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3/30/2012
03:17 PM
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Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances

Windows 8 aims to answer some longtime Microsoft OS gripes, from slow startup times to mediocre mobile tools.
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Windows 8 is the most controversial product to come out of Microsoft since Office 2007, which stunned longtime users with a radically new ribbon interface that replaced the traditional toolbar-and-menu motif. So what's Windows 8's crime? Well, pretty much the same thing: An extreme makeover designed to keep Windows relevant in a computing marketplace that increasingly favors tablets and smartphones over laptops and desktops.

As an InformationWeek reader, you've probably already read up on Windows 8's new Metro interface, so we won't rehash the specifics here. And if you haven't, here's a good overview of what to expect when the new OS ships later this year.

Critics are claiming that Windows 8's touch-centric UI, essentially repurposed from Microsoft's critically-praised but publicly-ignored Windows Phone OS, is a poor match for PCs, few of which have touchscreens. They may have a point, but the verdict on Windows 8's "Metro" design will remain out until millions of PC users have had a few months to put the OS through its paces.

Beyond Metro

There's a lot more to Windows 8 than a flashy new Start screen, however. In fact, the OS's other upgrades may resolve many of problems you've encountered with Windows 7 for the past two-plus years.

Does Windows 7 boot too slowly for your tastes? Well, Windows 8 has a fast-startup feature that dramatically shortens boot times, particularly if your PC has a solid state drive (SSD). Do its mediocre file-copying tools leave you cold? The new OS is much better in that area too. And Windows 8 makes it easier to reset a misbehaving PC to its original state.

Granted, these reasons alone aren't enough to warrant a Windows 8 upgrade. And if you're like most Windows users, you won't give the new OS a spin until it comes preinstalled on a new PC, whether that's at work or home.

Whatever your feelings about Windows 8, you've got to give Microsoft credit for making a bold move. Because as hard as it is may seem, Redmond's Windows franchise is in trouble. A recent study by research firm IDC predicts that Android will be the dominant operating system for "smart connected devices"--meaning PCs, tablets, and smartphones--by 2016. Indeed, Windows must change to stay relevant in a mobile-oriented world.

If you must hate Windows 8 already, feel free to do so. But first click through the slideshow below to explore some of Win 8's attributes. You just may change your mind.

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ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 10:57:03 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
"And to search the Web from the Windows Desktop, you'll need to install a desktop gadget like All Search."

Why would I search the Web from the desktop, when I'm going to need a browser to view the results? People search the Web from a browser.
ANON1245867443530
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ANON1245867443530,
User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2012 | 10:55:17 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
"Press and hold"? Yes, because DELAY is good UI.

Amateur hour.
Mark532010
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Mark532010,
User Rank: Strategist
4/9/2012 | 9:30:38 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
Good article and many of these are really exciting. I am particularly looking forward to the enhanced system restore and storage spaces utilities.

I find it frustrating however that Microsoft says nothing about making the OS more secure either from hackers or poorly-written programs. The Windows-On-A-Stick (why do I think of Jeff Dunham?) sounds good but it brings up a gigantic host of questions and issues - imagine all of your licensed corporate apps (and data) floating around on easily-lost thumb-drives! and how do Group-Policies work when Windows is booted up and the domain is not available...many questions about the whole thing and precious little detail.

I also think it is too soon to have such a glowing review of the email program, it is hopelessly simplistic and useless for anything but the most basic of email needs. Even Outlook Express was far more feature-rich. We will see what the final release looks like but my guess is that only finger-only users will have much use for it.
Leo Regulus
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Leo Regulus,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/3/2012 | 5:07:56 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
Article format unsatisfactory - Can't use it.
achristo958
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achristo958,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2012 | 9:28:11 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
Good stuff. Looking forward to getting my hands the upgrade
mgilbert024
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mgilbert024,
User Rank: Apprentice
4/2/2012 | 5:19:51 PM
re: Windows 8 Vs. 10 Big OS Annoyances
Under Windows 8, Search is even more prominent than you indicated on your slide #8. It's true that search is now at the top of the Charms bar, but also if the Metro UI is displayed and you just start typing, the system will automatically interpret what you type as a search request. I tried it under Consumer Preview and it works great; you don't need any mouse/touch activity at all to initiate a search!
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