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Windows 8 (for desktops and laptops) review

Verdict

It's not an essential update for most laptops and desktops, but Windows 8 delivers some subtle improvements on its predecessor

Review Date: 23 Aug 2012

Reviewed By: PC Pro staff

Price when reviewed: Not yet confirmed

Buy it now for: £140
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
4 stars out of 6

This is an abridged version of the full nine-page review of Windows 8 that will appear in issue 217 of PC Pro, on sale 13 September

Although Windows 8 has pushed mobile and touch-enabled devices to the forefront, the vast majority of users will be installing the OS on traditional PCs and laptops. Think you know your way around Windows on a PC? For the most part, you still do with Windows 8, but a few changes in approach are impossible to avoid.

Like it or not, there’s nowhere else to begin but the Start menu. Many people complained when the Start button was absent from early builds of Windows 8, and despite much hopeful speculation, it has indeed gone for good. Instead, to open applications, find files and access system settings, you now use the same Metro Start screen that’s front and centre on tablets and touch devices.

Windows 8 - Metro Start screen

You needn’t move in wholesale if it isn’t to your liking – pinning applications to the desktop taskbar is the post-installation priority, and if you set up your environment correctly you can last the day without having to see Metro. However, you’ll inevitably find yourself there from time to time.

For unpinned programs you tap the Windows key, type a few letters and results begin to appear ready for opening. Annoyingly, however, they’re divided into application, setting and file screens, with applications set as the default. So even if you type the precise name of a setting, you won’t be able to press Enter to open it without first selecting that option.

The Metro Start screen scales reasonably well on large desktop monitors and it’s customisable to a degree, but it’s hard to shake the strong feeling that Metro – or whatever Microsoft eventually decides to name it - is an inefficient use of space. Its full-screen approach isn’t at all suitable for screens larger than around 17in, and it isn’t surprising that most of the PC Pro team have settled into routines that avoid entering Metro if at all possible.

Desktop changes

Windows 8 - Desktop

The better news is that the traditional Windows desktop sees plenty of worthy improvements in Windows 8.

First, the styling of windows is flatter than before, to complement the look of Metro. We feared it might be an unnecessary step backwards, but it isn’t particularly noticeable: everything can be dragged and resized as before, and the combination of the Windows key and cursor keys still snaps windows to the edges of the display.

Explorer windows now have the ribbon interface, but it can be hidden away to be opened on demand with a click of one of the menu tabs – some of which appear only when relevant file types, such as images, are selected. SkyDrive is integrated directly into the file tree, so placing your documents in the cloud to share with other devices is a breeze.

Windows 8 - Explorer

You might think that the file copy and Task Manager dialogs are trivial, but it’s amazing how quickly you come to rely on their new designs. Copying a file now brings up a line graph of the transfer speed that’s updated every second, along with a generally accurate estimate of the duration. If you copy a second file, it’s neatly stacked in the same window.

Task Manager now provides all sorts of detail, from the CPU, memory, disk and network usage of every running process, to live graphs of overall system resource usage and histories of which programs have been running. It’s graphical, well designed and now a tool that even non-experts may find useful.

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User comments

Nah

"Windows 8 will join Vista on the Mary Celeste of forgotten operating systems." - I really, really do not believe that. Quite a few businesses out there are still on Windows XP and their next jump will now be to Windows 8, that is, if the I.T. guy isn't scared of change!

By rhythm on 23 Aug 2012

@rhythm

I wonder if those businesses are upgrading either because they're adopting new hardware or because of XPs support cycle?

But you're saying that just because something is different that immediately makes it better and anyone against it is scared?

I haven't tried the RTM release yet so I'll withhold my final judgement until then, BUT I'm concerned because Metro doesn't seem to provide any benefits so I will probably be finding a hack for it to restore what was lost.

Another major concern for me is that if a family member gets a new computer with W8, I'm going to have to not only set it up but also retrain them to do the EXACT SAME TASKS as before.

By tech3475 on 23 Aug 2012

Pleas tell me that when I buy a new desktop, around Christmas or more likely New Year, I'm not going to be forced to buy a system pre-loaded with Windows 8? I'm still using Vista but frankly I'd rather upgrade to a Windows 7 system than Windows 8 just now. Or will I not have the choice?

By stormN on 23 Aug 2012

Office Upgrade

@rhythm
I disagree with that. Most businesses I know that are still on XP have invested significant time in testing Win 7, so won't want to spend more money on repeating a test cycle for Win 8, which would also increase the time XP is in use.

