The Apple iPad mini got a lot of press this week but so did Microsoft. The big news for Microsoft of course is on Windows 8, its newest OS. Windows 8 is a radically (sort-of) different operating system than all of the previous Windows’ versions. Windows 8 itself is two operating systems, one designed primarily for touch screens, the other for mouse and keyboard. Reviews have been mixed, with some lauding the combined features and others as an unnecessary muddled mishmash. You can try out the new OS for yourself when it goes on sale Friday, October 26th at prices ranging from $15 to $40, depending on version.
Why did Microsoft decided to have one operating system for two different type of uses, instead of two separate operating systems? Well, despite the falling sale of PCs and the rise of touch screen tablets, PCs still dominate the office, where most of us still work. So one can understand why Microsoft decided to have an operating system that is basically an upgrade of Windows 7 yet have the capability to run on tablets.
But like any mashup, you are not going to make everyone happy.
Based on the reviews I have read, here is a short breakdown on Windows 8, its features and capabilities.
Let’s look at the traditional Windows, or desktop Windows. You will still see overlapping windows, menus and the taskbar across the bottom and still run your traditional Windows applications, such as Word, Excel, Photoshop, tax software, Minesweeper.
Windows 8’s desktop is basically a Windows 7 but better. It starts-up faster and has more control over multiple-monitor arrangements. It even a has a Lock screen that displays a clock and notifications. Windows 8 comes with SkyDrive, Microsoft’s free seven-gigabyte online hard drive.
Windows 8 is becoming more one-stop - you can now log with a Microsoft ID and your personalized wallpaper, mail accounts, contacts, photos and SkyDrive will come up instantly.
The Task Manager is more visual friendly, showing a table of open programs and memory and processor usage. Windows Explorer is now called File Explorer and it now has a collapsible toolbar. A simple Refresh option lets you restore Windows to original factory-fresh condition without disturbing programs and files.
For mom and dad, there’s a new feature called Family Safety, which provides a weekly summary of how much time your child have spent on the PC, and which Web sites, searches, programs and downloads they’ve used.
Another thing that you will notice is that the Start menu is gone though the taskbar is still there.
Now let’s look at the touch screen Windows. Touch screen Windows 8 is modeled on Microsoft’s Windows Phone software. The home screen have an appearance of colorful square and rectangular tiles. Each tile represents an app and often its latest data.
According to most reviews, the tiles glide gracefully with a swipe of your finger. You can “pin” tiles, such as programs, playlists, websites, apps, photo albums, to the Start screen. Like the iPhone tiles, it is fun to rearrange, resize, and group the tiles.
Right clicking for relevant commands becomes a quick downward swipe, while swiping inward from the edges of a touch screen makes panels full of useful controls appear.
Touch screen Windows requires all new apps, but there are not that many now. They’re not your traditional Windows apps but more like tablet apps. Because the apps must be approved by Microsoft, they should be virus free.
Now let’s combine desktop Windows and touch screen Windows. This is because in Windows 8 you can’t live exclusively in one world or the other.
Even if all you have is touchscreen apps, you’ll still have to use desktop Window functionality like working with files, disks, open the Control Panel, or connect to networked folders. How about if you only have desktop programs? Your PC still starts up in touch screen Windows while using touch screen functionality like searching and address-book lookups.
You basically have two web browser depending which program you use for touch screen or desktop. Other mishmash confusion include the address bar for touch screen Windows at the bottom but in Desktop Windows, it’s at the top. For bookmarks, the desktop version appear as a Favorites list but in touch screen they’re horizontally scrolling icons.
There are many, many more schizophrenic madness in learning the difference between the touch screen and the desktop Windows but we’ll run out of space.
So as you can see, this could require a lot of learning curve to adapt to two basically different types of operating systems.
Will you buy Windows 8? Or do you think the mishmash of touch screen and desktop will be too much too learn?
|GOT A TIP? TELL US.||LIKE TO WRITE? contribute to TS.|
Write a blog about your startup, get 5 or more plugs and your startup will be featured here.
TigerStartups - Chicago, IL