General Question

jca's avatar

What do you think of Windows 8?

Asked by jca (36062points) October 15th, 2013

I am buying a new computer with Windows 8 on it. I read a lot of bad stuff about Windows 8. I am not a techie and I basically want a computer for internet and email – I don’t play games and I don’t do anything with graphics or stuff like that. I may watch movies on it, though.

What do you think of Windows 8?

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27 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

The metro UI is shit. It is an abomination. If you decide to keep windows 8, make sure to download a program called “classic shell”, to get your start menu and your normal desktop back, because that is entirely missing in windows 8.

DeanV's avatar

I love it. The metro apps vs. the desktop environment is my main issue with it, but for someone like me who just presses the windows key and searches, Windows 8 is much, much faster than Windows 7, and that’s important to me.

Otherwise I think the complaints are pretty overblown. The Metro interface is ugly, and the Metro-specific fullscreen apps are irritating and don’t work too well alongside a normal desktop, but I hid them all, ignored them entirely, and I’m perfectly happy with it.

tom_g's avatar

Metro UI is a flaming pile of shit. I refuse to use it. As a software engineer who works almost exclusively with Microsoft technologies (.NET, SQL Server), I can’t completely abandon ship (from Windows). But I’m hoping that I can stick with Windows 7 until either Microsoft comes to their senses or these 3rd party tools to hide any and all of Metro are solid enough to work with full time.

Did I mention how f*cking horse shit metro UI is?

Based on your requirements for a computer, have you considered a Chromebook?

Pachy's avatar

Tried it, didn’t like it, went back to Mac. A Windows 8 update is due soon that’s supposed to fix a lot of issues, but I’m not interested.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

This article is about Windows 8.1. It’s being released this week.

Kropotkin's avatar

I’m actually a little bemused by a lot of the criticism. I read a lot of bad things about Windows 8, and was expecting the worst when I got my new laptop. I was expecting the possibility of installing Windows 7 because Windows 8 was apparently so terrible,... but it wasn’t.

I do not miss the start button/menu at all. Metro is a bit different, and some of the apps for it are a little slow, and the UI isn’t going to be for everyone, but the desktop mode is pretty much like every other Windows you’ve ever experienced, sans start button.

Just for some perspective on how subjective this can be: I absolutely hate Mac OS.

jaytkay's avatar

I tried the preview and hated it. I tried it again when the 8.1 preview came out and hated it again.

Tablet interfaces are designed for consuming – watching video, playing games, clicking on web links – the goal of most apps is leading you to a “Buy Now” button or at least making you look at advertising.

Once I got the Metro tablet interface to stop dominating, it was OK, but then it was basically Windows 7 with some familiar parts pointlessly removed.

The “upgrade” to me was just Windows 7 with some aggravation heaped on top.

jerv's avatar

Under the hood, it’s great. But the Metro UI is so unusable by anybody who uses a computer for anything other than Facebook and YouTube that it borders on criminal, and the desktop side is different enough (in bad ways) that if I upgrade from Win7 full-time, it will be to either a version later than 8.1, or to Linux.

Katniss's avatar

I’ve heard good and bad things about it. I’ve never actually used it.
My son has it on his new laptop and has no issues with it.
I, however, am still using a laptop running Vista.
Can you guess who gets the new toys in this house? lol

RocketGuy's avatar

Win7 is much more straightforward than Win8. I upgraded my old laptop from XP Home to Win8 – a lot of functionality is hidden (I can’t find them!).

I even like Win7 better than Vista – I upgraded my desktop computer from Vista to Win7 Home Premium. Everything works better.

ragingloli's avatar

Aaand the shit thing just completely wrecked itself. I am going back to 7.

mrentropy's avatar

I used the preview release and didn’t care for it but my life requires having the newest stuff so after it was released I installed it on my regular computer.

It’s no big deal. I never use Modern (Metro) UI things, though, so I never see them and they never get in my way and I never think about them. Essentially, it’s not much different from Windows 7 except for the lack of a Start button, which doesn’t bother me in the least.

I’ve never encountered problems installing software. It’s never crashed on me. I can’t really think of anything that really bothers me about it. Strangely, I’ve had more issues with OS X 10.8 than I have with Windows 8 and I’ve only had one major problem with OS X.

If you don’t start out at the onset expecting to hate it then, more than likely, you’ll be just fine especially if you’re just interested in email and web browsing.

jerv's avatar

@mrentropy I must wonder how many of the issues were the sort of thing common to new releases and have subsequently been patched. I generally distrust any software less than six months old or any Version X.00 stuff anyways, preferring stuff that either has already had a couple of rounds of bugfixes, or is clearly labeled as beta-ware and thus can be expected to be unpolished.