By guthmeng on 23 Aug 2012

@stormN

Why avoid Windows 8 if you're on Vista? I found Vista very sluggish. Windows 7 was/is very nice and snappy (compared to Vista) but Windows 8 feels even quicker. Boot times are incredible on my PC (which is about 3 years old). I admit I hardly ever spend time in the Metro interface but the desktop can be brought to the top via one keyboard shortcut.

By ish44 on 23 Aug 2012

it takes minutes to learn the new shortcuts

lots of benefits and a few different ways of doing things. whenever i have moved house or changed my car or bought a new phone this is what happens. it takes a couple of days to get used to win8 and very quickly you realise there are loads of improvements. as already said, boot time is spectacular for one!

By sihaz2 on 23 Aug 2012

Conflicted

After installing the TechNet RTM I was conflicted. I actually don't mind the flatter feel of the desktop. In fact after a few days of use I think I prefer it. Everything works fine after an in-place upgrade from Windows 7. I find myself inadvertently launching IE10 as by default it lives where the Start orb used to be.

However, my remaining opinion is that Windows 8 on a desktop PC is suffering from the electronic version of split personality disorder. Honestly I've tried to like the 'metro' start screen, but it just feels like it doesn't belong on a desktop PC with keyboard and mouse. It feels like two operating systems have been awkwardly squeezed together and inflicted on me.

Maybe this will change with time and use. Maybe there will be some great 'metro' apps released which will convince me otherwise. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a Windows 8 tablet to experience how 'metro' was designed to be used.

By PlanetOfTheGrapes on 23 Aug 2012

Windows 8 start orb / menu

http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/index.html
Try it, full customisable too. Made Win8 a pleasure to use and don't have to look at Metro screen any more.

By ardow on 23 Aug 2012

Why not add your own Start Button?

I've hated most of what Microsoft's done to the good ole' Start Button since Windows XP. Which is why I use the open-source Classic Start Menu to avoid the whole issue. CSM allows you to create your own customised Start Button and Start Menu - even in Windows 8, for which it's just been optimised. I'm hoping that when the time finally comes to upgrade, I won't have to even look at Metro...

By MadaboutDana on 23 Aug 2012

Whoops, sorry @ardow

... I see you've already drawn everybody's attention to Classic Shell, of which Classic Start Menu is one of the components.
Cheers!

By MadaboutDana on 23 Aug 2012

Old

I drive an Austin Maxi as I hate what they have done with the good looks and the anti-lock brakes and the sat navs and the 20000 mile services and the air bags and the fuel economy and the diesel power and the carbon fibre and aluminium. Leave me alone, change is bad and I'm comfy.

By Mat1971 on 23 Aug 2012

@guthmeng

Sure there will be a learning curve but when you 'really' use Windows 8 it's not rocket science and once a few key users get Windows 8 they'll ALL want it. We need not think like techies but standard users.

P.s. We have a site licence so automatically have Windows 8 and Office 2013 to install. I've just finished Windows 7 so onwards and upwards.

By rhythm on 23 Aug 2012

Classic shell is great .. but wait till MS break it

I would only consider buying Win8, if I could be certain that Classic Shell, or one of its variants, would always be there to use. But what's the betting that an early Windows Update will "break" it?

After all, one of the reasons that MS was so determined to force users to use the Metro screen was so that it could make money from selling apps. Classic shell’s primary purpose, however, is to enable Metro refuseniks to avoid it, inevitably hitting app sales. MS can easily fix that.

By pimlicoguy on 23 Aug 2012

Upgrade?

I don't see any compelling reason to upgrade my desktop from Win 7 Pro 64 bit.

By jontym123 on 23 Aug 2012

There is less reason to upgrade to Win. 8 from Win. 7 than there was going from Win. XP to Win. 7

In fact there are specific reasons for not upgrading.

They are trying to compete against Android and iOS, good luck with that as well.

By Ulfarus on 23 Aug 2012

Windows Experience 8

The vast majority of the work has been devoted to the new Metro interface,
============
Well heck no... Has there not already been "trouble at t' Mill", due to the name "Metro" and Metro AG? Is it now called Windows 8 UI.?

I am looking forward to Windows 8 because it will help me type much faster. Unfortunately most businesses will not see things like that during a major recession and probably will stick with what works (well enough). Saving money than costly O.S. roll out, Staff Training, steep learning curves and serious software error problems that arise with "another O.S." .

