Why I Like Windows 8

Why I Like Windows 8When the Windows 8 Consumer Preview was released, I immediately wiped off Windows 7 and installed the new operating system. I did intend to continue using this beta version until the Release Preview came out; the only reason I went back to Windows 7 was that Adobe products continuously crashed. However, I am certain this will no longer be the case in the final version — perhaps not even in next week’s Release Preview.

Many geeks around the world cry out in unison over how much they dislike the new Metro UI, which Microsoft is implementing across the board in its products. Most prominently so far, the Xbox has seen a massive redesign of its dashboard interface. I’ve never owned one, so I cannot tell from experience how well it was implemented there. When it comes to the subject of Windows 8, a lot of people clearly oppose the drastic changes Microsoft is making to the Windows experience.

Let it be known that I like Windows 8. There are, however, a few small gripes that are already being addressed in the upcoming Release Preview. In view of these imminent improvements, I will not dwell on what is lacking polish, but will instead present the reasons why I will enjoy using Windows 8 once it is released.

Features I Like in Windows 8

  • The Start screen will become the hub for news and mail apps, providing a quick and very visual overview of the happenings in the world beyond my computer. I personally love the visual style of bright colors and simplistic shapes. This is, of course, up to your own subjective opinion.
  • The new Task Manager is probably the most exciting new feature.
  • Native USB 3 support is built right into Windows 8. I have been using USB 3 for over a year now, and from my experience I can say that speed is largely improved over Windows 7.
  • Storage Spaces is an interesting concept, and I intend to use it on my external hard disks. This allows you to create a RAID storage system without any additional hardware. It certainly does not replace a hardware RAID, but for me it is good enough.
  • Better Multi-display support is another great addition to Windows 8. So far I have been using a nice little program called DisplayFusion Pro. Come next week, I’ll no longer need it.
  • Hyper-V allows you to directly mount and create VHDs without having to install additional software. This is very cool and will be useful in many situations, I predict.
  • Native ISO mounting is a feature that many people have asked for in Windows. Now it is finally a part of Windows 8. This a very useful feature, and again allows me to install one program less.
  • New copy dialog provides a much clearer and better overview of the copying progress. It also lets you pause the current copying action, which is very useful if you have more than one thing copying.
  • PC refresh could prove to be a very handy tool when you run across any problems. I tried it already in the Consumer Preview, but I predict it will run even faster and smoother in the final version.
  • File History is a feature that has been in Windows 7, albeit quite hidden under the name Volume Shadow Copy. Now it has a new name and is much easier to find and set up.
  • Windows To Go sounds like a very nice tool, even though it will only be available in Windows 8 Enterprise. Most of us will not have this version, but as proof of concept, I think it is a great technology for businesses.
  • Integrated SkyDrive features will be very useful for me, especially when Office 15 will also center around cloud storage. Right now I love using Google Drive for its tight integration; if Microsoft manages to give me the same integration, I will most definitely switch.

The New Task Manager

Anyone who considers himself a power user uses the Task Manager extensively during the course of a day. The truth of the matter is that it has not changed appearance for long time; all the way from Windows 95 to Windows 7 it has largely looked the same, save for a few small tweaks. Now in the latest release it has undergone a redesign from the ground-up. Everything is more clearly visible and the data is lucidly expressed and much more visual.

Here is what Windows product leader Steven Sinofsky had to say about it: “As we mentioned during the Windows 8 keynote at //build/, every 15 years or so we choose to update Task Manager. Of course that was said in jest as we have incrementally improved the utility in just about every release of Windows. For Windows 8, we took a new look at the tool and thought through some new scenarios and a new way of tuning the tool for ‘both ends of the spectrum’ in terms of end-users and those that need very fine-grained control over what is going on with their PC. Ryan Haveson, the group program manager of our In Control of Your PC team, authored this post. Note: This post is about Task Manager, not about closing Metro style applications.”

Windows 8 is, in many respects, a re-imagining of the Windows experience we have known for many years. I welcome the changes done to the Task Manager, because it has made it now an even more indispensable tool for controlling what is happening on my computer. Microsoft is taking big bets by changing its core product — Office will also get a upgrade to Metro; people generally dislike changes (especially if they have to learn something new). However, I want to argue that most of those changes are great for a number of reasons.

