Windows 8 is coming. It seems like we’ve been hearing that for a while now, but with Microsoft’s recent announcement of October 26th as the official launch date, we can now circle an actual date on our calendars. Opinions on the OS seem to very polarized—some people embracing all the changes to the user experience while others are steadfast in their belief that it will be a failure. Most of the concern centers on the ‘Metro’ interface that is being added to this version. This tiled interface replaces what is currently known as the “Start Menu” in Windows which has been in place since Windows 95 was released over 17 years ago.
Microsoft has done a great job in educating on the benefits of the new features of Windows 8, but one area that I think has been overlooked is the impact it will have to day to day corporate users. As with any update to an operating system or core software, there is a learning curve and customary challenges to be faced with migration. The jump from XP to Vista/7 introduced many changes that confused users and gave the IT team headaches. With Windows 8, all signs point to this being exponentially greater on both sides.
First Exposure to Microsoft Windows 8
In this blog series, I will discuss my initial hurdles as an early adopter of Microsoft Windows 8. To be fully immersed in the experience, I have upgraded both my home and corporate (with the permission of my IT department) to the latest Consumer Preview of Windows 8. My topics will focus on areas that will impact both the average corporate user and IT administrator, and will include side notes on personal experiences and challenges encountered as well. My PCs are both laptops, with standard mouse/keyboard inputs. I mention this since there is a lot of talk about the Windows 8 UI being more suited for tablet/touchscreen interfaces. Since the average user who upgrades would do so on standard laptops/PCs, this will be my focus for discussion.
Finally, it’s probably helpful to know a little about my background. I have been a Windows user since the early days of Windows 3.1, and a heavy DOS user prior to that. To this day, I still find myself using command prompts to perform functions that can be performed easily through Windows. My knowledge of the Windows Operating System is fairly extensive, having spent years troubleshooting issues, tweaking the OS, and finding solutions to a variety of problems. I’ve used Windows platform for a variety of purposes, from programming and network support to usage as a home media server. Like many people, I thought Windows Vista was a big letdown (it’s the OS that prompted me to purchase my first MAC), but Windows 7 roped me back in and I consider it the best Microsoft Windows OS to date.
Check out my first chapter of the series, Installing Windows 8 From a Trial Perspective, where I unveil my initial experiences with the operating system.