With a modification here and there I can foresee a spectacular future for Microsoft, but that is for them to attain.

By lenmontieth on 23 Aug 2012

Windows 8 graphical user interface names

@lenmontieth
I think you'll find that the latest (and final?) name for the interface-formerly-known-as-Metro is "Modern UI".
I suspect that this is "modern" in the sense of Window New Technology (NT) - that is, not really very.

By JohnGray7581 on 24 Aug 2012

Word

Quite a few positive comments on this thread over at Engadget:

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/23/cyberlink-power
director-windows-8-tablet-video-editing-app/

Just about to install Windows 8 Enterprise on the first three tablets. this company is officially rolling out Windows 8 (Slowly). Now off to find some GP templates.

By rhythm on 24 Aug 2012

P.s. Watch the video!

Ohh no... imagine that, a laptop with a touch screen! (Types this from a HP 2760p connected to a Dell ST2220t 24" touchscreen monitor)

By rhythm on 24 Aug 2012

Luddites?

Calling W8 refuseniks 'luddites' is probably an insult to Mr Ludd.

Yes its different, yes you have to relearn a few things, but NO it's not that hard.

I'm over 60, and I've used every version of MSDOS, Windows and Mac O\S's , I've worked in UNIX, LINUX etc. Despite being unspeakably ancient and set in my ways, I really can do it....

This whole 'I can't use W8' thing smacks unpleasantly of 'fashion', not intellect.

If I were MS I'd be pissed off at what appears to be a campaign by the commentariat to slag W8.
I know journo types & bloggers have invested a lot in elevating Cupertino to being the new Mt. Olympus, but disparaging W8 won't maintain its dominance....

By wittgenfrog on 24 Aug 2012

Finally have Windows 7 !

Upgraded from XP this Summer. Yay!

Teaching complete beginners using a classroom full of XP machines - with the 'Classic' theme & Start Menu - The main problem/complaint I always had was when they got home, their Vista / 7 computers were "completely different".

Windows 8 is going to be fun...

By greemble on 24 Aug 2012

Hmmm,,, promising

With Windows 7 though there was a groundswell of opinion that wanted (and needed) something better than Vista. There isn't quite that degree of anticipation with 8.

Still, it's tentatively promising. Microsoft seem to put more effort into things now that they're no longer quite the top dog that they were.

By Alfresco on 24 Aug 2012

I already upgraded

...to Linux Mint.

By Col_Panek on 24 Aug 2012

@ Mat1971

Think you are missing the point somewhat
Pass your driving test and you can pretty much step into any car and drive it, sure there are incremental upgrades, but when did you have to get in a car and thing about anti lock brakes / air bags etc. These things are just done for you.
Now if car manufacturers decide in theer next model that the clutch will be in the glove compartment and now to start it you will need to wind the back window down first then I'm sure you would have something to say about it.
That said I do think there are many things in Win8 that are fantastic, for example the roaming profiles from machine to machine, but I think what most peoples problem is stems from the fact that you are unable to customise it to use how YOU want i.e put the start button back if I choose and lose the IFKAM front end.
Can't help feeling that if they had not made these changed mandatory, most people would have been gushing praise at Microsoft for all the positive things in Win 8 but as it is ........

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

@ Mat1971

Think you are missing the point somewhat
Pass your driving test and you can pretty much step into any car and drive it, sure there are incremental upgrades, but when did you have to get in a car and thing about anti lock brakes / air bags etc. These things are just done for you.
Now if car manufacturers decide in theer next model that the clutch will be in the glove compartment and now to start it you will need to wind the back window down first then I'm sure you would have something to say about it.
That said I do think there are many things in Win8 that are fantastic, for example the roaming profiles from machine to machine, but I think what most peoples problem is stems from the fact that you are unable to customise it to use how YOU want i.e put the start button back if I choose and lose the IFKAM front end.
Can't help feeling that if they had not made these changed mandatory, most people would have been gushing praise at Microsoft for all the positive things in Win 8 but as it is ........

