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Windows 8 From a Mac User's perspective

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#1 +Medfordite

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 19:18

I was thinking that this might be an alternate way of looking at things for those naysayers against the Windows Metro Screen (Start Screen). I am writing this more from a Mac User’s Perspective.

Mac Dashboard-esque

Now, I am not saying that Microsoft copied the OSX Dashboard at all. But, one thing I did notice in my own personal use having converted from OSX back to Windows (I left late in XP and Came back very late in Win 7 just before Win 8) is that I tend to rely on the Metro Screen as sort of a hybrid Dashboard if you will for Windows. On the Metro screen, you have live tiles which will display weather, new mail counts, real time information and of course more. For me though, I rarely ever launch an application from the Metro Screen, instead I use Launchy or a Start Menu replacement to do the job.
With the OSX environment, you can add widgets to the Dashboard to give you live weather, news email counts, twitter updates etc. And you can also launch programs with the right widget to do the same job as you can with the Metro Screen. You can also launch programs like you can with Launchy using QuickSilver for Mac.

‘Drill to desktop’

There are a lot of people that discount Windows 8 because of the whole Metro Screen taking place of their beloved Desktop. It is often the short sightedness of people that haven’t used Windows 8 that form these conclusions. I used to be one of them and it wasn’t until I messed around with it, that I quickly learned that it is quite easy to access the Desktop and live in that world just the same as you would with older versions of Windows. And look here! I am accessing the desktop just the same as I would a Mac! (Metro Screen as a Dashboard).

Missing Start Menu

I think one thing that has helped me get past the whole start menu dependency is becoming more adept to using QuickSilver on Mac or Launchy in Windows. With the Mac, it was more of a task to load a program if you didn’t have an Application folder in your dock (easily added BTW). Even then, it is faster to type the name of the program and within a few characters have it pop up ready to be launched. For me it has been a pretty natural transition to move from Mac to Windows this way.

Sure, I have a start menu, and I am not really sure why I have it, except I think it is more for easier access to the control panel and some of the other items there that make it faster to access than having to go to the charms bar, or Metro Screen and perform a search to find what I am looking for in the Control Panel. For most people, this is easy enough, for me, it is a personal preference thing. :)

I must admit though – I don’t use the start menu but for rare occasions so I think I am pretty much ‘weaned’ away from it.
I think for me personally, it has been easier to migrate from OSX back to Windows 8, than it was to Migrate back to Windows 7 for some reason. Not 100% sure why, but at least it has been that way for me. :)


#2 threetonesun

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 19:58

I've said this before, but if you can't handle the change from Windows 7 to 8, you probably can't handle any other operating system.

So, yes, if you use OSX or Linux on a regular basis, W8 should be a non-issue.

#3 BajiRav

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 20:15

I have been saying something similar too. Sure it's a "big" change if you don't like getting up on the wrong side of the day but for most people the changes are trivial to adapt to.
About the similarities to Dashboard, yea tiles are launchers+widgets combined into one. Just the other day I commented this to a friend - I fully expect Apple to go on a similar path in either iOS or OS X or both. They will either go the Android route (icons and widgets) or the Metro route (widgets that act as launchers).
That's going to be a major feature in next iOS/OS X.

#4 SadJoker

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 20:52

Interesting to compare the desktop/Launcher in OS X to desktop/Metro on 8. I think Android has the best design in that it doesn't seperate the two screens - you can place widgets on the desktop area right next to traditional app icons. I really hope Windows transitions to this style or Android releases a desktop environment. Having tiles/widgets/whatever limited to only squares or rectangles and arrangement in rows and columns is obnoxious and un-intuitive. Right now I use Rainmeter which allows me to add widgets and other functionality to my desktop.

#5 BajiRav

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 21:05

Interesting to compare the desktop/Launcher in OS X to desktop/Metro on 8. I think Android has the best design in that it doesn't seperate the two screens - you can place widgets on the desktop area right next to traditional app icons. I really hope Windows transitions to this style or Android releases a desktop environment. Having tiles/widgets/whatever limited to only squares or rectangles and arrangement in rows and columns is obnoxious and un-intuitive. Right now I use Rainmeter which allows me to add widgets and other functionality to my desktop.

I think best Metro implementation for tiles is still WP7.8 or WP8 where you get 3 sizes - the smallest being same as an icon but it can still be a live tile.

#6 1Pixel

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 22:30

Sure, I have a start menu, and I am not really sure why I have it, except I think it is more for easier access to the control panel and some of the other items there that make it faster to access than having to go to the charms bar, or Metro Screen and perform a search to find what I am looking for in the Control Panel.


This is often an ignorant and incorrect complaint used by Win 8 haters (i know you're not complaining though). But this option, as usual, is already in Windows 8 and just as quick.

Simply right click in the bottom left corner where the Start Menu used to be. You'll get a new menu with many options including a shortcut to the Control Panel (and also Device Manager, System, Command Prompt, Event Viewer, Power Options and loads more). It's sort of like a replacement for many Start Menu shortcuts, but adds a ton of new stuff making it quicker for many tasks. You can also press Win key + X to access this menu.

