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I myself am not really looking forward to this new release” or “I am sticking to Windows 7 until they have something truly worth offering” or just a simple “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO“. When Tina reported on Windows 8 What You Can Expect To See In Windows 8 What You Can Expect To See In Windows 8 No sooner had the dust settled over the bumpy transition from Windows Vista to Windows 7, than Microsoft started fueling interest around its upcoming new operating system, codenamed Windows 8, which is expected to be... Read More just a few weeks ago, those were some of our reader responses.

It’s not only limited to our loyal followers. Lifehacker’s YouTube video summarizing the Windows 8 keynote was filled with similarly negative reactions. But you know what? There’s really nothing to worry about. In fact, Windows 8 should be awesome – and here’s why.

The Old Desktop Isn’t Gone – It’s Better

Perhaps the greatest area of concern for geeks is the metro UI. It’s a new interface for Windows that will be optimized for touch, so much ado has been made of it during press conferences. It’s common for people to think that the old desktop is being marginalized or taken out completely.

As I reported back in June Microsoft Goes Metro(ish) With Windows 8 [News] Microsoft Goes Metro(ish) With Windows 8 [News] Microsoft’s recent demo of Windows 8 unveiled a big change – an entirely new interface. Clearly inspired by the Metro UI currently used by Windows Phone 7, the demo of Windows 8 featured colored tiles... Read More , that’s simply not true. The traditional desktop has always been a part of Windows 8. In fact, it will better than Windows 7. A number of new features have been shown that will greatly improve the traditional experience.

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Multi-monitor support has been improved by giving users the option to include a customizable taskbar on all displays. The task manager interface has been revamped and will include superior real-time performance information. Anti-virus will now be baked into the operating system.

As Microsoft has pointed out, these are just features they’ve had the time to display. As with any new release of Windows, there will be multiple adjustments, bug fixes and improvements. Windows 8 will offer the best traditional desktop experience yet.

Don’t Blink! You’ll Miss It

Performance improvements are also a focus of Windows 8, which benefits everyone. Since Windows 8 will be partially competing with mobile operating system like Android and iOS, Microsoft has designed it to provide similar responsiveness. This is, frankly, long overdue. But late is better than never, and I look forward to a Windows experience that involves faster booting, nearly instant resume, and a more pleasurable experience on (relatively) slow hardware.

Another nifty and under-reported performance enhancement is the introduction of full hardware acceleration of the operating system. Previous versions of Windows have accelerated some parts of the user interface, but with Windows 8 Microsoft is promising seamless acceleration of both the interface and apps.

The time is right for this move, as we’re entering an era where all new computers will offer competent integrated graphics What Is An APU? [Technology Explained] What Is An APU? [Technology Explained] Read More . The impact of this is evident in the demos where video is smoothly integrated with Windows interface elements, something that would be difficult on slower processors without the assistance of a GPU.

The Steam Effect

Windows 8 will ship with an app market simply called “the store”.  Although some might bellyache over this, I feel it is long overdue.

Built-in app stores have a number of benefits which, in my opinion, are best demonstrated by Valve’s game platform. When you purchase a game on Steam, you can download it quickly, and you can purchase it without worrying about if you have the latest version or patch. Demos are also easier to implement, giving consumers more information.

There are also security benefits. Quicker patching will ensure that security problems are taken care of uniformly, and fakeware can be more easily removed from the market. With proper oversight, a digital store can allow for independent developers to thrive and put their product in front of customers who otherwise would never have found it.

Obviously, there is some risk here. A poorly managed store is bad news, and my experience with Microsoft Xbox Live The Best Router MTU Settings & Practices For A Smooth Xbox Live Experience The Best Router MTU Settings & Practices For A Smooth Xbox Live Experience Read More has had its ups and downs. The Xbox is different however, because Microsoft’s store is the only option. With Windows, there’s nowhere to go but up, as the worst case scenario is a return to the current state of the Windows software market.

Conclusion

I’m excited for Windows 8. Personally, I think Microsoft’s recent track record is promising. Windows Phone 7 is cool, Windows 7 is the best operating system I’ve ever used, and my Xbox has become the chief media center of my home theater. The company is making the right moves, and doing so with more grace than most give it credit for.

But hey, I’m sure some our readers think that I’m wrong, and I didn’t write this article to shut anyone up. So what do you think? Will Windows 8 be an improvement, or should we buy popcorn and lawn chairs so that we’re comfortable watching this impending train wreck?

  1. Joseph Mulle
    November 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Using both windows 7 and windows 8 side by side identical computers.
    Hans down windows 8 is the best overall computing experience Microsoft has ever produced.  The networking and file system performance is enough to switch.
    Me i am not a Microsoft fan, I am developer using Ubuntu and windows inside virtual box when necessary.  Don't like the new windows start panel/start button or what ever you want to call it.  It needs a lot of work.
     

  2. Suhel
    September 28, 2011 at 8:09 am

    I ws wondering how much would it cost????????????

    • M.S. Smith
      October 5, 2011 at 4:12 am

      Probably the same as Windows 7.

  3. Abraxas
    September 28, 2011 at 7:14 am

    It's true. I have never owned a Mac but I certainly have used many Windows and Linux PC's. I must admit that for the longest time, I have craved after a Mac. Sure, I like the tech knowledge that Linux demands but still have wanted that gloss a Mac has. But then since I installed the Developer Preview (currently running 3 OS's on my ASUS Core2Duo, Win 7, 8 and Fedora 15)...have been wondering what I really like about a Mac. I realize that all my life I have used Windows and truth be told, it has never let me down! BSOD? 2 or 3 times in the last 15 years. I too love new software and am an eager alpha/beta tester. I used animation/video editing software and I watch a lot of HD movies and have Sim 3 running at the highest degree of graphics most of the time. 
    I realize I could do all of that with a Mac too but I do it all at a fraction of a price. I can customize, repair and replace as I wish. If I don't like something or don't like a particular software, I need not spend more than 5 minutes to find an alternative. App Store??? Don't they not realize that Windows has the biggest app store in existence (no offence to our visitors from outer space as I have not had a chance to experience their app stores)...

    Anyway, in summary to my rant....the truth is, you don't really every appreciate what you have. I think Windows 8 opened my eyes. It just said, look, if this is what you want, we can do that too. But remember, we have been doing this for years and so many of you have been using it without you realizing it. And loving it too........

    • M.S. Smith
      September 29, 2011 at 2:40 am

      Agreed. Windows is really taken for granted. My Windows machine doesn't crash as much as my MacBook. 

    • jordan badangayon
      October 3, 2011 at 11:04 am

      really??? my windows 7 crashes a lot... and it boots up very slowly...:( I am thinking of trying linux when i get the time...

    • Robin Ashe
      November 10, 2011 at 12:08 am

      If you're not sure why your Windows machine crashes or why it boots up slowly, Linux won't solve anything for you. You need to at least have the savvy to make Windows smooth as butter if you want to have a chance of making Linux work trouble free for you.

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