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

@ Mat1971

Think you are missing the point somewhat
Pass your driving test and you can pretty much step into any car and drive it, sure there are incremental upgrades, but when did you have to get in a car and thing about anti lock brakes / air bags etc. These things are just done for you.
Now if car manufacturers decide in theer next model that the clutch will be in the glove compartment and now to start it you will need to wind the back window down first then I'm sure you would have something to say about it.
That said I do think there are many things in Win8 that are fantastic, for example the roaming profiles from machine to machine, but I think what most peoples problem is stems from the fact that you are unable to customise it to use how YOU want i.e put the start button back if I choose and lose the IFKAM front end.
Can't help feeling that if they had not made these changed mandatory, most people would have been gushing praise at Microsoft for all the positive things in Win 8 but as it is ........

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

Think you may have a problem with your message boards

I only clicked submit once (honest), wondered why so many people were submitting 3 times !

By andyw35 on 26 Aug 2012

I can't really see the problem. At worst you can treat the metro screen as a great big start screen. Follow Ed Bott's guide to harmonising the desktop and start screen and the transition becomes a lot less jarring (do a search for 'The Metro hater's guide to customizing Windows 8).

By jgwilliams on 30 Aug 2012

Hmmm

The comments are starting to move towards Pro Windows 8 on the desktop and laptop. Seems that the youngsters are starting to get into it.

http://www.engadget.com/2012/08/31/samsung-Series%
209-WQHD-Ultrabook-matte-display/

By rhythm on 31 Aug 2012

Major points not addressed in the review

From what I've read in other articles, there are a couple of major points that would make the step to win8 all the better.

The first, and most important, at least for laptop users, is improved battery life. So many laptops still have sub-standard battery life so for a meagre £15, they can upgrade and improve upon this. I'm surprised this hasn't been mentioned at all in this article.

Secondly, boot times, sleep etc have also been vastly improved as I understand. Some laptops, even with modern tech, take quite some time with all their bloatware and can be rather painful to wait for. So, an improvement in boot times especially is more than welcome and certainly makes me stop and think about an upgrade. And from what i understand, it isn't just a few extra seconds we're talking about.

And my third point (to my couple of points!) is that most applications including games will perform slightly better. So, again, a meagre £15 upgrade will give your system a performance boost.

These 3 points alone justify an outlay of £15 i would have thought, yet I'm surprised they haven't been mentioned.

By domster2 on 15 Sep 2012

Windows 8 Performance

@domster2

The boot, logon and shutdown times are significantly improved.

My 5 year old Dell Vostro which came with Vista and has been upgraded to win 7 32 bit and now Win8 64 bit is faster and more responsive than ever before.

AQs you say £15 is a no brainer and you can use the upgrade from XP I believe as well as Vista and 7

By juliansharp on 17 Sep 2012

Fashion

@wittgenfrog

It did take me a couple of days to get used to Windows 8 and TIFKAM but once it "clicked" it was fine.

It wasn't hard and as I was using apps pinned to the Taskbar and was typing app names from the Start menu in Win 7 (MS telemetry shows this how many of us work), the adjustment has been very small and actually quicker.

The RTM version fixed the multiple monitor problem which was my major gripe with the previews.

I've used MSDOS, Windows (since 2.0), NT (since 3.5), HP-UX, AIX, SVR4, and Slackware Linux (pre 1.0).

I agree there is an unpleasant 'fashion' abroad which doesn't match my experience or others I know.

By juliansharp on 17 Sep 2012

Sorry Mess

I've used the release preview and it's a mess. From a security standpoint Windows 8 is a complete disaster. As a desktop user I would not wish this rubbish on anyone. How do you lock this down to run only your own applications? (Avoiding METRO?)(Not apps. Proper PROGRAMS?) PC-PRO, to be fair have given a muted thumbs down to the desktop user, but they are hardly unbiased (since they rely on Microsoft for advertising revenue.) Most technical people think Windows 8 is an abhorrent operating system. (And yet Microsoft had only to do ONE thing to make it accepted. Make METRO optional. Simple.) Sinofskys failed Surface demo is only the beginning... How many people will buy the WinRT tablet to find they cannot load their traditional software? The 'apps' currently in the Windows Store are a joke. If you actually read the reviews, most have been given poor ratings. They are sub-standard and poorly implemented. The General Public buying a WinRT tablet will soon complain at the lack of quality apps.. My advice to anyone looking for a new PC is AVOID Windows 8 and downgrade to Windows 7. I will certainly not help or support anyone that loads this piece of crap. (And I'd urge other software engineers to protest likewise) Microsoft need a sort sharp lesson in humility. LISTEN to your customers! Sinofsky should be sacked. He's no Steve Jobs. He's pretending to be and alienating most of the Microsoft developers in the process. Bill G flush this crap down one of your advanced African toilets and get back to work designing a proper operating system...

