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.
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: