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Steven P.

win8 Poll: Windows 8 Experience (How do you like it?)


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Now it seems like search is not searching my indexed locations like in Win 7.

Checked the folder in "Indexing Options" and it doesn't search there.

Unchecked all the picture file types but it still show them in search results.

Is Start screen search and search charm different from the Win7 start menu search?

iron2000, this poll on Windows 8 general experiences isn't really the right place to ask for support on specific issues. You'll have better luck getting responses if you make new topics for your questions (Y).

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Was doing fine untill live update caused it not to restart. Had to refresh to get it backup.

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Overall I am please. Performance from my use so far is on par or better than I experienced with Windows 7. My only dripe as with most is the new start menu. I am sure I will get used to it but after 15+ years of using the same interface, I find myself having a difficult time adjusting.

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They need to polish some details, I guess in the future we're gonna get major updates to parts of the OS in order to solve some annoyances

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I almost hate saying anything about windows 8 because no mater what your opinion is, someone rips you a new one about it...

but the desktop, everything is awesome, however the UI just feels bland... even with color applied to the window chromes it just feels like it's unfinished, almost like designers never made a UI and this is just a temp placeholder type of feeling.....

Kernel wise, fast as heck, love it

Boot wise, fast as heck, never had windows boot in a whole 2 seconds... UEFI made this almost too fast

Windows desktop features, feel snappier, new progress monitors on file tasks are awesome to see the bandwidth usage and graph it

task manager is defiantly better, but feels like it needs some UI work

the fact I have invisible interaction points drives me nuts though... too much moving the mouse to a place where there is a hover location forgetting about it to have the charm bar pop up or a side bar pop up...etc..etc..

I wish the start button was still there, notice I didn't say start menu, I said button, having an empty space just feels unfinished, and most of the people that I've seen use it feel the same way (normal people, not tech people) it would be nice if in desktop mode you had a charm bar like start screen on the left side with the *option* to go full screen not just forced into full screen mode

having two task switchers is also annoying... one for the "modern" UI and one for desktop... they need combined in some way

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4/5 for all.

Install wasn't an issue due to me not familiarising myself with it did make a small error but easily corrected.

The only app that I am having issues with are VM cloud services but hopefully there will be an update soon. Having Hyper-V installed has been a big help too so I just run VM cloud in a VM running XP, issue solved(ish).

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After months and months of using 8 as my main OS on multiple machines (two desktops and 1 laptop, plus serveral VMs), I still hate the Start Screen. It is completely useless and pointless to me. It would make sense on a tablet or a touch-sensitive device, but mine aren't. Full screen apps make absolutely no sense on my 30" desktop monitor. So the Start Screen is just a waste of time and is actually a reason to dislike win8.

Aside from the crappy Start Screen, Windows 8 is 3/5 in my opinion. I like the faster boot and wake times. I like the way you can authenticate to a WIFI network using your windows login credentials (great at work!) I like the new pause-able file transfer dialog box.

I hate the removal of desktop gadgets. I use them a lot, and have installed 3rd-party software on 8 to make them work. Tiles can not come close to replicating gadgets in many cases.

The Search function has been dumbed down so much it's now almost useless. I have a file called "reference.txt" on my PC that i access regularly. In Win8, if i hit the Windows key, then start typing "r-e-f-e-r", i have to click on Files, then it thinks for awhile and gives me a list of 12507 files in a horridly ugly full screen view that is incredibly hard to find something in, and 99% of which mean nothing to me. In Win7, the same process is so much simpler... it just takes me right to the file i want in the start menu list. The "improved" search function in windows 8 is a huge failure. but, to be fair, the Windows search function has been getting worse and worse since Windows 2000.

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what's so worse about search. works perfectly fine for me. You can also add more places to have indexed if needed.

I just now made a reference.txt and stuck it in documents folder. Search yielded 1 result under files. I don't get your issue.

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Aside from the crappy Start Screen, Windows 8 is 3/5 in my opinion. I like the faster boot and wake times. I like the way you can authenticate to a WIFI network using your windows login credentials (great at work!) I like the new pause-able file transfer dialog box.

I hate the removal of desktop gadgets. I use them a lot, and have installed 3rd-party software on 8 to make them work. Tiles can not come close to replicating gadgets in many cases.

