My husband is a computer programmer and a natural teacher. When we married, he was patient and taught me not to be afraid of computers and the constant changes. As my confidence grew and his work schedule increased, I started playing with the latest trends and helped my friends get started with their brand new laptops and other gadgets.
When Windows 8 came out, two new things happened. For one, my husband wasn’t overly enthusiastic for me to try it. In fact, he made it clear there is no trying. Windows 8 is like a covenant. You enter in, and you don’t look back. You’re all in.
The second surprise was our son is old enough and technically gifted that he can offer an opinion of his own. “Don’t try it, mom. It’s different than anything you’ve ever had. I don’t think it is for you.”
I took what they said into consideration. Afterall, the loudest Vista critic had to be me. I couldn’t wait for Windows 7 to redeem the hot mess I found Vista to be. But Windows 8 was a different animal. A complete overhaul, my husband said.
What made Windows 8 so different? In one word, apps. Windows 8 was designed for the touch screen user who can slide from screen to screen. If that translates to a concert, the touch screen/tablet type users were the front row seats and my laptop with no touchscreen was the nosebleed section. Using Windows 8 put me at the event, but not up close.
Still, I had to try. I maintain my own website. I consider my greatest victory of 2012 mastering the Bluetooth function on my Ford Sync. I was on Facebook before it was a phenomenon because I felt it would be a great way to grow my platform. Windows 8 seemed to be the next level on my technology mountain, much like that yodeling game I watched as a kid on “The Price is Right.”
My husband tried to inject reason. “You should wait. With your wrist surgery recovery I think the learning curve is too much for someone who will be on Vicodin.”
Okay, I listened to that advice.
I installed Windows 8 on NaNoWriMo Eve.
Two weeks plus later, I have to say my family was right, and wrong.
Here’s what’s true.
Windows 8 is so different. As I wrote, if you had to sum it up, it’s all about apps. The learning curve is steep.
This is the start screen on Windows 8. You can customize it, and it scrolls/slides.
- Instead of the start menu/list of programs on the left side, everything is an app. When it installed, most everything I was already using automatically converted. But to access the start menu/app center, you have to hover to the left corner.
- The right corner hover reveals icons to search, settings, devices, share, start, and reveal the time, date, battery status and signal strength, I believe. For touchscreen, I imagine activating this is easy. For me, it takes time to find the exact place to maneuver.
- I didn’t even know how to turn my own laptop off. What a relief my husband confessed the same. Once you know, it makes sense. I hovered on the right, hit settings, and you can power off. But what a search to figure that out.
- You can customize how a lot of apps, your desktop, and start menu look. It’s a lot more personal, I think.
- I’ve never Googled “How to…Windows 8″ more in my life. I am Googling a lot. I needed something to transfer from my Google calendar to the calendar app. I lost serious writing time that took so long to figure out.
- It can be buggy. I know my husband had to download a driver to make something simple work. I think printing, but I can’t remember, because I was in that depression zone when you want to master something and realize it owns you.
But, you know what? I don’t regret installing it.
- Every day is easier for me to use it, and I think at the end of the day, I’m efficient because of it.
- It’s a crisp, clean look. I love how my start screen looks. I love the layout, much of it a result of my playing with it.
- The apps are endless. The categories keep scrolling and scrolling in the store. So many choices.
My advice? If you aren’t interested in joining the technology bandwagon, I wouldn’t go Windows 8. I try to picture someone like my mom trying it and I can envision her being frustrated and frazzled. She just wants to e-mail and manage pictures. Windows 8 would be overwhelming.
If you want in, but you’re busy, give it some time. It takes getting used to, and although this is a very busy month, part of my NaNo word count being down is because I lost it to figuring out Windows 8 aspects.
What do you think? Has anyone installed Windows 8?