Funny the thing people notice most.  In Windows XP we got the START button.  How great, we knew where to start.  In Windows 7 it was replaced by the Windows Button – it didn’t say START anymore, but we all knew what it really was.

Now we have no button … or do we ?

I really didn’t want to take the work of anybody else, I mean, with the election and all, I’ve had my fill of what other people were telling me was true.  They had an agenda.  I do not.

Let’s be real clear about this.  I do not care what tool you use to compute.  I use a lot of different tools, because I find that I must be facile in a variety of environments.  That being said, please resist telling me “just use a mac” … I already do.

Since I have a natural distrust of new things from ANY manufacturer, I wanted to try it myself.  I took an extra hard drive (because I have that sort of thing lying about), and plugged it into my laptop.  I loaded Windows 8 and here is what I found :

10:30am : begin load
10:33am : verify time, date, and keycode
10:37am : begin installation
10:48am : booting into O/S
10:49am : reboot
10:53am : 4 attempts at the CAPTCHA query before succeeding
10:54am : preparing PC (Pretty screen colors)
10:55am : installing APPS
10:56am : LET’S START
10:59am : setup mail account from my exchange server
11:00am : testing

SO, in 30 minutes, I was able to format a drive, install Windows, and start using it. Kudos to Microsoft for making that part faster.  But getting to someplace new quickly isn’t always what it is cracked up to be.

I can’t help but mention this, though.  I understand CAPTCHA challenge boxes (you know, type these two words that look like grafitti painted by a dog hyped up on coffee), but why do we need them while installing an operating system ??  Are we really that concerned that a computer is going to automate this process and leave us mortals out of the mix ?? (which might be cool, by the way).  Note to Microsoft … STOP IT<>

Lets talk about the interface.  Do you like Windows Phone ?  You will love Windows 8.  Do you like the idea of an APP store and iCloud ?  You will love the Microsoft APP store and SkyDrive.

Do you like change ?  That would be helpful.

Windows 8 has icon tiles instead of menu items.  Some of them, like the weather are live icon tiles and will show you current conditions.  This is not unlike the same feature on your iPhone.  Conicidence ?  nahhh.

You may not like some of the icon tiles – no problem, right click it and a toolbar will appear at the bottom of the screen where you can unpin it (or uninstall it).

If you move your mouse to the RIGHT side of the screen you will get another menu  that will appear that will let you modify your screen settings and some of the computer.  It seems like there is something new in each of the sides of the screen.  The more compelling issue, however is if you RIGHT click where the START button USED to be.  THEN you will get a menu of things that you will find helpful. If nothing else in this article will help you, THIS WILL.

Ok, that was fun.  Time to shut down. Counter-intuitive as it used to be, we are used to clicking the START button when it is time to stop.  Microsoft has fixed that problem by removing it.  However it might be nice to end this session.  Don’t hit the power button yet .. there is a right way to do this.

  1. Mouse over to the lower right corner of the screen. (You can also move your mouse cursor to the upper left corner; same result. Or, you can press Windows-C on your keyboard.)
  2. In the slide-out menu (known as the Charms Bar – ostensibly because it looks like charms from a charm bracelet) that appears, click Settings.
  3. Click the Power button, and then click your desired action: Sleep, Shut down, or Update and restart.

On our next time together, we will install some apps …

Micro Systems Management’s opinion on Windows 8:

  • It appears to be faster than Windows 7 and also requires less resources to run.
  • Windows 8 boots faster than Windows 7 and hosts a variety of new tools.
  • This is brand new, version of Windows that was designed for people using Microsoft phones & tablets (touch screen enabled), and does not look or function at all like previous Windows versions.

In summary, we suggest that you wait a couple of months before purchasing.  But if you can’t wait and want to sit down with one of our staff and get a personalized tour, call and we will setup an appointment!


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