Windows 8/8.1 - Positive experiences, tips, and what would you have added?

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Main reason I'm doing this is because of johnporter29 and this well put comment

It has no value to anyone wanting to read up about Windows 8

So lets have one! :)

I have been contemplating this and I'm not sure how it will go but we will have to wait and see. Fingers crossed.

Points of discussion for the thread:

  • What do you like about Windows 8?
  • How did you find the transition between W7 and W8?
  • What specialist area are you(if any) using W8/ will use it for ie web design, software development etc. And how is that going?
  • Have you found any useful tips/tricks for W8?
  • Advice for people who like the look of W8 and have just started using it but are finding a few things difficult.
  • Any questions regarding W8 for the neowinians to answer for you?

Basically a big general help thread for people who LIKE W8 and WANT to use it, and POSITIVE comments.
Please no negative comments or arguments because this could potentially be useful to people who like W8.

This post can and will be updated with useful news links and basic help information about w8 if and when it becomes available.

Neowin tagged W8 news posts and a basic user guide. Seems pretty informative but I only skimmed through the first two pages. Will be updated with other members content or stuff I find when I'm back at home


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Well I guess I'll start :)

I work in the Medical field and I setup doctor offices so I am always purchasing the latest technology to increase productivity for physicians. With Windows 8 the physicians are going to be REALLY happy and so will I :). Recently I've been pushing ultrabooks to them and they love them and now with Windows 8 with its friendly interface, they will become more productive and will be ready to go quicker. They will defintely love the increased speed and because they heavily use IE, they will really enjoy the enhancements in IE 10. Also I have been pushing them to use Lenovo's Tablet PC's and they will definitely appreciate the more Touch friendly Windows 8.

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COOL! Thats a good start and sounds quite interesting tbh. I can see how it could be helpful to a situation like that.

Edit: First post updated with 1 extra link. Sorry for not adding more but I'm at work so just farting about on a break. :)

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1) I like the new visual theme, with the flat colours and square edges.

2) Storage Spaces is excellent, as it means I don't have to worry about hard drive failures.

3) The new Task Manager is a huge improvement.

4) Performance is better.

5) The new sound scheme is pleasant to listen to.

6) The new start screen is much better for me, as it makes full use of my 30" 2560x1600 monitor.

When I first fan Windows 8 the new interface and layout took a bit of getting used to. It felt like I was lost. But it only took a couple of days to get used to and a few weeks to really feel at home with it. Now it feels strange going back to Windows 7.

I do a lot of music recording and mixing, using a Saffire PRO 40 to recording multiple audio channels simultaneously - from keyboards, to vocals, to drums and guitar - into Cubase 6. So far Windows 8 is performing the same as Windows 7, which is a really good start as usually each new operating system has a huge impact upon performance and introduces compatibility issues (that was the case with both Vista and Win7).

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@CW-88: Thanks and I guess I better contribute something ;) I really do hope that this can stay positive and not develop into a free for all about the dislikes.

I personally found the transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 fairly easy to be honest. The start screen used as the start menu and 95% of the time I found myself in the desktop environment as that is obviously what I am used to. I'm not against the new UI at all and I'm sure once more Applications are released that I find useful then I may start to use the "Metro" UI more and more, but for now it's limited. My workflow hasn't changed either and productivity is still the same as it was in Windows 7.

I will be using it general day to day computing, small bit of web design and developing in C#

To anyone who likes it but finding it hard to find their way round it, keep going, come onto this thread and I'm sure some will be around to help you. It really isn't that much harder to use than Windows 7 was. Although it was developed with touch in mind, it can be used quite well with a mouse and keyboard.

As to tips and tricks, I have none that's already been posted on the other threads.

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This is exactly what I was hoping for, user experiences. Thanks guys for a good start.

And yeah johnporter29 I hope it stays positive as well.

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W8 tablets are likely to come with small storage to minimise cost, using external storage could help those looking for more storage by creating vhd's (for programs that wont install to SD cards). This program allows you to create vhd's that mount at startup so you dont have to go to disk management all the time. Been using it on the RP on my Acer W500 and it works fine, hasnt missed a startup yet.

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Don't really have anything to say yet apart from I love the new interface.

