Increased speed and boot-up times. Ability to use traditional desktop as needed. App store if so desired. Yada, yada, yada. But is it worth the 40 bucks to upgrade from Windows 7?
Just wondering if we could get some real-world feedback, both pro and con.
Feedback will be: No! Yes!
hat are big new features that are new in Windows 8?
The Windows 8 shill troll will arrive in 3, 2, 1 ...
I would think the answer depends on whether your current computer is equipped with a touchscreen. Very few are, except for those all-in-ones and a few laptops.
It works fine. A little configuring, and it's just a "better Windows 7".
Benefits for desktop users:
- Faster boot/shutdown/sleep/resume
- Improved file manager, task manager, copy/move
- New "File History" for backups (easier to use than old Windows Backup... more like OS X Time Machine)
- New "Storage Spaces" feature that lets you plug in USB drives to provide fault-tolerant flexible storage (need more? Just add more drives... one drive goes bad? No loss of data... easier and cheaper than RAID)
- Integrated USB 3.0 support
- New networking stack that handles mobile networks better, provides better monitoring (which apps are using the most bandwidth? Preferentially using non-metered networks, easier/better networks switching)
- New support for *.iso and *.vhd files, for creating and mounting virtual CD/DVDs and HDs with no hardware
- Integrated skydrive support (drag-and-drop using Windows Explorer, save to it from any application just like any other drive)
- New synchronization features, so you can have the same set of favorites and the same settings across your desktop and laptop...
- Better memory management and more efficient memory usage
- Better security (with Windows Defender/Security Essentials baked in)
- Less annoying Windows updates (more predictable, more warning of when they're going to happen)
- Fewer reboots required when installing things
- Better support for multiple-monitors (task bar can be duplicated or span monitors, wall-papers can span monitors or even cycle independently through wallpapers on each Monitor)
- New "power menu" when you RIGHT click in the lower-left-hand corner, giving you fast access to a lot of useful desktop features.
- New short-cut keys make many features faster/easier (find files with Windows-F, search all programs with Windows-Q, and dozens of others)
That's off the top of my head.
(couldn't disappoint R3, now could I?)
Configuration tips for people using Windows 8 on a desktop computer with keyboard & mouse, without touch:
Move the "Desktop" tile on the start screen to the top-most, left-most position. Now you can get to Desktop by simply pressing Enter.
Remove all the "metro" tiles you won't be using from the start screen.
Add all the desktop apps you use MOST often to the taskbar (right-click the application from the all-applications screen, or the *.exe file from Windows Explorer, and select "pin to taskbar")
Add any secondary, less frequently used applications to the start screen ("pin to start")
Get familiar with the "power menu" (right-click in the lower-left corner) for easy/fast access to devices, power options, the control panel, the "run" command, etc.
Launch Control Panel and type "Defaults" into the search box. Click on "Default Programs" and then "Set Your Default Programs". Change the settings so that your desktop applications are launched instead of the Metro versions, for videos, pictures, mail, music, etc. That way you won't suddenly find yourself in metro just because you double-clicked on a file in Windows Explorer.
Use a mouse with a scroll-wheel. Use the wheel to scroll the start menu and all programs menus. Don't even try to deal with the stupid scroll bars. Better yet, you can get a touch-mouse, and have some or all of Windows 8's gestures on your mouse (depending on which model you get).
I encourage people to get use to the task bar and start menu (when on the start screen , you can just start typing to search for any application, and you can toggle the start screen with the windows key). But if you give it a try and you just can't get over it, install any of the "start button/menu" utilities that are available, like "Start8".
If you have any specific questions, please ask, and I'll answer... in spite of the pointless taunting of R3 who is a tin-hat paranoid freak who sees shills around every corner, I'm just here to help answer your questions.
Based on r5, no. I wouldn't spend the money on it.
My IT guy also tells me that there is no option to use the traditional Windows desktop that we are used to. He says there is a program you can buy and download that will allow you to change the desktop back, but unless you are willing to do that, you are stuck with that touch screen shit.
To specifically answer your question, OP: Yes it's worth it, BUT there's nothing really to demand you upgrade NOW beyond the fact that the cheap $39 price ends at the end of January.