I think your points are very valid. Windows 8 has some very good points but it's bad points are very bad.

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I really am glad I bought a copy of it. The SQL server part of Visual C# 2010 express gives a compatibility error, but it works. Everthing else just works and I don't see any crashes or errors.

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Finally taken the plunge and actually installed it on proper hardware in place of Windows 7 and my thoughts haven't really changed that drastically

Pros

- Very fast and responsive

- Great out of box driver compatibility

- No software that hasn't worked properly yet

- When Microsoft said the new hybrid boot mode would impress on an SSD they certainly didn't lie. Combined with UEFI it's insanely fast.

- After swapping the default visual theme with the theme from the RP, the loss of glass didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would. The theme from the RP looks pretty decent

Cons

- The start screen. Installed Start Is Back straight away, and disabled the charm bar hover function

- The theme. I still think the default desktop theme is ugly as sin, thankfully the theme from the RP is not

- The fact that files open with metro apps by default even when you're on the desktop

I still stand by my grievances over Microsoft's design decisions with Windows 8 but with a bit of tweaking it's still worth upgrading just for the performance enhancements.

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Well that was a fun 1 day experiment. Got bad_pool_header bluescreens when trying to use Vlite to master a Vista image. Back to 7

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To me it feels like 2 different operating systems in one. You have the standard Windows UI and then Metro/Start and all it's apps.

Call me crazy, but I have no real use for Apps. I love my software and I love the way it works and I love how my software actually has options and is customizable. So to me the whole metro thing is pointless but I don't mind it as some eye candy with the time/calendar/news/stocks/mail all scrolling. Everything else is rather redundant and time consuming for a PC user

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After months and months of using 8 as my main OS on multiple machines (two desktops and 1 laptop, plus serveral VMs), I still hate the Start Screen. It is completely useless and pointless to me. It would make sense on a tablet or a touch-sensitive device, but mine aren't. Full screen apps make absolutely no sense on my 30" desktop monitor. So the Start Screen is just a waste of time and is actually a reason to dislike win8.

Aside from the crappy Start Screen, Windows 8 is 3/5 in my opinion. I like the faster boot and wake times. I like the way you can authenticate to a WIFI network using your windows login credentials (great at work!) I like the new pause-able file transfer dialog box.

I hate the removal of desktop gadgets. I use them a lot, and have installed 3rd-party software on 8 to make them work. Tiles can not come close to replicating gadgets in many cases.

The Search function has been dumbed down so much it's now almost useless. I have a file called "reference.txt" on my PC that i access regularly. In Win8, if i hit the Windows key, then start typing "r-e-f-e-r", i have to click on Files, then it thinks for awhile and gives me a list of 12507 files in a horridly ugly full screen view that is incredibly hard to find something in, and 99% of which mean nothing to me. In Win7, the same process is so much simpler... it just takes me right to the file i want in the start menu list. The "improved" search function in windows 8 is a huge failure. but, to be fair, the Windows search function has been getting worse and worse since Windows 2000.

There are great apps out there that will give you a start menu and have access to start screen. wintunin or something is what I use.

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Well it's back to Windows 7 for me. Have been using 8 since the Preview versions and it's just too much of an inconvenience compared to 7. I think I lasted this long because I thought the Apps were neat, but the novelty has now worn off.

I've been using Start8, which definitely made it bearable, but If I'm going to pretend that I'm using Win 7, I might as well just do it natively. I also was having random ping problems, which is likely a driver issue, but still an annoyance.

I really wanted to like 8, but in my opinion, it was executed very very poorly. Hopefully Blue will have something attractive in store for us.

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i use the desktop only. the new start menu is only a place for my programs. i dont use metro apps at all (apart from mahjong) and i find them a huge failure for any desktop.

but since i use the desktop only i couldnt be bothered less. windows 8 is fast, stable, fluid, some nice features, i like it.

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Decided to upgrade after seeing how it ran on my brothers system. Loved the new features like the copy dialog window and task manager etc, how these weren't in previous version ill never know. It's snappy, quick to boot. One or 2 minor niggles have arisen but they've been caused by me.

I will say that i am booting straight to desktop with all the 'Modern UI' stuff disabled, so it looks an acts like W7. I get why a lot of users like it, an i can kinda see where MS is going with the interface etc, but its just not for me. I'm too used to the 'old' Windows GUI, i don't see any compelling reason to change the way i use my computer at the moment.

