Friday, November 23, 2012

Changing Opinion

Remember Word Perfect? How about Lotus 1-2-3 or dBase? Did you meet the Internet on Netscape? Where did they go? They got co-opted, improved and integrated into the industry standards by Microsoft.

You can claim that MS didn't have a right to the concepts or that the software megamonster stole the ideas or even that something or other is unfair about the practice. The fact is that the marketplace chose the MS products and the others withered away.

Now MS is a dozen days late to the tablet party. They are scrambling and it is obvious that they haven't brought much new to the battle against Apple. Windows 8 is a lash-up of desktop OS (Mac-ware) and touchscreen mobile system (iOS). The question is whether Apple is smarter by keeping the media delivery device isolated from the productivity workplace tool. Can the inherently dissimilar environments co-exist?

To really illustrate the scramble, MS goes into hardware with Surface. They've got a TV commercial that looks like they were really innovative with a magnetic cover screen that folds up to be an easel! OK, it's a semi-virtual keyboard as well, but if you really want a hardware keyboard, you can buy one just like with an iPad. Duh!!!

I looked at reviews of Win 8 and couldn't find one with enthusiasm. Paid reviewers don't stick around if they trash the products so that told me to stay away. Well, you can tell a fighter pilot but you can't tell him much.

I decided to play with Win 8 on a laptop I had that was not doing very much these days. My first impression confirmed the negativity. Surprisingly there was no "introduction" or "welcome" to Win 8 after installation to help the new user. I couldn't even find the shut down or restart control. Stuff is hidden everywhere and things that were promised to be retained can't be found.

Then I went online and found some Windows 8 guides. Read them--they don't take long. Here is a great one and I don't think you have to wade through the first several pages:

Windows 8 For Fools and Fighter Pilots

Suddenly  I found myself understanding the relationship between the new Start page interface and the legacy desktop. I knew how to get back and forth. I could arrange my working apps and in about half an hour didn't really go back to the desktop. I went to the Apps Store and although it is a boutique compared to the big box of Apple's App Store, I found some handy apps for my Start page. Netflix and Kindle are there and I hope Pandora and USAA show up in a week or two.

I've got my Office apps organized and my Chrome browser where I want it as well. Many functions are much better integrated such as One Note notebooks synched through SkyDrive. It is coming together very rapidly.

Long story short, I like Win 8. Do your part and look at a guide while exploring the new OS and you may find yourself with a system that improves your desktop while possible weaning you of your tablet for a lot of the day.

It looks pretty good.


Unknown said...

First, welcome back , Ed!

I just jumped from XP, a very stable pOS, to Windows 7, when I installed a new SSD on my 3 year old gaming PC. I'll stick with Windows 7 until Windows 8 has matured a bit. Why? Because Microsoft is very good at selling a product to us that is, in reality, still a "beta" version. The public becomes the quality control branch. I'll go to Windows 8 when Service Pack 2 is released . . . unless my PC dies and I HAVE to buy it!

Ed Skinner said...

The battle of the hour, as you've probably surmised, is between Apple and Android. They are two shades of the same color.

But MS remains the 900 pound gorilla and it'll be a long, hard road before they're either gone or victorious.

Regardless of victor, there is a very profound change taking place, and that's the homogenizing of computer, network and services. What you see now in Win8 and on I pads and iPhones and now with Android's binding to Google is the beginning.

Where it will go, no one as yet knows.

bongobear said...

Glad to see you back Ed...hope you're feeling well.

Murphy's Law said...

Welcome back, Ed. And an belated Happy Thanksgiving. I think that I speak for many when I say that I hope that this isn't an isolated post. You've been missed.

Anonymous said...

I gave Win 8 a week and am going back to Vista as we speak. Don't like the UI and lack of drivers. Much prefer Android for tablets also. Would go to Ubuntu on the laptop but the PMS doesn't like it. Lifeis just one bigcompromise!!

Pedro Chavez said...

Change is tough. Got a new laptop two or three weeks ago, with Windows 8, as a gift from my wife and daughter. Hated it at the beginning, but I'm getting used to it and the tiles. Still trying to do things the old fashioned way, though.

The Donald said...

Welcome back! Hope a great Thanksgiving was had in the R household!

Six said...

Welcome back Ed. I am happy to see you posting again.

I haven't tried Win 8 yet and Murphy willing I won't until I have to replace the laptop. I'd rather buy a new gun.

Ed Rasimus said...

@unknown: don't hold your breath waiting for Service Pack 1 or 2. They don't patch or upgrade that way anymore. It's ongoing and background.

@Anonymous: "going back to Vista"? You missed Win 7 which corrects all the stuff that didn't work in Vista. We aren't talking about tablets or phones here but full computer OS, so Android is not an issue.

@Pedro, simply click on "Desktop" tile and you are back in time.

immagikman said...

Welcome back and belated Happy Thanksgiving Ed, hope you are felling better. Now for the Windows 8 discussion, As with XP and Vista Im going to stick with Win 7 until there is some reason I need to switch. At this point Win 7 is perfect for me, does everything I want or need. I have my Kindle Fire HD and an APPLE iPad and Im not a fan of the Apple so Ill stick with my Kindle and Windows 7 for the present, until there is compelling reason to change.

Anonymous said...

I for one was delighted to see TT lit up again and firing.
I hope you are feeling better Ed.