I’ve been running Windows 8 CP for a couple of weeks now and nothing has cropped up to irritate me, far from it in fact. As a Windows user since v3.11 the first box that needs to be ticked is stability and 8CP has been running for 10 days uninterrupted, the last reboot being when it failed to come out of hibernation properly, though it has now done so a dozen or so times since. There have just been a couple of issues with software; it won’t install the latest version of BOINC, nor will it install .NET Framework 3.5, which Windows Mail asks for every time it’s launched. 8CP seems to be managing to work around the HDD problem on the laptop, just occasionally getting caught up in some sort of loop where the drive light is on constantly and won’t do anything until it’s resolved whatever it’s choking on. The task manager in 8CP shows 100% disc use but the volume of data being written is small, I don’t believe this is a problem with 8CP but with my HDD. The graphics driver seems a little clunky when watching MLB.tv, not terrible and may not be noticeable to anyone not used to watching on another machine or not having seen it on this laptop with a different driver. I’ve tried to install the latest ATI driver and it tells me that that there is no supported hardware? Not sure what that is about but I’m content to go along with the existing driver for the moment. I’ve been a little surprised how few updates there have been, daily updates to Windows Defender install without reboot and just one other update has been received in the last ten days and that didn’t require a reboot either.
And so to the Early Learning Page, or whatever MS call the overlay that’s been slapped on top of the desktop. I still don’t love it, and don’t expect to, nor do I think it’s a significant enhancement on the PC platform. However I’ve found that it can be edited, in terms of position of the icons by drag and drop and have placed the ones I use most regularly at the extreme left, few though they are. The weather gadget (or whatever MS call them) is nice, the thing you click on to get to the desktop, is essential, the calendar ‘thing’ is a lot more useful now that I have it sync with Outlook on my main PC via Google Calendar sync and I use the People ‘thing’ a little though the format is awful, with the layout just offering two tweets/Facebook posts to a full screen and stuttering scroll. I really don’t have that many twitter/Facebook feeds to follow but this format is hopeless. And for me, just about everything else is clutter.
I’m still not sure where Windows 8 exceeds Windows 7? I can’t see any noticeable improvement in multi-tasking, loading or running the applications I use regularly or boot time and it hard to see this as something other than Windows 7 with the ELC page slapped on top in an attempt to generate sales from their app store for the gadgets/widgets/things that reside on it. Maybe it’s more secure, maybe it’s performance is an improvement but I don’t have the wit to test either. It runs fine but I still want the ‘Start’ button and the ELC page as a background feature, not the main event. And it’s not making the likelihood of me buying a Windows phone loom any larger.