Windows 8 Sit Rep

Now that I have been using Windows 8 for a week or so, I feel okay about making a couple of observations. I had used the preview version for some time last year, and really did not like it; this time, I am finding it a more pleasant/less stressful situation - and I'm not entirely sure why. On the plus side, it is quite slick, things mostly work in a fluid manner and the little apps fly and twirl around in a satisfying ballet. Hardware detection is good, and the overall experience it that of a polished product.

[caption id="attachment_5241" align="aligncenter" width="300"]windows 8 Image courtesy of TheVerge[/caption]

Battery life on my laptop seems better than with Linux Mint, something I had not anticipated. I have had no issues playing music, burning CDs or DVD's and so on. Wireless network performance is fine, and the overall performance is comparable to the experience I had on Linux Mint (which was good).

Now, here comes the "but". But, I don't like the Apps too much. They are fine in the sense that they generally work, but they are mostly very basic in their functionality and truthfully, I have not quite figured out how to control some of them. Now, I confess I am somewhat lazy in the sense that I expect a user interface to be fairly obvious - and some of the App controls are not, at least to me. I'll probably make a little effort to figure them out, but it's mildly irritating.

Oh, I know I can drag them off to the side and stack them up, and that there are "hot spots" on the corner of the screen and so on, but it's not obvious how to exit some of them (other than "force quitting" them by dragging to the bottom of the screen). For example, regarding the Music App - where is the volume control? It's not obvious at all; right-clicking does not bring up a volume control, scrolling does not do it, the arrow keys don't do anything, either. It seems that the Music App is tied to the hardware volume control (use the volume control on the laptop itself).

The other irritant is the "many steps to accomplish one thing" syndrome we saw in Vista and Windows 7. It seems that altering settings involve muddling through several layers of obfuscation to actually get to them. On the one hand, I understand trying to keep things simple on the surface - but not at the expense of allowing ready access to things like network settings and user accounts.

Overall though, better than I expected, and I will stick with it for the foreseeable future - knowing me, probably a few more months....

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