• Sign in to Neowin Faster!

    Create an account on Neowin to contribute and support the site.

Sign in to follow this  

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

Recommended Posts

DevonT    1
Stability is the same
I'll give you that just because that is somewhat subjective. But I can say that after using it since the Release Preview, I haven't had any problems with it whereas with Windows 7, I had to reboot my laptop about 4 - 5 times just to get past the BSOD.
security is barely an improvement (oh wow, they included MSE...)
For the average user, that's a good thing.

http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-3667_7-57578546/windows-8s-rising-security-tide-raises-all-antivirus-boats/ :)

performance is the same on a SSD.
Remember, not everyone owns an SSD. You got to think of this as the big picture. If everyone owned an SSD, then yes, that wouldn't make much difference, but hard drives are still being used and because of that, the improvement is needed.

I also forgot to mention how well it works on older hardware. Not as slow as Windows 7, since Windows 8 utilizes less RAM than 7.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
OrsenPike    7

I am running Windows 8 (Pro x64) on a 4+ year old Dell Studio (specs below) and it runs like silk. I love it.

My specs are nothing special. A 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo (T9400) with 4GB RAM, 2x 500GB 7200 RPM HDD and an ATI Radeon Mobility HD 3650. If you take out "desktop graphics performance" (wtf does that even mean?!) then this machine still scores a 5.9 on the WEI :)

I love Windows 8. I love the new theme with nice sharp edges and no transparency (except in the taskbar wtf is up with that?). I like some of the new explorer features (like the quick switch between thumbnails and detailed lists in the bottom right of the explorer window). The new file copy dialogs are nice. The start screen is so great once you get it how you like and to be honest I hardly see it as once I am in the desktop I am there for good).

Start up times are about 20-30% better than 7 although as I hardly ever reboot that isn't an issue. I just sleep it all the time. Overall performance is a little quicker than 7 was which is great. The WinKey+X is my new favourite shortcut as well. So many helpful links in one place!

I don't run any kind of customisations other than what come as part of window (like disabling window effects, etc.). I run F.lux to save my eyes at night and Plumb for auto window management. Office 2013, Visual Studio 2013 and SQL Server Express 2012 all runs great on it. It does a great job managing system resources. Sadly my CPU does not have SLAT so I cannot use Hyper-V but VMware Workstation runs great so I am not missing out there. Although it would be nice to be able to run Hyper-V, will be one of the reason I upgrade in the next year or so.

I have never used a Modern UI/Metro app so I cannot really comment on that side of things. The first thing I do when I install Windows is disable UAC as it gets in the way when I am doing driver development and Modern UI apps cannot work with UAC fully disabled. As this is a laptop without touch I don't really feel I am missing out on anything though. They all look quick limited and I can't stand full screen apps.

One thing I don't like is the new way networks are connected/disconnected from as a sidebar. Kind sucks compared to the way it was done in 7.

Also settings are all over the place with some in PC Settings (from the charms bar) and other in Control Panel. Or even in both such as Windows Update!

As for app compatibility I have had no issues. Everything runs the same as it did on 7. All in all it took me about half an hour to get used to the start screen and some of the new ways to do things but other than that 8 is pretty similar to 7 but with a nicer UI theme (personal preference of course).

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Astra.Xtreme    2,794

I'll give you that just because that is somewhat subjective. But I can say that after using it since the Release Preview, I haven't had any problems with it whereas with Windows 7, I had to reboot my laptop about 4 - 5 times just to get past the BSOD.

That was due to a hardware or driver issue. Nothing to do with Windows 7.

For the average user, that's a good thing.

http://reviews.cnet....ntivirus-boats/ :)

I haven't used an AV since XP, and still don't use/need one to this day.

For the average user, having MSE auto-installed is a great thing, but it doesn't serve any benefit for my needs.

Just as I did with UAC, I'd probably disable it on my PCs.

Remember, not everyone owns an SSD. You got to think of this as the big picture. If everyone owned an SSD, then yes, that wouldn't make much difference, but hard drives are still being used and because of that, the improvement is needed.

I also forgot to mention how well it works on older hardware. Not as slow as Windows 7, since Windows 8 utilizes less RAM than 7.

I'm not exactly concerned about the big picture. All my PCs have SSDs, so my concern is what works best for me, which is 7, not 8.

