Tue Nov 6 07:43:53 2012 by Eric Hokanson
Modified Tue Nov 6 07:46:42 2012
After working up enough courage I decided to give this whole Windows 8 thing a shot on my laptop last week. It's your typical middle of the line OEM laptop from 2010. It came with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit installed so when I ran the Windows 8 upgrade assistant and it said I was good to go for the $39.99 Windows 8 Pro upgrade I was a bit shocked. I purchased the license and opted for the in-place upgrade. It had me uninstall a couple pieces of software manually and then went about its merry way. After about 30 minutes it was done and I was up and running Windows 8 without a single issue.
Windows 8 is definitely the snappiest version of Windows to date, with a quicker bootup and an overall more responsive feel. Visually, if it wasn't for the laptop-awkward Metro interface or the 1980's 2D graphics you'd never be able to tell the difference between this and Windows 7. If you didn't catch the hint, even after trying it for awhile I'm still not a fan of the Metro interface on a non-touch device. Thankfully open source comes to the rescue as usual. There is a great windows shell enhancement program called Classic Shell. This program adds back the start menu with the look and feel of your choice. It even gives you the option to skip the Metro interface all together -- which is awesome. If you're worried you won't be able to launch all those cool Metro apps that may or may not be coming, never fear, Classic Shell even lets you launch those from the start menu which is what everyone really wanted in the first place. So now I have the best of both worlds, all the speedy Windows 8 kernel upgrades and an actually usable interface. Was it really that hard Microsoft?