I, for one, like to be able to see a ‘heat map’ of my running applications. This gives me a quick overview of which program is using too many resources so that I can decisively terminate it. This is already a great feature that makes Windows 8 great to me.

Metro UI and the Start Screen

Screenshots really do make it look stale and boring. When you see it in action, it actually does look much more beautiful and fluid. In Microsoft’s own words, it wanted to create an interface that is “fast and fluid.”

Let me be frank with you. It completely eludes me why computer geeks are making such a big fuss about it. It really is not as bad as many claim. After using it for a few weeks, I have begun to really like it. When more and more useful Metro apps are released, it will become more than just a collection of colorful tiles. In all honesty, even today in Windows 7, I barely use the Start menu for anything. I only press the Windows key to open the Start menu so I can search for a program or file. That is all I use it for. I suppose this is the reason why I can actually start seeing a use for the Start screen in Windows 8 since it can actually do so much more.

Like in the user base, one can imagine that, inside the development team at Microsoft, there must have been a fierce conflict of interests. It is quite astonishing that we see such big changes in Windows coming from a humongous corporation that, over the years, has definitely lost its focus. I am not saying that what we see in Windows 8 is the best implementation, but I would not say it is a failure. In other words, it simply works in my eyes. I see no problems with it, other than the fact people will have to acquire new knowledge in order to use it.

It is in Microsoft’s hands now to properly market the changes and new features in Windows 8, of which there are more than a few. The new Task Manager is a prominent improvement, but then there are all these small details throughout the operating system — so I really hope that Microsoft is finding the right people to produce documentation and marketing for Windows 8. This is, perhaps, the crucial element in its future strategy. If this fails, all fails. However, even if Windows 8 is not a commercial success, it will never wound Microsoft too much.

Windows 8 will either be accepted or not. I have good faith that it will, and in time many will appreciate its improvement, as well as the new features it brings. As for me, I like the Metro UI visually, and in terms of ease-of-use, I also believe that there are a few little glitches that Microsoft should iron out. This should very much be the case when the Release Preview comes out; as soon as it is released, I will write an extensive review.

Metro UI or not, it makes no difference to me. I’ll gladly upgrade to Windows 8 just for the improvements it brings. As for me, I will use those aforementioned features much more than the Start screen. I do not doubt that, in time, when more and better apps are released on the Windows Store, I will also start using the Metro UI more and more. As of now, it does nothing to hinder me from enjoying the better performance, stability (Windows 7 is still great), updated look, and taking a step into the future. It is a new beginning for Microsoft, and I will support its daring endeavor.

Article Written by

He's a writer and photographer living in Sweden. Technology, philosophy, and films are some of his other interests. In 2008, Maximilian completed a BA in creative writing in London. So, being a writer has been important to him for a long time -- although he prefers to be called a "storyteller."

  • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

    “Anyone who considers himself a power user uses the Task Manager extensively during the course of a day. ”
    What an absurdly ridiculous statement.  Task Manager is for ending apps that have locked up.  If you need to use that extensively, then you need to fix your computer.

    • Mark LaDoux

      Or you testing the performance gains or losses on your system, or as a developer checking how your application uses CPU cycles or manages memory. Of course there are better applications out there for these uses, but some people use the monitoring features of the task manager to achieve the same effect. 

      • http://www.keelstech.com/ Lee Keels

        “Power users” don’t do that sort of thing. Developers might.

  • http://twitter.com/captainjy Jess

    Lots of great features coming.  USB 3, Xbox Live integration, SkyDrive integration, Hyper-V. Really looking to tablet mode, too!  

  • johnwerneken

    I expect at some point some of the currency of the Metro Tiles will work with the old core pre-win8 x86 aps, which would be a great marriage. I mostly use my desktop folders of shortcuts and neither the start menu (which I restored) nor the Charms nor the tiles, though for things I rarely do, I find the tiles VERY helpful….