Regardless, besides the hybrid boot that 8 uses, I highly doubt there is much of a performance difference between 7 and 8. Performance is largely due to the physical bottleneck, which is almost always a mechanical HDD. There's basically nothing that can be done in software to get past the physical limitations of mechanics. I'm sure 8 probably does use less RAM than 7 since there is no Aero transparency and the general UI in 8 is much simpler. Regardless of that, saving a little bit of RAM doesn't equate to a performance increase unless the RAM usage is riding towards the maximum.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Studio384    1,450

?What do you not like about Windows 8?

Easier to answer with a "not" in it: I miss more costumizing for my startscreen, however, it seems they are going to fix that...

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

Prety easy. Windows 7 to Windows 8 is a big jump, but when you put the Developer Preview, Consumer Preview and Release Preview between those, it's easy. However, my parents manage to use Windows 8 correctly from the first day.

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

I use Windows 8 for design, webdevelopment, and software development... and testing those things.

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

Yes: don't start with a "I will hate it, how good it is doesn't matter" attitude.

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

Try and find it out by yourself, you learn more from that than asking someone else to do it for you.

?Any questions regarding W8 for the neowinians to answer for you?

No.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DevonT    1
That was due to a hardware or driver issue. Nothing to do with Windows 7.
No, and no. I do a lot of configuring and tweaking and all the tweaks (such as the ones done to the registry) eventually made Windows 7 slower and then one day, it just stopped working. Out of curiosity, I tried the same tweaks in Windows 8, one year later, everything is working just fine. When I mean stability, I mean, how much can I do to it before it crashes. Since Windows 8 held up better to numerous tweaks than 7, It's clear that it's at least more stable as far as tweaking the system is concerned.
I haven't used an AV since XP, and still don't use/need one to this day.
Well that's a dumb move if you ask me. In that case, let's not wear seatbelts when we're driving either. No one (regardless of their knowledge of computers) is immune to viruses.
I'm not exactly concerned about the big picture.
Then instead of saying of bashing Windows 8, just say that it doesn't work for you.
I highly doubt there is much of a performance difference between 7 and 8.
Since the release of Windows 8, I've helped several people install it and they've noticed a decrease in the time it takes to load most of their programs. And I'm not just talking about small programs like Notepad or paint. I'm talking about programs that much bigger than that.
.. saving a little bit of RAM doesn't equate to a performance increase unless the RAM usage is riding towards the maximum.
Actually, since there's more available RAM in Windows, that means more for the user, which does help the performance.

Here's some more info about how Windows 8 better manages the memory than in 7. The amount of RAM that the user gets back in Windows (in comparison to 7) depends on the users' hardware, so it won't always be "a little bit" that the user gets back.

http://www.askvg.com/comparison-between-windows-7-and-windows-8-memory-management-system/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Astra.Xtreme    2,794

No, and no. I do a lot of configuring and tweaking and all the tweaks (such as the ones done to the registry) eventually made Windows 7 slower and then one day, it just stopped working. Out of curiosity, I tried the same tweaks in Windows 8, one year later, everything is working just fine. When I mean stability, I mean, how much can I do to it before it crashes. Since Windows 8 held up better to numerous tweaks than 7, It's clear that it's at least more stable as far as tweaking the system is concerned.

It doesn't work that way. Just because you can mess things up in the registry, doesn't mean it's less stable. There are probably 10 million new ways you can mess up 8 since it has a dual UI. That must mean it's less stable, right?

Well that's a dumb move if you ask me. In that case, let's not wear seatbelts when we're driving either. No one (regardless of their knowledge of computers) is immune to viruses.

That's a really poor analogy... I can't get physically hurt by not using an AV. Even if I do, for whatever reason, get infected, I can east get rid of it. If I can manager to not get a virus in 10+ years, I think I'll be fine going forward.

Then instead of saying of bashing Windows 8, just say that it doesn't work for you.

Umm... where am I bashing it? I've said numerous times that it doesn't work for me...

Since the release of Windows 8, I've helped several people install it and they've noticed a decrease in the time it takes to load most of their programs. And I'm not just talking about small programs like Notepad or paint. I'm talking about programs that much bigger than that.

Unless you have proof of that, it's a placebo effect...

Actually, since there's more available RAM in Windows, that means more for the user, which does help the performance.