First time I used it was on a laptop, and hated the interface (and I was used to the tiles due to owning a WP7 device). But once it got to CP and I installed it on a PC that is older (P4 630, 2GB RAM, 80GB, Radeon X600) it absolutely flew along even on a system of that age. Very impressive.

Installed it on my new build (i5, 8GB RAM, SSD) and it boots in 20 seconds from pressing the power button and shuts down in 4. Performance is absoluely exceptional.

Love it.

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I'm only on CP at the moment, but I do like the concept of Live tiles as a step or several beyond static icons. The inclusion of a native PDF reader is great - I've concluded that Adobe's dev team for Reader is full of retarded people, and it is nice to have a PDF reader that simply and directly reads PDFs. Built-in apps are all very simple but they get the job done.

The clock on the lockscreen is a very welcome addition, and spellchecking will...probably not help stupid people be smarter...

Speed and performance is a pleasant surprise, as well as the ability to handle a wide range of peripherals OOTB. The heavier range of keyboard shortcuts is also quite welcome, though I think people not used to interacting via said shortcuts will have a hard time discovering them.

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Dot Matrix

I found out yesterday, that the spacebar can trigger a right click on the Metro tiles on the Start Screen. Never knew that before.

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  • What do you like about Windows 8?

- Overall refinement - looking at just the Desktop, it seems like a near-perfect evolution to Windows 7

- Performance (impact over Windows 7 is greater than Windows 7 was over Vista SP1) and resource usage (much more efficient on RAM usage, greater battery life, etc)

- Visual Enhancements to Desktop

- Multi-monitor on Desktop

- Storage Spaces and File History, new Task Manager,

- New Start Screen, Search, all great for use with Desktop

- New keyboard shortcuts

- Over and above all of that, an awesome new WinRT environment. I could write an entire post on that.

  • How did you find the transition between W7 and W8?

The first taste was sour. Like fine wine, though, Metro grows on you. Unlike fine wine, it grows rather quickly. Within 2-3 days, I was comfortable, and within a month I actively preferred Metro to Desktop.

Compatibility with Windows 7 apps is really solid, and whatever is not should be fixed by GA.

  • What specialist area are you(if any) using W8/ will use it for ie web design, software development etc. And how is that going?

- Film post-production. Multi-monitor enhancements. Not too much of a difference as I was using Ultramon before, but having it built in is very useful, and seems like a faster and more implementation too.

- Performance is way up, really surprising.

- Metro Search makes finding files much easier.

- New keyboard shortcuts make a lot of things faster.

- As of now, all my software is on Desktop, but I see great potential for WinRT ports in the future.

  • Have you found any useful tips/tricks for W8?

- Using a mouse, the charms / task switcher can be activated in a single broard sweeping motion, rather than going to the corner and then up/down.

- Try semantic zoom on every app. This is what makes Metro work, the ability to have an information dense view and a comfortable consumption one. Best of both worlds. As of now, few apps support it well, but when they do, it is very useful indeed.

- Trackpads work great with W8, provided it is supported. I use a Logitech one.

  • Advice for people who like the look of W8 and have just started using it but are finding a few things difficult.

- Stick with it. It needs some getting used to. Even if you don't like Metro, the Desktop improvements alone make it more of an upgrade from Windows 7 than W7 was from Vista SP1. Use Metro simply as a Start Menu replacement.

I know this is a positive only thread, but I do have an issue with Windows 8. This is definitely Windows Next 1.0, and as such, it does not seem finished, for practical reasons of time-to-market. That only makes me more excited for the future though. I fully expect Windows 8 to have a very mixed reaction, with nearly everyone jumping on board by Windows 9.

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Nazmus Shakib Khandaker

I love the new theme and the final polish (in RTM). Also, in the final version of Windows 8, you can see how much space each metro style apps take, which is a big help!

I also love the fact that Metro style apps are made from a blank canvas. This allows developers to be creative and make their app look unique and different. Most Win32 apps are lazy in the fact that they are colorless and use the same look and eel as all other Windows application.

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Awesome! :)

I realised after I was last on yesterday I didnt share my views.

I went into Windows 8 with an open mind as I wanted any possible opinion to be solely based on my own findings. And my opinion is that W8 is great!

