Windows w8 or 9?

My wife needed a new computer and we decided on the HP Pavilion TouchSmart 11. It’s a nice little budget laptop with touchscreen but … it comes with Windows 8. Don’t get me wrong, my wife prefers Windows (I’ve been trying to convince her to switch to Linux to no avail), but she really doesn’t like Windows 8 and I have to agree.

Metro Modern UI might look great on a phone, but despite all that extensively advertised fanciness, most work you’ll do on a day-to-day basis will still be in the old desktop-oriented graphical shell. And the combination of these two environments does not really work. “Old style” applications are 2nd class citizens on the start-screen at best, while Modern UI apps aren’t accessible from the desktop. An example of what that leads to: for mail (and specifically to see notifications of incoming mail), Veerle now uses the Modern UI mail app on the start-page and Windows Live Mail on the desktop. 2 mail applications on one OS, seriously?

My wife finally got so frustrated that she decided to install the preview release of Windows 8.1! Based on the decreasing frequency of sighing and frowning on her part, things seem to be somewhat better already (the return of the start-button on the classic desktop UI was a big relief), but I feel as though there still is a lot of room for improvement. But I’m sure at least Windows 9 will be gr8, no?

2 thoughts on “Windows w8 or 9?

  1. Nicolas

    While I *really* enjoy the many incremental improvements found in the latest Desktop environment, the benefits of Start and Metro/Modern are lost on me: not only does it feel pointless to impose a tectonic UI shift that brings no value to the majority (non-mobile, non-touch) of Windows users, but it creates a lasting feeling that there’s a schizophrenic ghost in the machine, one you might awaken by going to “the other side”, by switching to the (very pretty) Start environment. So, you know, you don’t.

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    1. frank Post author

      Yeah, 8.1 allows you to boot right into the desktop if I remember correctly and you can configure the windows-key to show the app overview instead of the start-screen. Now if only they’d improve the touch-experience on the desktop UI (size of some UI elements to begin with) and we’d be closer to Windows 9.

      I would like to try Ubuntu on the touch laptop (I think Unity might be a better fit for a touch interface), but I can’t get the thing to boot from USB (yet).

      Reply

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