You don't seem to understand how the basics of a PC works. More available RAM doesn't mean more performance. The difference in 4GB of RAM and 400GB of RAM is ZERO unless the usage is nearing the capacity of the 4GB. Yes, 8 probably works a little better on PCs with low amounts of RAM, but the people that have such old out-dated systems probably aren't interested in 8 anyway since better solutions are available.

Here's some more info about how Windows 8 better manages the memory than in 7. The amount of RAM that the user gets back in Windows (in comparison to 7) depends on the users' hardware, so it won't always be "a little bit" that the user gets back.

http://www.askvg.com...agement-system/

See my comment above. Available (ie un-used) RAM doesn't equate to performance.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DevonT    1

What do you not like about Windows 8?

- Having to choose between programs, settings or files when searching for something.

- How I can't run Modern apps on both my primary monitor, and the secondary one. Right now, it's only possible to have the desktop on one screen and a Modern app on the other.

How did you find the transition between W7 and W8?

Somewhat easy. I had Windows 7 pre-installed on my laptop and I upgraded to the Consumer Preview, then the Release Preview. The only difficult part I had was upgrading the Release Preview to the RTM version. Since my dvd drive doesn't work most of the time, I had to copy the installation files to a USB drive, then modify a file that would allow it to install Windows 8, even though I was using the Release Previer. Other than that, I had no trouble with the installation itself.

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

I use Windows 8 for web design, some programming, writing, virtualization (testing different OS's, such as Ubuntu 13.04 for ex.).

Have you found any useful tips/tricks for W8?

Yes. If you're using Chrome and you want your bookmarks to appear on the Start Screen, the best thing I've found is to make shortcuts pointing the websites and save them in the original Start Menu folder. Then go to the Start Screen and pin your bookmarks. It can be a p.i.ta., but it works :)

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

Take your time. Explore around and see how it works. Don't be afraid of clicking on something. If need be, ask someone who knows how to use it to help you out. Apart from the MUI, Windows 8 is mostly Windows 7 with lots of improvements and some new features as well.

Any questions regarding W8 for the neowinians to answer for you?

Nope.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DevonT    1
Just because you can mess things up in the registry, doesn't mean it's less stable.
Well technically it depends on what you're doing, but if an OS can't handle tweaks, then yes it is less stable. Of course, system tweaks isn't the only thing that determines an OS's stability. For me, that's my experience with Windows 7 & 8. I've modified them both a lot, and so far, Windows 8 is the one that still works great. Windows 7 on the other hand, just crashed and gave me a BSOD. Either way, that wasn't the only thing I hated about Windows 7.
There are probably 10 million new ways you can mess up 8 since it has a dual UI. That must mean it's less stable, right?
First it was 100 options for the Start Menu & Taskbar, now it's 10 million.. Geez. Because I'm nice, I made a list of some websites that mention tweaks for Windows 8. I don't think that it equates to 10 million though. /s

http://forums.mydigi...-speed-increase

http://www.computerw...ricks_and_hacks

http://www.addictive...aks-hacks-tips/

That's a really poor analogy... I can't get physically hurt by not using an AV.
Actually that's a good analogy. You seem to think that you can't get viruses and that you don't need a AV program. Just like some people who think they don't need to wear seatbelts because they're good at driving. Regardless of how much you know about computers, it's always better to have an AV. Just saying.
You don't seem to understand how the basics of a PC works.
I actually have a very great understanding.
More available RAM doesn't mean more performance.
It's not the only thing that determines it, but it does play a role.
.. Yes, 8 probably works a little better on PCs with low amounts of RAM
Actually, it works better with all PC's with low or lots of RAM. I know this from experience with installing and running Windows 8 on more than 10 different computers. but the people that have such old out-dated systems probably aren't interested in 8 anyway since better solutions are available.
RAM doesn't equate to performance.
It does play a role actually.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kachan64    74

Well, I run a tech site. I need to check latest news/feeds/comments/tweets/likes etc in a quicker way. So I install Windows 8.

I still own Windows 7 on my primary laptop HDD that comes with my laptop, but I use Windows 8 the most depends on what I'm doing.

I got 1TB hdd to transfer stuff across when I need it.

I use ribbon disabler. Looked at Startmenus, but never thought of using it. Cuz startscreen is much way faster to access my installed games and apps in category. Also some metro apps as well.

I don't like to have 2 settings tho. Don't like ,killing the old classic control panel, but I wish that the other settings for touch only.

