Start Panel

First Impressions: Windows 8

Now with Windows 7 just hitting mature status it is time for a the next stage in Windows evolution. This time around there is some controversial changes that make some see this as more of a downgrade than a upgrade.

First off lets start with the change that has upset many.. the start menu you know and love in 7 is gone and has been replaced by the new start panel. This change is the start of a while new style of applications known as “Windows 8 Style” that run full screen tablet style.

While this is great for tablets it does leave a fair bit to be desired for classic computer use. Many of the legacy control panels are now  ”Windows 8 Style” but you can still get to most of the legacy ones via desktop. Despite being designed for tablet use it has enhancements that make it fully usable for desktop computers. The extensive use of hot corners allow for accessing stuff that tablets get via swipe gestures. Such hot corners are Lower left for triggering start screen, Upper left then move down triggers Windows 8 Style task switcher, going from top or bottom right will trigger the charms bar, and right click will trigger context sensitive bottom bar. For the power users if you go into lower left and right click you get a menu with extra goodies.

Of course Microsoft couldn’t kill

legacy so you will see a desktop tile that launches the classic legacy desktop sans the Start Menu. Not to be left out of the party the desktop is also gotten its own fair share of changes. Most noticeably the ribbon invasion continuing into explorer.

 

Another noticeable change is the new enhanced task manager but of course the changes are more than skin deep since the core system has been updated for latest systems. One of these core changes is that boot loader is now graphical so if you got multiple oses installed and you select 8 it will let you in instantly but if you select any other os it will reboot system into that os.

Now the question is is it worth getting or not.. it all depends on your needs. If you got a computer on or after June 5th you can register to get your upgrade to 8 Pro for only $15. Tho for computers before that date the upgrade price is $40 for digital  and $70 for dvd copy. The ultimate question of upgrading is all up to you.