So… my itty bitty Asus Windows laptop with a touch screen is kinda awesome. The Windows 8 “apps” that let me utilize them with the touch of a fingertip are really cool — especially the entertaining ones that let me spin items around three dimensionally.
I worked around the “no start” button by placing shortcuts on my desktop (including a folder of my most often used programs) forcing “My Computer” “Network” and “Control Panel” to show up on my desktop and making sure that I always remembered the Win+D shortcut so I could get back to my desktop easily every time Windows 8 decided to toss me somewhere OTHER than the desktop — and that happens a lot. I even utilized the trick of placing my desktop “app” in the upper left hand corner of the appy start-screen thingee, so I only had to hit return from there to automagically get back to the desktop where I could do real work. (You are all a-flutter with my high-brow tech-speak aren’tcha?)
Yeah, I know those icons on the side are called “charms” and I’m aware that a Windows coined a bunch of other new terms (and entire lingo) for this OS, but I refuse to play along.
I considered downgrading to Windows 7, but was stubborn. If I was going to switch back from several years of Mac goodness to Windows, I wasn’t going to relearn an outdated operating system. That just didn’t make sense. Besides, I had this cool feature-rich touch screen on my baby-laptop, and it seemed a shame to downgrade. So I struggled on… and on… and on.
Daily frustrations added up so quickly (every time I wanted to do something it required me to stop and go look up where it was — not how to do it, mind you, but how to FIND it). By the end of my work day, I was angry. Just generally pissed off at the world. But still I struggled on.
I put in a good solid two months before I caved in and downgraded to Windows 7. It was that or throw my little computer to the side (or off a rooftop) and go back to my well-worn MacBook. I must say, I couldn’t be happier with the decision. So happy, in fact, I’ve dual-booted my iMac to have Mountain Lion on one boot and Windows 7 on the other.
Windows 7 is like “coming home” to Windows! I thought I’d just lost all my Windows mojo because I jumped ship to Mac. I thought Windows 8 proved that. I was wrong. I’m quite as capable of getting around into the deeper, techie side of things on Window 7 — just like I did with Windows 95, Millenium (don’t get me started on that one), Windows 2000 (my favorite until Win 7) and Windows XP. I never did Vista. I refused. Windows Vista is the reason I went to Linux/Mac. Seriously.
But now, I’m completely happy with Windows 7. I like the dual boot on the iMac — which has now become my primary work machine — and plan to dual boot my MacBook too — just as soon as I get around to ordering that uber-cool ssd/traditional hybrid hard drive I recently found on Amazon. Until then, I have one Windows-only machine, one Mac-only machine, and one dual-boot machine.
After giving it a good try — over two months of daily use (and I’m a power user!) — I must say that my recommendation is to avoid Windows 8. The idea was good — making a computer easy like a toaster. And if all you want is to play games, browse the internet and do an occasional text document, it’s fine. If you want to do anything more, it’s infuriating.
Windows 8 purposefully excludes power users by making it so blasted difficult to find anything. Even the short-cuts (and there are a TON of them) make no dang sense. There is nothing intuitive about Windows 8, unless you have a touch screen and can find what you want so you can “tap” it with a finger. And the “gestures” get in the way and pop up screens you DIDN’T want every time to try to accomplish something. (Or at least that’s what happened to me.) For those people with only a mouse option — I can’t imagine how they last a day. I wouldn’t have.