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MyTrevo

 
Windows 8 Just Takes Some Getting Used To
The Windows 8 desktop, tablet and phone versions are here. If you've bought a Windows desktop or laptop recently it probably came with Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 smartphones like the Nokia Lumia 920 are also beginning to appear. Although Windows 8 has been available to try for some time now, it's still getting a mixed reception. The more we use Windows 8 the more we like it however, we admit it can be a bit frustrating at first. Here are some things we like about Windows 8 along with some things we find a bit frustrating.
Once You Get Used to It…

Recently the well-known usability expert after observing users interact with Microsoft's latest operating system issued a scathing critique on it citing "hidden features" and problems with "dual environments" along with other usability problems. While we share some of Nielsen's frustrations, we also feel that a brand new operating system attempting to bridge the gap between desktops and tablets is going to take some "getting used to." Check out the short video above to see how easy it can be to move around Windows 8.

Why Convertibles Mighty Be the SolutionAlthough the instructional video above describes how you can get around Windows 8 using keyboard shortcuts, the more we use Windows 8 the more we realize that it may be better suited for a touchscreen than a pointing device like a mouse. For example, although Windows 8 is supposed to "suspend" apps when you're not using them, to close an application you won't find the standard "x" box, instead you swipe the app down and off the screen which is more "intuitive" on a touchscreen. The new batch of laptops called convertibles like Lenovo's IdeaPad Yoga that has a touchscreen and a keyboard may offer the best operating environment for Windows 8 and go along to way to appease some critics.
Tiles Are Not Windows But They're CoolAs Nielsen points out, this version of Windows "doesn't support multiple windows." This is true and we agree with the criticism that poorly designed active tiles can have lots more art than information however, we are still fans of live tiles as a way of displaying a lot of current information on one screen. Once you get familiar with tiles you realize you can customize them to your liking for example, turning "live tiles" on and off. More so than previous versions, Windows 8 is also a much more visual from the big image on the lock screen to the active tiles. This may upset some users but again, once you get used to it you might find you like it.

Cool feature: Ability to select up to seven apps that can send updates to the lock screen.

A "Classic Mode" To User During the TransitionWe've read lots of complaints about the confusion caused by having a classic "desktop" environment along with the new Metro UI environment. We don't find it all that frustrating in fact we think it's pretty cool that you can run the Metro UI on one monitor at the same time a classic desktop is running on another monitor. On the other hand, we appreciate the new "full screen" apps that look great on laptops and tablets but it's taking us some time to get used to how applications differ, how to "buy" them in the Windows Store and how to control them.

Cool feature: Ability to run apps side-by-side on the same screen.

Finding the Button Can Be ChallengingWindows 8 is very much about what slides out from the sides and corners of the display. Once you get the hang of it, getting around the Windows 8 environment begins to make sense but it requires a learning curve and the need to remember what corner or side to tap. Most notable have been the complaints about how difficult it can be to find simple functions like shutdown which require you to first slide the list of charms out from the right side of the screen and then drill down through settings to the shutdown icon. The more we get familiar with the location and functions of the icons, the more comfortable we have become using Windows 8.

Cool feature: Shortcuts using the Windows key and other combinations make it faster to get around

The New Task Manager is Great and IE 10 is CoolDespite all the grumbling about UI issues, you shouldn't lose sight of some real improvements in Windows 8. For example the new Task Manager offers lots more information about what's running and what's using resources.

Cool feature: You can now use the Task Manager for things you used to do in msconfig.

The new version of Internet Explorer that comes with Windows 8 now includes the "Ribbon" interface that many of us have finally figured out how to use in Microsoft Office. IE 10 is even easier to use on a touchscreen as this video shows.

Should You Wait for Windows Blue (Version 9)?Some people point to a pattern with Microsoft and how alternating operating systems might been seen as winners and losers i.e. Windows Vista (loser) > Windows 7 (winner). We hear rumors of a new version of Windows expected in mid-2013. It sounds like Microsoft wants to get into an annual release schedule for Windows. We expect to see some UI refinements in Windows 9 but we don't expect a brand new version. Our advice; if you're in the Windows camp, you might as well jump on the band wagon and start getting used to Windows 8. Besides it only costs $39 for an upgrade.

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Thanks.

Thanks.