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I like it, but I'm never in the modern interface... the notifications are nice for new mail and messages, but that's about it. Searching takes longer usually because I have to pick up my mouse to do it now if I'm searching something located in a separate category.

I like that I can mount ISOs now without VirtualDrive or whatever from SlySoft. uhh.... They need to figure out this whole control panel situation though. There's two control panels and two windows update interfaces. It's like they just tacked on an interface. Program compatibility seems good enough. I haven't had that many issues. One was because of Rage and that simply isn't Microsoft's fault and the other was because a game was trying to use a direct X version that Win 8 didn't agree with, but I edited a config file and it was good to go.

Seems nice, I wouldn't tell anyone to get it though unless their PC simply came with it, then just learn to use it.

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8 is definitely not a fail. I am using 8pro. I've tried dev/cus previews when they were released and I HATEed them. I was unable to understand anythingand start screen was BS. Now I got a new lappy and installed win8 with full support from OEM. trackpad gestures are good. I do not thing startscreen functionality will attract users yet because more apps are needed. Windows 8 is not winodws 7 but it is still good.

I wiork for a tech help call center and new bie customers never complained abt 8 being alien. but wat they did was only abt win.mail haz no POP support and Iwonder whyyyyyy?

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i use the desktop only. the new start menu is only a place for my programs. i dont use metro apps at all (apart from mahjong) and i find them a huge failure for any desktop.

but since i use the desktop only i couldnt be bothered less. windows 8 is fast, stable, fluid, some nice features, i like it.

I agree. I use the desktop exclusively. The only icon on the new Start Screen for me is "Desktop". All the rest I deleted. The programs I run regularly, about 15, are on my traditional desktop. Anyway, I boot directly into the desktop, as I feel all this "Metro" or "Modern" stuff is better suited for touch devices.

Anyway, I don't regret the $40 I plopped down for Windows 8. At least I try to convince myself of that. :/

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For me, Windows 8 Pro X64 has been a great transition from 7, the UI although slightly altered on my part (Read, Classic Shell to return the start menu) I have no complaints to register. There are several things id like to point out though..

1. The apps, need a little more polishing (eg: Zinio which is a work in progress)

2. The performance specially in bootup is a nice upgrade from windows 8

3. Internet explorer ( I know, I know) feels snappier, and the fact that both on the desktop and the app version has Flash baked in, makes it more convenient and easier to patch since ms is now overseeing security flaws in said player.

4. Also enjoying the whole idea that Adobe reader is there baked in and does not require an extra piece of software sitting on my desktop, myself being a former I,T manager the idea of one less thing to deal with is brilliant.

5. SSDs are now fully taken advantage of ( I have an X-25M) 80GB and man I love how it helps the O/S

Now for the bad stuff...

1. Apps fail to install for unknown reasons which MS has yet to explain to me

2. This whole thing with photo viewer, it sucks, this app is so crippled it makes Windows Live photo gallery look like an amazing piece of software

3. This dual control panel thing is annoying, as you have to figure out where certain things are if within the app garden or the classic desktop

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Well it took a lot to pull me away from XP (mainly because everything worked and I had 7 years worth of settings and customisation on it)

So I purchased 8 on Christmas Day, I got the upgrade. Im really dissapointed that I cant dual boot Win 8 with XP.

I know its an upgrade, I got it for a good price and what do I expect?

I know all of this but I so wanted to install 8 over the holidays and spend a few weeks making sure all my software worked on it and I could hit the ground running. I stupidly only found I couldnt dual boot after creating a partition and going through the Win 8 setup process - thats my fault for not reading more.

It would have been really good if we could have dual booted, even if it was for only 1 month or so, then we could make sure everything was ready and switch off XP.

Im back on XP now, I have so many applications, settings, backup solutions and media connections that I cant just stop it all and hope for the best on 8 - even if everything was gauranteed to work (upgrade assistant found many things that wont be compatible) its going to take a well to get it all up and running.

For most its probably fine, for me its a bit annoying, Im wondering if I can get my money back from an online purchase as I will need the system builder install instead - but then thats annoying because once everything is working then I fully intend to ditch XP!

Might just wait until I buy a new PC

Ah well :/

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I had tested the Consumer Preview earlier on an older notebook. It didn't work well up to a point I decided to uninstall it and was done with it for good.

