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windows 8 pros and cons

 

Pros

  • Use better touch screens with accelerometers and location-awareness
  • Watch HD movies on your wireless TV - um, if you have Pro.
  • support for wireless TV's (I am not talking rabbit ears) and other modern displays
  • support for the Windows App Store (download your apps) - so - what happens if you bought an espensive package and you have to reinstall?
  • Make Windows 8 follow you across devices that can run RT and 8 (roaming windows live user profiles), so also do your software licenses.
  • destroy a virus, keep your data with a "reset/refresh" (this is equivalent to old OS Repair)
  • boot times have decreased from 40 sec. in 7 and 5min in xp to 27 sec. in 8. Microsoft wants to cut this boot time in half.
  • better and more intuitive system views in task manager and some other areas
  • HTML5+javascript applications can be made as metro applications in windows 8. yippee! but usually to do this you have to be a business to make apps.
  • new feature: push button reset and refresh since windows is a magnet for malware (popular to attack)
  • no more small icons for the taskbar (compared with xp). looks like wasted space, but it's really not, those icons get stacked on top of each other, and semi-transparent. touchscreen-oriented.

Cons

  • generally anti-productive. according to one user, (even win8.1), it takes more (sometimes 2-3x more) steps to get things done in win8 and 8.1 than with win7.
  • a local login is hard to get at, see this article reverse/avoid the live id even with a network connection. for devs, a windows live id comes in handy. you may end up using the live id anyway even if you don't realize it.
  • control panel doesn't contain all settings anymore, settings sare scattered about and you have to dig for them. apparently there is a GUID you can use to fix this.
  • same minimum system requirements as windows 7. higher boot security was added optionally. older machines like pentium 4's can run windows 8 but you should have all 4GB of RAM according to the upgrade advisor and a directx 9 or better video card with at least 256MB of video RAM.
  • 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 (NIC teaming) 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.
  • webcam Face Recognition biometrics for doing the password thing (I don't consider biometrics a feature - I would prefer to put this under the cons). very insecure. I wish people who think they are doing us a favor would drop biometrics.
  • 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.
  • 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 (start8?) 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. win8.1 has a start button that simply does same thing as [windows-logo-flag-key] I guess, but still no nicely productive start menu. I have work to get done. microsoft, please bring back the start MENU, not just a start button. this was one of the things microsoft got right (it's not so much about holding to old conventions, it'a about productivity and getting work done faster).
  • the windows-logo-flag-key now switches between desktop and metro screen. I find this to be wasteful and antiproductive.
  • it is near to impossible for new users to figure out how to shut down the machine in 8. usually it takes days/months 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. the folders and shortcuts are there, but you have to go through all apps , which is hard to get to, bloated, and annoying. there are programs which fix this problem and bring back the start menu to windows 8, but they are typically slow. 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! metro screen "tiles" lack help icons and documentation etc.
  • 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 regsvr32 hhctrl32.ocx.
  • 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.
  • windows live (live.com) is now used as your pc login. this brings up several problems:
    • does live.com drop user accounts that are not used in a certain period of time?
    • does live.com require password rotation?
    • I don't WANT my machine regularly phoning home to microsoft. besides, that's my bandwidth I am paying for! microsoft isn't paying for it, I am. I need all I can get.
    • MAJOR security issue with logging on over the internet for your pc login!!!! just A BAD BAD Idea! no to the cloud!
    • if microsoft servers go down, the whole world will be unable to login to their PC's! (and people will buy macs or go to skyos or linux, maybe even me - OS/2 anyone?)
  • win8 thinks ethernet is wifi and has an SSID and passkey. yeah, right. win8.1 has some pretty bad networking problems.

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".

comparison between xp, vista, and 7

How Windows Azure Works

7 things we know for sure about windows 8