I have to admit that Windows 8 is not very good or easy to use.
Microsoft needs to keep making new versions so they keep making profit.
Windows 8 is like Windows 7 only with that ridiculous confusing colorful thing instead of the Start Button. They are clearly grasping at straws here, so the only decent thing you can do is shut up and give them your money.
Is Windows 8 one of those things that are good once you get accustomed to it?
OP, it takes a little getting used to. But it's not bad at all once you do. I have it on my desktop and laptop, as well as a tablet.
If you mostly use the desktop and don't have a touch screen, here are some hints for you:
The "Windows" key toggles between the Start Screen, and whatever you were going.
On the Start Screen, you can just start typing in order to search for and find any app, setting, or file you're interested in.
On the desktop, if you move your mouse to either corner on the right side of the display, and then move towards the center, you bring up the "Charms" bar (also Windows-C will do the same thing). If you click "Settings", you'll see settings for whatever app you're in (on the Desktop, the only thing here of interest is a link to the "Control Panel", and to the power button to sleep/hibernate/shutdown/restart.
If you move your mouse to the lower left corner and click, you'll go back to the start screen (and then back to where you were if you do it ON the start screen).
If you RIGHT click in the lower left corner, you'll get a useful pop-up menu of links to various areas of windows... control panel, device manager, event viewer, command prompt, networking, etc.
Go to the control panel, and type in "Defaults" into the search box in the upper right. Then click on "set application defaults". Here you can change all the apps to be desktop apps, so you aren't thrown back into metro apps from the desktop just because you double clicked on an image or a video or an MP3 file. Change them to Windows Media Player, or any other app you install.
On the Start Screen, right click a tile to un-pin it if you never intend to use it. Drag and drop the other tiles so that the ones you actually do use are at the front. Hint: If you put the "Desktop" tile in the top-left most position, you can get to desktop by just tapping ENTER. Pressing ENTER on the start screen takes you to whatever app is in that position. If you always work in "Microsoft Word", you could put that tile there, and launch the desktop AND Word in one key tap.
Pin your most used apps to your task bar on the desktop. Launch them, right-click the taskbar tile, and select "Pin to Taskbar". If it's not a most-used app but you still want easy access to it, just launch it, and then select "Pin to Start". you can then drag and drop it to where you want it.
From the Start Screen, right-click the background to bring up the app bar, and select "All Apps". This is a list of all the apps on your system you can scroll through to find what you want. Lots of settings in here too.
And relax, Windows 8.1 is coming soon which will be much easier to use and have more useful features.
If you have any specific questions or frustrations, feel free to ask. I went through the frustrations myself so I can probably help.
[quote]Is Windows 8 one of those things that are good once you get accustomed to it?
Sorta. Yes, it takes getting used to, but it also takes some tweaking and configuring to make it work the way you want to work. Thankfully it's pretty flexible.
And Windows 8.1 is even more so, and the "preview" release is just a couple of weeks away, with the free update being generally available this coming October. It adds a lot of nice enhancements to the UI, and makes it easier to stay in either Metro (for tablets/touch) or Desktop (for desktops/non-touch) as you please.
I was debating between the Surface and the iPad. I was leaning toward the Surface, but tested one at Best Buy and decided I didn't have patience to learn the ins and outs of W8.
However, I do like the general trend toward tablet/laptop hybrids.
I want a Surface. I have an aversion to Apple for some reason (maybe because I've never been 'in-style').
R6, Windows 8.1 (on a Surface) will be totally killer. It really doesn't take that long to learn and get around.
Here's a quick 3 minute video to get you started, up, and running on Windows 8 (concentrating on Metro, but still informative):
R7, if you can wait for the Surface 2, would.
Also, which "Surface" are you more interested in? The iPad-like one, which is "Surface RT" ... it doesn't run a full Windows 8, it runs Windows RT on an ARM processor, which means you can't install windows 7 desktop apps on it, only the Windows 8 "Metro" apps from the Windows App Store. Or the "Surface Pro", which is more expensive, but is a full windows 8 PC?
Honestly, if you're looking at an iPad, I'd recommend the Surface RT.
The Surface Pro is much thicker, much heavier, and runs much hotter, because it has an Intel Core i5 processor stuffed in there, and it's also a full-fledged PC/laptop. The stylus is nice (and required for using the high-res desktop on such a small screen), but it's definitely not for everybody.
