First Impressions of Windows 8: A Webmaster’s Perspective

Webmasters are generally a tech savvy bunch. We work online and that means using computer for a lot of time, and so of course we’re going to be interested in technology and in having the latest piece of kit. It stands to reason then that if you run a Windows PC, that you will currently be contemplating making the switch to Windows 8. Particularly considering that it’s so cheap and easy to change over if you have a Windows 7 PC this is something you’re likely to be tempted by. But is it worth making the change? Will you still be able to do all the things you’re used to doing on your Windows device? Or will Microsoft’s urge to make something Tablet oriented ruin the experience for people who just want to use their computers for productivity?

Well rather than jumping in blindly, looking at the experience some other people have had is a great way to make sure you’re making the right decision. Here then I’ll share with you my experiences of installing and getting around Windows 8, and hopefully that will help you to decide if it’s for you.

Set Up

Setting up takes a long time let me warn you first of all. If you’re someone who has a lot of work to do and can’t spare a couple of hours out of your working day, then make sure you do this while you’re chilling or the evening, or when you have some other kind of device you can be working on in the meantime. As a tip, make sure you’ve uninstalled Windows Security Essentials first – it upsets the process because you can’t uninstall it while the Windows 8 installer is running, but it’s incompatible with the new OS.

The Good

Once it’s up and running you’ll probably be quite excited at first. Everything looks pretty nice for starters and it looks crisp. It starts up more quickly, the lock screen is nice and the live tiles are a good idea. Meanwhile I do think the implementation of the Start Menu is quite smart – it forces you to actually use that snazzy new tablet-like interface and it gives you even more customization options.

I also liked that the Startup was faster, and I like the fact that I now have access to some apps that will download and install instantly, and many of which are free. It increases the power of my device and gives me more options for how I want to use it (though the market is a little sparse). I’m a software developer too, so for me this is a great opportunity and it’s the main reason I made the change. It’s also good news though that you have access to all your usual software, and if you have Windows 7 everything will remain as it was and untouched which is very useful. I also like the mouse shortcuts for the main screen – they’re intuitive and easy to use and they make sense within the new environment.

The Bad

On the downside though, I am also unfortunately also noticing more and more the bugs and problems with Windows 8 – both its design and its implementation. For instance the Start Menu and related apps are weirdly slow – uploading a new picture for my profile took about three minutes which was unacceptable seeing as it was 400 megabytes. And the way that the Windows 8 portion is forced on you means you often have to deal with these sluggish load times. Right now I want to change the Wifi network I’m on but I can’t. Why? Because when I click the network icon it brings up a Windows 8 flashy portion on the right hand side of the screen with a list of networks – only it’s so slow they won’t show up. And unfortunately the minute I click the left side of the screen to carry on working, that list disappears. So I’m stuck – either don’t connect or sit waiting for who knows how long until I can connect.

Meanwhile the list of all apps you get on the Start Page is ridiculous. Most people have somewhere in the region of 100 programs on their device, and for whatever stupid reason this list doesn’t feature the collapsible menus that a start menu should. So you’re just scrolling through a gigantic list and this takes ages. If you want to use anything quickly you have to pin it to your Start Page or Task Bar – there’s no other option.

So a few things to think about. It’s not perfect, but it’s not terrible. If you like the Windows Start Page then it’s definitely worth a look, but otherwise there are ways you can mostly avoid having to have anything to do with it…

I’m still not on a different network…

The article is contributed by Oscar Wood who is an avid blogger and authors tech and social media blog. He also shares internet marketing ideas and tips that will help you increase website ranking effectively.