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In today`s blog 4pm would like to try and help you with your decision on whether or not to go for Windows 8. Every time a new product is launched, especially in the IT world, almost immediately there are thousands of negative reviews. Upgrading to the new system might be quite painful if your computer is not one of the latest models, which means not more than 1 or 2 years old. However, if you have enough time and patience to adapt to the new system and its features and if you just want to use your OS (operating system) for fun then Windows 8 could make you happy.
Besides the system`s ultrafast boot times, Windows 8 also feels much smarter, faster and better than Windows 7.
Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Leaks of upcoming versions of Microsoft's software are nothing new, but it's a little surprising when the source is Microsoft itself. After news of this spread, Microsoft removed the hefty—700MB—update from its servers, but not before it had spread across all manner of file-sharing sites. Just because it was distributed by Windows Update doesn't mean that this is, necessarily, the final build, but it does present a good opportunity to see what Microsoft is actually planning to deliver.
The changes are all focused around mouse and keyboard users, to make certain features more accessible to the mouse. The former button replicates the button found inside the settings charm, and it is a bit of an oddity. While early PCs had dumb power switches that unceremoniously cut the power to the machine, the use of electronic power buttons—buttons that can tell the operating system to perform an orderly system shutdown before killing the power—have been a feature since the introduction of the ATX specification in late 1995.
This goes doubly for laptop users, many of whom simply sleep their systems by shutting the lid and don't bother shutting down anyway. Perhaps this is speculation too far, but this pair of changes almost suggests that many Windows users haven't changed the way they use the operating system—or their computers—since the mid 1990s.
And likewise, they're still shutting down from software, perhaps unaware that the power switch will do the job, and are conditioned to do so after years of operating systems complaining when they weren't shut down properly.
As hard to discover as Windows 8's hot corners are, in Update 1 Microsoft appears to be doubling down on making the screen edges special. None of these are new controls; the same could be achieved by grabbing the app from the top (by clicking at the top edge of the screen) and then moving it around. Worse: Metro apps, including the Start screen, remain full-screen (even when used in side-by-side mode, they still fill the screen from top to bottom). The taskbar has one more trick up its sleeve: by default, it now shows icons for running Metro programs. Finally, SkyDrive has been rebranded as OneDrive, and there's a new "Disk Space" tracker in the Metro settings app.


I don't happen to think that ignoring the cries for a Start menu is actually a bad thing; I think the Start menu is past its prime.
But everyone who thinks that it's unusable, or only usable with touch—which isn't the case—will continue to make that complaint. And while I think some parts are incremental improvements—the new titlebars, for example, don't detract from the Metro design, but do make things a little more obvious for mouse users, and the changed defaults seem harmless enough—other parts, such as the Start screen context menus and the awkward attempt to bring the taskbar into the Metro world, aren't improvements at all. Fiddling with defaults isn't going to win over anyone bemoaning the loss of the Start menu.
The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Conde Nast. Obviously, for some people it might be hard to switch to a new system, which is totally understandable. But to be honest it is not a necessity, especially when you consider the relatively high price of an upgrade. The Spring update to Windows 8.1, known as Update 1, was briefly available from Windows Update earlier this week.
To get Windows Update to install it, you had to create a special (undocumented, secret) registry key to indicate that you were in a particular testing group; only then were the updates displayed and downloadable. On the Start screen itself, there's now a button for power options (shut down, reboot, sleep) and search. Any system on the market today can be shut down by pressing the same button that you used to turn it on.
Hitting the button brings up the normal Windows 8.1 search pane, with a text box to type into. The Windows Vista-era mechanism of "Start and then type," now seven-years-old, apparently hasn't caught on and quite plausibly isn't even known by many Windows users.
So maybe it's not just Windows 8 that Microsoft did a poor job of explaining to Windows users—maybe it's every version of Windows since 95.
Right clicking in a Metro app normally brings up the application bar, a kind of toolbar along that bottom of the screen. Put the mouse at the top of the screen in a Metro app and a title bar will appear with the app name and three buttons, the app icon on the left, and minimize on close on the right.
Run the mouse into the bottom edge, whether on the Start screen or in a Metro app, and the taskbar will appear. If nothing else, it provides a clear indication that the Metro app can be manipulated with the mouse. When the hot corners were first introduced, one of the criticisms they received is that they were hard to use, especially in conjunction with virtualization and remote desktop software, because of the small targets they forced users to hit. Clicking the icons will present the usual full-screen Metro experience—they're not windowed or anything—but the taskbar can now be used to switch between them.


The big complaint about the Start screen—that it's full screen, and not the hierarchical mess that the Start menu became—is entirely ignored. It doesn't scale well, making search all but essential, and the Start screen is a better place for pinning commonly-used applications than the Start menu ever was. The Windows 8 interface already has consistency issues, and Update 1 is making these worse. He covers Microsoft, programming and software development, Web technology and browsers, and security. Something which immediately attracted our attention is the large array of Start screen customization options Windows 8 offers. For the most part, Windows 8.1 tablets have minimum specs of 2GB and 32GB, because of the size of the operating system.
The same effect can be achieved simply by typing the search term you're interested in, making the button superfluous. The new taskbar feature has that same problem in spades; it seems to be all but impossible to access in any kind of windowed VM environment.
It seems that file opening defaults are also changed, so that photos and media will open in the Photo Viewer or Media Player, rather than the Metro apps. I think that this could be counterproductive: while Microsoft is making changes that are, notionally at least, concessions to mouse and keyboard users, the company still isn't providing what many of these users say they want.
Furthermore, Windows 8 comes with a bunch of highly useful apps, such as a Facebook app, the People app, to which all your social media accounts can be linked, the Weather app, News, Financial and Sports apps, the Bing app and so on and so forth. The shrunk requirements are part of Microsoft's efforts to get Windows onto ever-cheaper tablet hardware.
These aren't compromises that are going to make people flock to the new platform, and they don't really make it any better. If you right-click a tile, you'll get options to change its size, stop its live updates, and so on—all the things that used to be on the app bar—and if you click anywhere else you can rename the tile groups. Moreover, every other Metro app still shows an app bar when you right-click, making the Start screen weirdly inconsistent. On top of this, the controls of the new operating system definitely work much better on touch screen than on an average PC.



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