The Surface RT is thin and light and has great battery life, and works well ... it has full Office apps (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint... and as of Windows 8.1, it'll also include Outlook), email, browser, Kindle, twitter, facebook, and all sorts of other things like an iPad does. But the app selection is a fraction of the iPad's given it hasn't even been out a year yet.
If you can wait for the Surface RT 2 and Windows 8.1 I would. But if you really must have a Surface before October-ish, then get the RT.
I own both the Surface Pro and the Surface RT. I use the "RT" a lot (every day), and the Pro only rarely. I would advice against getting the "Pro" just because it's too thick, too heavy, it runs too hot, and the battery life is too poor. However, I think the Surface Pro 2 (due out next year) with the new Intel chips could be killer... it'll be significantly thinner, lighter, cooler, with longer battery life.
[quote]How much are Surface Tablets running Windows 8?
The Surface Pro running Windows 8 Professional starts at $999 really. There's a cheaper model, but you don't want that one. So it's pricy, but it is a full laptop... more comparable to a MacBook Air than an iPad.
If you're an artist and like or want an electronic sketch pad for use in doing illustrating, designing, etc., then the Surface Pro is probably something you want. If you're anyone else, I'd suggest holding off until the Surface Pro 2 comes out and addresses some of the issues (battery life, heat, weight).
If you're looking for an iPad-class tablet, the Surface RT runs Windows RT (which is almost exactly like Windows 8 except it can't install and run any 3rd party Windows 7 desktop apps) is about comparable in price to iPads. It lacks Siri and the iPad/Apple AppStore ecosystem, but it has a lot of pluses in other areas (full Office, the ability to run multiple apps at once, six months free Xbox Music Pass, etc).
Windows 7 is the new XP.
R11, thanks for the advice.. I'll definitely think it over. :)
LOL r13. I never used 7 much, but XP was a great OS. I quit Windows for good after Vista. I'd switched everything to Mac by the time 7 came along.
Reading r4's dissertation is why I don't want Windows 8. Jesus Christ, I just want to point and click, not play Where's Waldo every fucking time I need something on my desktop.
I'm using the free 30-day trial from Stardock, which basically emulates Windows 7 on a Windows 8 machine. Costs $4.99 to keep it for good after that.
I am looking at 70, have had a personal computer for 15 years. However, I am dumb dumb and dumb.
I knew I would be needing a new computer and was very concerned about the learning curve. Most any glitch or confusion and I panic.
I think there might be a difference between downloading over an old windows versus a new machine with windows 8.
I bought a new computer a few months ago. Windows 8 was the easiest set up I have ever done. You can use in desk top until you learn the ropes. Fast fast fast.......A joy to use my new computer.
I only upgrade with Windows odd numbers.
I'll wait for W9.
Millenium, Vista, 8,,,meh.
[quote]Reading [R4]'s dissertation is why I don't want Windows 8. Jesus Christ, I just want to point and click, not play Where's Waldo every fucking time I need something on my desktop.
It's certainly not as bad as you make it sound. A little organization and tweaking config options once can set it up to work just like a "better Windows 7".
There are lots of improvements for the desktop, including improvements for multi-monitors, much better file management, task management, etc. It's faster in almost every way, especially start-up and shut-down. And "File History" is a great backup system that is easy to use. And if you have more than one device (like a laptop and a desktop), it makes it easy to keep things in sync between them.
I heard that Tim Cook's major Apple initiative is going to be an all out attempt of a hostile takeover of Microsoft when Steve Ballmer retires, which will be sooner than later.
He wants it for the business penetration that Microsoft Windows enjoys.
Over time Windows will become a legacy product that will eventually fade away.
Steve Jobs, long before he died, made the first long-term strategic move in this direction by switching to Intel chips that can run the Window OS. This was eight years ago.
Stay tuned. You heard it hear first.
Google-Samsung will combine to counter the Apple-Microsoft combination.
Tell me, R21, do you masturbate to that fantasy?
Interesting r21. I dont think the US government will like that though. Unless Google had control over 99% of the internet.
[quote] Honestly, if you're looking at an iPad,
...then buy an iPad.
Well, unless you want a handy keyboard cover, Office built in, syncing with your Windows PCs at home, running multiple apps at once, an available USB port, compatibility with every device and peripheral that Windows is, or any of a dozen other things a Surface can do that an iPad can't...