Pachy's avatar

News on Windows 8.1 release.

mrentropy's avatar


Frankly, I’m an OS whore. I like trying out different operating systems just because I think it’s fun. I don’t have any favorites and see the merits and detriments of everything I use. I gave up on the whole “X sucks! Y is awesome!” back in the 1980s. If it’s new or in beta, that’s fine with me because I know it and I expect things to go wonky. Then I wait patiently for whatever weirdness there is to get fixed.

That being said, having been using Window 8 since it’s release date, I haven’t seen anything horrible. Nothing has gone wrong. I haven’t had any problems with it.

I actually had two problems with OS X: On my laptop, the Finder would stop working if I tried to open a directory. It would sit there and spin the beach ball forever until I went into the terminal and deleted some file or other. For a while, that was a daily occurrence but it hasn’t happened in a long time.

The second was with my Mac Mini when I tried to copy a huge amount of files from one NAS to another using Finder; that resulted in a crashed and locked up Mini that required a reboot. Again, neither was a huge deal and considering they were both my first foray into the Apple world (after 26 years) I wasn’t all that surprised.

Overall, I still consider the Mini to be one of my “top 10” purchases, ever. I rarely actively use it, but it does what it’s supposed to and does it without complaining (except for enormous amounts of file copies, which I use the terminal for).

On that note, I also bought a used Surface RT and, unlike the rest of the world, I like it. It slots in nicely between my Android tablet and my Apple laptop. I would not, however, pay full price for a new one. Again, I went with an RT knowing full well what it’s capabilities and limitations were so I didn’t disappoint myself by trying to install a regular Windows application on it and finding out it wouldn’t work.

Most of these are just random thoughts, not really directed towards anyone in particular. To boil it all down, the best way of finding out about something is to use it and see if it fits your needs or not. It’s hard to go by recommendations because people become polarized into camps: Apple, Android, Linux, or Windows. They pick one and everything else sucks because it’s not what they like or enjoy.

jerv's avatar

@mrentropy Gamers tend to have more driver issues than most people ;)

mrentropy's avatar

@jerv I am a gamer. I haven’t had driver issues since the early days of Windows XP (which everyone also hated when it came out).

I build my own systems using a variety of parts sourced from different manufacturers. Even marrying AMD processors to nVdia video cards. The only thing I don’t have are Creative Labs sound cards.

I also don’t re-install Windows on a regular basis. When it’s there, it’s there for years unless a hard drive fails.

SamSingh's avatar

My opinion about windows 8 is not good. I didn’t like its GUI environment. It is not as good as windows 7. Windows 8 is good for touch screen devices but when you use it on a normal PC, it will create problem with working environment. Thus, I went back to windows 7.

jerv's avatar

@mrentropy Drivers are the ultimate in “Your mileage may vary”.

ragingloli's avatar

Regarding XP, I am still baffled that anyone thought that this blue candy look was a good idea.

mrentropy's avatar

@jerv Maybe. It’s been a while since I’ve heard of anyone having an issue with drivers. Most of what I encounter is a problem with malware acquired through the Internet.

@SamSingh I’ve honestly never noticed. I don’t use Modern UI apps and stick to the desktop. I’ve not seen the slightest difference in productivity.

All this, by the way, from a person who detested Windows 8 the first time I looked at it. But, after using it for a while I came to the conclusion that it’s basically business as usual. If you don’t want Modern, don’t use Modern.There are probably some decent things in there, somewhere, I just don’t have any interest in finding them.

Again, if someone wants to know if Windows 8 is any good you’re going to have to use it and find out. Asking on the Internet is like asking what the best football team is, or who makes the best car, or which comic is the best. You’ll get a bunch of answers from a bunch of people but it’s a very subjective experience.

jerv's avatar

@mrentropy Win8 has been out long enough that most driver issues have pretty much sorted themselves out by now anyways.

The fact that 8.1 allows you to escape Modern by allowing the option to boot to the desktop directly using a Microsoft-supplied check-box instead of needling a third-party program or hand-hacked user script meant that 8.1 is already vastly superior. Remember, unlike you and I, most people use the computer as it came to them without installing stuff or tweaking settings much. Why do you think IE is still popular? Do you really see someone who basically uses their computer as an oversized smartphone going through the hassle of getting into the Task Scheduler?

@SamSingh Were you in Desktop or Modern UI?

mrentropy's avatar

@jerv Ah, nope. I don’t. Speaking of 8.1, I upgraded the PC and the Surface the other day. It took a really long time, but I didn’t have any problems.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

With a little perseverance, I found that I could do much more with Win8 than I could with Win7 with no loss in functionality. The 8.1 upgrade made some nice improvements but without a touch screen I do not get to use that kind of feature. There is always another way to accomplish the same thing if you don’t give up at first.

Response moderated
mrentropy's avatar

The previews are pre-release. Although I never saw that problem when I ran it. I’d be curious why yours did that.

Windows 8 comes with Windows Defender, which handles anti-virus duties.

Technically, you can have more than one Windows 8 app on the screen, if you can figure out how to do it. I don’t use them so I never bothered.

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