Upgrading an existing Windows 7 desktop PC goes pretty smoothly. Not including the time it takes to download (it's a web installer, a physical disc costs extra), I completed the task in only about an hour, and most of that was in the other room watching TV. You don't have to sit there answering questions the whole time. Just let it go, answer a few questions up front, and a few more at the end, and it just does everything else on its own.
All your existing apps and data are preserved perfectly. If there are any compatibility issues, it will let you know up front. You can stop the process, fix any issues (uninstall or update apps or drivers) and continue the process later.
If you're updating from Vista, you don't keep your desktop applications (you'll need to reinstall) but you do keep all your Windows settings and configurations.
If you're updating from XP, you only keep your data, not applications or settings.
[quote]My IT guy also tells me that there is no option to use the traditional Windows desktop that we are used to.
Your IT guy is an idiot.
I'm using the desktop right now. Yeah, there's no start button, but so what? That's totally redundant to the start screen and the power menu and the Windows key.
You are not "stuck with the touch-screen shit".
Tell your IT guy I called him an idiot. Because he is. He's spreading misinformation.
hmm Think I'll hold on for Windows 9 next summer. (With the Thought Screen.)
You joke, but the 3 year wait between windows versions is over. There will be major updates approximately annually, and sometimes minor updates in between.
So while I think there are good enough reasons to upgrade now (speed, stability, security, new features), you can just wait a year and upgrade to the next version (which will still be called "Windows 8" by the way... at least that's what they're saying right now).
We'll see how they support upgrades, and what they prices them at.
Is THIS supposed to make me want Win8?
Because it doesn't.
R13... that person's PC running Win7 would look almost exactly the same, save for the start button in the lower corner.
So... why do you think that one screen shot tells you ANYTHING about Windows 8?
Because one Windows 8 thread just wasn't enough. OP, if you're not even going to utilise the full functionality of Datalounge - like the Search function - why bother upgrading your operating system?
I have Win7. It doesn't look like that. If it did, I wouldn't have it. My Win7 looks like Vista.
All of the screenshots I find for Win8 not in touchscreen mode look like that. What is it you have in mind that is sooo much different and better than that?
Don't tell me it's this.
download the beta and try it. Simple enough.
I like Windows 8. Takes a lil' getting used to, but I love that it starts up quicker and really uses low system resources.
What exactly is Integrated USB 3.0 support?
I put Win8 on my Netbook with only 1gb of ram and it was slow as a wet week before. Now it zips along. When I buy an SSD for it, the netbook should be nearly laptop quality.
Windows is kind of retro now.
The reason why Windows 8 was only a $14 upgrade on new machines is, it is not a big advantage. This is how Microsoft got their initial sales numbers. Yes it has better integration for portables, but this is something Apple did 3 years ago.
You need too much memory to get such a small benefit in performance. Stick with Windows 7, else mortgage your home and buy a Mac.
Windows 8 is not worth the extra money you have to spend on memory to make it run properly, even if you get it for $14.
Do the folks in the Red States use Segregated USB 3.0 support?
Windows 8 on anything but a phone or tablet isn't worth it, unless you like fingerprints on your laptop or desktop screen. It's built for touchscreens, not mouse operated devices.
[quote]I have Win7. It doesn't look like that. If it did, I wouldn't have it.
I guess I have no idea what the hell you mean by "looks like that" then. It looks like Windows.
If you're whining about the lack of transparency/glass... that's really just stupid, imho. First, you can install any theme or skin you want (you want wood-grain windows? have at it!). But the new solid-color windows make it much easier to read the title captions and to see which is the active window. It's also a key element of the battery-saving changes, as it took a lot more computation to do all the transparency and gradients and stuff.
But I have to ask: seriously? THAT is your reason for rejection Windows 8? Of all the reasons ever given, that has to be the most shallow...
R16, that picture you linked is not part of Windows 8. It's a picture of a utility you can buy or add on if you want it.
That's the beauty of Windows... if you don't like something, just change it (either via setting, via free utility, or via paid utility).
[quote]What exactly is Integrated USB 3.0 support?
USB 3.0 is the latest version of USB (the current version is USB 2.0 that everyone uses), and it's WAY faster than USB 2.0.
Windows 7 doesn't have support built in, so that any laptop or desktop that claims to support it has its own custom drivers. And there have been lots of reported issues (like not recognizing USB 3.0 devices properly, causing slow 2.0 speeds to be used).
