Experiencing Microsoft Windows 8


Windows 8

Microsoft has launched it’s newest operating system, Windows 8.
Windows 8 is the successor of Microsoft Windows 7 which is being used worldwide next to Microsoft Windows XP.

Microsoft hopes that companies will adopt Windows 8 and roll it out to all users in their organisation.
The adoption of Microsoft Windows 7 has started slowly and still many companies have Windows XP running as their core operating system. Microsoft Windows XP was a very stable operating system that was highly tunable, when used in e.g. VDI environments you could really tune it so that users nearly had no waiting time while logging in.

Microsoft Windows 7 lacked that tuning possibility, sure you could tune it but not to the extent that Windows XP could be tuned. Over the years we’ve seen more and more implementations and adoption of Windows 7 within organisations. Windows 7 has proven to be a stable easy working operating system that had a quick learning curve for users.

Then Microsoft announced Windows 8 and everything had to change… just like the commercial says on the radio “Everything will be different”. I wrote my experience in this blog, it’s not a Windows 8 bashing just a blog about how I see/experienced things.

Startmenu

When you first take a look at Microsoft Windows 8 it surely is different. You will wonder about the startmenu that is missing and surely click in the left bottom corner by accident several times. don’t by ashamed, so did I.

When you click in the corner, you will see a startmenu-look-a-like. It’s not the startmenu as we know it but still Microsoft gave us something to work with to access several frequently-used-components.
The startmenu gives us acces to a lot of tools/components we need to do our job. Sure we can’t call it the startmenu anymore and sure it’s a bit strange to be hidden like this but at least it’s there. I hope they will do something about the accesibility of this menu because it ain’t handy to go in the corner, do a right-click and go to the option you want… 
Of course everybody knows that in Microsoft Windows 8 the applications are now found in the formerly-known-as-Metro screen. 
It’s pretty clear which applications are Windows 8 Apps (former Metro style) and which are non-Windows 8 apps. Only Windows 8 apps will  appear in the taskbar for Windows 8 apps, others appear in the legacy taskbar.

Reader

In Microsoft Windows 8 they introduced a reader to make it easier for us to read PDF files. the reader works fine when you have to read one file at the time. for my work I read 10+ files at one time writing a proposal for a customer reading multiple documents to have all information at hand all the time.
So I tried to open some PDF files and please correct me if I do things wrong. I  haven’t read the manual yet.
I couldn’t take a screenshot of the whole screen but I opened a functional design from some customer. Then I tried to open a second document, so I tried to use ALT-TAB to look for both documents. The other document is gone. Is multi-tasking out in 2012??? Did I miss a announcement when on holiday?
Looking at the picture above you can see there is only one PDF file open…
So this means I have to install Adobe Acrobat next to Reader to be able to open more than one file at once? This must be an error that will be corrected soon.
To close a document, the only one you have open, you have to options. one option is using the hand and drag the application down so that it closes. The other option is to right click, choose more and select “Close file”
I hoped to find a “Window” option to see the option to fast open the other documents Reader closed without noticing me, but nothing is there… it’s a single task application.

Opening applications

Applications can be opened by just typing the name of the application. So if you type “Word”, you will see Microsoft Word in the Windows 8 apps screen. 
Typing “Word” will show where the word “Word” is found in diverse area’s of Windows 8.

In the left corner of the screen all applications containing the word “Word” will be shown, click one to open the application. When I look at the legacy screen where you work after you open an application you see that one instance of Microsoft Word is opened.
When I want to open another document, I thought I could just type “Word” again and start a new instance. When you search for Microsoft Word again, you will be brought to the instance of Microsoft Word that you have already open. I’m still thinking if this is handy or not… I just expected something different. Of course you can open a new document from within Microsoft Word but I thought with Windows 8 this was the new way of opening new documents.

General functions

Taskbar(s)

As mentioned before the left side of the screen is designed to function as a Windows 8 Apps taskbar, here you’ll find the Windows 8 Apps that you have open.
Non-Windows 8 apps will still appear in the lower taskbar like Windows 7 and all Windows version before had. So now we have two taskbars, one for legacy and one for Windows 8 apps. I find it pretty confusing to be honest and don’t understand why it can’t be made more user friendly.

Shutdown

Without the startmenu suddenly you are wondering how to shutdown your computer. the first time you log on to Windows 8 you wonder about this and you click around a bit to find out. It’s pretty weird how this is designed, looks like Microsoft doesn’t want us to shutdown anymore.
If you want to shutdown the computer you have to click yet another corner and call the next taskbar. Click on the option settings. Opening this option will show the system tray where you have a powerbutton.
 
But wait a minute, a system tray? whay are there two system trays? One with the applications system tray icons and one with some stuff as you can see above. The only reason I can think of is that this was designed for tablets only. Running Windows 8 on a computer just goes against it’s nature, providing you with two system trays.

Devices

The taskbar also allows you to search like you did before. It also allows you to share content with other users. Think about sharing with Email or SkyDrive for documents. 
Devices is a strange option, so my first reaction was that I could connect my printer via this option. Unfortunatly the option doesn’t allow you to add anything, it will jsut show you a list of devices you connected to like a second screen. It doesn’t show my printer I connected via de control panel/printers and devices. Don’t know the function of Devices, if I can’t connect to new devices from it the function is useless.

Connecting a printer in Microsoft Windows 8 isn’t simple, somehow there is not quick way to add a printer. Of course you can go to the control panel and open printers and devices but for a home user that would be far to difficult. You should be able to add a device with one click imho.
So far a quick overview of my experiences with Microsoft Windows 8.

2 Responses

  1. Unknown says:

    What I have noticed, but this may be an Office 2013 thing I'm not sure, is that you can easily add a printer from, say, Word when you want to print your document. It automatically installs the driver for you (I didn't even get the message if I wanted to trust it) and within seconds I could print.
    Just my two cents.

  2. Thanks for the comment, I didn't look into the possibilty to add a printer through Word. To be honest I didn't even think about looking there even though I know it's possible. Thanks for reminding me about it.

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