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  1. #1
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    Readers offer tips, views and resistance




    LETTERS

    Readers offer tips, views and resistance


    By Kathleen Atkins

    The recent release of Windows 8 received almost universal attention the Windows Secrets newsletter and its readers included.

    As we expected, views on Microsoft's most controversial OS varied widely among WS readers. Most of the letters would not please Microsoft. Here's a small sampling of opinions.

    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/letters/readers-offer-tips-views-and-resistance/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Windows 8 gets a full thumbs up from me and I'm glad that Windows Secrets took the time to contribute an entire issue to it.
    We should be seeing a lot more Windows 8 articles in the future. Windows 8 is by no means a "Vista" like failure.
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  3. #3
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    Hi Kathleen

    I have been an Audio Visual Consultant for 25 years. When I started out in 1987, I was not young and had to learn PC skills using Windows 3.1. There was no internet or web as we know it now.

    About 18 months ago I dumped an iPhone for a Windows 7.5 unit, and love it. The interactive Metro tiles enable a considerable amount of interactive information to be available on the home page. Having access to MS Exchange as a part of the core OS is great – it does not require an App.

    In the AV field we have been specifying touchscreen programmable control systems for 20 years. A well designed colour touchscreen is still the fastest means of providing interaction with complex systems, with minimal training. The eye/brain nexus works really well with the information on the screen, especially when colours are used to indicate a change of status.

    In my opinion, PCs with interactive touchscreen in addition to a keyboard mouse are going to really add to the computing experience. In the corporate world, large interactive displays (projection or LCD) are now being used for videoconferencing. Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of primary school-children around the World are using interactive displays in the class-room.

    Recently, sitting in an AutoCAD refresher class, I ventured the opinion that Windows 8 with touch interactivity could be a real boon to CAD designers. Needless to say, some people could not get it, but after all, 20 years ago, before AutoCAD “did” Windows, we used tablets and a stylus as the interface. When you think about it, a mouse or trackpad is not the easiest thing to use – to move the cursor 600mm (2 feet) on my 24 inch display, I move the mouse 50mm (2 inches). With a touchscreen, no extrapolation is needed.

    The other area of interest to me is that of the corporate IT world, of which about 95% is Windows based. Yes, they will be slow to take up Win 8, as has always been the case with each OS major upgrade. However, the appeal of a Windows based ecosystem - Server/Desktop PC/Touchscreen PC/Laptop/Ultrabook/Tablet/Phone – must have some merit both in user training (given a reasonably consistent user interface); and in support costs. The BYOD trend in which IT have to support a variety of OS’s and hardware must be really demanding. We shall see.

    I say – bring on Windows 8!

    Peter Blackmore

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    How many times do we need to repeat this?:

    You do not need a touchscreen to enjoy most of the benefits of Windows 8 Standard or Pro.

    The Metro Start Screen is not a necessary part of the Windows 8 user experience.

    There are third-party apps which bring back the Start Button.

    Many of us spend over 90 percent of our time in Windows 8 on the Legacy Desktop, and never worry about the Metro Start Menu, except for adjusting certain system settings.

    So at least one of the letters seems to have come from yet one more person who is rejecting Windows 8 out of hand, without ever trying it hands-on.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    Probably Windows Secrets could actually help with that, Bob. It would be nice to have an article with such a focus!

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    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Yeah, and the sooner the better.
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    Bob - If you are referring to my post, perhaps I should have prefaced it with "for those people who dismiss touch capability". We have been using Win 8 beta on a standard PC for a few months and love it.

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    I read some of the posts (not all) and had already upgraded my laptop to Win 8 ($15.00 plus free extras) and because my pc was not touch, actually enjoyed the way it worked. Downloaded an app with keyboard cheats, and most (if not all) my old keyboard cheats worked like a charm. I do plan to buy a touch enabled ultra book, or a Surface with Win8 Pro when they offer it. All in all a good experience; we'll see if this feeling continues. I did upgrade and not perform full install, because I really did not want to install Office and all my favorite apps again; upgrade assistant carefully walked me through what I could keep, and what wouldn't work. I did lose 2 programs I wanted: MacAfee (free from ATT) and virtual Box.

  9. #9
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    Keyboard shortcuts are not Cheats. They are the most efficient way to do the work of Windows without ever moving our hands from the ideal touch-typing positions. Many highly efficient power users prefer to work with Keyboard Shortcuts and not even bother with the Mouse most of the time.

    If you ask a lot of us in the Lounge, not having MacAfee is not really such a "loss".

    Windows Defender is good enough for Windows 8, since the new OS version has security improvements, including a better firewall and some Process Isolation (sandboxing), compared with Windows 7. Many Standard User Account privileges are also more granular and more restricted. And before BruceR challenges me on this, here's a Tech Republic article in plain English about some of the improvements. This article expands on the new security features.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-11-17 at 04:16.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    I wonder if what I'm doing is passive resistance or am I just a control freak beyond reasonable...I run 8 in virtual machine on XP and Win 7 hosts and then only access some of the apps now and then when I have an interest because I can spread the cost of one license and don't really see anything I prefer on the Win8 desktop over what's on 7 and I don't have any of the unexpected and ultimately aggravating screen changes; that is completely controlled at all times by only running the start screen interface in VM which in turn is only a minimize button away from my desktop.

    Essentially I'm running Windows in exactly the opposite direction Microsoft wants me to.

    I find constantly that I want more two-way control like that, which the modern U.I. does not offer...maybe its time for a name change eh? If I have to run start screen apps in full screen or that terrible one/third screen mode with no "window," is it still Windows?

  11. #11
    Lounge VIP bobprimak's Avatar
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    The only thing you are missing is well, everything. First, most of the under the hood improvements won't show up in a WM under Windows XP. Second, VMs under Windows XP and Windows 7 don't boot and shut down in the Windows 8 ways. Third, more resources are used when running Windows 8 in WM mode than if it were running on its own.

    But under Windows 7 you are at least getting something out of Windows 8. I hope you have separate licenses for each VM instance of Windows 8. Sooner or later the betas and eval. demos will expire, and thereafter, a separate license is required for each VM installation of Windows 8. So you won't save in licensing costs by using VMs.

    This article might amuse you if you are not liking calling the one-and-one-third Window by the Windows name.
    Last edited by bobprimak; 2012-11-19 at 12:03.
    -- Bob Primak --

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    I like the idea that cognitive overhead is taxing my brain. Not so much with Win 8 in and of itself, but in relation to my Win 7 and XP installs. In my mind its like, oh dear, here's my special needs child that needs to be treated differently all the time. So maybe, if I went all-in, but I don't care for the flat-look of the W8 desktop either. I need more life and textures and customized explorer backgrounds (Stardock hasn't come through on that yet).

    Indeed W8 seems to boot and shut down almost exactly like XP and Win7 does to me. That's ok, its never been an issue with me and an SSD makes me bug-eyed enough; and resource-wise, I'm like an oil rig that doesn't know what to do with the natural gas coming up, other than burn it off. I'm sure its needed on the surface and other such devices.

    So I'm not sure but I think most of your concerns have already been considered. Little things like bringing out the charms bar and app switching bar are somewhat more challenging if not in full screen but I enjoy running a "windowed" app and mocking it; not so big now are ya! I'm a bad special needs parent!

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    The good thing about experts is that they will happily disagree with each other: http://news.cnet.com/8301-10805_3-57...hool-thinking/

    I can really agree with both, but in the end I have to agree that incremental change will eventually lead to stagnation and no evolution at all. The Windows 8 Metro UI is a revolution...

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