhat annoying that instead of a small bar on the left I am forced to see the metro-style search view. However, after a little while I started getting used to it and the benefit of a larger search results screen has started to outweigh the original aesthetic nuisance.

The main thing I'm excited about is the full-circle cloud integration to enable a ChromeOS-esque consistency of data AND settings. Take a look at this page:

It seems with Windows 8, you will only need to customize your settings ONCE, and for the rest of your life you can pull down said saved settings from the MS cloud, regardless of how many new computers you go through. Combine this with SkyDrive/SugarSync/Dropbox and you will never have to worry about losing files, transferring data to a new computer, or any other such nonsense again. As long as you have internet access, everything you do and save is redundant (in a good way). Woot.

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