Hello there! Good stuff,

Hello there! Good stuff, please do keep us posted when you publish again something like that!
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When I purchased my first

When I purchased my first iPhone, 4-years ago, when I gave it to my friends to look at and try the universal response was: "Is this evey easy to use."

When I installed Windows 8 on my desktop PC, my first reaction, after thinking "is this UI ugly", was: "How to I get from this ugly interface to where I look at the various hard-drives installed on my PC?"

After a painful period of trial and error, I finally got to where I wanted to go. But Windows seems to be make things more difficult. I'll support anything, be it a Microsoft product, Apple product, or another manufacturer/design, as long as it makes my life easier. Windows 8 does NOT fall into that category, therefore it not worth my time or effort to adapt to.

It's DOA!

who is the target audience

From the standpoint of somebody who has been using PCs for almost thirty years, I have to agree with most of the negativity. I can't imagine trying to get my wife to accept a Windows 8 laptop. Its a big challenge for MSFT to try to move their user base to this and at the same time provide a consistent experience across phone, Xbox and PC. Unfortunately, the younger generation does not see Microsoft as a force the way we did, they are just another company, with much less cachet than Apple or Google. So Metro will be lost on them, Android has a head start and Win 8 phone is getting almost zero traction. So the bottom line is that this may very well take MSFT down.

Mint is my solution

After many Microsoft years, I finally said NO to all this drama and expense. Linux combines the ease of a Mac with the cheaper hardware of a PC, and "free, as in free speech". I tried Ubuntu, but it's too like Windows 8 for me... tried a couple more, some very slick (Bodhi) or simple and fast on old PC (Puppy), but Mint seems easiest (for me). With the Cinnamon desktop it's like XP but an easier to use menu and no virus worries. I can install it in less than 15 minutes.
http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/

Windows 8 Mail

Win8 does not support POP3 email accounts so my Comcast.net email is not allowed only iMAP or EAU is supported

I got Windows 8 on my new

I got Windows 8 on my new Laptop, at first I didn't know what to do with it,
but then I found Start8 which brings back the Start Button and since then 8 pretty much works just like 7, so it's ok now.

http://download.cnet.com/Start8/3000-2072_4-75732532.html

Windows 8

To expect the many millions of people worldwide to learn another operating system "because Microsoft says so" smacks of conceit and a "get stuffed" sentiment from Microsoft management. "Do what I say" seems to be the order of the day for Microsoft. Well the world is not the same as it was 10 years ago and Microsoft has totally lost the plot. To expect business users to use this new operating system suggests that Microsoft management really do not understand anything. Let's all abandon the mouse and go back to MSDOS.
Another analogy springs to mind and that is the tale by Hans Christian Andersen of "The Emperor's New Clothes"
Bring back Bill Gates!!

it's worse than you thought

Sorry mate, this piece of dreck is far worse not better than you thought.What business has the time to spend weeks teaching employees how to use vista recherche. It's not going to happen.Don't give this turkey for xmas, and maybe microsoft will get rid of its current martinet regime and focus on a new clean and easy to use OS.

Good sense of humor

I got a chuckle out of your comment. I have to admit the sentiment in these coments is overwhelming negative toward Windows 8. Maybe I should reconsider my optimism or at least say there has to be a pony in there somewhere.

Window 8

I tried it and it's not worth a FREE upgrade never mind a $39.00 one. I'm using computers with multiple monitors NOT a smartphone. If it doesn't straighten up and fly right by Windows 9 I'll probably switch to Apple.

Windows 8

The Ice Age just took some getting used to.
So did the Great Depression.
As usual, Microsoft just keeps devolving.
I suggest a new OS, Classic XP.
They've been going downhill since XP,
so how about going back to the best OS
they ever designed, and just rename it?

XP

Windows 7 is one of the most frustrating OS's haven't tried 8
....go back to XP, and evolve that into a mouse/touch/laptop hybrid.

XP

Windows 7 is one of the most frustrating OS's haven't tried 8
....go back to XP, and evolve that into a mouse/touch/laptop hybrid.

If it takes getting used to,

If it takes getting used to, you might also consider getting used to the interfaces of other OSes which have less security and performance issues like MacOS or Linux...