Windows 8 has support built in, and it's solid and fast. You don't have to look for drivers, or install anything. "It just works", and that's a good thing.
[quote]You need too much memory to get such a small benefit in performance. Stick with Windows 7
R20, Windows 8 runs faster in the same memory than Windows 7 does. I'm not sure what you're talking about here. Please refer to R19 for an example.
[quote]Windows 8 on anything but a phone or tablet isn't worth it, unless you like fingerprints on your laptop or desktop screen. It's built for touchscreens, not mouse operated devices.
Wrong, wrong, and wrong. Empty assertions, parroting nonsense you've heard based on no actual experience, is really not worthy of you or this thread.
Windows 8 works fine on desktops with a keyboard and mouse, and laptops with a keyboard and trackpad.
The one exception is if the trackpad has a bezel around it, it's very difficult to perform some of the new Windows 8 gestures. It's still useable, but not as easy or fast to do certain things... gestures like "swiping in from the edge".
[bold]Surprisingly, touchscreen laptops don't suck[/bold]
[italic]How Windows 8 challenged the 'gorilla arm' — and won[/italic]
With Windows 8, touchscreens are more relevant than ever before. However, some pundits have long believed that a touchscreen simply doesn't belong on a laptop. Sometimes, they quote Steve Jobs. "Touch surfaces don't want to be vertical." That's Jobs in 2010, telling the world why Apple notebooks wouldn't feature the technology.
"You can converge a toaster and a refrigerator, but those things are probably not gonna be pleasing to the user." That one's from Tim Cook earlier this year, explaining the company's stance on convertible tablet PCs.
These were the opinions of the leaders of the most profitable tech company in the world. I believed them myself. And yet somehow, neither of them have kept me from instinctively, repeatedly touching the screen of my MacBook Air this month.
I review laptops for The Verge, and recently I've been using a string of Windows 8 touchscreen computers. I was prepared for disappointment from day one — prepared to say that while certain Windows 8 gestures are easier with a touchscreen, the overall idea isn't very good. I was prepared to write that the Windows 8 interface was forcing unnecessary touchscreen controls on people who wouldn't appreciate them, particularly if they were simply grafted onto a traditional laptop.
But the more I've used Windows 8, despite its faults, the more I've become convinced that touchscreens are the future — even vertical ones.
When Steve Jobs decried touchscreen laptops in 2010, he was merely relaying the common wisdom of decades of user experience research into "gorilla arm syndrome." Simply put, it's the idea that if you hold out your arm in front of a touchscreen for an extended period of time, it's not going to be particularly comfortable. However, that assumes an awful lot — what if you're not holding your arms out in space waiting to touch things, but resting them comfortably on a keyboard?
We've been looking at this all wrong. A touchscreen isn't a replacement for a keyboard or mouse, it's a complement. If I want to type things on my laptop and have enough room to comfortably open that clamshell and stretch out my arms, the keyboard's still my best bet. I'm not going to touch-type 70 words per minute on a touchscreen keyboard. But when I'm in the cramped quarters of a train, plane, or standing in a line — say, when the only thing standing between a critical email and its recipient is a few dozen words and a tap of the button marked "Send" — I can grab that Windows 8 laptop by its hinged section, one hand on either side of the screen, and tap out that message with my thumbs.
Perhaps that's an extreme example, though. Even in everyday use, I find myself touching the screens of computers (whether they have touchscreens or not) because I can do things faster and more intuitively.
If you want to launch a program on your desktop, which makes more sense? Reach down to a special glass surface and drag a finger across it just long enough to land a floating pointer arrow on top of the icon, and then tap? Or simply reach up to a visible icon and tap it? Why try to aim that pointer at a little X icon, or remember keyboard shortcuts like Alt-F4, when I can just swipe down from the top of the screen to close a Windows 8 program? Why painstakingly zoom a web browser in 10 percent increments using a disembodied keyboard or trackpad when you can smoothly manipulate it between your fingers with pinch-to-zoom? I now find myself doing, or at least wishing I could do, these things all the time.
Does USB 3.0 require new hardware, or will it work on existing USB 2.0 ports? I have a fairly new Windows 7 desktop, and have bought some external devices (e.g., hard drives) that use USB 3.0, but I just assumed they would only work as 2.0 unless I put in a new USB card.
