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Computer Tip Tuesday: Should You Upgrade To Windows 8?

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In this week’s Computer Tip Tuesday I’m going to talk a little bit about the next Windows Operating System, Windows 8, which is due to be released to the masses next month.  Please note that these are my opinions and do not reflect the views of News Radio 1290, WNBF or Townsquare Media.

Being in IT, I have the pleasure of getting my hands on a lot of hardware and software each year.  Some are great and others… well, you get the idea.

To me Windows 8 is a toy.  It’s pretty and shiny and new.  It also in a way insults my intelligence.  OK, so I understand that the common computer user is looking for an easy computing experience.  I get that.  For those of us who have vast computer knowledge Microsoft’s latest platform is simply a joke.

To be fair, I can see how this new OS can be helpful to the everyday user.  The new start menu (previously called Metro) is comprised of colorful “tiles.”  There are tiles for mail, people, photos, videos, etc.  These tiles are also “live” meaning they update in real time to reflect their respective information.  For example, when you get new mail the tile will change to reflect that.

These tiles make integrating information into one place easy and efficient.  However, this is about as far as I go in saying nice things about Windows 8.  The standard desktop found in all previous incarnations of Windows is still there but is not the focal point of the OS. Finding the task bar and other menus is ridiculous.  You have to point your mouse all the way to one side of the screen for this menu, the other side for another.  Sometimes I couldn’t get the task bar to pop up at all.  Some apps (yes there are apps in Windows 8, some of which did actually impress me) utilize mouse clicks for menus but they are inconsistent.  What a mouse click does in one app doesn’t work in another.

Windows 8 uses Windows Live accounts for syncing and accessing the cloud.  Yes, you can create offline accounts but the average user isn’t going to be aware of this.  Yes, the cloud is nice but I think utilizing it should be an option and not the default.

For us IT folks accessing system settings is more of a hassle.  It took me three times as long to customize these settings as it did in Windows 7.

For me, Windows 8 is a miss.  It is rare for me to not like a refresh of a product that I enjoy using.  I am all about progression in computing.  I understand that the wave of the future is phone and tablet computing, both of which I partake in and enjoy.  But with the common PC still around, and hopefully hanging around for a while, Windows 8 just doesn’t makes sense.

To me, Apple has gotten it right.  They take the best parts of their mobile platforms and implement them into their PC operating systems.  I feel Microsoft should have done the same.

In my opinion you should probably stick with Windows 7 for a while especially if you like using it.  If not, hey, give Windows 8 a shot then let me know what you think.

As always, you can email me your computer questions to sean@wnbf.com and I will answer them in a future post.  You can ask about anything computer and technology related.  Talk to you next week!

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