- same minimum system requirements as windows 7, nope. this was ditched in favor of higher boot security. it also means older machines like pentium 4's can't run windows 8. so for older boxes run windows 7 with a dx9 video card with at least 256MB VRAM.
- for developers and IT
- .Net 4.5 is built-in. which means that updates for this component are necessarily large and require a long time to update and install, and also requires broadband. sorry, dialup users. the age of dialup for windows users seems to have gone away and costs have gone up. (disable updates?)
- visual studio 2012 express now not only doesn't install anymore, it is specifically targeted only for windows 8 metro apps. awaiting fixes. sorry,windows 7 users and the rest of the world. :-( there's always mingw-w64! and some other compilers out there!
- no visual way to close metro applications in windows 8 or RT - you are just going to have to use the keyboard with alt-F4 - sorry tablet users!
- teething pains: task manager hangs, multiplexor protocol disables itself (even with multiple NICs)
- support for the Windows App Store (download your apps) - so - what happens if you bought an espensive package and you have to reinstall and you didn't burn it to a cd? one person said all his apps had a red X next to them one day. unusure the cause.
- remember the first Pro? that also means a con - you have to buy all new software that supports roaming profiles is my guess! a lot of software doesn't work on windows 8.
- Face Recognition biometrics for doing the password thing (I don't consider biometrics a feature - I would prefer to put this under the cons).
- shock: windows 8 optimized for tablets
- no more Quick Launch Toolbar (I liked it) - however, it is said by those who use it that the new taskbar is much better. so this may be an irrelevant con. but wait - you can make one - maybe. but read the comments before you try. Microsoft, I still think this is a mistake.
- no more small icons for the taskbar? (someone check please) wasted space. touchscreen-oriented. All the videos I have seen about windows 7 have large icons on taskbar. I am almost sure the size is configurable like it is in XP. I don't think Microsoft would do that to us. So this may be an invalid con.
- the Run menu item is still gone from the Start menu. Regardless, you should still be able to run items using [windows-logo-flag-key]-R. The Windows logo key looks like a little flag. Unless you are one of those who used it on a regular basis in XP, you would not know it was gone. But when you need it (usually in a crunch), you really need it. You can get it back by right-clicking on the Start menu|Properties|Customize|Advanced. search for "Run command" and make sure it is checked. You can do the same thing with Vista.
- there is no start menu.
- the windows-logo-flag-key now switches between
- it is near to impossible for new users to figure out how to shut down the machine in 8. usually it takes days of persistent tinkering to figure this out. try starting with [windows-logo-flag-key]-I, using the mouse to get to charms is pretty much impossible (tiny 1-pixel area in corner of screen).
- the programs you install which are made to work with previous versions of windows which have icons and folders in them will not install correctly in windows 8. windows 8 actually puts them there, but you have to go through all apps I think, which is hard to find and annoying. there are programs which fix this problem and bring back the start menu to windows 8. this will show up in the start metro screen as a single tile/icon windows picks as your executable - hope it picked the right one! bye-bye help!
- control panel is now broken up into multiple different locations and charms. look at win7/8 "god mode" articles to consolidate them.
- as usual,windows .chm help files needs to be registered manually, usually through
- you have to disconnect from the internet to create local accounts on the machine. otherwise, it uses windows live id's which you must sign up for.
see article about HW and App compatibility and differences between Vista and 7. All else is same code base as Vista, which means it may have the Output Protection Manager for non-certified HW, which downgrades your video, audio, and network communications (by requiring all net communications to be encrypted). also, see this article about "10 reasons why Vista haters will love 7".