  • http://FireYourBossProject.ORG/blog Sandor Benko

     Great writeup. I agree it’s always easier to point out what we don’t like. I’ve been put off so far by what I’ve seen on youtube, now I’m considering giving it a go. My main PC is a Mac & safe anyway. ;)

  • http://jobcrack.blogspot.com/ Ojmax2209

    The world is becoming Tech-ky by the minute anyone left behind must ensure he doesn’t miss out two way by catching up with RAPTURE

  • arnieswap

    Microsoft fanbois seems to be detached from reality. The author is getting excited about stuff that has been a default in Linux for ages now. This blogs proves that Windows users are the most ill-informed users. Proof — they are still using Windows.

    https://plus.google.com/112648813199640203443/posts/JSg1qagHj2w

  • Bud Durland

    I think Windows 8 will brings a lot of cool stuff under the hood.  Unfortunately they didn’t put a very business friendly paint job on the hood.  Desk workers don’t need/won’t use touch screens; they are counter productive in most cases.    SkyDrive?  As the guy responsible for protecting my company’s proprietary data, that’s just one more thing to have to turn off.  Constantly updating social media tiles?  Distractions.  We’ll be holding off for a while.

  • nuanced

    all I want to know is whether you can shut down windows without clicking on start?

    • http://www.facebook.com/Hamza.Farrukh Hamza Farrukh

      just press the power button on ur pc

  • nuanced

    OK, one other question.  Where is media center and how do you use it with tuners and a program guide?

  • Gustav Hartvigsson

    Software RAID?
    welcome to the nineteen eighties!
    USB3?
    Welcome to a few years ago!
    Native ISO mounting?Welcome to the nineteen nineties!

    Shit I did not know that Windows was so far behind the curve.

    • Essbigboss

      I was thinking the same damn thing bro, nice one

    • DeadBrokeNinja

      There’s always a little punk with stupid comments, this time its you.

      USB 3.0 – Came out after Windows 7 was out.

      Software RAID? – The feature is more than just Software Raid, it’s combining disks and treat them as one and whole slate of other configurations.

      ISO mounting – That’s old but Microsoft was under government watch and couldn’t just start adding features that 3rd party software was taking care off.

      See there you go, you are an idiot at best.

  • Myothernamesagoodone


     It completely eludes me why computer geeks are making such a big fuss about it.”

    Then, like all ‘power users’ (ie. geeks without real jobs) clearly you are not using the computer for what it’s intended which is not a whizz bang, gosh, look at the fireworks, faux TV set, but a tool for actual work! I’m sure I’m not alone in operating several ‘real’ applications simultaneously, all maximised, activated and switched between quickly and efficiently using the task bar. The Metro UI is nothing but a glorified version of the Windows 3 Program Manager as far as ‘real’ users are concerned, a pain in the butt which we thought we’d seen the last of getting on for 20 years ago!

    As for the other alleged benefits, are you seriously suggesting that it is worth the no doubt inflated price of a new OS to “install one program less” for certain functions? Do you imagine that I am re-installing my W7 set-up, which has just about every capability which you claim to be new and exciting in W8, every weekend for something better to do? And are you really suggesting that not installing Magic Disc (free at all good outlets), for example, is in any way compensation for the inconvenience and, given the MS record, the likely failures of installing a completely new OS?

    And that’s not even to mention the scandalous decision to make Media Centre a paid-for extra. What can we expect in W9 if they get away with that? Individual prices for non-essential add-ons like a file manager, media player, or text editor?

    It is extremely distressing to see the usually trustworthy Lockergnome offering even the slightest endorsement to this shabby excuse for an update which is nothing but a shameless attempt at profiteering, exploiting the bright shiny eyes and bushy tails of the ‘early adopters’ who would buy a stick if it had the right label, hype, and ‘new’ stickers plastered over it! Rather let Lockergnome be the one to cry out, “The Emperor has no clothes!” and send Microsoft ‘homeward to think again!”

    • Maximilian Majewski

      Of course you are entitled to your opinion, just as I am. Lockergnome is not endorsing anything. I only say that Windows 8 works just as well as Windows 7.

      As for me, I get it for free from MSDN. So I guess I’m biased, since I will not pay for it. I did however buy Vista Ultimate back in the day. 

      I never used Media Center, which is why I did not mention it either. VLC is free and it can play DVDs. You’re complaining about the missing functionality, while I applaud an added feature so I don’t have to resort to third-party programs. 

      I guess it all comes down to taste, no matter what it is you do with your computer.

      • Myothernamesagoodone

        I’m afraid that the second you admit to getting it for nothing you disqualify yourself as a reviewer capable of balance. The whole point is that we will have to pay for this (no doubt W7 support will be cut off at some point) and for our pennies will get less rather than more than we already have with W7 (supplemented with little effort and at no cost with some third-party utilities). Excellent though VLC is, it is not a replacement for Media Centre only for the Media Player. That you don’t know this further throws into question your qualifications to comment fairly. You asked what all the fuss is about. This is it!

