The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #147774   Message #3429235
Posted By: JohnInKansas
01-Nov-12 - 05:49 AM
Thread Name: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
Subject: RE: Tech: Windows 8 - reviews of general release
Vista is considered, even by Microsoft, to have been a failure.

When Win7 was first announced, the common folk made jokes about the main new feature being "It's not Vista."

Unfortunately, it appears that Microsoft assigned all their top programmers to Vista, but demanded that they conform to some marketing exec's notion about "needing something new" so that they weren't able to produce the product that those who knew how to make things work could otherwise have made.

At about the time that Win7 was announced, it is a fact that Microsoft "cleaned house" and fired or demoted/transferred everyone associated with Vista (i.e. everybody who knew anything but wasn't allowed to use what they knew) at 2d level & higher management. (At least according to our friends at Microsoft, and some reports from tech media sources.)

They brought in an entirely new crew of (mostly young?) puppies and pumped them up on "smart phones" before turning them loose on Win8.

Reports are that Win8 may be a little "faster" than Win7 although comparative tests haven't shown anything significant. They've added what amounts to an improved "standby mode" that allows much quicker turn on if the machine has been inactive but with power. A cold boot from unpowered condition doesn't appear to be affected (i.e. isn't any faster) but reliable comment has been ambiguous.

There appear to be some additional security features, but actual information on what they consider those changes to be has been exceedingly sparse in the technical media.

The "new interface" is probably significantly "improved" for "little machines" (some debate whether laptops are little enough?) but what has been published about use on desktops, in conditions where desktops remain appropriate, is that the changes for desktop use are annoying even if they're not the positive barriers to efficient use that some believe they are seeing.

If your use of your computer is fairly "casual" (i.e. you mostly use your computer like a "smart phone") it's likely that you'll have few problems with Win8 and may even like it.

A "side issue" to Win8 is the new emphasis on "cloud computing" in which you'll have to pay monthly "rent" on programs you use, they will not generally be installed on your own computer, and you'r computer will be a dead hunk of junk if you're not "connected" to run the program "from the cloud source." Cloud storage is being pushed very hard as well, but the "free storage" is a joke for anyone doing serious productive work on a computer, and monthly fees are very high (compared to your own hard drives) if you need more than what's currently offered for "free."

Many new small machines are being turned out in anticipation of the move "to the cloud" without even a USB slot or ethernet port, and can only connect to other devices via "WiFi," which remains UNUSABLE in many places in the US, although you can "port to it" through a cable or satellite connection in some places where you can't get to it directly, for enough $$$$$$.

There are enough changes to recommend at least a "preview" or "trial" look before committing to Win8, for most users. Currently Microsoft is allowing OEM makers to offer a "downgrade" back to Win7 for people who buy Win8 and aren't happy with it. (Some OEMs charge for the downgrade, but most appear to offer it for free.)

If you decide you like it, and it does what you need it to do, then there's no reason not to make the move.

I can't see Win8 being more useful than Win7 for a majority of the things I do with my computer, but I probably don't represent a majority of users. I can't - for now at least - recommend it for people I believe are making serious use of their computers. That might change when more information is known, but Microsoft seems to have abandoned the release of technical specs in favor of lots of "adspeak."

(Recent studies have indicated that the social groups with the most money can't tell the difference between advertising and news so prospects of improvement for ol' farts like me are pretty dim.)