Windows 8 is the latest operating system from Microsoft. It has received mixed reviews so 127 solutions have decided to do some testing to see how it compares with Windows 7, which has firmly established itself as the main business operating system.
The first obvious change is the lack of a start button. This has been one of the main features of the Windows operating system for many years now and it is a bold move from Microsoft not to have included it in Windows 8. However, I think it is a mistake. When using Windows 8 I find myself looking for workarounds that were just so much easier when the start button was there. For example, if I want to go into the list of programs I now have to move the cursor into the top left hand corner of the desktop and open up the new look Windows 8 Start menu, right click on a blank area of the screen and go to all apps. I can then see a list of installed programs. This seems illogical and takes several more clicks than it would do using the start button. I can imagine this causing great displeasure amongst most windows users, like it has done with me.
Microsoft now seems to have realised this and have recently announced the return of the start button, but it will not have the same functionality as it used to have. This lead me to go looking for an alternative which I found in the form of some third party software called Windows 8 Start button. This can be downloaded at http://www.windows8startbutton.com/ and brings back the same functionality as there was in Windows 7. Within minutes of installing this I suddenly felt much more at ease using the operating system and all of the useful links and shortcuts which had been included in most of the previous versions of Windows were now accessible. You can find a tutorial on how to install this in the tutorials section of our website.
The start menu itself is also very different to Windows 7. Windows 8 goes straight to the start menu when it loads up rather that the desktop like it has done in previous versions. The desktop is now an app which needs to be launched from the start Menu. The introduction of apps rather than programs makes the whole operating system feel like it is made for a tablet or smart phone rather than a PC. The start menu has a tile interface with shortcuts to new Microsoft apps like mail and contacts but this again just feel more like a tablet interface.
I have also found the usual compatibility issues that you get with the latest operating systems and it appears that lots of them still have not been addressed. For this reason we have not yet rolled out Windows 8 to our clients and would not recommend implementing it into a business environment. It remains be seen whether Microsoft bite the bullet and go back to the classic start menu and give the users what they want.