Everyone these days is throwing their opinion at Win8. I certainly read a bunch of reviews, both negative and positive.
But, as with most everything in this life, trying stuff is better then reading about it.
So, I figured I just install Win8 on my laptop and see what's the fuss all about.
The installing process went fine and smooth. It begins with a Win7 feel, but then it's shorter at the end, less unwanted info and settings.
It starts with the Start screen. Immediately, I felt lost. But I remembered the "mouse pointer in the top-right corner" info presented during the install process. It goes to show a sidebar on the same right side. A useful one, where you can reach the Control Panel by way of Settings cog icon.
But then I discovered the Desktop tile and things started to look familiar... almost. What, no Start button? Again, my feel was that something is not right.
I start looking into IE10. Nothing spectacular. And then I go and install Firefox.
GETTING USED TO
After a few minutes, things start to click. I get the hang of the WinKey, it's what you use to switch between the Start screen and the Desktop.
Then I start to play with the tiles in the start screen. Right click on them and you get a bottom bar with options (the context menu). Right click on another one to form a tile group. The options in the bottom context menu are now for the grouped tiles.
After a while it's starting to make sense. I need more time with the Start screen, but I think I like it now. Still, 75% of the initial tiles are gone now.
It's still not quite right. The problem is with the video cards drivers (I have a Intel HD 3000 and a GeForce 540M). I go and download the latest drivers, and things start to be even more attractive.
Nothing else more I need. It's snappy and smooth.
I begin prospecting the use of Win8 as a replacement for Win7 now. So I install a few more things: Skype, K-Lite. It turns out the video experience is better on Win8. I delete a few new tiles in the Start screen and reorder a few things there. It's starting to look like Win8 is not that bad after all.
GOING BACK TO WIN7
It's time to get back to Win7. A restart shows something interesting. Win8 boot loader starts Win8 and a screen let's you choose between Win8 and Win7 (I installed them as dual boot).
Choosing Win7 results in a reboot, this time straight into Win7.
That was my first impression.
It turns out the desktop in Win7 in unattractive now. Too many icons, gadgets and so on. Win7 feels now like the overweight and slow relative of Win8.
Sure, it has the Start button... but after a while, it appears I'm no longer missing it in Win8.
While running the Win8 tests, I was under the impression that there were some lags. My laptop is pretty well rounded, it has 8Gigs of RAM, an 2.4 GHz Intel i5 Sandy CPU.
But returning to Win7, now it seems like Win7 runs slower instead. It seems that the tile interface and animations may have something to do with my perception. Manually installing video drivers seem to also have a part in it.
At start, it may seem like it's missing out on some stuff like the Start button, or the bottom bar in Android.
But, after what, 30 minutes of use, even though I have to admit I started a little biased against Win8, and after returning to Win7 from Win8, it seems like Win8 managed to change my mind and it looks like an improvement from Win7.
That's my personal opinion, of course. Feel free to add more info from your own experience.