So, What's the Verdict?
After using this new system and Windows 8 for the last few months, I’m sure many of you are wondering if I have any regrets and if I plan to move to Windows 7. The answer to that question is absolutely not. I know I’m in the minority, but I really like Windows 8. The OS is not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, and there are most definitely some kinks to be ironed out, but I believe Windows 8 is a superior OS to Windows 7 and that every OS has its problems.
Many of Windows 8’s detractors point to two main issues with the OS: its lack of a traditional Start button and Microsoft’s insistence on forcing Metro / the Modern UI on end users. Before I made the move to Windows 8, I was concerned about these very same issues. I also disliked that Microsoft did away with Aero effects and didn’t want to re-learn how to navigate around Windows after I had grown so accustomed to every edition since Windows 95.
But instead of installing the OS, trying it for a few hours, and deciding I didn’t like it, I forced myself to use it exclusively. And once I had mastered the UI, I began to appreciate all of the operating system’s underlying improvements. Make no mistake—I think Metro / the Modern UI is butt-ugly and wish Microsoft gave users the option to boot to the desktop without having to resort to third-party utilities. But I understand what Microsoft was trying to do, and whether you like it or not, the Start screen—when personalized and organized properly—is much faster than the old Start menu when running non-pinned applications. With the old Start button, you had to click Start, then click All Programs, find the application folder, wait for it to expand, find the shortcut, and then click it. With the Start screen, assuming you’re in desktop view, one simply needs to hit the Windows key, scroll to the shortcut and click. It takes more work on the end user’s part to personalize and organize the Start screen, but expending the effort is worthwhile.
There are plenty of other noteworthy improvements in Windows 8, as well. The OS boots and shuts down much quicker, and it wakes from sleep faster, too. Windows 8 has a much-improved task manager; an ultra-handy menu that gives users quick access to things like Device Manager, Disk Management, Event Viewer and a host of other features with a single click; and search is also vastly improved. Many more aspects of Windows 8 are GPU-accelerated, which gives the OS a much more fluid feel than previous editions of Windows. Multi-monitor support is improved, and the OS’ overall footprint is smaller than Windows 7's, too. Windows 8 is simply faster and less resource-hungry than Windows 7. Benchmarks may not show much if any performance difference between Windows 7 and 8, but Windows 8 is snappier than Windows 7 all around in real-world use, which is something I appreciate. I wish Microsoft simply gave users the option of keeping the Start menu and booting to the desktop, but they didn’t; so I adjusted to the changes, and I’m glad I did.
Anyway, that's enough rambling. I hope you enjoyed this glimpse at my recent system build. If you've got any questions, concerns, or just want to flame me for liking Windows 8, by all means, please post a comment below or in the forum.