Windows 8 forum: Does Windows 8 offer any improvements in usability or efficiency over 7?

by: Lee Koo (ADMIN) November 2, 2012 5:19 PM PDT

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Does Windows 8 offer any improvements in usability or efficiency over 7?

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) ModeratorCNET staff - 11/2/12 5:19 PM

Does Windows 8 offer any improvements in usability or efficiency over 7?

This is a question for the community about the new Windows 8. I am a computer professional dating back to the olden days when you programmed them by positioning eight switches and then hitting "commit" to write a single byte. My native OS was Multics, the forerunner of Unix. I have obviously seen many changes over the years, but since the introduction of the consumer PC, I am not sure any have been quite the magnitude of change that Windows 8 represents, at least not as rapidly.

I already bought a copy of Windows 8 Pro but I am hesitant to install it on my Windows 7 Pro desktop. Previous versions of Windows were optimized for the desktop and mouse, which I use exclusively (even on my laptops I use a mouse, never having grown comfortable with the touchpad or joystick). I have an Android smartphone, which I love, but I have no desire to use a touch screen on my desktop or laptop, and indeed I try very hard to keep their monitors free from fingerprints.

Windows 8, however, seems to me to be optimized for smaller touch screens at the expense of desktop and laptop convenience. I have only tried it using some third-party emulator software but it seemed weird (new things often do, so this is not necessarily a deal breaker) and cumbersome (which may be a deal breaker), requiring click-and-hold, slide, slide, click for things formerly accessible by a single click, although that may be the fault of the emulator. I understand that it was only in late beta releases that Microsoft removed a feature allowing users to boot directly to the "classic" Windows 7 (or Vista, XP, 98, 95, 3, 2, etc.) interface, and now allowing its invocation only as an application. Nasty!

So I am asking you, good people, does Windows 8 offer any significant advantages over Windows 7 for the traditional desktop user? Is the bootup quicker (with my SSD, bootup is pretty darn quick with Windows 7)? Is it lighter-weight, freeing up RAM for applications? Is it more secure, faster, better? As I said, as a computer professional I will need to familiarize myself with it quickly, but I am reluctant to use my chief production PC merely as a training tool for myself.

To sum it up, does Windows 8 offer any material improvement in usability or efficiency over Windows 7 for the desktop user who has no desire for a touch screen, or indeed does it have any advantage that might warrant its installation as a replacement OS on a desktop or laptop other than the sharing of the user interface with touch-screen devices? I thank you folks for your information and opinions here.

-- Submitted by: Woody S.

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