I love the metro side of it, think its so innovative and easy to use, I mean obviously it took a bit of getting used too but because I wanted too learn I stuck at it!

Since getting used to the new layout I think it is really easy to use, I'm moving about in metro as quickly as I normally do in W7 so in terms of productivity or easyness of use W8 gets a massive 10/10 from me. As I said though, if you like the look of and want to use w8 but have a little trouble at the beginning, stick at it as it gets easy very quick.

I use my computer for general day to day use, some gaming and some c# dev and wpf.

I don't really have much else to say that hasn't already been mentioned by other members unfortunately but I am going to try and make a list of useful tips that people have mentioned to put in the thread.

I actually messaged Neobond yesterday to see about starting this thread and he said it will probably pick up when the RTM is released over technet/msdn so we might see this being used more and more. :)

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Well all i can say is this is what ive experianced with windows 8. ive had alot of friends freaking out about windows 8 not being able to install applications that aint from the store i will say there is alot of false and negative info going around and people like Gabe (steam) & notch crying over it is silly

1. Greatly improved boot times

2. I find the whole system is faster and more responsive than windows 7 SP1 64bit

3. Love the new taskmanager has some realy nice features and i find it more easy to read alot less clutter compared to the one we all known and loved for years

4. UI it different its quite refreshing than the standard UI we have had since win 95

5. Installation was very fast simple with little issue

6. Driver compatibiliy seems very good i would love for nvidia to update the nforce drives and cant wait to see the offical xonar drivers for win8 but the win 7 version all work perfectly

7. All the games i play worked apart from games that use GFWL software hope there is a fix for this as i own a couple of GFWL games steam worked perfectly.

8. felt little use for a 3rd party defrag.

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Win8ToGo drive installations, bring your computer with you.

Also, a bunch of other stuff that the others mentioned such as File History, new Task Manager.

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  • Improved boot times
  • New task manager
  • different taskbar and window color
  • semantic zoom
  • Start screen makes it easier to organize frequently used application when I'm too lazy to type
  • winkey+w/q/f - at first I was against the segregation of search results (I'm used to winkey->type, but once my fingers got used to these shortcuts), searching became a lot easier
  • Live tiles. Since I want my desktop to be squeaky clean, the live tiles allow me to have infos without cluttering my desktop.
  • flatter UI. the ancient icons did not become a deal breaker because 3rd party software is unlikely to update their icons as well.
  • built-in MSE
  • the Metro apps are still raw, and I doubt I'll be using those a lot, but I don't think that it outweighs the performance improvements of this upgrade
  • casual games :)) <- well, this one is just based on screenshots and a video since I only have RP installed :)

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Hey guys, just registered to leave a few impressions.

- Windows 8 is, by far, the fastest Windows I have dealt with to date. It simply works faster, not only on the boot time, but in everything. File Explorer, Internet Explorer (which I am back to after 4 years using Firefox), device installation and resource heavy software (Adobe software mostly).

- The Metro interface is very useful to me, even without touch inputs. I always dock the messaging app to the screenside and chat with friends from there. Recently I've found the joys of internet radio and I've been using radio apps from Windows Store. They are simple to use and pretty good looking. And they work, of course.

- Like many others, I frowned upon the new start menu in the beginning. But that lasted for hours. The new start menu may look confuse at first (due to lots of icons), but it is faster. It is faster because you have to click less to open what you want. Example: the task is to open hmm, dunno, Roxio Software:

Windows 7: click Start button > All Programs > Scroll Down > Roxio > click software

Windows 8: click Start > Scroll to software column > click software.

And that's because I just used the mouse!

- New task manager is brillant. Enriches the desktop experience, which is still awesome. I haven't used File History but it sounds like a great feature.

And that's my review on Windows 8. :)

I got questions for you guys:

- What nVidia drivers are you guys using?

- How's the network performance?

- Got any software that didn't work out of the box?

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Just the drivers off Nvidias website for W8 RP.

In regards to the other two questions I'm not sure, I havent installed much tbh, that can be my task for when I get home then I will post up what works/doesnt work. Im going to assume most stuff will tbh.

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I like Windows 8. It's fast to boot, to open and save files, as well as to copy files to/from usb sticks and everyday use in general. It's been a positive experience.

