BY NICK CAVARRETTA
Microsoft has released their next generation operating system, Windows 8, to the public. Technology magazines and websites are pushing mixed reviews whilst the hacking community is pushing for a working activation crack.
Windows 8 was released to developers a couple of months ago by the MSDN (Microsoft Developers Network) for bug testing and future application development. You could also grab yourself a copy if you had a TechNet Professional Subscription. Today the public is starting to update their existing Windows 7 OS with the current special that costs A$40 when downloaded direct from Microsoft. This is the best option for Australians because Microsoft will not release a full install version for a little while yet, so we all must rely on the upgrades.
When you boot Windows 8 for the first time, you’ll notice the Web 2.0 look being pushed into the OS theme. You’ll also notice the start menu is gone. If you press the windows key you wont see the start menu pop-up, but a whole new desktop will appear, this is the new start menu. If you don’t like that then you can get it back in the settings. Windows 8 is very Internet-heavy, so if you don’t have a Microsoft account yet, I recommend getting one.
For the average user Windows 8 could go either way. It can be very basic and easy to use, or it can be stressful because you can only tweak the look, and not the way it runs. For the advanced users, developers can now enjoy the web integration and the new release of Visual Studio 2012 with plugins. Not to mention the sync capabilities with Windows phones and Windows tablets, which could remind people of Microsoft’s competitor, Apple.
Can Windows 8 prove itself in the market? It’s too soon to tell. But for now, it’s nice that Microsoft has entered the 21st Century and acknowledge that Linux and iOS are onto something.
I think we’re about to see a massive shift in the market, with advanced users moving to Linux Operating Systems with KDE or GNOME GUI, simply because it can be customised without restrictions. It looks like Windows is trying very hard to compete with Apple, but I think the reason so many people have stuck with Windows for so long is that it’s nothing like Apple. This move could contribute to a marketing flop. Having said that it does open up a whole new market of users, the ones that aren’t advanced users and simply can’t afford or don’t see the point in maintaining an iProducts lifestyle.
So there we have it. The market is finally being separated. If you don’t know what the hell you’re doing on a computer, pay the money and buy an iOS Mac. If you have some idea what you’re doing then pay some money and buy a Windows 8 PC. If you know what you’re doing then build a x86/x64 PC and run Linux. I for one will be running a dual boot with Linux as my main OS and Windows 8 my games platform and development sandbox.