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Windows 8 – The gateway to the future

Not sure where to start this post. Whether to write a review, preview, give my feedback on the experience, do a walkthrough of the features, or provide some tips… I am confused. All I know is that I’m absolutely in love with the latest and most radically changed OS offered from the house of Microsoft — the all-new cross-platform Windows 8. It’s been over four months since I started using Windows 8 as my primary OS at home. I started with the Release Preview version which I downloaded for free from the Microsoft website, and then the purchased full version of the final Windows 8 Pro release. And I have to say that I was planning to write this post or review or feedback since I first tasted Win 8 in its Release Preview version because there is so much to talk about, and so many small small things that has changed from the previous version Windows 7.

Ever since I heard about the OS coming out as a Desktop version in early 2012, I was skeptic like anyone who have learned and accepted the traditional Windows interface as an integral part of the way we work/use the PC. Whether it’s the introduction of Windows 8 Start screen by dropping the Start Menu, or the introduction touch-screen friendly interface, the Windows team played with fire. It was not just about creating a new design and UI making it more faster and appealing, it was more of a question of whether the hundreds of thousands of traditional home users and enterprises spend their time to re-learn how to use a PC for Windows 8. It was a risk that the core Windows 8 team hoped would help them stay ahead of the competition and move forward into the future as a clear leader.

Microsoft has been a household name around the world for many years, and its their products like Windows 95 and 98 that brought PCs to thousands of homes across the world. From starting the PC and seeing the Windows logo to clicking the Start button to ‘Get Started’ to opening their favorite programs, no one had to really sit with a newbie to teach how to use Windows. It was that easy, intuitive and clear.  To change something that defined the way people work, and do the unthinkable like burying the evergreen Start menu, Windows 8 had to bring out something truly awesome. I went through a lot of Youtube videos and tech reviews about the Customer preview and beta versions, and found mixed reviews. People either panicked by getting stuck at the Metro tiles, or they hailed the new interface as the next big thing. The first thing I did was to throw the thought that Windows 8 is like any other previous Windows OS and an upgrade to Windows 7 or any other traditional Windows OS, out of the window. If you think so and approach Windows 8 like you do to a normal windows OS, chances are you will get stuck very soon. Think of Windows 8 as a modification to Windows 7, packed with a new interface which bridges the traditional Windows OS and a tablet UI, complete with some new features and a new design/UI.  You can do a lot of things which were available only in mobiles and tablets so far – access Windows App Store and download featured Windows 8 apps straight from the laptop just like you do in a tablet like the Surface Pro tablet, access specific apps like Mail, Calendar, People, Maps, Weather etc so that you can stay connected all they time. The search feature has been updated tremendously, allowing you to find anything from apps to files to settings, all from the same place. There is so much more to Windows 8 that makes it so good, and I have to write a separate post to cover them all in detail.

The world around is flying, with devices getting more smaller and smarter, and people need not be at the desk to send an email or book a ticket. But there are still things that no mobile device can replace. Working on a Word or Excel file, working on windows-specific applications, we still reached back to the age-old PC running on Win XP or Vista or 7 to get things done. Tradition is something which we cannot force on people overnight.

So, all in all, it’s definitely a winner as no other, but all you have to do is to GIVE IT A TRY and spend a few minutes with it. It works just as fine in a normal PC Desktop as it is on a touch interface, none of the functionalities will be affected by using a mouse. With today’s Microsoft Surface with Windows 8 Pro, the OS itself will truly arrive in the market. So till you get your hands on the device, go and try the OS itself on your laptop/PC, and make it better!

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