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Windows 8: First Impressions

After using Windows 8 Developer Preview since September 2011, I have installed Windows 8 on my Lenovo T410 as Primary OS. Microsoft has made substantial changes to the product and it looks cool! But Microsoft Touch First approach seems sub-optimized for desktop users.

In this gesture-heavy OS, mouse and keyboard users are likely to get lost. In classic Windows, all the options are visible on your screen, but in Windows 8 almost every application is spread far beyond what is visible on the screen. Users are required to click on the screen with mouse to scroll horizontally using keyboard arrow keys to see the rest of the screen. It’s frustrating!

You can see some options peeping out from right side of window

Microsoft Windows 8 Store, you can see some options peeping out from right side of window

In Windows 8, the app switcher (Window + TAB) does not show the snap of the highlighted window  (Thanks God, ALT+TAB still works).

Windows 8 does not have many apps and, it seems from the developments and announcements in the cyberspace, Microsoft is working hard to convince developers to write applications for Windows. The apps would come eventually. Moreover Microsoft’s ecosystem of having amost same code base for Windows Phone and Windows 8 would make it easy for developers to write applications once and use it interchangeability with minimal changes.

Windows 8 would bring sea of change in Tablet/Slate AKA iPad market. iPad/Android tablets have crippled OS, whereas Windows 8 would provide full fledged OS to users. Windows 8 would be trucks engine in-comparison to a motorbike’s engine shared by other tablets.

A few things are good to keep in mind while buying a Windows 8 tablet:

  • Buy a tablet with HD screen. ClearType, Microsoft’s proprietary font-smoothing technology, seems to be missing in action from Windows 8. read @longzheng’s blog ClearType takes a back seat for Windows 8 Metro for more details.
  • Buy a tablet with Intel processor ( Don’t worry, I don’t have any Intel stocks and I am not an Intel employee). A tablet with Intel processor will enable you to run all the legacy applications as Intel’s SOC is built on x86 platform, same Platform is used in all the processors deployed in our computers. Moreover, Windows 8 does not offer manageability features for ARM based tablets. Administrators cannot remotely wipe off data from the tablets.