Upgrading to Windows 8 took about 90 minutes.

I had read an online review that you get more install choices if you burn the install .iso to a DVD and install from there, so I did.

Everything went smoothly. Nothing lost.

In fact, if you don’t look at the new Windows 8 desktop (the bright colourful blocks on the screen you see in Windows 8 ads) it looks exactly like Windows 7 (minus the Windows start button).

Two things I will miss:

  • I loved the search box in Windows 7 where I could easily find files and programs by typing their name.  Windows said no one used it, so they got rid of it.  Searching is drastically different in Windows 8.  You can search your “Apps” (all your program), your files, or your settings, not all at the same time.
  • Freecell.  Windows 8 killed off all the Microsoft solitaire games. Now I have to go find a free Freecell game in the Windows store. I play Freecell everytime I’m sitting on my computer on the phone. I can’t just sit here.

Once it installed, it was ready to go, but there was no tutorial to tell me exactly what is new.  I stumbled around trying to figure out how to do things.

On this new Windows 8 desktop, there are lots of colourful boxes, some preconfigured for you, some are your own programs, and a bunch are Windows things I’m never going to use.

I don’t need to use their boxes for Mail, Contacts, Chat, People, etc. because I have everything I need in my Google Chrome browser.  The first box I clicked was the weather box, and I had to Google to figure out how to change it to Celcius, it just wasn’t obvious.

Everything is a mixture of right clicks, and placing your mouse in one of the corners of the monitors to bring up the Search, Share, Start, Devices, Tools buttons (apparently called the Charms bar, although I read that elsewhere), and blind luck.

I can see how this is designed for a touch screen. I’ll have to get used to moving my mouse to a screen corner to bring up those buttons.

To get the new Windows 8 desktop back (it doesn’t show all the time), I click the key on my keyboard with the Windows symbol.

These boxes/short cuts on the Windows 8 desktop remind me of Vista with the Google gadgets that were cool at first, but then you realize you don’t need or use or want any of them.

For example, there is a CTV News app from the Windows store.  It uses a screen and has a pretty display with all the headlines.  So would I ever use that? Or just go to CTV in my browser?  If I was on a tablet I’d use it, but I’m on a desktop.  It’s a weird mixture.

In the Windows Store, you can easily access TV shows and movies and purchase them. But it is a little confusing that it brings the word xbox into everything and it isn’t clear to newbies why that is.

Problems I foresee

This is just not an intuitive operating system.  The ultimate gauge of an intuitive system – if I installed this on my mother’s computer, she would be completely lost. So much of the functionality is found by placing your mouse in a specific blind corner. Remember the first time you used iOS on an iPad or iPhone?  You didn’t have to read websites to learn how to use it. You just used it.

Do I regret upgrading?

No. All of my programs work the same way. Wait, it appears my archaic Jasc Paint Shop Pro is not functioning.  That is not good news. I will try to reinstall from disk.

It is just odd to have all the apps here as if I was running this on a tablet instead of a desktop.  I understand that is Windows move to operate on both, but my initial reaction is why would I use any of these apps from the Windows store.  Maybe that will soon change. I’ll let you know.

I’m not convinced I’ve gained anything by upgrading.  That seems to be a problem, doesn’t it?

Future of the Windows Operating System

I’m less and less dependent on Windows. I have never used the Mac OSX either, so I can’t compare. I would like a desktop that syncs with my iPhone and iPad, and Windows 8 doesn’t at all (of course).  I have a big new desktop computer so I am sort of stuck with Windows so I can still operate programs like ArcGIS, and also have multiple drives and multiple monitors and have the ability to upgrade my hardware myself.

Best resources:

Maximize your first 30 minutes with Windows 8 (PC World)
Windows short cut keystrokes (PC World)


Paint Shop Pro works fine now. Just needed to insert the install disk the first time it ran.

iTunes does NOT run on Windows 8.  This is a problem.