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Product: Windows 8
Company: Microsoft
See Pricing
Review By: Andre Da Costa

with Byron Hinson, Robert Stein contributing

Performance & Reliability

Table Of Contents (45 Pages)
1: Introduction
2: Pricing, Editions & System
Installation, Setup & Upgrading
4: Initial Impressions
5: Daily Usage & Application Compatibility
6: Desktop
7: File Explorer
8: Start Screen Apps
9: Internet Explorer 10

10: Networking & Connectivity
11: Windows Store
12: Gaming
13: Advanced Features - Part 1
14: Advanced Features - Part 2
15: USB 3.0 Support & Security
16: Performance & Reliability
17: Support Services & Activation 3.0
18: Other Features
19: Conclusion & Online Resources

For the past couple of months I have been running Windows 8 on a variety of systems, this includes three desktops and one laptop, with a combination of modern and older processor, fast storage such as SSDs and traditional mechanical hard disk. One of the immediate experiences you get with Windows 8 is how fast it is, from setup, configuration to daily usage. Of course, this is dependent on the system configuration. The bulk of my time on Windows 8 Release Preview has been on my work PC. A 2008 Dell Optiplex 760, with the following specs: Intel Pentium 2 GHz CPU, 1 GB of RAM. Windows 8 on all systems installed in less than 12 minutes, at least 7 minutes on a HP Z210 was impressive.

The fluidity of the modern interface is also a delight, moving throughout it feels fast and instant, when you bring up Charm bar or switch between the Start Screen and the Windows Desktop App, there is no delay. One area I do remain disappointed in is the performance of Metro applications. The need for a Splash Screen for every app not to mention the time it takes to open one is something that needs to be worked on. I assume this is a result of the Metro apps not running in the background when not in use. I do believe though, areas of the system such as PC Settings and key apps especially Mail, Music, Videos, Messaging and other bundled apps, needs to have some priority and always be ready for you. Reliability is another issue, these Metro apps are beautiful, but my goodness they are unreliable. Even in the final release they are rather buggy. For instance, I have to launch Mail at least 4 times sometimes just to get it to open up, the same can be said for Messaging, Photos, Videos and other key media apps. Probably the only ones I notice will open reliably are Reader and Skydrive. Where I work, we still have a large installation of Windows XP. These are some optiplexes that were installed a few years ago (760 series). I loaded up Windows 8 about a month ago and made the jump on it as my daily OS.

The experience so far has been revealing, now this is totally understandable, these are not top of the line configurations, but it does give a good idea that these systems will either remain with Windows XP or possibly Windows 7. Then again, considering both Windows 8 and 7 use the same system requirements, I don’t think they will be upgraded to that either. The systems are used for very basic task, web browsing, office productivity (word processing, spreadsheets, database management) and other basic task like viewing PDFs.







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