Subscribe / Unsubscribe Enewsletters | Login | Register

Pencil Banner

Windows 8 install and test drive: Welcome to Microsoft's brave new world

Loyd Case | Aug. 16, 2012
I’m writing this on an Asus Zenbook UX31A at a Peet’s Coffee on Steven’s Creek Boulevard in the heart of Silicon Valley. In an adjacent table a man and woman have papers spread out on a table, talking in hushed tones, with the word “Apple” occasionally audible.

The real problem is that the shopping experience seems a little too in your face. Now we have an idea of why Microsoft is making the upgrade available at such a low cost -- they hope to make it back in online store sales.

Still, you can ignore most of that, and spend most of your time in the good old Windows desktop if you prefer. Everything is really just a touch or mouse gesture away.

Windows 8, it turns out, is highly usable. The final release is noticeably more responsive with the touchpad and mouse than the pre-release versions. The user interface is easier to navigate than I'd feared, and the whole affair seems to hang together pretty well.

The responsiveness of the UI, down to mouse movements, scrolling and swiping large swaths of UI screen is incredibly smooth, made possible by GPU acceleration of most of the UI elements.

Whether Windows 8 will be a big winner is still an open question. There are clearly improvements over Windows 7, though the two-step to access the Windows desktop will no doubt be off-putting to some users.

A bigger annoyance, in my mind, is just how eagerly Microsoft seems to want to collect your money after you install Windows 8. How users respond to that will be interesting to watch.

 

Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  6 

Sign up for CIO Asia eNewsletters.