Final Results And Overall Mark
Well we have reached the end of the review. Here are my final comments, notes and grades for Microsoft Windows 8.
What can I say about Windows 8? Windows 8 is probably the best approach to Cloud computing I have ever seen in a client operating system. Rather than take a glorified web browser approach like Google’s Chrome OS or a dumbed down compromised view like Apples iOS Microsoft has balanced its traditional approach to operating system development with a blend of forward thinking. PC Syncing is a strong highlight of the new operating system, you see the immediate benefits when you have multiple PC’s running Windows 8. It has drastically changed my perception of the operating system since I first began using it. I have a system perfectly running Windows 7 and I am seriously considering upgrading it to Windows 8 just to harness the benefits of PC syncing.
I will also repeat some of what I said from the Windows 8 Release Preview. My perspective on Windows 8 at this point is, it’s a decent operating system, especially when used in context. Windows 8 will be excellent on Tablet and Touch supported devices. There is still a bit of reluctance about Windows 8 on traditional form factors such as Laptops and Desktop computers. Yes, the idea going forward is to have these devices in convertible modes that make using the Start Screen convenient on them. My use of the Start screen on the couple systems where I have Windows 8 RTM is very limited. It wasn’t until recently I have been dabbling with it more especially for quick application launching and it still remains a curiosity than a full time commitment. Microsoft has made great effort since the Windows 8 Dev Preview to make it a more enticing value proposition. With Microsoft’s entrance into the hardware industry with a device like the Surface, my commitment might change this fall. Right now, it’s still kinda hard justifying the Start Screen on a desktop computer and like I said before, the Start Screen feels secondary when being used with a mouse and keyboard. It’s clearly touch targeted. Apart from this, Windows 8 offers many improvements across the board in the desktop app especially.
The performance of the operating system remains one of its key improvements in addition to features like the new File Explorer, built in Hyper-V, advanced recovery tools, Multiple Monitor Support, make Windows 8 a joy to use and proves its value even more. It is surprising at this point that Windows 8 has dropped support for some older systems that might not be the most powerful, but still capable. Windows 7 runs on these systems just fine, so I can’t see why Windows 8 should not since they use the same system requirements. The No Execute Bit requirement is just unnecessary in my opinion. Is it a recommended upgrade though? If you just bought a new PC with Windows 7, you probably can hold off on the upgrade for a while and take the wait and see approach. I am personally staying committed to Windows 7 on some systems where I have it installed, I might consider dual booting with Windows 7 since I am a technology enthusiast and like to keep up with the latest. Overall, I would prefer to have Windows 8 on a new PC this fall instead of upgrading an existing one and one that is Touch ready (preferably a mobile device). The Surface is looking very enticing and it might actually be the device that gets Windows 8 into the hands of many.
Eleven months ago, when I started writing about Windows 8, I brought up the hit and miss scenarios with Windows releases.
This of course might ring some alarms, because when we look at the history of Windows successes and perceived failures, it’s a bit fluctuating to be honest with you. These of course are likely coincidences, but let us take a look anyway:
Windows 2000 - Industry accepted
Is Windows 8 a hit or miss?
It’s a hit, it is clearly Microsoft’s most bold development in years, it probably beats out the transition from Program Manager (Windows 3X) to Windows 95, the move from Windows 9x to the NT Kernel. The Windows 8 platform represents so many things: truly touch centric, support for modern processor architectures, fast and fluid as Microsoft puts it and also represents where the majority of the world is heading when it comes to computing, entirely mobile.
Systems used for testing
Microsoft Windows 7 RTM - Review