I have Windows 8 running on

I have Windows 8 running on two systems. The first system is my wife's laptop, a HP Pavillion with 4 gigs of ram, where I installed the 64 bit version on a new SSD drive. The original OS was Vista. The system flies, it takes 30 seconds to log in. With Vista it would take about 5 minutes for the system to boot!. My wife is a novice and it took her some time to get used to the interface and now that she has she really likes it.

The second system is an old IBM ThinkCentre with a P4 and 2.5 gigs of ram. I installed the 32 bit version of Windows 8 onto a new SSD drive. I can be logged in and in my email in 30 seconds. It's so much faster!

So far neither my wife or I have felt limited in what we do on our systems and we really like Windows 8. You just need to spend a little time learning the new interface.

A little Frustrating ?

Talk about down playing a major headache windows 8 is to use. I do not get why it is called windows anymore, as it does not allow for multiple windows to be open. It really should be called window 8. I hope you were paid well by Micro Soft Retrevo for being a lot miss leading about Win8.

Windows 8

When you have to offer excuses for the way something works, then it is probably not a viable product. From start to finish, W8 is nowhere close to W7. I think that people do not want to think about working with Windows 8 indefinitely. XP to Vista to W7 was almost seamless, now with Windows 8, we will have to work differently that we do with W7, and lot of W7 users don't want to take that path. I think that people might want to wait until W9 to see if Microsoft comes to their senses. W8 could do more to drive people from the Windows Operating system than almost anything else that they could do. The custom computer maker Puget Computers claims that customers are selection W7 over W8 80% of the time when they have that option. Between W7 and Vista, it was likely 95% W7 over Vista. We have enough aggravation in our lives without having to learn how to use a computer all over again.

Windows 8

Why?

I see no benefits for myself or my work. Just little nuisances that cumulatively amount to another big "forget it".

So, the upgrade is relatively inexpensive, but paying for something that one neither needs nor want is no bargain.

MS can keep "8", and I don't see why I "should get used" to features which are pretty useless on a desk top or laptop and often time wasters.

I want to work with my computers, not be a part of an experiment in GUIs.

I go back to the Mini Computers, the S-100 bus and CP/M. We saw them come and go, with mostly, a sense of continuity. "8" is a total departure from the \familiar without a compensatory increase in usability.

Keep it away from me!

Incredibly well put!

An OS is an intermediary between hardware and software. Its business is to facilitate, then get out of the way. MS needs to have a good hard look at Linux Mint 13 - it is one such OS. And usable? infinitely so.

The Windows 8 Interface is not bad, BUT.....

I installed Windows 8 on day 1 that is was available. I used it as much as I could that day and really did not have too much trouble adjusting to it. Yes, as a techie, there are somethings they took out of it or changed, that were in Windows 7, and some inconsistencies with the new interface that kind of disappoints me, but were not show stoppers as far as the UI goes. I would not recommend this upgrade to anyone that does not need a specific feature of Windows 8, even if they have touch screen PC. There is not enough bang in Windows 8 to warrant an upgrade for the average user who uses their PC for word processing or for accessing the internet.

I was hoping to capitalize on the upgrade from Windows 7 Home to Windows 8 Pro that would give me 'remote control' abilities,

BUT.... yes, here comes the big BUT....

I can not keep my Wifi connected when running on my laptops battery. I tried to disable all the power saving features, downloaded all the latest drivers, but still have not been able to resolve the problem.

Here is where it gets bad. My laptop is only a few years old...it has an Intel i5, so you can see it is medium performance laptop. The model I have is not supported by Toshiba under Window 8, so the drivers, etc I have available are really for Windows 7. However, I have noticed some Windows 8 users experiencing this problem with other brand laptops and Wifi controllers, including new laptops coming out with Windows 8 pre-installed, so I hardly think it is a Toshiba specific problem. Even on Microsoft's forums you can find queries about this problem without solutions. I find it extremely difficult to believe that Microsoft did not come across this problem during their testing.

So, for now I think I am at the mercy of MS to fix the problem. In the mean time, as a go-to person for PC advice and troubleshooting, I am telling people to wait to see what happens with this critical issue until it is addressed, before even thinking about purchasing a new laptop, Windows 8 pre-installed for Christmas.

I pretty confident that this problem will be addressed, but I until it needs to be addressed soon or there will be many disappointed Windows 8 PC owners.

