Saturday, September 01, 2012

A New Computing Experience with Windows 8: Dos and Don'ts, Likes and Dislikes

Some people will surely remember the derogatory remarks I made earlier about Windows 8. At that time I was using the developer preview version, and a lot of things went wrong. However, within a span of 6 months, things have changed, and it looks like, however improbable it seemed before, Windows 8 is going to be my favorite OS of all.

 I have tried double digit number of linux distros and have tried all the desktop interfaces. I am not an obdurate supporter of Linux. I liked to use it for its simplicity. Things just work, and once I set up the distro, I don't have to take much care of it except clicking on the update button bi-weekly or once in a month. For Windows, it used to take more. Registry cleaning, disk clean up, defragmentation, update antivirus etc. I was tired. Moreover, I didn't like that once in a while Windows would have the blue screen errors. I am a computer user, and not a computer caretaker. Though Windows 8 still requires disk clean up and defragmentation, a lot of those tasks have been automated and a user can just bother less to keep his OS fast and less bloated.

 A few days ago, I downloaded the Windows 8 release preview. I installed it on my cheap netbook, and was worried whether I would find the right driver software for all the hardware devices. I went ahead and took the risk. When I looked at my device status through the device manager later, I was surprised. All the drivers were automatically installed. Even the proprietary Radeon driver was installed. That was my first moment of awe with windows 8.

 I don't like anything flashy. I uninstalled all the video, photo, music, messaging, mail, people apps as soon as I entered into the metro interface. I uninstalled everything I didn't need. The metro interface was left only with the shortcuts of the programs that I normally use. It worked wonderfully for me. I don't miss the start button. The metro interface is my start button.

 Very soon I installed k-lite codecs, VLC player, Chrome, Firefox, Google hangout extension, skype, Office 2010 and Adobe Reader. I have been a massive Chrome and Firefox user. But this time almost always I use Internet Explorer 10. I have set up the adblock/ tracking protection and set my default search engine to Google. I really enjoy the inbuilt flash. Another reason I enjoy the Internet Explorer 10 is because of its ability to send clipped text, images to Microsoft One Note. IE9 could do the same, but it was not as fast as the IE10.

 I am not a fanboy. I want to use what's best. So far it has always been Ubuntu. But on my netbook Ubuntu feels sluggish, and deteriorates my experience with each new click. I am enjoying windows 8 and I will keep recommending it to people if they want a smooth experience, good battery life and less stress while working on a computer.