The Five Things I Like About Windows 8

I admit it. I did not like Windows 8 immediately. It took some time. However, now I like it a lot.

My introduction to Windows 8 happened a year ago. My work desktop computer died and we replaced it with a Windows 8 machine. My monitor did not offer touch technology, which meant that most of the time I was working in Desktop mode (which looks and behaves much like Windows 7). I remained unimpressed.

A few months later I bought a tablet and my feelings towards Windows 8 quickly warmed. The tablet was great because it offered all the benefits of touch technology when in Metro mode with the familiarity of Windows 7 when in Desktop mode. I began to fully appreciate the features Windows 8 offers users.

windows8

Windows 8 tiles can easily be customized.

Here is why I have come to love Windows 8:

1. It is a Stable Environment

We can all remember the blue screen from past operating systems. Gone are the days of the computer crashing. I use Windows 8 on both my work computer and tablet and it has never crashed. I appreciate using a bug free operating system.

2. Easily Turn Live Tiles Off (and On)

Windows 8 has live tiles in Metro mode that show rotating content or updates. Since I use my Windows 8 tablet for both work and personal use there are times when I don’t want the tiles to display content on the screen. For example, I do not want to show my Photos or Social feeds when I am giving a product demonstration, leading a workshop, attending a meeting, giving a presentation, or teaching a class. Windows 8 makes it easy to temporarily turn the live tiles off. I just touch and hold the tile (or right click), then select Turn tile off.

3. Personalize my Start Screen

I like my gadgets to be customized to suit my needs. With the help of a Windows 8 Quick Start Guide I quickly began to add and remove apps, arrange groups, and set the size of the tiles. The apps that are more important have larger tiles than the apps I access less often. I have set my work computer differently than my Windows tablet. For example, my tablet has News feeds, Social apps, family Photos, XBOX Music, and Netflix easily available because I use those apps often at home for personal use. Whereas, my work computer has a Productivity group with Office apps and a Tools group with frequently used programs on the Start Screen so I can quickly get work done.

4. Customize my Taskbar in Desktop Mode

I like that Desktop Mode is a lot like Windows 7. It is the view I use the most when I am at the office. Since this is the case, I placed all the programs I use often on the taskbar so I can quickly open them without having to switch to Metro mode. To do this, I just press and hold (or right click) on the app in Metro mode and select Pin on taskbar.

5. Windows Store

When I first started using Windows 8 there were not many apps. Today that is not the case. There are a wide range of free and paid apps available to users. I find that I install apps more on my tablet that on my work computer as they tend to be more for entertainment. It took me a minute to get used to the Windows Store. Microsoft has improved the organization of apps and search feature, so I like it a lot more now.

Recommended Windows 8 Start Guides

When I was looking for Windows 8 Guides they were a hard to find, as the operating system was new. I started to bookmark my favorites and share them with friends when they needed help. Here are the ones I found helpful:

Christa Love

About Christa Love

Christa Love, Vice President - Christa Love has a passion for education and technology. A graduate from Brock University she has an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Bachelor of Education in Primary and Junior divisions, and Masters of Education in the area of Curriculum Studies. Her work at TechnoKids Inc. began more than ten years ago as an instructor at a local learning center. Since that time she has operated the summer camp program, taught at the research and development center at John Knox Christian School, trained educators throughout the province on issues related to technology integration, and overseen the curriculum development of hundreds of technology projects. In recent years, Christa has become the vice president of TechnoKids Inc.