I use mainly Office apps, Excel and Word most of the time. My most frequent task is to send and receive e-mail. I don't use anything metro.

The only sad note is that my life depends on e-mail. I like to always have two working e-mail clients, just in case something goes wrong with one of them. Unfortunately, I can only send e-mails larger than a few lines using Windows Live Mail. All the other clients I've tried (Thunderbird, Outlook, Pegasus, eM) can only receive, but not send regular messages. They all can send messages with just a few words, but not reply messages or send messages with, say, ten lines. When I try to send a message using a client other than WLM, I get a pop-up window about a server timeout saying the connection was cut off by the server. All configurations are correct and the same e-mail clients work fine in Windows 7. I guess the culprit is my slow internet connection. I remember I didn't have these problems a few weeks ago when I had a faster internet service.

Hopefully these problems will be solved after october with the regular updates to the OS. Or maybe I'll just have to try a better internet service.

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Robbie Ride

What do you like about Windows 8?

I like the speed of Windows 8 compared to that of Windows 7. It seems a lot faster from the boot experience to opening applications. Of course i'm using release preview which is far from perfect, there are minor issues i.e browsing a folder on another hard drive and using IE10 for anything heavy duty such a flash based games. What i can say that most of these issues will have been ironed out with RTM and once compatible drivers are available as at the moment i'm having some minor issues with certain aspects of my motherbaord not show stoppers and nothing to worry about in a big way.

How did you find the transition between W7 and W8?

The transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 has been seemless and i wouldn't expect anything less. I performed an in-place upgrade to Windows 8 and to be honest this was my first ever upgrade as i think doing a clean installation to be much better. but it is true that upgrades do take longer but my experience consumed much less time than what other people have experienced upgrading from another OS to Windows 7.

Advice for people who like the look of W8 and have just started using it but are finding a few things difficult.

It will take some time to get used to the changes to Windows 8 but these in my opinion are mostly minor. The biggest change is obviously Metro (Modern UI) everyone out there is used to the traditional Start Menu and if you look at it this way, it's really a different layout and the way you interact with it, persistance and practice is the key here. I have to admit when i first used CP i hated Metro (Modern UI) and i was vocal about it on some topics here on Neowin but i have gotten use to it and i still am, along with Charms. But again once i get RTM i will probably love it.

It is best to play around with everything and familiarise yourself with it, everyone had to do this when Windows 95 came out, here was the Start Menu the biggest change to how a user interacts with everything i can imagine it took some time to get used to it and people did grow to love it, but it hadn't really changed other than how it looked and now it's changed in a big way.

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I've been using the release preview for about 3 days or so, and I'm very impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the OS.

But I really miss the 'Recent documents' function from Windows 7. Is there a substitute/workaround for this in Windows 8 RTM?

Also, is there a desktop version of Windows Reader in the RTM?

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I've been using the release preview for about 3 days or so, and I'm very impressed by the speed and responsiveness of the OS.

But I really miss the 'Recent documents' function from Windows 7. Is there a substitute/workaround for this in Windows 8 RTM?

Also, is there a desktop version of Windows Reader in the RTM?

Open "Computer" and search for,

datemodified:this month NOT kind:folder

save the search as say Recent and add it to your Favorites in file explorer or Pin it to start screen.

You can do this week or this year to change the range.

(good god this is my second post in past several months that I count as useful addition to these forums, it actually feels good to not argue around new stuff in 8)

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is there a desktop version of Windows Reader in the RTM?

I don't think so. You might want to have a look at SumatraPDF instead.

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Just gonna bump this thread up for tomorrows release :D

Hopefully when the lucky people who get w8 tomorrow all activated will post some reviews of being able to do everything.

I'm currently trying to retrieve my msdnaa details from my university to see if i can get on it, not sure if it becomes available on it though and if my membership will still be valid considering I have finished my course, but it has been available for the last 2 years so I dont see why not

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Even though my poor poor thread is completely dead I thought I should at least add this link because it sums up how awesome windows 8 can be in Modern UI mode and shows the endless possibilities of how to use the OS with a surface device.

I still think its amazing in desktop mode but this is by far the best review of modern UI I have seen

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