Friday, January 04, 2013

Windows 8 Is Great

I was not really interested in getting Windows 8 as I was very happy with Windows 7 and I kept reading about how difficult it was to work with Windows 8. Someone said all programs open full screen and you can only use one at a time, many said it was not intuitive and if you don't have a touchscreen it's not worth using - too difficult. They were wrong.

My son was having problems with his computer and I ended up replacing the power supply to fix it, but it kept freezing on him and was slow. He doesn't have a really great computer and it came with Windows Vista. After I replaced the power supply I decided to upgrade him to Windows 8 (only $39.95) because his brother got a Windows 8 computer and he liked it. It downloaded and installed with no problems whatsoever and did wonders for the computer. It is actually a joy to use and much faster. He loves it. He did have to reinstall his programs because the install doesn't keep them if you upgrade from Vista - it does keep them if you upgrade from Windows 7 - but he didn't have many and it did keep all his personal files intact.

After seeing it and using it on his computer I decided I would upgrade my laptop. I was a little apprehensive about it but it turned out fine. When I went to the desktop for the first time it looked and worked exactly like it did before - except the start button. The start screen can be accessed by moving the mouse to the lower left hand corner of the screen and clicking on the little square that pops up or, much easier, just press the Windows key to toggle between start screen and desktop. Super easy.

All standard programs work as they did before but there are also apps, just like on your smart phone. The apps, accessed from the Start Screen, open full screen only. Using the apps, closing them, and switching between them is very easy with the mouse. I have no problems at all. Move the mouse all the way to the left top corner to find the last used app or desktop, swipe downward to open a list of all open apps. You can choose them or close them from there. You can also close an app by moving the mouse to the top of the screen, hold the left mouse button and drag to the bottom. Easy, easy, easy. It works fine.

The only problems I had: I had to reinstall the mouse/pointer device driver because I lost the ability to scroll by moving my finger up or down along the right side of the mouse pad. It works fine now. I also had a problem with Comodo Firewall, it didn't work right and kept freezing when I tried to uninstall. I reinstalled the new program from Comodo and it crashed the computer. I uninstalled Comodo - I didn't like the new version anyway - and all is good once again. It uninstalled fine after I installed the new version. I am using the Windows firewall. One more thing was I had to reinstall the driver/program for Bluetooth. I've never once used it but installed it anyway, works fine now. Sony is not supporting Windows 8 on my laptop (too old, I guess) but it works like a charm anyway. I installed the Windows 7 drivers, they work. I use VLC Player for playing DVDs. Windows 8 does not play DVDs, you have to download a separate program. VLC is a great, free program and plays everything except encrypted BluRay. I was using it in Windows 7 as I especially like that the sound can be increased to 200% which helps with the laptop.

I don't miss the start button. My concern was accessing things like Device Manager, Control Panel and things like that. Move the mouse pointer to the lower left corner and right click. There is your menu for all that. No problem. The start screen can be modified to show what you want, programs, apps, whatever. I don't need the start button. I installed one of the Start Menu programs on my sons computer and he didn't like it. I tried it, it was fine but unnecessary. Uninstalled.

Windows 8 is great.

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