By Marylyn Brennan
I have not even been able to publish my rant on Windows 8 and a new Windows 8.1 is to be released. I do not know about anyone else, but I was not thrilled with Windows 8. Now, a whole new operating system is due out October 17.
Being abreast with the latest technology equates to feeling totally inept half of the time. When determining the right candidate for the technology field, I would recommend forget the degrees and certifications. Look for patience, and that dreaded phrase on a job posting “must have a sense of humor”. Or better yet, ” OK with feeling like an idiot half the time”. In the technology field, there will always be new and better software to learn. You cannot avoid it. It rears its ugly head both in work and play. It is OK; it keeps me humble. Although I need to feel some sort of mastery/competence or I get… well… crabby…
I have always been a Microsoft fan. This past spring, after incredible research and pressure from my techno- son, I took the Mac plunge. I liked it. One day I decided I could use a new PC for some software I needed to run. So I purchased my new PC. Oh goody! A new operating system!! I love learning new technology! I love crossing that fine line of frustration to confidence. How different was it than Windows 7? Well it seems like everything.
First of the entire home screen is different. I went to my familiar left hand corner for the start button. It was not there. My whole life (I am exaggerating- but it seems like my whole life) I would navigate to my left corner. Now I have learned to go to the opposite corner, I think. I continued to find my way through this maze. My excitement quickly turned to dread; my usual quick skills were transformed into fumbling acts of confusion. I had to suffer jokes from my non- technical friends; (The ultimate humiliation). The windows 8 screen is similar to the windows phone screen. Which, by the way, I don’t have one, so I don’t care. Oh no, I am sounding bitter. What else would this new foreign creature bring me?
TouchScreen options: Windows 8 has an interface that supports touch. This speeds up the process as well as increased navigation along with Windows built-in intelligence. I could do without. Frankly the screen is a stretch from my keyboard and I am lazy. Speed is wonderful in technology. Then again so is laziness. My laziness is why I want speed. Plus, if I calculate the learning curve time, I would say it is a wash. Not to mention, how about if I am munching on some cheese curls? Screen cleaner is expensive these days. I admit these are not solid arguments. Maybe once I know what I am doing I will love it… maybe
Better multiple monitor options: Now we are talking!!! I love to have as many monitors as I can! Too many is not enough! This is a huge plus! Wait, didn’t I do this on Windows 7? Yes, but this offers improved features, including the ability to personalize your desktop, support of side-by-side applications and an improved usability of the taskbar.
Windows Charms: They work across different apps and allow you to share files quickly and easily. This is a nice perk. This is how I found the start screen… I think… I would equate it to a lifesaver amongst the hurricane-but then again; I took it!
Search screen: Windows 8 has made a search screen available. (I tried to search for windows 7 but no luck). Feeling like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz (I want to go home, I want windows 7); I was able to search inside any application, even my social apps. This contextual feature is a nice to have!
Windows 8 Arm support: Windows 8 supports devices on ARM architecture. Previously, windows 8 only supported x86-based Intel and AMD PC’s. ARM’s chip designs are used on more and more devices. This will allow Windows to compete with Android and iPad tablets.
A Windows store: Hmmm… sounds familiar to another store… can we say “not original!”. This is a great option and new apps are always being added. Now, in addition to all the apps, I purchase for my Mac and iphone, I have a whole new place of noncompatible apps to purchase. I hope my kids do not notice this. Although as a side note, my techno-savy kids have abandoned the nice new PC with Windows 8. Surely that means something.
Windows 8 cloud integration: Interesting, cloud integration-again sounds familiar. Now you are allowed to sync data to SkyDrive-, in addition to data you can, also save your settings. Again, this is not original, but a much needed feature in order to compete in today’s techno world.
Windows 8 has offered us many new features to compete within the marketplace. Is it just me?? Has my frustration of learning new technology finally reached its breaking point? I would not say that. I loved Windows 7. There was nothing wrong with it. Oh sure, it would be nice to have new features. I understand the need to compete, but that does not mean to duplicate. It means to stay original to the users that loved you. I can appreciate the differences between my PC and Mac. Like red and white wine one. I say change all you want, but at least make it better.
Is it better? I do not really know. I have not gotten much past the start screen before I grabbed my Mac.
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