All things modern.
Windows 8 Experiment.
PART 1 – Installation
Windows 8 is due to be released in a matter of weeks. The preview version has been around for some time now, and there are numerous reviews and videos all over the internet. Concerns abound about the new metro start screen and how the user interacts with it as part of the whole windows experience.
By watching others’ reviews, my instinct tells me that I am not going to like it. Whatever Microsoft’s intentions, the experience seems disjointed, confusing and extremely unfriendly. One can propose many lines of reasoning which may have resulted in Microsoft’s decision to implement windows 8 in the way that it did. My two ideas are:
Theory 1: The desktop mode is only there temporarily for backward compatibility until all applications become modern style metro apps. This would leave just one unified interface, the metro interface.
Theory 2: Microsoft intends us to use only the desktop mode when on a traditional laptop or desktop computer and metro mode only on tablets. Both interfaces are present to aid people who use convertible tablets or tablets with some kind of dock.
Being curious about these things, I have decided to install and try it myself. In a stroke of sheer good luck, it would seem that I have acquired two very similar yet quite unique test platforms:
Platform 1 – Lenovo ThinkPad X220 (referred to as X220 in the text)
Core i7 CPU, 6GB RAM.
Platform 2 – Lenovo ThinkPad X220 Tablet (referred to as X220T in the text)
Core i3 CPU, 6GB RAM, Pen enabled Multi-touch display
Testing on these platforms would go a long way in answering the age old question: what is windows 8 good for? The following review will be a step by step personal account of my first reactions to windows 8 on both of these platforms, and not a proper review. I will continue to use both pcs for as long as I can to see how my opinion changes over time.
Day 1, install windows 8
At this moment I am typing this on the Thinkpad X220 just after installing windows 8 via the upgrade route. I copied the installation files onto a USB ben drive and started the setup from within windows. I needed to remove a few installed programs before windows 8 would install:
However the most infuriating part was the time taken for the upgrade. There were times when I thought that the machine had frozen with the whole process taking almost two hours to complete. I cannot explain why this took so long as for most of the time the computer looked as if it was doing nothing. To be fair, I was installing onto a dirty windows 7 OS which I have been using for about 9 months.
On the other hand, windows 8 installed on the Thinkpad x220 Tablet during the time I took to write a few paragraphs of this essay. Essentially the only difference between the computers is that the tablet has an SSD. I know that SSDs are much faster than a traditional Winchester hard drive, but the time difference for installation was extremely significant. It is worth noting that in this case I was upgrading a clean install of windows 7.
Now, I am going to sleep. I will play with both laptops running windows 8 more tomorrow. Stay tuned for updates.