Windows 8 is a good step forward making a much needed connection between the use of a tablet and your PC together. Any way you slice it, I don’t know anyone who could get away with just owning a tablet. Unless that tablet runs a full-fledged version of Windows or Mac OSX, there are certain things that you just can’t do on the amazing and fun to use tablets. What Windows 8 does that no other OS out there does is combine the two interfaces in one workflow. I think of Windows 8 as two layers.
Upon starting my PC up, which it does very quickly by the way, I am greeted with the new Metro tiles that give Windows 8 it’s personality. The interface is all around really smooth to use. For now, there is still a limited number of useful apps and I hope to see some widely used ones in the near future. Gmail, Spotify, iTunes, WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, all of these would be nice to have on the Metro side of things.
The second layer that Windows 8 offers is the more familiar desktop layer. 99% of the time I am on this layer. The flow of process in browsing files, the internet and running programs is just much smoother and more familiar right now. So what exactly is the Metro side of this OS good for? The answer to this is simple. It combines the flow of using apps of a tablet to the flow of your PC. The live tiles that provide up to date information constantly are nice to have in the background while I’m not actually working on my computer. When you think about it, using a tablet is fun partly because there are so many apps to touch, browse and interact with. You can now do this on your PC and have the ability to very easily switch to a more familiar, more work friendly layer, the desktop.
When I first got Windows 8 I was trying to link everything to the Metro layer. Set up shortcuts and never go to the desktop. I downloaded apps that allow me to browse my files and check my social networking sites. But it just was not working how I wanted it to. I accepted this on the third day I had the new OS and set up my desktop to my familiar set of icons and arranged the space in a way I am used to using. The lesson here is that, as far as workflow, the “old” Windows style folder system and navigation control is a really good system. Practically every OS uses this same style and that because it works really well.
My advice is to buy Windows 8. It is a really innovative way of using a computer. It feels fresh and has a really nice flow when it comes to utilizing both of the “layers” I have described. Don’t think that the Metro side will provide the entire computer experience because I don’t think it is meant to. It’s the innovation that Microsoft has created in Windows 8 to connect the great concepts of a tablet and the use of your home computer, into one seamlessly easy to use workflow. Lots of good stuff in the newest release from Microsoft and it’s only going to get better.