Posts Tagged ‘Windows 8’

Windows 8, Day 1

Written by Tom on . Posted in Tom's Blog

First off, the install. Not a bad process, and quick. My first grievance; as well. You NEED a Microsoft account to log into the computer for the first time. I was not interested in using one, I wanted to use the machine locally, but I wasn’t able to. Correction, if I was able to skip this step, the option was not readily available, and I didn’t see it. I know a lot of people will point out that , on a Mac or iOS device, one of the first steps when using it is the screen to create an ”iCloud” account, but this is also joined by a big, noticeable, “Skip” button at the bottom. Not so with Windows 8. That’s ok, so I was forced to log in using an old, long-forgotten MSN account I used to have, years ago. This also meant, that, when using this account, my computer password was now the same as the MSN account. No option still to change it, or create that local account. The option to use the “cloud” for online storage is a nice one, but only as an option. There are still a lot of people who aren’t willing to hand over control of their computer, and information to the cloud, and a lot of times I don’t blame them. Once I got the computer set up, I was presented with Windows 8’s new “Metro” UI (user Interface,)and it does look pretty slick. (Figure 1) metro   However, having said that, this new interface is slightly confusing. The good news is, if you look to the lower left, there is an icon for desktop. I clicked it.(Figure 2)   ss1   The first thing most people will notice is the utter and complete lack of a “Start” menu. This is by design. Microsoft has decided that the last 18 years of “Start” are now over. Hey, it’s Microsoft’s decision to make. When you move the mouse to the lower left, you are presented with a small pop-up that will bring you back to the Metro interface. One of the most frustrating things I discovered, almost immediately, is that, while using apps from the Metro interface, there is apparently no simple way to close apps. Take for example, Weather app. (Figure 3) weather   While these apps, often times, can be visually stunning, you’ll soon discover that, sadly, this is what you get. A few small arrows, here and there, and nothing else. Right clicking to bring up a contextual menu does NOTHING. I found, the only way to get out is to move back to that lower left corner, and go back to the Metro interface, which presents a wholly new problem. Apps still run. Much like a bad parody of “Brokeback Mountain,” you “just can’t quit them.” So, after a quick Google search (Sorry, I changed you as soon as I figured out how to,) I discovered that the old Alt+F4 trick is the way to quit these apps. If you don’t know the ALT+F4 trick, well…… you’re just like most people who use Windows, it turns out. After a quick small, informal survey, 3 out of 5 people I asked with moderate windows experience ( use Windows machines all day at work) had NO IDEA what ALT+F4 does on a windows computer.   So this was just the first day. There are just enough remnants of Windows left that I was able to install my usual software (iCloud, iTunes, Office 2013, etc.-YEESH, I’m not a caveman!) and get functional. I should note, for those who are curious, the new Windows mail app (which has a very interesting interface, albeit greedy in its desire for screen real-estate,) will NOT function at all unless you add a Microsoft account. Then you can proceed with other accounts. No Google-only mail program unless you go third-party. Or buy Outlook.   I’m still alive, at least for now. Tomorrow starts the delve into whether or not I am able to be productive. Here’s to Day two.     TC