By BNMORGAN on 2 Oct 2012

Isn't the whole point...

about the Mary Celeste is that she was deserted?

Maybe the Flying Dutchman if you're after a nautical analogy (I'll avoid any Titanic references this early on).

By Alfresco on 26 Oct 2012

shumarkhan

@BNMORGAN

You did not just disparage Africa and charity work simultaneously and expect to be taken seriously...

Who on earth asks you for help or support?

By shumarkhan on 26 Oct 2012

Umm, Ive had the release version if Win8 running on my secondary desktop for about a month.
Its just as good as windows 7, but its just faster.
Win 7 - took just over 60 seconds to boot,
win 8 - takes 20 seconds.

All programs (not metro ones) load faster than ever.
For many with average PC specs installing Win 8 eventually will be an improvement on 7.
My PC was built for media purposes and some occasional work using office.
Its a 2.7 dual core AMD and is now 3 years old, 2 gb ram.
Such low specs and windows 8 runs like a charm.

By r1sh12 on 26 Oct 2012

We've just finished rolling out Win7 to all our company desktops & laptops so we will not be jumping onto Win8. Having had a close look at it I think it is fine for tablet devices and we may well indeed buy some Win8 tablets but as for laptops/desktops the Metro interface is just a car-crash. If we do get Win8 for desktop/laptop then we will have to buy the Start8 app to avoid having to retrain all our staff.

By JohnSheridan on 27 Oct 2012

Running Fine...

I started installing it Friday night (started the download and went to bed).

Ran the install on Saturday. I did a new install, just preserving my data.

So far very impressed. The only driver I had to track down was the SD-Card reader in my Sony Vaio. Everything else was loaded automatically.

After re-installing my apps and re-pinning the commonly used ones on the desktop, I find that IFKAM doesn't really get in the way.

The start screen is very nice and useful, if I need it, but I would say I spend about 98% of my time still on the desktop. It seems faster, although Flash was a bit slow to start with, but it seems to be running fine now - could have been that W8 was still organising stuff in the background at the time.

By big_D on 29 Oct 2012

WIndows 8 £25 upgrade

I originally put this in the tablet section by mistake.
Just installed this on a lovely but old Sony Vaio VGN-TZ11XN laptop. This had Vista Business edition, an 85Gb drive, and only 2GB of memory. With Vista it was really too slow to be used much, but I didn't want to pay for a Windows 7 upgrade. What a revelation. After upgrading to Windows 8 the boot is really quick (before I used to go make coffee and a sandwich while it booted!), and it is pretty smooth to use. The interface took a bit of getting used to, but now I have the hang of it, it was well worth the £25! And I can get Media Centre on it for free at the moment. So if you're not sure about Windows 8 maybe it is a way to revitalise one of your older laptops



Read more: Windows 8 review (for tablets and touchscreen devices) | Software | Reviews | PC Pro http://www.pcpro.co.uk/reviews/software/376537/win
dows-8-for-tablets-and-touchscreen-devices#ixzz2Ag
6T8prJ

By DJ2003 on 29 Oct 2012

Businesses

Of course the majority of businesses won't be rolling-out W8 any time soon, but they probably will, eventually.

As many have remarked, lots of businesses have only just moved to W7, so their upgrade cycles dictate these things, not fashion.

Anyone recommending their employer to stick on XP or "downgrade" to W7 should be sacked. It's our job as IT Professionals to facilitate change, not to try and impede it.

By wittgenfrog on 29 Oct 2012

Media Center (Centre!)

I used the Media Center quite a bit with my PCTV nanoStick T2 - and very disappointed that the new version fails to acknowledge it exists, even though it shows that it's working fine on the device manager.

I'm sure there'll be a solution before 2014 though - here's hoping.

By cookster on 29 Oct 2012

Laughable comment

Your comment wittgenfrog that anyone recommending W7 over W8 for business be sacked is laughable.

As IT Professionals it is our duty to look at W8 to see if it brings any benefits to the companies we work for over & above W7 not just to upgrade for the sake of it because it is new!

In our case W8 for desktops/laptops brings nothing new over W7 and would involve a lot of time upgrading and also retraining staff to work with the car-crash called Metro UI.

By JohnSheridan on 29 Oct 2012

Laughable comment

Your comment wittgenfrog that anyone recommending W7 over W8 for business be sacked is laughable.