If they fix some of the stuff that meant to be used for desktop not for touch, than I'll be satisfied.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Astra.Xtreme    2,794

Well technically it depends on what you're doing, but if an OS can't handle tweaks, then yes it is less stable. Of course, system tweaks isn't the only thing that determines an OS's stability. For me, that's my experience with Windows 7 & 8. I've modified them both a lot, and so far, Windows 8 is the one that still works great. Windows 7 on the other hand, just crashed and gave me a BSOD. Either way, that wasn't the only thing I hated about Windows 7.

Umm... an OS isn't designed to prevent the user from trashing the registry... If you mess something up, it's YOUR fault. Not the OS's fault...

First it was 100 options for the Start Menu & Taskbar, now it's 10 million.. Geez. Because I'm nice, I made a list of some websites that mention tweaks for Windows 8. I don't think that it equates to 10 million though. /s

http://forums.mydigi...-speed-increase

http://www.computerw...ricks_and_hacks

http://www.addictive...aks-hacks-tips/

Do you even know what you're talking about?... You clearly don't understand the concept of simple statistics...

Actually that's a good analogy. You seem to think that you can't get viruses and that you don't need a AV program. Just like some people who think they don't need to wear seatbelts because they're good at driving. Regardless of how much you know about computers, it's always better to have an AV. Just saying.

No, it's a terrible analogy, and I already explained why... You're comparing apples to oranges, and it makes no sense whatsoever.

I never said I can't get viruses. Nice try at twisting my words though...

I actually have a very great understanding.

If you do, then your reading comprehension and understanding is extremely poor...

Your understanding of simple OS design concepts is greatly flawed... Realistically it's because you can't admit you're wrong...

It's not the only thing that determines it, but it does play a role.

Actually, it works better with all PC's with low or lots of RAM. I know this from experience with installing and running Windows 8 on more than 10 different computers. but the people that have such old out-dated systems probably aren't interested in 8 anyway since better solutions are available.

It does play a role actually.

Again, read what I said... Context plays a huge part here, and you clearly fail at comprehending any of it.

A PC with 200MB of available "unused" RAM will perform exactly the same as a PC with 2GB of available RAM. You can't magically pull performance out of nothing.

You've proven nothing in these conversations, and you refuse to comprehend common sense, so why are you even a part of these discussions?

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dashel    542

No use losing hair over an abusive Mac user Astra ;)

For the lulz:

I do a lot of configuring and tweaking and all the tweaks (such as the ones done to the registry) eventually made Windows 7 slower and then one day, it just stopped working. Out of curiosity, I tried the same tweaks in Windows 8, one year later, everything is working just fine. When I mean stability, I mean, how much can I do to it before it crashes.
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DevonT    1
No use losing hair over an abusive Mac user
Abusive Mac user? Really.. I own a Mac Mini, but (to much of your surprise) I run Ubuntu 13.04.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DevonT    1
If you mess something up, it's YOUR fault. Not the OS's fault...
Well most of the reason why I use Linux is because I can customize it. And I also said that it wasn't just the registry. Windows XP and even Vista (for that matter) worked well with tweaks. Windows 7 on the other hand did not. And after using Windows 8 since it's developer preview, it's worked amazingly well with tweaks. That shows that since it's able to handle tweaks that modify the registry like that, then it is really stable because it can handle it.
No, it's a terrible analogy, and I already explained why... You're comparing apples to oranges, and it makes no sense whatsoever. I never said I can't get viruses. Nice try at twisting my words though...
No, it's actually a great analogy. Just because it doesn't seem to make sense to you, doesn't mean that it's bad. And I'm not twisting words. I'm saying that it's the impression you give off.
Again, read what I said... Context plays a huge part here, and you clearly fail at comprehending any of it.
Actually, I don't.
A PC with 200MB of available "unused" RAM will perform exactly the same as a PC with 2GB of available RAM. You can't magically pull performance out of nothing.
Whether there's 200MB or 2GBs of RAM available, it still does play a role in performance because that available RAM could be used for something that the user needs/wants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Astra.Xtreme    2,794

Well most of the reason why I use Linux is because I can customize it. And I also said that it wasn't just the registry. Windows XP and even Vista (for that matter) worked well with tweaks. Windows 7 on the other hand did not. And after using Windows 8 since it's developer preview, it's worked amazingly well with tweaks. That shows that since it's able to handle tweaks that modify the registry like that, then it is really stable because it can handle it.

