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Windows 8 Part 2

Lots of talk about Windows 8 recently (not surprisingly). As I blogged earlier, I am a fan, but there are considerations that need to be considered when determining if you want to move to the new OS.

First of all, I tested it using a touch device with a keyboard. Really the way this OS shines. I find myself naturally using a combination of touch and keyboard controls for a nearly seamless experience. If you took away the keyboard, I think that it would still be very compelling from an ease of use standpoint (once you figure out the basics). So, it is really at its best on a mobile touchscreen device, which is why I think the tablets and phones using Windows 8 will do so well (coupled with the rest of the productivity ecosystem of Microsoft).

But, if you take away the touch screen, is it a good operating system? Yes, it is. But, not as compelling as it was with a touch screen. Windows 8 is a move forward in many ways. It is a lean OS that boots fast and lacks a lot of the bloat that previous versions suffered from (in terms of performance). It is visually appealing. Heck, boot times and leanness alone would make me interested. But, without that touch screen, there are actions that are more challenging, and you may find yourself learning some keystroke combinations to take certain actions with. Not a huge deal, and all things that can be learned quickly, but still not the full experience.

On the desktop with a standard monitor you will have a fast OS that looks great and is well organized. You will also have to unlearn a few things and relearn them. Closing applications is different. Opening applications is different. Not worse really (unless you define different as worse), but defiantly new.

If you are considering the upgrade, just make sure you ask yourself (or your IT professional) what you are hoping to achieve. Perhaps consider upgrading to touch screens where you can. There are a number of choices in touch screen monitors like the Acer T230H 23" monitor you can add for your PC that would enable optimal use of Windows 8. Even if you are not ready for new monitors, the speed and visual impact may be enough. I'd recommend if you upgrade you upgrade the whole office and conduct training so that you don't suffer from the slow dribbling of issues that come with learning a new OS. Make the change, train the staff, and move on.

Or wait a while until you can buy touch screens, or until a service pack comes out. Either may be the right strategy for you, it depends on what you are trying to achieve!

Just make sure you are focused on happy computing!
Richard Brunke