Windows 8 is a terrible product, but Microsoft is spending millions on commercials to tell everyone it is great....believe what TV tells you......believe what TV tells you......
Well, I'm not looking for an iPad. More looking for a lightweight device that I can do word processing, browsing, photos and watching movies on for travelling because I have space and weight restrictions. I don't like Apple and I like how the Surface seems to have Windows and a keyboard. It has actually got pretty good reviews as well. Only downside is that it's expensive but then again, so is the iPad.
The two things I hate about Win 8 are the fact that it boots to that ridiculous page of tiles without the option of the standard desktop with the START button and the right swipe on the touchpad. I'm constantly having those ridiculous Charms, or whatever the hell they are called, interrupt me.
What I hate is how you can't disable the fucking auto-arrange with folders. In past versions, you used to be able to click on a folder and move it around wherever you wanted, but now you can't do that.
Windows looks so cheap and all the virus bullshit is just ridiculous and the machines are plastic trash that only last 2 years. You'd be better off buying an Apple refurb if money is the issue.
I just re-installed Windows 7. Runs pretty fast on the new machine too.
[quote]Windows 8 is a terrible product
It's actually not a terrible product. It's a flawed, unfinished, "1.0" product. Many of the flaws and rough edges are being fixed in Windows 8.1, coming out this fall.
Once you tweak it a bit, it's faster and more stable than Windows 7. Even on older desktops with no touch.
But it's also very forward thinking (one could argue, a bit too far ahead of the market), a foundation for the future that is somewhat awkward in the present.
[quote]More looking for a lightweight device that I can do word processing, browsing, photos and watching movies on for travelling because I have space and weight restrictions.
You might want to consider something other than the Surface... the Lenovo Yoga, for example. There are many touch-based laptops that are better for doing what you want than the Surface Pro is.
If you don't care about installing Windows apps though... the Surface RT is okay for browsing, photo viewing (and very light editing/retouching). The "touch" keyboard is okay for very light typing, but I wouldn't want to do heavy word processing on it. The "Type" keyboard is much better for typing a lot, but if your hands are large, it's still not as good as a "real" laptop keyboard. Both are impressive pieces of technology though.
Anyway, there are lots of good laptop options, many of which are cheaper than the Surface, that might appeal to you.
R33, thanks for the advice. I have an Asus netbook at the moment but am finding it rather heavy, the bulky plug also, and slow now. I will check out the Lenovo Yoga.
R30 Oh god, the Apple shill again.
While Windows 8 is definitely a disappointment, that's bullshit about computers with Microsoft only lasting 2 years. My last computer (a Gateway) lasted 6 1/2 years before it quit working. It all depends on the brand.
Datalounge hung on me on my first attempt to post a reply to this, so trying again:
[quote]The two things I hate about Win 8 are the fact that it boots to that ridiculous page of tiles without the option of the standard desktop with the START button and the right swipe on the touchpad. I'm constantly having those ridiculous Charms, or whatever the hell they are called, interrupt me.
Thing 1) If there are things you don't care about on the start screen, unpin them. Put the desktop tile in the upper-left corner, and you can get to desktop just by tapping the Enter key. Between this and the faster boot times, you'll be on your desktop faster than Win7. Or better yet, pin your most used Desktop apps to the start screen, and you'll be on the desktop AND in your favorite app with one click, again in less time than Win7. And if you really must have the old "Start Menu", you can buy "Start8" by StarDock, for $5.
Thing 2) The trackpad gestures can be disabled in some drivers. It depends on the make and model of your laptop/trackpard if these functions are exposed via the settings for the trackpad (check in the control panel). If not, there is a registry key you can edit that will disable the gestures that are annoying you.
For most everything that you find frustrating, there's a tweak or solution that is relatively easy.
I believe some computer users can fuck up any computer they buy … and then typically blame the computer or the software.
I highly doubt any computer and/or software company misses them when these customers get mad and buy another brand or OS.
It's really true -- "some people just can't have nice things."
[quote]Windows looks so cheap and all the virus bullshit is just ridiculous and the machines are plastic trash that only last 2 years.
And the virus stuff affects mostly Windows XP (about 80% of all infections), and then less and less as you go through Vista, Win7, and Win8.
