Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

My First Day With Windows 8 (Part One)

This weekend I did something I am going to advise you not to do..

Just so we are clear: I have been using personal computers since the term “IBM clone” was coined. I became a “computer nerd” (Geek) with the advent of the “graphical user interface” (click-able icons). I have been building/repairing Microsoft Windows PC’s since Windows 95 was launched, and have been “in the trenches” making each new tech advancement work with our machines ever since.
Windows 3/95/98/ME.. Windows NT/2000/XP.. Windows Vista/7. (The good, the bad, and the ugly.)

Since September, I have been aware that a “Developer’s Preview” edition of next Microsoft operating system, Windows 8, was available for download and trial (see Windows 8 Developer Preview available as free download) but have had neither the time, nor that much interest, to install it. This weekend I made the time.

A Tech’s First Impressions:
Windows 8 is Microsoft’s operating system of the future, and they are adapting to the fact that that future is being shaped by tablet PC’s and smart phones. Touch-screens. Gestures.

I downloaded and installed the smallest package – the plain 32-bit – onto a partition (“dual boot) of a HP Pavilion desktop PC. Installation went smooth, and was quite quick. After the second (and final) reboot, I saw a screen like this..

Okay.. now what?

Where’s the login?

Where’s something I can click?

So I started clicking at random all over the screen. And tried all the well-known keyboard shortcuts. And pounding both fists on the keyboard. Then I threw my wireless mouse at the wall, and – finally – something happened, I saw a plain, puke greenish login screen – yay! (I found out later, this is the “lock screen”, and I was supposed to ‘slide’ it up with my finger.. or, double-click on it [which I thought I had..])(The up arrow works too.)

Double-click.. why didn’t I think of that?

[attention Microsoft: the Android and Apple lock screens have WORDS on them instructing us what to do.. why don’t you copy the whole idea?]

Well, I know how to log in, so, next I saw.. the Metro interface

Uh.. what? Where’s the Start button?

Store. Shopping. Weather. Paintplay… no thank you.

Please.. where is the Start button???

I clicked on Paintplay. Why not? It was just as irrelevant as any other secret square.

This filled my entire screen.

Yippee. Don’t care about a doodle pad. So, time to try something else.

But.

How do I get out of Paintplay? Note that there is no “red X” in the upper right corner?

Whaaaat? No red X? Okay.. maybe the Esc key.. nope. Maybe that gray X in the lower right.. nope.

Backspace?

Alt+M? .. Ctrl+Z?

Maybe I could “grab an edge” and shrink the window to mere inches.. nope.

Holy jumpin catfish. I couldn’t get out of a program! So I killed it in Task Manager after I discovered that good ole reliable Ctrl+Alt+Del still worked.

10 minutes in, and I am feeling good and stupid.

Later, I went on the Internet and researched, and found out I was supposed to press the Windows key.

Why didn’t I think of that?

The Windows key! The one I practically never touched in 20+ years!

I clicked on other secret squares, and each and every time, whatever it was that opened, filled my entire screen.

This might be OK if I was on a 7″ tablet.. or smaller yet smart phone. But it is NOT how I compute and get work done. I use windows (often, side by side). I have rather large monitor.. I don’t need a 23″ wide doodle pad...
[attention Microsoft:
what is the name of your operating system? Why did you name it that.. all these years ago now??]

I simply could not figure out how to turn off my machine either. The power button has gone missing……….

Yes. I did find the “Desktop” secret square.

Out of time for today: I have run long, and out of time for today, but will be back with more on this. Yes, my first brush with Metro was incredibly frustrating, and for the first time ever, a new Windows version made me feel like a moron. (I know, some of you out there are laughing at old Tech Paul. But you take away my Start button, and it seems I am lost. The Start button has been there since Windows 3 {1990}) But I am not totally displeased with Windows 8. Not at all.
Just the Metro UI.

Hate it. Simply and utterly.

My first impressions of Windows 8 confirms what I have been reading: Microsoft is trying to make one OS fit all devices – tablets and phones and desktop PC’s.

But here’s the thing: One Size Fits All never does.
Ever.

Attention Microsoft: I want the ability to completely disable Metro to be a “one click” On/Off setting (call it “Classic mode” if you must) in Windows 8 — and I suspect I am not at all alone in that. Someday, when I buy a Windows tablet, I might prefer the Metro. But on desktop machines, controlled by keyboard and mouse, Metro is .. well, this is a family website; I cannot type what I really think, so I will simply say that I almost downloaded a file from a Russian server just to make it go away. I want Metro gone that badly.

Of course, my frustration with Metro would have been greatly lessened had I read this article first.

But come on. A professional technician has to research just to do basic computing moves? Like exit a program??? It’s not intuitive for a multi-decade Windows user??????

Maybe I’m just too old.. and should retire.
nah. Windows 7 is the cat’s pajamas. I’ll just stick withit (maybe forever?). But.. I will be back with more – happier – Windows 8 (Developers Preview) articles soon. Maybe.. tomorrow?

Copyright 2007-2011 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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November 14, 2011 Posted by | advice, computers, Microsoft, News, PC, tech, Windows, Windows 8 | , , , | 12 Comments