New features of Windows 8 and how it compares to Windows 7

by HSG on Jul 20, 2012 in Articles from Software Fans

Sage wisdom states that there are two sides to every coin. This timeless wisdom will be borne out in spades with Windows 8/RT. Let's get into the dark side first.

If your users are veterans of Windows it is safe bet they are going to take one look at Windows 8 and scream blasphemy. Users whose brains are geared towards visual learning will undoubtedly yell the loudest and longest.

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There's a good reason for this. Mick Jagger brought his band to the Redmond campus, performing live "Start Me Up" in the summer of 1995 (it was a great show). This heralded in the abandonment of program icons sitting on the desktop and introduced the now legacy Start button.

Ending the life of the 17-year-old start button is not going to go well with some users.

The two things you can do to calm down the angry users is show them the lower right-hand corner to launch the charms bar. The other thing you can do, and probably should do first is show them the desktop tile on the Metro interface.

Of course this does not give a reason to leave their legacy Windows. I'm going to tell you what you need to tell them to switch.

Two words. Money and security. The operational costs of Windows 8 hits a record low on many fronts. The improvements on security are so great, OS X and Linux are now having to play catch-up.

If you have been influenced by some industry pundits referring to the next generation of Windows as a Frankenstein OS, I can say as a full-time Windows 8 user since August 2011, if you believing that malarkey I'm ready to sell you the Brooklyn Bridge.

Here's the short story. IBM and Microsoft started working on an operating system beyond DOS in the mid-80s. It was called OS/2. IBM insisted it run on the 8286. Bill said by the time the OS would be ready we would all be on 386's. They got a divorce.

Microsoft introduced NT. Banished for all time is even a mention of the first version that lasted for about three weeks. NT and NTAS (Advanced Server). The second try was called NT version 3. Matching the version numbers for the DOS/Windows.

For reasons I am not at liberty to discuss there was a hurry up replacement to XP, Vista.

Let's be kind and say the cleanup of legacy DLLs and other core changes to things like SMB, IPC, and RPC did not go well. The attempts to shame the user into security only doubled down on the failure. At the same time Apple introduced Intel-based computers. I ordered my iMac from Amazon when the contest to get Windows running on the Mac was announced. I was staging my exit.

Windows 7 continued the cleanup and continued to improve security.

Developers, wait to you see Windows 8 in action. While all the subsystems are still in place in NT 6.2 (Windows 8), every one of them was sent off to a Weight Watchers Boot Camp. Just launch the task manager for a clue.

While you're there, after you have ratcheted your jaw back to your face, study the stats. No, you're not on LSD.

Gone are the days where when somebody said Windows I would recall a vision of the 2+ meter iguanas basking in the sun serving a purpose known only to God. The resource requirements of Windows 8 are so miserly you can't believe it's Windows.

This does double duty on the security front, mating Arnold Schwarzenegger with an armadillo on steroids.

That sums it up for Windows 8. In the meantime I hope you're looking @ development tools. and be ready to write some Windows RT apps.

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