Last month Microsoft did introduce their newest operating system “Windows 8”. I would copy Mr. Ballmar words calling it Microsoft “riskest” product to date. I gave it a try for a couple of days, liked some features and disliked others. I will review my experiece in the next few lines starting with the good stuff and ending with the not-good ones.
The Good Stuff
The new Start Screen and Metro UI : I totally liked the Metro UI experience in the new “Smart” screen. The tiles are bringing life to your PC, it gives you a glance of the world outside your PC with just 1 look at this screen. It’s similar to the WP7 start screen but improved to make use of the larger space and resolution.
Internet Explorer 10 : I’m using IE 9 since its beta stages and I’ve generally more than satisfied with the experience. IE 10 is another break through in the history of IE, It makes IE 9 looks slow and ugly. The Metro version of IE 10 is wonderfully designed and with even better performance that the normal desktop version.
Boot Time : It took my PC around 38 seconds to boot Windows 7; after installing all my applications on windows 8, it took around 12 seconds to boot. It’s a major improvement over the previous versions of Windows. It should be faster with the new Windows 8 bios shipped with the next generation of devices.
The new Task Manager : It’s really GOOD. you can just see almost everything about every application you installed on your PC, the full history of application usage not just a snapshot as the current versions.
Picture Password : It’s a fancy feature but I loved the idea and its implementation.
Windows Live Id Integration : Windows will be remembering all your preferences after a fresh installation just by logging in! Linking all my PCs and other devices (Windows Phone, XBox) through SkyDrive and Windows Live Id is a great idea. I loved it specially when I reinstalled Windows8 and had all customizations, preference, favorites and settings in place just after logging in.
The Not-Good Stuff
The new Start Screen (with the mouse) : The new start screen is very optimized for touch but the experience with a mouse and keyboard is not as good as the touch one. It still needs alot of improvemets and I think treating the mouse as a finger might improve it so much. Pinning all applications to the start screen after installing them was a bad idea too. Maybe supporting different tile sizes will be good as well.
The mixed modes : I realize that supporting and running older applications is critical and SUPER important but that fact of having 2 different UI concepts and structures are still annoying. I hope that Microsoft could find a better solution or at least reduces the times where the user need to switch to the older desktop view.
To conclude, I liked the new Windows in general and I can’t wait to see the new releases to explore more features and improvements. It will be a real change in the PCs world.