Windows 8

Windows 8, It’s different. Friday the 26th Microsoft will launch Windows 8. Microsoft has not changed the appearance of it’s system as much since the launch of Windows, replacing DOS.

 Gone is the start menu. The desktop that shows up when you start previous Windows is hidden. The screen is replaced by a colorful array of squares with icons indicating what they do. Also the windows market place will allow one to buy programs (apps) from Microsoft the same way as is done on smart phones. As a mater of fact the interface to the computer comes from it’s phones.

 Windows will now be oriented more like the phone in every aspect. Windows will be touch screen oriented. It can be used with a mouse but the scrolling will be reversed from what we are used to. The squares on the screen lend themselves to touching, they don’t need the fine control a mouse gives. Also single clicking will be come the norm, rather than double clicking.

 Both Apple and Microsoft are making their PCs look like their phones. The main problem is “gorilla arm.” This is the way one’s arm feels after using this type of interface. The touch screen has been tried over the years but has always failed. This time it will probably succeed because both major players are forcing it. Using a tablet such as an iPad, iPhone, or Android the “gorilla arm” is not a problem as one’s arm stays low. On a screen this may be a problem. This should be solved by Microsoft’s new tablet “Surface” also being released at the same time.

 I’ve been using Windows 8 for six months now and have been letting my students use it also. It appears that for the home user this will just be a learning experience on how to use the computer. For businesses or those who use the keyboard the interface may prove to be difficult. Even with using a mouse and an attached keyboard I found it difficult to do my daily tasks. Also, maintenance of the PC was more difficult. Though that difficulty is partially due to trying to find where those task are done now.

 So, for home users who mainly use their computers for Facebook and tweeting and don’t do much typing this Windows is for you. Others may want to wait for other reviews and to get one at home and see how it works for recreation before bringing it into the office.

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