Last week though a colleague from work purchased Windows 8, which for me was surprising if you'd know him. That kind of pulled me over the line to also get it and so I did. So far my experience has been great, although there are still some bugs I stumble upon here and there which are mostly annoying. I'll list them anyway including possible solutions for those who encounter the same issues.

Booting and shutting down

Prior to purchasing Windows 8 I have purchased a Samsung SSD on which I did a fresh install. Starting up and shutting down were a lot faster on Windows 7 with an SSD, but still relatively disappointing. With Windows 8, however, this has changed. Booting times were cut in more than half compared to Windows 7. Shutting down is near to instant, where on Windows 7 this was still slow with an SSD.

The desktop experience

So far I don't miss the start-button. Right-clicking the bottom-left hot-corner brings up a menu with crucial items like Disk management and Configuration screen, yet I rarely ever use it. The start screen is more intuitive and works smooth.

I am disappointed by the minimal options to configure the tiles. It would be nice if you could change background colours and sizes of the tiles. The standard Windows tiles can be configured to take up one or two spaces, yet other tiles (Chrome for example) can't. I am also annoyed at the fact that the Chrome tile comes with a darkgrey background, which doesn't fit with the rest of my interface.

Something which is a nice addition are the Live-tiles.

Standard apps

The standard apps are fun, yet buggy. Let me give you an overview of the several experiences I had and the possible solutions to problems.

Let me start by saying that every app has it's own settings, which pops up when you hover the top-right corner or when you press Winkey + i. The "Settings" button there no longer applies to the system, but now applies to the app.

  • People app

This one can be configured to work with several platforms such as Google, Facebook and Skype. This works quite will until you realize that several contacts are duplicate, simply because you have added them in multiple platforms. It will usually try to link duplicates together so you only see one contact. Most of the times this works, other times it doesn't. When it doesn't you simply click one of the accounts to open them and then right-click to bring up the bottom menu. There you just select "Link". It will then try to suggest other accounts to link to this one. This works marvelously!

One downside is that this automatically links to your Messenger account, you know that Instant-chat software everyone used nearly a decade ago but is now dead? You'll inevitably have contacts on there you no longer have contact with or no longer wish to be in contact with (Ex-girlfriends spring to mind). You'll have to go about removing these manually.

  • Messaging app

This one is quite fun. You can start conversations by looking people up from the People app or you can just start a conversation when you are already in the people app. You can have multiple conversations at once and this on different platforms. It lists all conversations on the left side of the screen and you can delete conversations separately should you wish so. Please account for the fact that if you linked a Facebook account, it will always show your status as "Available" when your computer is running. You can choose to set this to "Invisible" by right-clicking when in the Messaging app and from there on changing your status.

If the Messaging app is not shown on your screen you will get a visible and audible notification of any new messages. You can turn this off through the app settings. Something which bothered me was that while having multiple conversations, if you are typing and someone says something in a different conversation, the focus of the typing region is gone. You then have to go and click this box to continue typing.

  • Photo app

This one is the icing on the cake. Being an SSD user (256GB) and having over 70GB worth of self-made photographs, I do not place these on the SSD. Instead I place them on a different harddisk and then add the location of those pictures to the Picture Library, something which is done through the Library Tools in Windows Explorer while viewing the library. Doing this should suffice to have these pictures visible in the Photo app.

This was, however, not the case. As mentioned I use an SSD. Common protocol when using an SSD is optimizing the OS to ensure maximum lifespan. One of the features that gets optimized is the indexing service. The app will never show any photos as long as the indexing service is disabled. Don't even think about it, it won't work. The indexing service tweak is something which had to be done for the very first marvell controllers, since it degraded performance a lot. With the more recent controllers this is no longer necessary. It won't have an impact anymore on performance and it will not really alter life expectancy of your SSD. So you can safely turn this on.

Once turned on it will finally show you something, however make sure that the photo location on the second disk is added to the indexing locations. As long as it isn't, it will only show you the contents of the default Picture folder. Once it is working you'll immediately notice that your live-tile is now showing you random images from your library.

