The Windows 8 revolution has begun …
I don’t believe that it’s empty hyperbole to describe the launch of Windows 8 as a revolution. This is the Operating System as it should be.
Windows has evolved and as a result the most important preparation you can make before upgrading to Windows 8 is to prepare yourself.
It doesn’t really matter what OS you have used until now …
Whether it was Windows XP, Vista or 7, a flavor of Linux or Apple’s Mac OS X, the UI / UX for Windows 8 is something different; as is the seamless integration of Microsoft’s Cloud Services.
Your Windows Login can be set (opt-in) to use your Microsoft Account (formerly your Live ID) as your login and this brings with it a holistic sync of these services with the relevant apps:
You will find your Hotmail / Outlook.com, Contacts, Calendar and Skydrive all sync’d and accessible and if like me you are a Windows Phone user then the experience is even sweeter. You don’t have to have a Microsoft Account to use Windows 8 but the truth is, that is the way to maximize your investment in the OS.
Windows 8 is a cloud integrated OS at its very core and with this you are called on to embrace Apps versus Desktop Apps and perhaps more controversially the disappearance of the Start Menu.
Apps versus Desktop Apps …
Apps are Metro UI in design and the desktop for these utilizes Live Tile technology. We got our first taste of this in Windows Phone to a degree; Live Tiles are large, boldly designed icons that may display dynamic information regarding App related content e.g. Mail’s Live Tile may display the number of new / unread emails waiting for you, People’s Live Tile shows you the latest messages from your Contacts in the different connected Social Networks:
This means that your Desktop is now a source of as much Real Time information as you see fit.
Desktop Apps are the classical Windows styled programs that will display in the Desktop. In some cases the
TIP: Your best friend in a non-touch enabled device is the Windows Key:
Used by itself it will toggle between Metro Desktop and Classical Windows Desktop.
Used in conjunction with the X key on your keyboard you get the Main Menu.
Alternatively for the early adopter types, the power move is to use the Charms Menu. Swipe down from the top right with the mouse (if touch enabled with your finger)
The Warptest Perspective …
- Prepare yourself: expect some degree of ramp up time in getting used to Windows 8. Revolutionary can be a bit hard to cope with if your mouse hand keeps straying towards the missing Start Menu.
- I will deep dive the Charms Menu in a later post. This is a power feature that deserves more detail; Search alone is multifaceted, killer app.
- The Metro UI Desktop: be aware that you can easily remove Live Tiles (right click the Tile you don’t need and a menu will open at the bottom of the screen)
- Live Tiles and Cognitive Dissonance. Too much of a good thing isn’t a good thing. So if you find it distracting or confusing to have too many Live Tiles dynamically refreshing information then thin the herd.
- I’ll say it one more time. Windows 8 is revolutionary and adjusting your mindset about how you are used to doing things will make for a stress free transition.
One thing is certain, the revolution is waiting for you too. Are you going to join?