Just because you failed to get some random tweak working, doesn't mean the whole OS is any less stable. Saying so is complete non-sense.

If you actually listed out the tweak you were trying, I'm willing to bet somebody can point out exactly where YOU went wrong with it...

No, it's actually a great analogy. Just because it doesn't seem to make sense to you, doesn't mean that it's bad. And I'm not twisting words. I'm saying that it's the impression you give off.

Do you even remember what you were talking about, or are you simply too naive to own up to your error?

You were comparing seat belts, which are a physical safety feature, to an AV program... The consequences of each are incredibly different, so once again, no your analogy was bad... Not having an AV is comparable to not doing periodic backups of your data. Both can result in loss of data, and that's it... I won't die and I won't cause physical harm to anybody else... And yes, you did twist my words. You claimed I said something that I actually didn't, and the proof of that is on the previous page. Good try though... You might as well just accept that you cornered yourself...

Whether there's 200MB or 2GBs of RAM available, it still does play a role in performance because that available RAM could be used for something that the user needs/wants.

:facepalm: Oh, so now you're changing your story and saying "could be used". Guess what? "Could be used" and "is being used" have entirely different meanings. Potential performance is the exact same thing as no additional performance. This really isn't that hard of a concept...

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Auditor    121

I don't hate windows 8 but I hate metro crap. I guess that makes, I am getting neutral to windows 8

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pulagatha    94

I think Metro can be really good. I just wish it would pick up those in-line window options like Windows Media Player/Center. Mainly, the caption buttons. I wish there was an Anchor Button instead of off-screen chrome. And another thing I would really like is a the ability to switch the icon controls on the Charms Bar. Like maybe an option for the Control Panel, Registry Editor, and Shutdown?

And I know this sounds really ridiculous, but the options on the "Angry Birds" home screen. The cog that when pressed pulls out all of the other options. I think that is one of the best interface designs ever. I wish that was how Metro gave you the options for the off-screen chrome instead. A million miles away from ever happening. But I really want to see the people at Microsoft show something that people will listen to. And I'm just trying to think of anything that comes to mind that I appreciate.

I love the Desktop UI. If Metro would just take a few things from that I would be a lot happier with Windows 8. Borders. Separators. Maybe a gradient or two. I miss Aero Glass too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Atomic Wanderer Chicken    1,585

I would like an option to resize it about 60% so its within the desktop. There needs to be a integrated power options as well just like the start menu. Finally,there should also be an option to put your own bacground in the start screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pulagatha    94

I like the Internet Explorer pic. All the options lined up perfectly in a row. I would change a few things about it. I'd make it a little more detailed. I don't particularly like all the other Sputnik8 pics because of how off-center all the icons are with the top bar.

One of my biggest complaints about the Metro interface is how much wasted space is used in doing minimal things. The Start Menu doesn't need to take up the entire screen. I don't need a full bar to come out of the side for my WiFi options. Every thing should have more minimal screen space than this. Maybe (in the case of the WiFi window) about the size of a sticky note in the top right corner?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SyntheticVirusZ    50

Like this:Source & more: http://www.theverge....ktop-ui-concept

I've always liked that concept...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Phouchg    2,048

I may relate to most complaints about the current state of Metro. With one more - "in your face" colors. This, on the other hand, presents very pleasing combinations. Doing away with borders might not be to everyone's taste as there's not enough contrast between elements (but is it necessary?). While I have turned off shadow in 7, here soft shadow looks fine. It could be a choice - soft shadow, thin line according to current color scheme or none whatsoever.

Anyway:

* most elements are easily scalable for high-DPI screens

* most elements are enough separated to be touch-friendly

* a brave take on existing, recognizable concepts

In short, all that is required for transition to mobile devices without presenting trouble of adjustment. No radical changes, just refreshing different. And could easily be complemented with Tiles of all sorts.

Of course, little things are off here and there, it's just a concept that has never saw action. But I'd actually use that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rohdekill    775

Does "get rid of it" count as an option?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Eric    1,605

[Threads merged]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dot Matrix    7,436

Clean up some whitespace, and integrate it more into the OS.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pulagatha    94

A couple of ideas.8402661448_7034cd326b_o.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.