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All posts tagged New Windows UI

Windows 8.1 Is A Great Operating System…

… and getting the best out of WIndows 8.1 is by no means rocket science, but it helps to have some direction.

As mentioned in a prior post on rules for selecting a new PC make your life easier and select a laptop that comes pre-installed with Windows 8.1 (or have the store you buy from do the upgrade for you). Why?

  • Windows 8.1 is a vast improvement on Windows 8 across the board.
  • A pre-installed Windows 8.1 PC is likely to be built with newer hardware and drivers that work with Windows 8.1 too.
  • Whilst I advocate embracing Windows Update this is one use case where less is better than more.

Touch: I’ve been getting touchy-feely with Windows 8.1 since I upgraded my Dell Inspiron (when it up and died on me) to the Asus touch enabled laptop I have now. I have scarcely touched a mouse since. In fact, my biggest problem is the laughter that ensues every time the Missus asks me to resolve a problem on her Windows 7 laptop, as she watches me poking the screen for a few seconds befuddled at its lack of response. Touch is habit forming in a good way.Windows 8.1 Smart Art Chart

A Couple of Free Tips Too..

A couple of tips that will make your life with Windows 8.1 much easier.

  1. Don’t ignore the New Windows Apps or Desktop. Keep in mind these might be lighter on the functionality but they are also less resource hungry which allows for even greater multitasking.
  2. Windows 8.1 Start Menu: one of your best friends is [Windows Key]+[X] or touch and long press on the Windows icon (bottom left on the System bar).
  3. Search for ANYTHING, yes that’s right anything: the easiest way to start an app / software or find anything else on your PC ranging from files or settings is to go to the New Windows Desktop and just type. Windows will detect your typing and open Search from the Charms Bar. (Alternatively you can swipe in from the right side of the screen to access the Charms bar.)


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The Warptest POV

Windows 8 has not been without its hiccups but Windows 8.1 is a productivity OS extraordinaire once you get to grips with it. This isn’t going to take long at all with a positive attitude, an open mind and tips like those here.

So far most of the naysayers I’ve experienced have limited if any time hands on with Windows 8.1 so kick their opinions to the curb and try it for yourself. I’m confident that you won’t be disappointed.

If you have any tips for Windows 8.1 feel free to share them in the comments and I’ll write a follow up crediting you your tips of course.


The Greatest Unappreciated Strength of Windows 8

…Are the Metro New Windows UI Apps. Like genius they seem to be unappreciated in their lifetime.

Most people seem to be content to boot Windows 8 to old-school desktop and may never intentionally look at the New Desktop and Apps.

Windows 8 - Metro Desktop

In my last Windows 8 post I suggested that the 1 Critical Thing Wrong With Windows 8 was the act of treating consumers as square pegs to be hammered into round UX holes.

Facebook’s New UI

As Facebook introduces their new UI the sentiment seems to be one of wholehearted dislike for the slew of UI bugs larded into the browser:

Windows 8 - Facebook Bugs

Facebook as we know it today: Sample of UI bugs and comments added.

It occurred to me after using the new Facebook UI that it bothered me and inhibited my use. I found myself using the mobile app more and my laptop browser less.

Then I was in the Windows 8 New Desktop and I was spending the day almost exclusively using these Apps. I opened the Facebook Metro App and was greeted with a feeling of relief and contentment by the unblemished beauty and simplicity that greeted me:

Windows 8 - New Windows UI App

  • Toggle to hide sidebar menu
  • Large photos
  • A wide, unencumbered feed
  • Friend requests, Messages and Notifications all drop down below the toggle button on the left.

For those of you married to the idea of a right hand, subsidiary feed and your friends’ online statuses you are going to be disappointed but the miscomprehension of most users is that these Apps are intended to mirror desktop or browser apps. They aren’t.

New Windows UI is to App Design and functionality what the Danish Modern movement was to furniture.

The Warptest POV

It’s time for users who are struggling with the new Facebook UI to realize that they have an alternative in these Apps.

Facebook may have just given Windows 8 its biggest push, at least until we see what Microsoft has in store for us in the next release of Windows 8.x (expect big announcements from Microsoft BUILD this week).

So if this matches how you are feeling towards Facebook right now then you might want to ask a friend with Windows 8 if you can try this for yourself.

Even without touch your inner calm will be restored.

So take it for a spin and let me know what you think.