Windows 8; Day 2
After getting things going, I installed all the third party software I needed, including: Office 2013, iCloud, and iTunes. Sadly, I soon discovered that the computer, somehow, took all applications on the computer, and added icons to them to the “Metro” interface. This included things like “Disk Management,” “Disk Defragmenter,” and several other not-very-used applications. This made the whole thing a mess. I quickly discovered that right clicking on the icon allowed me to remove them from the Metro interface, and clicking on a second added to that, and I could remove several at a time. This was useful, but I also discovered the first of many odd glitches in the operating system. I would select 4 or so applications, and I would right click on the 5th or so, and it would launch that application and deselect all the rest.(figure 1) This was annoying, to say the least. That aside, let’s discuss some things l did like about the operating system. First off, as I said before, the interface is beautiful. It really is. I give Microsoft credit for being brave enough to make a bold move like this. They are really attempting to make strides in the right direction, and it shows. The Metro Apps are very attractive. The new Microsoft Office 2013 Suite is very Stable, and nice as well. Some of the changes to these apps are long overdue, and they make a great difference. Internet Explorer 10 is a nice upgrade, however, it leaves me with a “not ready for prime time” feeling. Day one, I ran into an issue with it, and found myself very stuck, and confused… Microsoft really wants you to appreciate the visual changes that went into this operating system, and for the most part, I do. However, as I pointed out on my Facebook page the other day, there are two different versions of IE on this machine, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. The first version is discovered when you click the IE logo in the Metro UI. (figure 2)
I LIKE this version of IE. It’s nice, its fast, and it looks good. The menu bar on the bottom is nice, once you get used to it, but once again, as is the way with all Metro apps, there is no easy to navigate, or close other than ALT+f4.
Also, when you click on a link to open a page that would normally open in a new window, there is NO readily visible way to get back to the previous window, a stripe appears across the top of the page, when you click a link, exposing both pages, but it quickly disappears, and I haven’t really discovered how to bring it back. Even my old faithful ALT+F4 has let me down here, since it closes ALL windows from that app, not just the one.If IE is launched from Desktop mode, it looks much more standard. (Figure 3) This is annoying. Why two versions? Granted, there are much bigger things to worry about, but boy, this rates up there. If this were just a visual thing, I could let it slide, but no. Each of these have completely separate pages, history, and bookmarks. That means if you are in desktop mode, open a page, then switch to Metro mode, and open IE there, you are not going to be using the same version. Even more frustrating, you never know where you’ll be put while opening a link from another app. Another huge annoyance, the alert for a site opening a potentially unwanted popup greys out the whole screen, and displays a visually nice white stripe across the whole screen, telling you that a web page wanted to open a popup, but it was blocked, with an OK button. Down at the bottom of the screen, there are the usual IE buttons, “allow this popup, or always allow from this site.” They are useless, since the whole screen is monopolized by the white bar. When you click ok on the white bar, they both disappear. (figure 4) Most importantly, the software I use to book service calls, and schedule times is a Microsoft web-based app. It is NOT compatible with this version of IE, forcing me to connect remotely to a windows Terminal server in order to perform the simplest of tasks, something I do on my Mac every day anyway. It seems to me that if you are a big company like Microsoft, you would take whatever steps necessary to assure that your software plays well together. This is not the case. Day two is over, I have struggled through this, and found some cool features, and an awful lot of things that just feel like unfinished software. I will have a special blog where I address Office Suite 2013, and discuss that in depth. I will also be assessing Windows 8, in a different capacity, over the weekend, where I will mainly be using the computer for personal stuff. Days 3 and 4 will be compressed into one blog. See you then! TC
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