Sunday, November 25, 2012

Windows 8 and Office 2013

About 3 weeks ago I took the plunge to install Windows 8 and office 2013 on my 4 year old laptop that was crawling. It was a spur of the moment decision due to the frustration of my laptop just not responding to me. Now I don't regret that decision at all. My laptop has got a new lease of life. Its much faster and very responsive, the UI looks modern and sleek and all the software that I had on my Windows 7 OS works like a charm.

I did not do an upgrade, I did a complete rebuild of my laptop with Windows 8. So that kind of cleaned out 4 years of junk that I had accumulated and I started off with a clean machine. The whole transition from Windows 7 to Windows 8 including backup and restore of my data and installing all the applications I needed took me less than half a day. This is my fastest OS build ever since I started using Windows since way back in 1992.

What do I like about Windows 8
1. As mentioned already its fast and responsive. All the applications open so much more faster and work so much more better.
2. Interface to the XBox 360 is nice. You open your video and then just do a share-to and choose the xbox console and it all works.
3. The live tiles on the desktop are nice to look at but I really don't find that much use to them as I rarely work from the desktop. But it really brings your desktop alive.

What I do not like about Windows 8
1. The removal of the start button from the desktop. Since the desktop is the traditional desktop on Windows they should have left the start button in there. There are applications you can install to get similar features. Click here to read more about them.
2. The skype program comes with the metro UI but many of the features that we love in skype are missing such as screen sharing and adding other participants to an existing call and it is really not that easy to have multiple conversations at the same time in the metro UI of skype. Also since it is a metro UI you do not have access to your desktop and if there are other conversations going on in other chat programs such as GTalk you get no notification that there is a chat message waiting for you. The metro UI is really not user friendly on a desktop where a lot of multi tasking goes on.
3. The Metro UI menu options takes a bit of getting used to. Finding things on the Metro UI that one is used to finding in a particular place takes some time and this can lead to a bit of frustration.  So Google becomes your best friend to find out where the option is.

My opinion is move to Windows 8. Its a fun interface that is fresh and its just so responsive when you do something on it.

Office 2013 comes with a very bland flat clean interface that feels odd when you first start it up having got used to the beveled buttons and the 3D interface of previous office products. I found it odd for a while to have the menu and the content area in the same white color thus not having the clear demarcation between the two. But again its fast, responsive and sleek so if you get a chance to move to it you should. In terms of feature set I have not used any of the features that are new in it like its integration into sky drive, syncing across devices (will try it out when I get my Windows phone), PDF Editing (Nice !!! - Didn't know it till I read this article).

In terms of feature set its not really a big upgrade from Office 2010 so you can move to it at your own pace.

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