A nice addition to this app is that it will also take into account pictures of other services such as Facebook and Flickr. When you have set this up, you will notice these pop up next to the Picturelibrary. It will also show you the amount of pictures in a small font (for it adds up to a grand total of over 13k pictures). Browsing Facebook pictures is done per album. Please note that even though these are completely different sources than your local files, it will not show these when indexing is disabled. Don't ask me why, yes it is plain stupid, but there's nothing we can do to it ourselves.

It is also possible to show pictures from removable media and skydrive. I can't comment on that because I haven't used these.

  • Apps I haven't used (enough)

Other apps like Mail, Calendar, Video, Skydrive and Maps haven't been used by me frequently enough to comment on. I can however say that the Calendar app automatically lists birthdays of all your contacts. The Mail app isn't used since I have set all my mail accounts up on through Outlook.com (it's easier to manage in different locations. The Maps app seems fun, yet Google Maps through the webbrowser is faster (for me).

As for the Video app, I don't ever use it. Windows Media Player fullscreen has the same effect. Plus I rarely watch videos fullscreen. I set Windows Media Player - Playing always on top and then go about "multitasking".

  • Custom apps

Customs apps, apps which do not come installed with Windows 8 yet are very popular, I've been using or tried are Skype, OneNote and Chrome.

Skype

It was horrible at first to find the desktop version, so I went with the app version. First and foremost, you are obliged to link this to your Messenger account (not just Outlook, we are talking full on Messenger). I sat here staring at the screen saying "No", but there didn't seem a way around it. Absolutely horrible!

Once you're logged in you get a list of all your Skype contacts mingled with all your Messenger contacts. Goodie! Well, this kind of sucks. On to the interface, it probably takes some getting used to, but it doesn't seem very userfriendly. Since it's an app, unless you have two monitors or snap it to the side, you're constantly switching back and forth. When I use it, there is a combination of typing and talking. Typing being used mainly to transfer files and to send links (to funny videos and pictures, of course, what else?). It doesn't work properly with that.

A second very big disappointment is the fact that it only seems to know two statuses: online and offline. Contacts with the status "Busy" were shown as offline contacts. Thirdly, it is very limited in the amount of contacts if actually shows (1920 x 1080 resolution). I've since uninstalled this app and installed the desktop version. Works much more rapidly and is ten times more user friendly.

Chrome app

This is basicly Chrome but you just select Windows 8 mode from the menu. A fun gimmick, but nothing more. I see no use for it compared to the desktop version. At least not while still using a mouse and keyboard.

  • Wordfeud

Or in other words Scrabble for Windows 8 and most mobile platforms. This is a very stupid and fun game which I recommend against getting if you don't want to be playing it all day long.

That's it I would say. I have no issues running third-party software likes Steam and other games. If anyone has any questions (or tips), shoot.

Edit: one thing I forgot is that I'm now using a dual-monitor. That definitely needs some work. You can pin apps to the second screen and have the start screen pop up on it. Pin an app like Messaging or Photo's and you'll have a blast. Very easy to use. However, going to the start screen on the other monitor and the app will minimize which is horribly annoying. Furthermore the hot-corners are problematic when the mousepointer constantly pops over to the other monitor.

A very big shortcoming of a dual monitor setup in Win8 is that you can pin an app to a monitor, but can't snap another app to the side of the other monitor. Basicly running two apps side by side.

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My experience with Windows 8 has started from a HP Envy 4 ultrabook with a TouchSmart screen and a Synaptics Click Pad. One of the first thoughts were that anybody using this without a system that has input devices designed for Windows 8 may be left feeling like a second class citizen (Especially with the app store programs).

The Start screen and introduction of apps model is like somebody took and axe and split Windows in two parts. Then took one half and made it a tablet OS. I'm not a huge fan the Metro apps. Maybe there hasn't been enough time for there to have been good ones developed but in general I don't like the new app model that has come about (Android and iOS included). It has become a shovelware model IMO.

The Start screen itself is pretty on the surface but once I have my programs installed and scroll to the right it is not pretty at all anymore when it becomes a pile of tiles for every little thing that used to go in the Start menu.

I give it a 3/5 on features and experience on this laptop. I'm still using Windows 7 on my desktop and there's nothing that has convinced me that I should upgrade that to Windows 8.

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I like the metro/modern UI apps. I like the store too, its exactly whats missing in Windows. File management though is still poor as you go back to plain old explorer all the time. Moving from old to new and new to old gets tiring.

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