Fun fact: Win8 has a larger installed base already than OS X (all versions combined), and actually has fewer security holes and fewer virus attacks than OS X does.
So your opinion is many, many years out of date. Like most criticisms from Mac-Fanboys.
[quote]I believe some computer users can fuck up any computer they buy … and then typically blame the computer or the software.
Manufacturers can also fuck up things with shitty hardware and bad drivers and added, buggy "bloatware"... and customers will just blame Windows and Microsoft, oblivious to the distinction.
This is not a problem Apple has, since it has complete control over both hardware and software, and sells them as a unit. Their OS only needs to run on a handful of tightly controlled hardware platforms. Windows has to run on literally MILLIONS of configurations, many dozens of different CPUs and chipsets and BIOS versions, etc. Sometimes I think it's amazing it works as well as it does across that vast spectrum of different types of PCs.
[quote]And relax, Windows 8.1 is coming soon which will be much easier to use and have more useful features.
[quote]However, I think the Surface Pro 2 (due out next year) with the new Intel chips could be killer...
[quote]Many of the flaws and rough edges are being fixed in Windows 8.1, coming out this fall.
I won't play with Microsoft until Steve Ballmer takes his putrescent corpse elsewhere. I want him to be hired away by Disney and then picked up by Sony only to be poached by HP or eBay.
Hey, OP?? You never mentioned: Does your new Win8 laptop come with a touch-screen or not?
Have any of the tips or information in this thread been helpful to you? Are you still there?
[quote]For most everything that you find frustrating, there's a tweak or solution that is relatively easy.
Or, they could not force me to buy software to replace functionality I prefer, spend time tweaking and retweaking to get it just the way I want, or force me to find workarounds to fix functionality, or in the case of the idiotic charms swipe menu, force me to sacrifice some functionality to eliminate a poorly conceived function.
"Manufacturers can also fuck up things with shitty hardware and bad drivers and added, buggy "bloatware"... and customers will just blame Windows and Microsoft, oblivious to the distinction."
Well, I'd say each company chose their business model and for my money and for what I want a computer to do, Apple's is the winner when it comes to controlling the process and delivering the desired result.
Microsoft's business model requires that it hope its Windows users don't run some software that gums up the whole works .. and blame them.
This didn't work out so well for Microsoft once people had "had it" and left them for Apple in droves.
Microsoft's products may be infinitely better today, as you posit, but that old saying, "Once burned, twice shy" surely comes into play.
You are their stalwart defender and I begrudgingly admire you for it, but I have still not been made aware of any superior offering that would cause me to switch from Apple to Microsoft.
If anything -- IMO -- Win 8 is just more catch up on MSFT's part.
[quote]Or, they could not force me to buy software to replace functionality I prefer, spend time tweaking and retweaking to get it just the way I want, or force me to find workarounds to fix functionality, or in the case of the idiotic charms swipe menu, force me to sacrifice some functionality to eliminate a poorly conceived function.
The potential audience of Windows is one billion people, give or take. EVERYONE has different wants and needs. EVERYONE has to tweak or configure (going all the way back to Windows 3.1) to make it work like they want. In fact, one of the benefits of Windows is that you CAN tweak and configure almost endlessly.
Don't be such a self-absorbed asshat that you think everything should center around YOUR wants, needs and desires, right out of the box. Isn't it enough that you CAN make it work the way you want, with very little time, energy, or expense? Or do you just prefer to bitch up a storm and make it all about you?
[quote]Well, I'd say each company chose their business model and for my money and for what I want a computer to do, Apple's is the winner when it comes to controlling the process and delivering the desired result.
Well, except for the whole legal process that basically FORCED IBM to not write the OS for their PCs back in the 80s, and FORCED Microsoft to not bundle things together. Basically, IBM and Microsoft were legally forbidden to do what Apple does for a living.
[quote]If anything -- IMO -- Win 8 is just more catch up on MSFT's part.
Load up OS X on a tablet, and use it exclusively with touch, and let me know how that works out for you. Wait... you can't.
"Load up OS X on a tablet, and use it exclusively with touch, and let me know how that works out for you. Wait... you can't."
I repeat: " ...and for my money and for what I want a computer to do, Apple is the winner …."
R46, the text you quoted was a reply to this:
[quote]Win 8 is just more catch up on MSFT's part.
Good for you if you've found something that works for you. That's great. No problem with that.
