Hugsies Blog!

October 29, 2012

Rolling with Windows 8

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , — Hugsie @ 8:50 pm

I’m now running windows 8 on my primary desktop PC. I’ve been running the consumer preview on another PC with little fanfare and quite frankly it was no big deal. I was able to score a copy of windows 8, legitimately for only $14.99.  This was the compelling reason for getting it and I’m no longer bootlegging it, or using some half-assed consumer preview version. No more will you have to spend upwards of $200 for Micro$oft Windows so-called Ultimate Edition. Heck even Mac OS X will be sold for about $40 but they also will be releasing new versions annually of OS X. I don’t know if Microsoft plans an annual re-release like Apple has been doing since OS X 10.7.0 (Lion).

The install was quite easy. What I opted to do was to download the OS over the internet, burn and ISO file to a DVD and do a clean install. Yes you CAN do a clean install on discounted “upgrade” versions of Win8 and it doesn’t bother asking you for the CDkey of the old OS, or asking for the old CD. So it’s bascially a full version of Win8, since really you’re really just buying a Product Code that the installer asks for during a clean install.

You simply use the Microsoft Upgrade Assistant app that you download and run on the PC you wish to upgrade where you buy the product key code, and download the OS. Then you have the option of an in-place upgrade over your existing OS (except windows XP). If you do an in-place update it won’t ask for the product key since the app alrady knows it. But this route seems to take LONGEST time do do the install since it has to move and delete all your old contents on your harddrive. But you seem to retain everything as long as it’s compatible for which the Upgrade assistant tells you before hand. The quickest and best way was to burn the ISO the upgrade assistant created (or create a bootable USB flash drive) and boot to that to install it. When the disk tools appear i just completely deleted all the partitions on my C: drive, and it only took like 6 mins to get it done.  Took longer to download and burn the DVD than it was to install it.

No longer do you have the start menu, you now have “Tiles.” However when I was tuning the preview version  it just seemed like it was in the way since most of the time you’re running windows apps that just brings up the desktop interface anyway. However, once you get your Live account set up with Win8, it all changes. The formerly-named “metro” interface then makes sense. People who have Windows phones will feel right at home with the “tiles.” These aren’t just icon replacements to your apps, they actually display and do stuff at a glance.

As Microsoft does, they tend to follow what Apple does. Windows 8 is also an attempt to blend tablet/portable devices with desktop computers. OS X Lion and Mountian Lion didn’t do this as much as Windows 8 does. Though at this rate Apple may be coping some tricks from Microsoft this time around. One of the things that bothers me with my Android Tablet, my Mac, and now windows 8 is there’s no simple way to close apps.  Sure the older “desktop mode” apps still have the “X” at the top right to close it.. But the native Windows 8 apps that launch from the Tile screen never close.  They don’t have a close button, and there’s no apparent way to close them. Sure they aren’t taking any CPU cycles when you’re not using them, but if you’ve opened many of these apps, and you press ALT-TAB to switch to some other app you have to tab though a dozen of these fucking icons to get to the app you want to get to.  I have to CTRL-ALT-DELETE to open up task manager so i can force quit these apps. That irritates the fuck out of me.

Chrome also seems to have an “app” version of it self as well as the normal desktop mode. If you launch it from the tile screen, it comes up in full screen but still functions like the desktop. However you do see the [X] button at the top right but it doesn’t do anything; it’s like a phantom button. So there’s no way to close chrome other than clicking the little (x) on every tab you have open. It runs as a separate instance than the desktop mode of Chrome which DOES have a working [X] close button.

But besides that I’m quite happy with my $15 purchase for an OS. Cheapest OS I ever did, and hell my best friend bought like 3 copies of it for this price for his laptop, desktop, and his wife’s laptop too. The promotion discount, by the time you read this, will no longer be available but even then the normal price for it is only $39.99 which is just plain cheap. I pay more for a Xbox 360 video game which I only end up playing for a maximum of 2 months before I’m bored of it. With an OS you’re gonna be using it for a few years.

I’m also glad Microsoft has paid attention to critics about past releases of windows having nearly a dozen different versions that made little sense to consumers. We had Basic, Home Basic, Premium, Professional  business  and the over priced Ultimate to confuse users about what OS they needed, plus there were separate 32bit and 64bit versions of all of these to contend with. With windows 8 that BS is gone. We now basically have four versions of Windows 8 with one of them that is intended for ARM based mobile devices; Windows 8 RT.  The rest “Windows 8” considered the basic edition, “Windows 8 Pro” which will probably be the most common one people will get, and “Windows 8 Enterprise” for server and IT professionals which has been available since August 2012.

This wikipedia page explains the differences between these editions of windows 8. It seems the Pro edition will be the most common used consumer version and found on OEM PCs. I believe most all of them will install on 32bit or 64bit based PCs using the same install since there is no further breakdown (nor confusion) of separate 32/64bit editions listed.

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