As IT Professionals it is our duty to look at W8 to see if it brings any benefits to the companies we work for over & above W7 not just to upgrade for the sake of it because it is new!

In our case W8 for desktops/laptops brings nothing new over W7 and would involve a lot of time upgrading and also retraining staff to work with the car-crash called Metro UI.

By JohnSheridan on 29 Oct 2012

Laughable comment

Your comment wittgenfrog that anyone recommending W7 over W8 for business be sacked is laughable.

As IT Professionals it is our duty to look at W8 to see if it brings any benefits to the companies we work for over & above W7 not just to upgrade for the sake of it because it is new!

In our case W8 for desktops/laptops brings nothing new over W7 and would involve a lot of time upgrading and also retraining staff to work with the car-crash called Metro UI.

By JohnSheridan on 29 Oct 2012

Stop stereotyping

@rythm, thanks for calling me you. At 44 I was beginning to feel old! :-D

@BNMorgan - erm, I'm a techie type, I've been working in IT since 1982 and I like Windows 8 and see it as an improvement, thankyouverymuch.

@andyw35 stop hitting refresh, each refresh submits the comment again - it is a known "feature".

Also @andyw35, moving the cluth to the glovebox? More like moving from an Opel to a Ford, BMW, Mercedes etc. the onboard computer system looks totally different and the buttons for hazard warning, headlights etc. are in different places, but the main controls remain the same.

By big_D on 29 Oct 2012

Avoid, unless you want to spend hours trying to make it work

Well, first thoughts.

It's not good.

My 5 month old Asus laptop which whizzed under Win 7HP has now been hobbled after upgrading to Win 8 Pro.

The biggest problem was complete destruction of WiFi. Win 8 will not install without uninstalling Intel Wifi drivers/software.... and doesn't replace them !!!! Much scratching of head as it is difficult to re-install something which is no longer shown as being in the system nor is recognised by Windows update. Luckily, I wrote down what Win 8 wanted to uninstall so eventually found something on the Intel webpages. This included an update scanner...which didn't work! Despite having Java 32 & 64 bit installed, both these were not recognised by Win 8 and IE10 so a reinstall of Java was required. Intel update would now download drivers but installs seemed to fail and still not make the wifi work. In the end, I downloaded (manually) all 6 install packages (32 & 64 bit)from Intel and after an hour got wifi back.

Metro is unusable. Whoever thought this would be a good idea needs their head examining. On my 17" screen laptop, Metro spreads over 6 screens(!) when you display all apps. WTF??? No way you can ever find anything. To get to this, you have to do an amazingly annoying combination of mouse gestures, right clicks and general fumbling. I've installed Classic View just to be able to get things done. I bought 2 copies of Win 8 to install on my laptops and both will be going back.

Stick with Win 7

By supatall on 30 Oct 2012

Desktop disaster

I've seen the demos, done the UI training but I still find the interface utterly clunky on a desktop. This OS is clearly aimed at tablets. I reckon the whole of Microsoft are so focussed and excited by Surface that they've just ditched all the loyal desktop/laptop users. I'm an IT Pro, God help a regular user.

By AndyChips on 30 Oct 2012

@supatall

My Start Screen stretches across one screen on my 15.6" laptop.

I have removed from the Start Screen all the stuff I don't use / don't use regularly. Those I can find again by starting to type in their names...

By big_D on 30 Oct 2012

Really??

Wittgenfrog - "Anyone recommending their employer to stick on XP or 'downgrade' to W7 should be sacked."

So I suppose anyone rushing in to the newest untested OS blindly should be promoted then...

By NickS on 3 Nov 2012

@big_D

The Start screen as supplied by MS does not fit on my screen. I have to drop down to the bottom horizontal scroll bar and drag across to display the rest of it.

To access anything useful, drop your mouse down to the right corner, up pops a menu bar with a tiny "All apps" button. Click on this - hey presto! 6 screens of "stuff".

I don't want to start typing names of programs. I have them in alphabetical order in a menu so I can find them. Some of us forget which programs we have on which pc/laptop so it is way easier to look for something. I look after 6 home pc's/laptops, 4 work pc's and innumerable friends/colleagues pc's. It is so much easier to look to see what is installed.....

By supatall on 3 Nov 2012

Beware before install

So a tip for those who want to install Win 8.