Theres absolutely no need to use Start8 or any other junk. Just learn the Win 8 features, everything is already there and is often quicker than Win 7 once you know how.

#7 Wireless wookie

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 00:07

Theres absolutely no need to use Start8 or any other junk. Just learn the Win 8 features, everything is already there and is often quicker than Win 7 once you know how.

This is so right !

#8 xWhiplash

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 00:58

Theres absolutely no need to use Start8 or any other junk. Just learn the Win 8 features, everything is already there and is often quicker than Win 7 once you know how.


Look, I like Windows 8 (prefer it actually), but it is not faster without Start8 or other programs like it. The fact that you need to click the Desktop tile alone makes it slower than Windows 7. Or having hundreds of tiles instead of having them in neatly collapsable sub folders. Or an option to disable the hot corners while you are in desktop.

Start8 and others are not just about the start menu/button. I do not give a damn about using the start screen, but I would like to disable those hot corners and boot directly to the desktop.

Is there a built in way to do this with Windows 8 that does not require manual registry hacking? Why couldn't they just have a couple of check boxes in the control panel? You know most of the complaints will be gone if they did that.

#9 Javik

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:31

AFAIK the only way to disable the hot corners is with a start menu replacement.

#10 Dot Matrix

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:34

This is often an ignorant and incorrect complaint used by Win 8 haters (i know you're not complaining though). But this option, as usual, is already in Windows 8 and just as quick.

Simply right click in the bottom left corner where the Start Menu used to be. You'll get a new menu with many options including a shortcut to the Control Panel (and also Device Manager, System, Command Prompt, Event Viewer, Power Options and loads more). It's sort of like a replacement for many Start Menu shortcuts, but adds a ton of new stuff making it quicker for many tasks. You can also press Win key + X to access this menu.

Theres absolutely no need to use Start8 or any other junk. Just learn the Win 8 features, everything is already there and is often quicker than Win 7 once you know how.


QFT.

#11 68k

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 02:40

Another tip: To shut down Windows 8 from the desktop, press Alt-F4.

#12 Chikairo

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 07:35

I strongly recommend any new Windows 8 user look over the keyboard shortcuts.

http://windows.micro...hortcuts#1TC=t1

The hot corners are excellent on smaller displays (like my laptop), but on large displays (like my desktop's 24" display)? Keyboard shortcuts all the way. That said, after going through the transition from DOS to Windows (and knowing people preferring DOS), from Win 9x to WinXP (back when it was brand new and people didn't like it), and OS9 to OSX (back when OSX was a cruel, cruel thing to do to people)? This is really small potatoes to me. While not perfect, Windows 8 is a lot more polished, stable, actually less power hungry, etc., and shows what can be done when Microsoft "turns off the xerox machines." But, alas, people need to give it a chance to really appreciate it.

Ironically, my sister in law works at a store selling Windows desktops and laptops; its the Mac users who are adapting the fastest and really liking it - some are picking them up to replace or go along with their Macs!

#13 Dashel

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 17:19

As I mentioned on the news item, that Mac users (and others that get all zomgz over keyboard shortcuts) like Win8 'more' is all the evidence I need that something is wrong.

Secondly, your use of third party tools defeats your position because (we assume, you never actually made a point other than several terrible comparisons) of the same annoyances many others have found - the inability to 'stay' in the Desktop space for basic operations (like search).

Pretty weak comparison, I expected more.

#14 sagum

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 17:50

Sure, I have a start menu, and I am not really sure why I have it, except I think it is more for easier access to the control panel and some of the other items there that make it faster to access than having to go to the charms bar, or Metro Screen and perform a search to find what I am looking for in the Control Panel. For most people, this is easy enough, for me, it is a personal preference thing. :)


It was nice to see were you were coming from as a Mac user. I found using a mac with System quite easy, but that comes from a background of being an Amiga user. OSx has some things that I found a bit getting used to, but no more so then when I switched to Windows 8. OSx certainly is more polished then Windows 8 at the moment, with little niggles such as using two monitors and not being able to easily get to the start screen on the monitor you're working on. This is frustrating since existing side docked RT Apps are hidden when the start screen is shown, even if they were docked on another monitor's display.

#15 Dot Matrix

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Posted 05 February 2013 - 18:22

As I mentioned on the news item, that Mac users (and others that get all zomgz over keyboard shortcuts) like Win8 'more' is all the evidence I need that something is wrong.

Secondly, your use of third party tools defeats your position because (we assume, you never actually made a point other than several terrible comparisons) of the same annoyances many others have found - the inability to 'stay' in the Desktop space for basic operations (like search).

Pretty weak comparison, I expected more.


Windows isn't about the desktop GUI anymore. You're going to find more and more going to the Metro side. Windows 8 declares the desktop largely legacy.