Windows 8 has pushed mobile and touch-enabled devices to the forefront, however the vast majority of users will be installing the operating system on traditional PCs and laptops. With this in mind Microsoft have decided to try and integrate a non-touch based and touch based operating system into one.
For any tablet or mobile handheld device Windows 8 worked well but for the everyday office user, using a mouse or trackpad this type of control is not as intuitive as a touchscreen. Everything about the new Windows user interface was designed for touchscreen laptops and tablets.
There were 2 main changes, that for the office user made Windows 8 difficult to use when compared to all previous versions of the Windows operating systems. Firstly the removal of the Start button, a small button that every user relied on to navigate their computer easily, the second being the Metro interface that was presented on start-up.
Microsoft decided in the 8.1 update to re-introduce the Start menu button, however it was not the classic old button that many Windows users had been wishing for. Instead it was a half-hearted gesture at a Start button that really does not have any of the functionality of the previous Start button.
There are a few free options that resolves the above issues; one that we use called Classic Start Menu, a small program that re-introduces the classic Start menu with all its original functionality. It also gives you the option to bypass the Metro screen that you are presented with upon start-up.
There are many plus points to Windows 8 and we would strongly advise anyone to not be ‘afraid’ of using the new Windows 8 operating system.
Don’t believe the hype that is created around new Microsoft operating systems; when people say that Windows 8 is rubbish, it doesn’t work etc. Most of the time these opinions are based on hearsay and not actual personal experiences.
At AME we all use Windows 8 and yes, most users have the Classic Start Menu program installed, but every user is very happy at using this operating system and it is very quick.
Looking forward, Microsoft have release Update 1 for Windows 8.1. The initial word is that Microsoft have worked on reducing the memory and disk requirements for this update to improve compatibility and usability on older and lower specification hardware. They have also tried to integrate the Metro touch interface with the classic desktop non-touch interface.
The update will be primarily focused on making Windows 8.1 more useful to business users.
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