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Windows 8 (first look)

Started by Data, October 18, 2011, 17:50:23 PM

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0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. Total views: 85,509

Will you buy Windows 8?

1 (9.1%)
5 (45.5%)
2 (18.2%)
3 (27.3%)

Total Members Voted: 10


I thought it was time to have a look at Windows 8, a friend of mine has a pre beta version running on a laptop and has given me some feedback of what to expect.

I have also been watching a few videos about it and I think I have a pretty good understanding of the new features, so cutting through all the hype here are my pointers.

Windows 8 is in many ways Windows 7 but it also has a new GUI interface that can be turned off, making your PC much the same as Windows 7 or turned on to use your computer with the new tiles option.

Microsoft are going down the apps route, making it easier to make apps in Windows that will run in the new tile GUI. (Could be interesting to play with)

Windows 8 is even more reliant on the graphics card than 7 is, which could help speed up and smooth out the whole windows experience.

As far as I can tell that's about it.

Of course as I find out more info it could be added at a later date  ;).


I'm still not sure about the GUI. I see they're trying to keep away from the square tile GUI of iOS and Android and on a big touch screen that's fine.

Buuuuut. Who wants to touch a monitor/TV? They're normally too far away and we have perfectly good keyboards and mice. When the screen gets smaller (3-4 inch smart phones) the big icons are a liability.

If they can crack compatibility from phones to gamers towers then it has plenty of potential. I also like the new ways of interfacing with your PC. Still not sure about talking to it, feels REALLY sad  :o but I do like the camera, movement devices. Swinging your arm/hand left/right to move between pages etc looks cool (think "Minority Report")

Just thinking and have this question...

Can you buy a touchscreen like device that just does the touch bit, to replace a mouse? All I've seen is those silly pads on laptops that freak out when they or you are warm.
"I cannot remember the books I've read any more than the meals I have eaten; even so, they have made me."

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Not ready to get rid of my XP, but I like the vice president very much.  8)

(sorry Mr. MS, coudn't resist)


Wouldn't you just know it? I get ready to upgrade my OS, and something newer and shinier comes along! :headbang:

Which reminds me; I'll be changing over from XP Pro to 7 Pro 64 (along with a RAM upgrade {6GB! WOOT!} and the addition of a shiny new 64GB SSD for the OS), probably next weekend, so I may not be around much. (I'm going to be playing heck, I'm sure, trying to figure out how many and which sorts of settings need to be tweaked in order to completely separate OS from data, from programs, and from games. XP takes 14-20 hours to fully customize, and I expect a whole new level of complexity with 7)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


Very best of luck Dave, hopefully see you back in time for 2015 RWC.  :LOL:
It WILL be fine !...


Thanks for the vote of confidence, Diesel. :P
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


Your confidence and ability were never called into question, I apologise if you feel they have been, it just that I know how much fun setting up a new system can be.
It WILL be fine !...


Just teasing, Diesel. No worries. :) Let's not forget rule #1 for dealing with Dave:

NEVER take Dave seriously! :D
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


Good luck with that Dave.  I know what you mean, Windows 8 seems to have happened over night but it is a way off yet.  I really like W7 so I am not sure if I will even upgrade when it comes out this time around.  When W7 came out I got it cheap via a pre order. Oh who am I kidding, yes I will probably get it lol...


@ Dave Good luck with the rebuild and you are going for an SSD for the OS, can't wait to see your windows WEI score for the drive. 

You shouldn't have too much trouble installing your games, programs and documents onto another drive in W7, Its how I have mine set up.

Oh and I found out a couple of days ago that Windows 8 is going to have Microsoft Security Essentials installed as standard (out the box), at least that's what MS want to do, whether they will be allowed to put a free anti virus into the OS remains to be seen. I hope they do as I think MSE is one of the best Anti Viruses I've ever tried.   


That would be nice, as I agree with you about MSE. Better still would be to have W8 and MSE seamlessly integrated, as a part of the OS, but that's probably not going to happen. The major AV companies would cry and complain.

BTW, changing the OS to automatically use a different drive path for application installation is the easy part. It's when you try to move the "Documents and Settings" folder off-drive where it becomes a nightmare. I expect the AppData folder will be the same. The way I have XP set up, literally the only thing on the C drive is the core OS. All data (pictures, documents, etc.) is on the D drive, anything related to applications (including the Application Data folder) is on the E drive, all my web server data is on the F drive, and everything related to games (again, along with a "new" folder named "Game Data" {same function as the Application Data folder}) is located on the G drive. Given the literally weeks of research, experimentation, and System Restore use that it took to achieve this level of separation, I may choose to be a little less anal about things this time, but I still want to keep my data, apps and games on different drives. Depending on remaining space on the C drive, I may choose not to move folders around, as I did in XP (that really is a headache), I may just leave them in place, but "ghost" them to alternate drives. I'm also planning on using a 16GB thumb drive, mounted on an internal USB slot, as the swap file, since I've both read and seen that this can give a tremendous boost to performance over using an HDD. Too bad XP can't replicate this feature. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


I would say don't bother with using a USB flash drive for the swap file, I have tried it and I think it actually slows down the PC, and the reason for that is the awful speed of USB 2 compared to SATA, if it was a USB 3 flash drive it would be so much better.

USB 2 maximum throughput is at best around 35MBs where as SATA 2 is at worst 150MBs and at best around 300MBs.

None of these speeds are set in stone but whatever way you look at it USB 2 is just too slow for the OS.


You have a point. Of course, I need to consider the limitations of my current setup, since most of it will not be changing, and this includes an ATA133 drive that I can't cycle out of use yet, and first gen SATA drives, rather than SATA 2.

I just ran a benchmark on the USB flash drives I currently have, and they're all topping out at 15MB/sec, which looks to be about standard for comparable drives. My ATA133 drive tests out at 48.7 MB/sec, and my fastest SATA drive runs at 84.6

I'm leery of using the SSD for the swap file, for two reasons. First, because I'm not sure of how much room will be taken up by Windows 7, and second, swap files see more disk activity than any other file in the system, and everything I've read about the technology behind SSD's indicates that a lot of constant access can reduce longevity by a significant amount. Perhaps that's different now, but I've not heard anything to the contrary.
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!


You have a point about the SSD ageing and I know its sometimes described as a problem with them, but I can tell you I know a chap who has had one pretty well since they came out, so older technology type too, and his is still working fine, I guess nothing lasts for ever, so in time it will fail but if it only has the OS on then that wouldn't be too bad. 

If it was me Dave and I wanted to play safe, which I fully understand, I would put the swap file on the fastest HDD I have, it's going to be faster than USB2.


I may just do that, for now, and see how it goes. Maybe I'll save up my pennies, and pick up a small, cheap (relatively speaking) SSD later on, to see just how long they last. So far, I've seen reports of 10's - to 100's of thousands of read/write cycles for some brands of SSD's, but that really doesn't seem like all that much to me. If I understand it correctly, it's the writing that wears on them, but that's also what takes the most time on a standard drive,  so it's a "catch-22" situation, balancing speed with longevity. Dunno. I'll figure things out, I'm sure. :)
Safe, Reliable Insanity, Since 1961!