Win 8 removes all access to your recovery partition. It is no longer accessible from Boot. Make sure that you have created recovery discs beforehand and be prepared to be bored during re-install of Win 7.

Better still, read online on how to create a dual boot W7/W8 system.

There is no backwards route from Win 8 to Win 7. MS sent me a link on how to reinstall Win 7 which said it can't be done.

Be warned!

By supatall on 3 Nov 2012

And another thing...

I have just discovered that I don't have a DVD drive! Wow!! It's there. I can see it. I used it under Win 7. I even used it to burn my Win 7 recovery DVD's but Win 8 doesn't believe it's there.

By supatall on 3 Nov 2012

I've just upgraded from Win7....

What a muddled compromise Win8 is; it's just not designed for a PC! That's why third parties have come out with classic shells. Now I have to click lots of times to do things (like shut down) rather than just once or twice.

Have you noticed that Microsoft bring out a rubbish release every other version? 98R2 good, ME bad, XP good, Vista bad, 7 good now 8 bad.

As supatall says, be warned!

By TonyO on 15 Nov 2012

Windows 8 or should it be called window 8

You guys all seem to know your stuff.. But hey at work we still use XP it works Windows 7 on the laptops even better.. Window 8 cant even do simple task like compare 2 windows side by side i just cant do it!!! i found what looks like a normal desktop great time to get some work done but no depending on how you manipulate the touch pad on the laptop it turns into a demon possessed flicking from on thing to the next then back to the mobile phone desktop Microsoft were right when the said everything at once!!! certainly not for the short tempered user... just my tuppence worth.. this is going to take some getting used too mmm

By simple_user on 27 Nov 2012

More feedback

A colleague (against my advice!) just bought a brand spanking new Win 8 laptop. It is being returned after 1.5 days of frustrating non use. It suffers repeated BSOD's and she has found it to be unusable. Stick with Win 7 or wait for Win 9....

By tallsimon1 on 19 Dec 2012

Slimmer, faster, more productive

I initially thought installing Windows 8 was a big mistake. I upgraded from Windows 7 (i.e. over the top) and suddenly had more blue screens of death in one day than over 2 years since installing Windows 7. Oh dear - but I persisted and completely re-installed Windows 8 and now really glad. The interface initially feels backward as it is simple and less aesthetic, but you soon get used to that. Overall the main benefit is speed and reliability. I admit I had to install 'classic start menu' but now I have Windows 8 operates smoothly and speedily and I like the simplicity of the design. I have also installed Office 2013, Chrome and Firefox, and a few other must have apps and together everything works a treat. Most people think Windows 8 is a Vista style boo-boo but I wholly disagree. There are some improvements necessary but overall good and I rarely, if ever, visit the metro part. Anyway, this is my opinion.

By Twiggymate on 3 Apr 2013

Slimmer, faster, more productive

I initially thought installing Windows 8 was a big mistake. I upgraded from Windows 7 (i.e. over the top) and suddenly had more blue screens of death in one day than over 2 years since installing Windows 7. Oh dear - but I persisted and completely re-installed Windows 8 and now really glad. The interface initially feels backward as it is simple and less aesthetic, but you soon get used to that. Overall the main benefit is speed and reliability. I admit I had to install 'classic start menu' but now I have Windows 8 operates smoothly and speedily and I like the simplicity of the design. I have also installed Office 2013, Chrome and Firefox, and a few other must have apps and together everything works a treat. Most people think Windows 8 is a Vista style boo-boo but I wholly disagree. There are some improvements necessary but overall good and I rarely, if ever, visit the metro part. Anyway, this is my opinion.

By Twiggymate on 3 Apr 2013

Slimmer, faster, more productive

I initially thought installing Windows 8 was a big mistake. I upgraded from Windows 7 (i.e. over the top) and suddenly had more blue screens of death in one day than over 2 years since installing Windows 7. Oh dear - but I persisted and completely re-installed Windows 8 and now really glad. The interface initially feels backward as it is simple and less aesthetic, but you soon get used to that. Overall the main benefit is speed and reliability. I admit I had to install 'classic start menu' but now I have Windows 8 operates smoothly and speedily and I like the simplicity of the design. I have also installed Office 2013, Chrome and Firefox, and a few other must have apps and together everything works a treat. Most people think Windows 8 is a Vista style boo-boo but I wholly disagree. There are some improvements necessary but overall good and I rarely, if ever, visit the metro part. Anyway, this is my opinion.

By Twiggymate on 3 Apr 2013

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