I just have a problem with the notion that something that is dramatically different than OS X, and in many ways leap-frogs OS X, is somehow nothing more than an attempt to "catch up" with OS X.
The fact that OS X is slowly adding more and more iOS features shows that Apple is heading towards the same destination, just from the opposite direction.
The only good thing is the touch screen, but you know where they got that from.
I have had enough of Windows XP and can't take any more of this shit. I think Windows 7 is really good (if a little dated already). Windows 8 seems to be getting lots of updates like the hidden start button being restored.
I need to get an Apple. :( I think I shall get an Apple desktop and a Windows laptop.. I was going to do it the other way round, but I want to be more Apple-ised.
But I cannot postpone getting a smartphone any longer or risk complete social exclusion and also need a digital SLR camera and wouldn't mind an iPad mini.
[quote]but I want to be more Apple-ised.
I honestly can't imagine why.
Fed up of PCs r49 and I always felt like I was missing out. Then again, I do know Apple products via iPod etc and the interface of those is tired. Love the style, not sure on the substance.
[quote]and I always felt like I was missing out
So you're a sucker for marketing.
I had a friend who expressed the same thing as you... ended up being just as frustrated with Apple in many of the same ways (and many different ways... trying to get things to print was always an ordeal for him).
He went back. Got a Dell 27" all in one touch-screen and Windows 8. Loves it, just wishes the "Windows 8 part of Windows 8" were finished. :-)
He does a lot of creative work... video editing, TONS of music editing and creation, transcription, writing, blogging... and he prefers Win8. And Win8 actually fixed several of the annoyances he had with Win7 and before.
I'm just saying. The grass isn't always greener.
Dell can die in a fire. Hate them, they fucked me up good and proper! If I'm sticking with Windows it will be HP or something.
That said, I am still on the 2005 Dell computer. All sorts of problems I've had for years with HQ graphics and monitor flickering problems though.
On the subject of computer tech shit, I take it there's some sort of app extension that you can add to your browser which gives you a cut and paste board like Word? I keep forgetting what stuff I've copied and since it saves your last post and name from thread to thread here it can be awkward. Hate having to rewrite long posts I lost. :(
8 is terrible. If you cant downgrade and have no interest in using Windows exclusive apps, download and use ubuntu instead. Many apps windows have, like firefox and such, are available on ubuntu. Best of all, ubuntu is 100% free and open source.
Dell went through a many-year period of sucking. Badly. They're JUST starting to come out of that in the last year or so. Their new products are actually pretty good and reasonably priced. But yeah, from about 2004 to about 2011, they SUCKED.
[quote]8 is terrible.
Empty assertion is empty (and false).
[quote]download and use ubuntu instead
You should probably stop posting here and go back to combing your neck-beard, Comic-Book Guy.
I've used Dull computers at my work for years. They suck and not in a good way.
[quote]But yeah, from about 2004 to about 2011, they SUCKED.
Even before 2004 they sucked. I had a 2003 Hell laptop, and almost immediately I had problems. Haven't bought a Hell product since.
This lady sums up Hell pretty good:
OP? Are you there?
I just want to echo R41's questions to you:
[quote]Hey, OP?? You never mentioned: Does your new Win8 laptop come with a touch-screen or not?
Have any of the tips or information in this thread been helpful to you? Are you still there?
What are these called? I'd like to investigate them.
R59, they're called 'hybrids' or 'convertables'. There are many varieties out there, from the kinds with hinges so that the keyboard folds back behind the display to give you a vaguely "tablet-like" form factor, to those where the display unplugs from a keyboard dock.
Good to hear, OP. I was buying a new computer when Win8 came out, and I read the horror stories and knew it wasn't for me. I got a great deal on an "open box" Win7 computer instead.
R61, you should reconsider once Win8.1 is officially out.
The "horror stories" are way over-blown to start with. And Win8.1 looks to be very good.
Windows 8 is only minimally different than Windows 7. Anyone who has any problem in grasping it or using it is clearly an incompetent.
While Windows 8.1 contains a lot of enhancements to make it work better on desktops and non-touch laptops, this thread does have a lot of good advice for those struggling now.
Just understand: It's frustrating at first because it seems like everything has changed, and not for the better. But honestly, it really has changed for the better, it just takes time to get used to it, and understand it, and tweak it to your liking.
Patience is not just a virtue, it's rewarded.