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A Weekend With Windows 8

I attended a Windows 8 “Hackathon” this past weekend and would like share some thoughts on Windows 8, and in my next post some thoughts about developing for Windows 8. 

Now there has been a lot of negative reactions from people about Windows 8 because basically Microsoft moved peoples cheese. There is no start button, there are two environments and there is no close button for metro apps. So when things change people complain. How many times did I miss the start button over the weekend? Not once. Not a single time did I think to myself I really need that start button here. Why? Windows 8 makes it easy find apps. It’s actually easier to find apps in Windows 8 then it is to use the start menu. So for the people complaining about no start menu, get over it.

Metro versus the desktop. A lot has been written about switching between Metro and the desktop, and there are some legitimate concerns. While not jarring, or even distracting, every time I switched between a desktop app and a metro app I was reminded why Microsoft is moving to metro apps, an app isn’t about chrome, it’s about the app. An App should stand on it’s merit, and the os should get the hell out of it’s way. Metro makes that happen. Hopefully this will motivate existing app makers to get on to making metro versions of their apps.

How do I close an app? Grab it and dump it. Was easy when you see it done. There are lots of things like that in Windows 8. Once you know how to do something that becomes crazy simple to do. Microsoft will have to work at. Of course a few quick intro slides on setup would get it into peoples heads. It is that easy, but it’s only easy if you know about it.  

There were lots of little things about Windows 8 that I like, things like the file explorer (that had a lot of nerd rage about the ribbon) that while had the ribbon, it got out of the way and actually gave me more room than in previous versions. Another thing is Live tiles in Metro. I love live tiles and Metro allows apps to establish an ongoing relationship with users without even opening an app. 

It is a preview release, so nothing is perfect. But for a preview it was pretty solid and the only real issue I had was a mac bootcamp driver crashing. Here’s hoping that Microsoft can really nail this release. Hopefully  I’ll have up a developing for Windows 8 post in the next day or so.