Monthly Archives: September 2011
I got adventurous over the weekend and installed the developer preview of Windows 8 on my desktop. Not in a virtual machine, mind you. I actually backed up, wiped the hard drive and jumped in with both feet. I’m still getting some of my lesser used programs installed, but things are working just fine.
Despite repeated claims by Microsoft and journalists covering Windows 8 that the underpinnings are quite different from Windows 7, the interaction is similar. Sure, the new Metro interface is completely different from anything I’ve ever seen on a desktop, but it’s pretty much how I used the Start menu before. I don’t find it nearly as obnoxious as I thought I would, and I actually find myself moving back and forth between the Metro screen and my desktop. I’m a hard man to convince, and I don’t do well with change, but so far I am finding this a step up.
What else is different? Not much, yet. Last night I was transferring some files from one drive to another and noticed the file transfer dialogue box was different – rather than the annoyingly inaccurate box we used to have, we now have a box that shows us, in graph form, how the download speed has changed over the time of the download. Sure, 99% of people won’t care about this, but a true geek like me appreciates all data he can get. Oh, and setting up my network printer took 17 times longer than it should have due to the new Add Printer setup.
That’s not to say that there aren’t more differences. I just haven’t run into them. I’ve found the system to be moderately stable, which is to be expected. I might have some driver issues I need to explore, which is on the docket for later this week. The system absolutely will not wake up from sleep mode without crashing. Probably a bad default video driver.
Care for a shorter opinion? Windows 8 is good so far. I expect it to be more refined when it is released next year. If you have Windows 7 you won’t need to upgrade. If you have a touchscreen Windows 7 computer, like the ones HP has sold, you will want to. If you have XP now, you will hate it for a few months, but then you’ll be fine.
I find it comical that so many folks that I know are up in arms about Windows 8. Some have called it the death of Microsoft while others have said it’s the last shot they have at becoming relevant. I think these people have forgotten the role of business.
Microsoft’s job is not to be cutting edge. It’s not to be the pioneer that it once was. Microsoft’s job is to make gobs of money by producing products that the consumer and business mainstream will utilize in their day to day lives. In other words, Microsoft’s job is to make stuff as boring as refrigerators and ceiling tiles. So long as they don’t fall too far behind (and whatever the tech punditry may claim, they haven’t, and their fiscal numbers show this) they are doing what they should be.
Windows 8 will not be a huge leap forward, because they can’t take huge leaps forward. Their customer base won’t allow it. Windows 8 will probably wind up being good… and the new touch interface option will excite a percentage of people. The world isn’t ready to go touch on the desktop, though, and Microsoft knows that. The tech industry is big, yes, but all players have their roles. Microsoft is playing their role very well, but it’s boring to report on things that way, which leads to the crap we see coming from some of the tech sites.
Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble, but the product is far from done, so let’s all just relax and see what happens.
Most know about theÂ devastationÂ that Hurricane Irene caused a couple weeks ago. My last post was about the hurricane… but now I have had some time to process. I still don’t want to write about it, truthfully. As real as it is to my friends and neighbors, I’ve been painfully aware of the scope as I drive around. I drive a lot… and I’ve found myself avoiding certain roads as I know they’ll bring me past areas that cause tears. I’ve been donating to charities left and right, and VCI has been donating service and selling discounted hardware to those affected. It doesn’t feel like enough, but honestly, nothing would. Were I a millionaire I’d feel guilty that I couldn’t single-handedly buy everyone a home.