        • Maximilian Majewski

          This article is not a review. That comes next week.
          These are my opinions, nothing more. When I review the Release Preview I will take into consideration the issues you raised.

    • DeadBrokeNinja

      U Mad Bro?

  • Sam

    Too bloated. Not to mention I still can’t remove Internet Explorer,Disk Defragmenter,Windows Media Player,etc which takes quite some space in my small hard drive.

    • JadedGoth

      Seriously? “I still can’t remove Internet Explorer.” Haters are gonna hate, whiners will, too. You can easily remove IE from Control Panel > Programs > Uninstall > Turn Windows Features On or Off > Uncheck IE.

  • Pocosdad

     You were either paid by MS to write this or you are just totally into yourself. I just wasted my time reading your biased BS …I’ll know better next time I see your name as the author.

    • DeadBrokeNinja

      You are retarted!!

      How is this a Bias opinion? was he bashing another OS? The title is “Why I Like Windows 8″ which means it shouldn’t include dislikes idiot!!!

  • Signmeup2211

    Quote “.. who made this? Microsoft!. Do they want me to buy a mac……”

  • http://twitter.com/br3akth3lim1t Nathan Barnett

     I’ve already bought one. I’m installing Linux on my other computers.

  • http://twitter.com/br3akth3lim1t Nathan Barnett

     I’ve bought me a MacBook Pro and I’ve been installing Linux on all my PCs. I absolutely hate microsoft products.

  • ladzoppelin

    I love the idiots who still think its 2001..Windows 8 runs better then Windows 7 because of the  kernel optimizations which says alot considering how good  Windows 7 runs. Hyper-V is also going to be nice along with the Skydrive integration that was upgraded to 25 gigs for free if you were already a Skydrive user.

  • Asdgds

    I see Windows 8 as glorified Windows 7. It is only useful for tablets. I’m not even bothering with it. I’m still satisfied and prefer Windows 7 over any other OS.

    Even OSX is a crappy OS in my opinion. The only OS that has come close to a similarly productive and enjoyable experience was Kubuntu,

  • Pixilicious

    After using 8 for 15 minutes, I deleted every last scrap of that sucker and returned to the good old and completely unbroken 7. Hopefully, 8 will be just another ME or Vista and they’ll fix it by 9. If not, when Windows 7 stops working, I’ll switch to a Mac because I’m gettin’ mighty sick of those people ordering me to use some half-witted ui, be it ribbons in Office or Metro in the OS. What they had worked just fine and what they replaced it with doesn’t. Period.

    O, and btw, “the new task manager is probably the most exciting new feature”?? Seriously??.  That sentence kinda says it all, doesn’t it?

  • gerryrivers86

    its funny how people always say they are going to go over to the competitor like the companies care, there are going to be millions of users switching over to Windows 8 once its released, i’m sure Microsoft knows this product is a risky one but like what one tech blogger stated, if they didn’t make this drastic OS change then what would they have done, make another Windows 7 OS, thats not moving toward the future, its playing it safe and that won’t fit well with how people are viewing tech these days

  • kelv1969

    I bought a new desktop pc with windows 8 preinstalled. I liked the new look of the OS but soon became frustrated using the machine. Everything was more awkward to achieve. I couldn’t even find out how to shut down the pc. My old software was incompatible but I didn’t want to upgrade to newer versions because my old stuff worked perfectly well before windows 8 came along. I decided to partition my drive and install windows 7 as dual boot. I installed and ran Passmark Performance test on both operating systems just out of interest. I was shocked to discover the windows 8 system ran 40% slower than my windows 7 one. I contacted the manufacturers of the desktop and they blamed the windows 8 drivers. They said that performance might improve once the drivers were updated. They couldn’t say when the drivers would be updated however or whether machine performance would definitely improve. I asked them if they’d ran performance checks on their systems to compare win 7 with win 8. They said they didn’t do performance checks on their hardware. That seemed an odd thing to declare. Surely a computer manufacturer tests their hardware before selling it. The only reason they packaged their new machines off with the new OS was to sell more units. They didn’t care that their machines were worse with Windows 8 than Windows 7, so long as sales were high. So I’m glad I installed Windows 7. I will use that and forget Windows 8 ever existed.