It requires new hardware. USB 3.0 ports are either blue (instead of white), or they have "SS USB" on the label ("SS" = "Super Speed").
If you only have USB 2.0 ports on your laptop, you can't gain the benefits of USB 3.0 speeds.
However, USB 3.0 devices can plug into USB 2.0 ports just fine, they just run at the slower 2.0 speeds.
So Windows 8 won't magically make your laptop USB stuff faster. But if you install a USB 3.0 card, Windows 8 will support it directly, without special drivers.
Is the Windows 8 troll getting commission for making sales on DL or what?
Not a troll. No commission. Just helping by answering questions. If you can't grasp or deal with that, I invite you to enjoy some other threads and to stop clicking on this one :-)
Yearly updates for Windows sounds like a blatant money grab by Microsoft.
I won't play that game. Fuck ya, MSFT!
Secondly, in my next life I want to be a pedantic bore like DL's resident Microsoft Shill Troll.
[quote]Yearly updates for Windows sounds like a blatant money grab by Microsoft.
Or more realistically, a blatant attempt by Microsoft to catch up to Android, iOS, and OS X ... and to stay up to date rather than always falling years behind the competition.
And did you not read the part where MS might offer some of these updates for free?
In my next life, I hope I'm not an ignorant hater with low reading comprehension who just likes to make up things and bash things, like, R34.
I got bored of metro after a while. I mean why do I need to use all those apps when I can just browse the web with powerful browsers? When the novelty of the live tiles wore off I installed Start8. It basically lets you boot directly to the desktop and brings back the start menu. I find the search on the start menu better than the start screen, for example the searches are located in the same space not divided between files, apps etc.... So I've got the desktop without interferences from live tiles with all the benefits of windows 8. Benefits like fast boot up and shut down time, as well as using the nice email metro app. By the way, with start8 the metro apps can still be found in the start menu as well as be pinned to it.
R31 I just checked my fairly high-end, fairly new (~2 years old) HP laptop, and it doesn't have an ExpressCard slot! So no USB 3.0 there for me. I guess I'll try checking out my desktop to see if there's an open slot for a new card there, or if I can remove an existing one and replace it with a 3.0, but knowing HP, I'm dubious.
[quote]a blatant attempt by Microsoft to catch up to Android, iOS, and OS X
Well, yes. MS products have always lagged behind innovative companies.
Well no, R38, that isn't actually true. But I'm sure you don't care. Your beliefs and prejudices are more important than reality, I'm sure.
Get a Mac.
Yeah, 'cause Mac Users are SO in love with the way OS X is slowly turning into iOS... (rolling eyes at R40)
I, too, am in the market for a windows 8 tablet. This thread has been informative, thanks.
This thread isn't about the Surface per se, r42.
ASUS seems to be putting gout some good Windows 8 laptops & convertibles.
Thank you for all of the great replies, everyone. I guess I should have specified that this would be for a year-old Toshiba laptop with more than enough processor power and RAM to comfortably run Windows 8. I never use a mouse, just the touchpad.
R5 and r7, a special thank you for your detailed responses. I really appreciate them.
If any of you have more to add, please do. Thanks again.
Just make sure the trackpad doesn't have a "bezel" border around it, and make sure you look up the model on Toshiba's tech support site to make sure it's supported under Windows 8.
Honestly, the more I use it, the more I like it.
I bought a new desk top computer with the new windows 6 weeks ago to replace an aging Dell desk top
I have used computers for years but am basically not computer literate.
I did not set the new computer up until yesterday because I was concerned about getting up to speed on my own with W8. I know nothing about android stuff. I am using the desk top feature and in 24 hours I love it love love it. Effortless to set up, slick as can be. I had bookmarked all these pages that might help me with the transition. Don't need them. The speed is amazing. Easy to use and understand and in my opinion well worth the money.
Thanks for all the feedback
It was worth it at the $40 price for sure.
At the non-discount $200? Not so much. If you don't already have it, just get it with a new PC that's designed for it.
I like it a lot. I have an iPad, a Samsung Android phone, and Windows 8 on my laptop - only because I have to use Windows for work and they upgraded us during some new promotion Microsoft is doing. Unexpectedly, Windows 8 turned out to be the most impressive experience of the three. Android is like ios only better, but it's still just a ripoff. And the ios seems pretty old fashioned now.
The good news is there's a lot of competition now between the big players so we all win.