Windows 8 IS not that bad, but....

I loaded Windows 8 on day 1 that is was available. I used it as much as I could that day and really did not have too much trouble adjusting to it. Yes, as a techie, there are somethings they took out of it, that were in Windows 7 and some inconsistencies with the new interface, that kind of disappoints me, but were not show stoppers.

I was hoping to capitalize on the upgrade from Windows 7 Home to Windows 8 Pro that would give me 'remote control' abilities,

BUT.... yes, here comes the big BUT....

I can not keep my Wifi connected when running on my laptops battery. I tried to disable all the power saving features, downloaded all the latest drivers, but still have not been able to resolve the problem.

Here is where it gets bad. My laptop is only a few years old...it has an Intel i5, so you can see it is medium performance laptop. The model I have is not supported by Toshiba under Window 8, so the drivers, etc I have available are really for Windows 7. However, I have noticed some Windows 8 users experiencing this problem with other brand laptops and Wifi controllers, including new laptops coming out with Windows 8 pre-installed, so I hardly think it is a Toshiba specific problem. Even on Microsoft's forums you can find queries about this problem without solutions.

So I think I am at the mercy of MS to fix the problem. In the mean time, as a go-to person for PC advice and troubleshooting, I am telling people to wait to see what happens with this critical issue until it is addressed, before even purchasing a new laptop, Windows 8 pre-installed for Christmas.

"Solutions" which are anything but.

Additional hardware, and expensive hardware at that is not, and should not be touted as a possible solution.

There was all this fuss and emphasis on how it should run on existing windows 7 systems potentially even with similar or better performance, so why then gimp it by forcing in a ui experience which is simply not designed for the typical hardware a windows 7 user would have.

Nobody else has gone for this consistent UI route across products with considerably different input requirements, so there was no reason for Microsoft to do so.
iPads and iMacs do not have the same interface, for a good reason.

As a start menu replacement, as a launcher then the start screen has potential, but the schizophrenic behaviour with switching between desktop and the modern UI and the considerably different approaches required for common tasks is simply adding complication for the sake of eye-candy.

By far most of the real improvements to the user experience are on the "legacy" desktop, a place where I would expect to spend most of my time, and would not be surprised to see most other users either.

Good points but...

We're in a period of transition as the old Windows GUI evolves into a gesture-based UI. In the latest version of Mac OS, Apple has begun to incorporate elements from iOS and look at the new version of iTunes, I had a hard time finding my way around at first. You're not the only one who is criticizing Microsoft for rearranging the navigation elements. I share your frustration but still say, once you get used to it, things start to make sense.

Not planning on "getting used to it"

I want new things to be able to get used to me. I have a computer and a telephone. It's ok with me if either can do what the other does, but they each need to be optimized do what they're supposed to do best. I would no more try to maneuver through a phone UI on my desktop than I would a desktop UI on my phone. Things that try to be the best of both worlds usually end up being the best of neither.

Appification

I agree with you that device UIs should be relevant for the function of the device but I still say the lines are blurring and apps are the way things are going. It's all about computing "everywhere" and as I move from one environment to another it's easier if everything is in sync (the cloud) and works similarly. I don't know if Win8 is going to be a hit or a miss but it's new and different. 

Win8 will probably do just

Win8 will probably do just fine with new users who might be getting their first computer and their first phone under the Xmas tree at the same time. Power uses who see their computers are tools rather than toys will just download one of the increasing number of add-ins being offered that bypass the "Modern UI," go straight to whatever UI desktop they prefer and maybe even put back the "Start" button. Where 8 is going to live or die will be with business users, once they get a look at it in action and assess what their support workloads are going to be dealing with people who can't figure out how to do things they used to know how to do but don't anymore in environments where they may not be allowed to install customizations.

You got that right

Yes, we sometimes forget how much MS dominates corporate America (95% Windows) many of whose computers are still running XP and you're right Win8 is a help desk nightmare but I hear that BYOD is changing the way IT departments work and we may see many Win8 devices come in through the employee entrance. 

I have Windows XP. I tried

I have Windows XP. I tried to download Win 8 $39 the other day. After 8+ hours for some reason it would not download. I don't have the time to spent messing with it. I ask for my money back and they said they would credit my credit card.