Windows 8 Review : Feeling Touchy

As you read this, the world is starting to have its first brush with Windows  8,Microsoft's big bet on a unified PC and tablet experience. I had a chance of meeting the new OS at one of my friend's house.Here's what I came away with...                                                                                          

    It's clear from the word go that Microsoft designed Windows 8 as a"touch only  environment",which basially  means that to fully understand and appreciate the new user interface you require a touchscreen device.Only then will everything start to make sense ;the password login options,large touch friendly live tiles,
& the bright touch screen ,the different gestures for bringing up the multitasking swithcher view.
                Of course this isn't much use to you if you are upgrading to Windows 8 on a desktop PC or a laptop or non touch notebook (even if hardware requirements are satisfied)

               It’s important to realize that the Start screen is no more Windows 8 than the Start menu was Windows 7 or Windows XP. The screen exists as a launchpad for applications, not as a desktop replacement. That concept is easy to forget, since the Start screen occupies the entire display. Even so, Windows 8 apps consume the entire screen, whereas desktop applications can still run in a window on the desktop.

However, not all desktop applications appear on the Start screen by default. Some accessory apps, such as Paint, live in the Apps screen. You can force these programs to appear in the Start screen by right-clicking them to select them and then clicking Pin to Start at the bottom of the screen. Nevertheless, getting to the Apps screen is simple: Right-click a blank area in the Start screen and then click the All apps icon at the lower right.

All applications show up as tiles on the Windows 8 Start screen.
Live Tiles of windows 8
   Navigating the Start screen is easy. If you’re using a mouse with a wheel, moving the wheel scrolls left and right. If you’re using a touchpad, swiping left and right (with one finger) scrolls the tile list. You can drag individual tiles to any location.

               I went to one of my friend's house who has installed windows 8 .What I found was that he was constantly bypassing the Start menu and once there,he was flooking for the Start button but Alas!it is no longer there.
The desktop offers familiar shortcuts and pinned icons.
Start button gone
Here is the thing-muscle memory or (in layman terms habit)-the way you use your PC by sheer force of habit-will probably be your worst enemy on a Windows 8 desktop.
            Windows 8 is a different experience with a touch-enabled display, even if you're using such a display with a stock desktop system. At first, you don't think you'll use the touch capabilities. But then your kids come up and start touching the screen—after all, these days young users are growing up expecting displays to be touch-enabled. I've been running Windows 8 on a desktop PC equipped with an Acer T232HL touchscreen display, and although I use the mouse some of the time, I find myself reaching out to use gestures on the screen at other times.

As for other desktop-PC options, look to the emerging generation of all-in-one PCs, such as Sony's 20-inch Tap 20 and the updated version of Lenovo's A720, which are shipping with Windows 8. The Tap 20 is unusual in that it has a built-in battery, which allows you to move it around the home easily and use it as an oversize tablet.

Late to the game, Microsoft is adding a store to Windows, much like the marketplaces for Mac OS X, iOS, and Android. If you want to buy apps from the Microsoft Store, you need to create a Microsoft account.

Perhaps I should say stores, since you’ll find more than one store within Windows 8. You buy Windows 8 apps by clicking the Store tile—but you purchase music by launching the Music app, and you buy videos by launching the Video app.

In addition to playing tunes, the Xbox Music app sells songs.

Nearly all of the desktop and Start-screen functionality now relies on acceleration from your machine’s graphics processing unit. Many of Windows 8’s windows subsystems use the DirectX API. HTML5 and SVG (scalable vector graphics) also depend on GPU acceleration, in the form of enhanced 2D geometry rendering. Applications tell Direct2D what to draw in the form of 2D objects, such as circles and rectangles, plus additional features such as color and style. The API converts the instructions into a format suitable for Direct3D, which passes the instructions to the GPU. As a result, normal desktop windows will likely see substantial performance increases.

On top of that, Microsoft has added a new programming interface, DirectText, which offloads text rendering to the GPU. Text-rendering performance in desktop programs and in Windows 8 apps is double that of Windows 7—often better than double.
Office 2013 is closely tied with both Windows 8 and SkyDrive.
Office 2013 is closely tied with both Windows 8 and SkyDrive.


                   Finally,I would like to say this OS may prove to be quite a challenge for upgraders as well as many old time Windows users(including me).Surely,I also expect that in the future,you will see a lot of hardware and a whole lot of apps that can truly help make sense of the new UI and showcase Windows 8 as  a productive,usable,environment despite the massively disruptive nature of its UI.Either that or Microsoft will see a backlash far worse than what happened to Vista.For the sake of innovation and the entire PC industry,I hope that its the former. 
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