Tag Archives: Windows 8

Why I think businesses will ignore Windows 8

Let’s get one thing straight from the beginning; I’m no Microsoft hater. I’ve designed networks around Windows for many years and happily supported them. I have many client companies going about their business with no Apple products or Linux boxes in sight.

But, I’m going to stick my neck out on one thing: I think a large number of businesses will completely ignore Windows 8.

Windows 8’s user experience represents the biggest change to how the operating system works since Windows 3.1 evolved to Windows 95. Ever since the first developer previews of Windows 8 hit the scene, I’ve chatted to fellow-techies and canvassed their opinions on the new OS. Their views range from indifference, to total bafflement as to exactly what Microsoft is trying to achieve.

Here’s why I just cannot see my clients taking an interest in Windows 8.

The Windows 8 Start Screen
The Windows 8 Start Screen

1. Users don’t care

When an individual gets to the office, they don’t really care what their computer’s user interface looks like – they just want to get their work done without the machine slowing down or crashing.

If you want proof of this, just consider the fact that Computerworld recently reported that 41% of the world’s PCs still run Windows XP – which does everything any business needs it to do. Yet, I don’t hear users complaining that their machines are “out of date.”

2. Users don’t like change

I’ve recently migrated a number of user groups from XP to Windows 7. Sure, the users do become familiar with it quickly, but they don’t embrace changes and enjoy new features in the way that computer enthusiasts do.

Remember that the fact you are reading this article places you in the small percentage of the population interested enough in technology to visit an IT website. Many corporate computer users are still getting their heads around copy and paste.

3. Businesses have no intention of buying touch screens

None of my clients will be easily persuaded to buy touch screens, just because they allow Microsoft to do things in a more “modern” (or more iPad-like) way.

Businesses spend money to do new things, or so they can do existing things better (or more quickly). They don’t spend money just to do things differently.

4. Windows 8 doesn’t know what it wants to be

Is it a tablet operating system, a touch operating system or a desktop operating system? To me, and to many of my associates, it’s trying to be all the above and not succeeding particularly well at any of them.

The way that, in its default state, Windows 8 keeps flicking between the tiled Metro view and the traditional Windows desktop is strange and illogical. If it stresses me out as a techie with Microsoft certification, I know what the users are likely to think.

Sure, there are already plenty of published ways to disable Metro – but if you’re going buy Windows 8 only to turn it back into Windows 7, then what’s the point? Why not just accept that…

5. Windows 7 does it better

I’m sure there will be plenty of home users and enthusiasts with touchscreen PCs who’ll grow to love Windows 8. Business users, however? I just can’t see it. With years to go before support for Windows 7 is withdrawn, consultants like me will edge them towards safety and supportability.

And what happens then? It’s quite simple. Windows 7 becomes the new XP, and Windows 8 becomes the new Vista.

Don’t look now, but here comes the Windows Surface tablet

The image above is smartphone photography in its truest form; taken this month at the official Microsoft Store at the Mall of America (across the walkway from the Apple Store), this sign heralds the next big step for the software/hardware giant.  Indeed, the Surface tablet by Microsoft is arriving in stores this Friday, October 26th, 2012.

And if one is asking what the heck is the Surface and why should one be interested, let me elaborate:

The Surface Tablet by Microsoft

Image Courtesy of Microsoft

The Surface tablet is Microsoft’s new investment into the touch screen tablet market.  It comes as a 2lb, 10.6″ 10 point multi-touch HD tablet (larger in both regards than the 1.5lb, 9.7″ screened iPad) with stereo speakers, a few USB ports, a micro SD slot, front and rear facing cameras, a headphone port, and a video display output port.  The tablet is supported by a 22 degree “kickstand” that can flip in and out for maximum viewability.

Image Courtesy of Microsoft

The main keyboard is a pressure sensitive interface that doubles as the protective case for the Surface’s screen, and for an improved typing experience can be upgraded to the hard, mechanical Type Cover. Both keyboards work in hand with the kickstand to efficiently turn on and off the Surface when closed or transported.

The Surface Operating System

Besides the physical attributes, the Surface is being advertised as two different tablets with two distinct operating system options.

Windows RT

The Surface’s first operating system coming out on October 26th is known as Windows RT, which can be considered like a “light” version of Windows 8.  All the iconic Windows Metro tiles are present here (Mail, Sky Drive, Calendar, Facebook, etc); with them installed the homescreen can be modified and tweaked to suit one’s preferences.  Additional applications and tiles can be downloaded by the Windows Store, which also act as the content manager for the Surface.  Windows Defender is also included as a safeguard for one’ personal data.

The RT version also comes initially with Microsoft Office RT Preview, which carries all the common Office products in a non-polished form (with improvements coming through a free upgrade later on).  And yes, all Office programs in the Windows RT system will be touch-friendly.

Windows 8 Pro

Although the Surface is being released with Windows RT, it is Windows 8 that will use it’s functionality to the fullest.  The forthcoming Windows 8 on the Surface acts like Windows 7 in the background, but still has all those pretty Metro tiles on the front end with similar connectivity to social media and the like.

Unlike the Windows RT version, the full Office suite will be available for the Windows 8 Pro Surface, again with emphasis added on the touch capabilities for maximum efficiency.  And because Windows 7 is essentially running in the background in Windows 8, the future Surface tablet will be able to run and install any application that have been compatible with existing Windows systems.  Networking and security will also be expanded beyond Windows Defender with bit-locker disk encryption, remote desktop access, and other IT management features.

The Present Situation

The main differentiation between the Windows RT version of the Surface and the Windows 8 version is quite clear: the RT Surface is currently available for $499 ($699 as the 64GB version) and the Windows 8 Pro version does not even have a release date yet.  But when Windows 8 Pro is released, the improved Surface will boast an i5 Core Processor, 2 extra GB of RAM (4 GB total), and double the battery size for usage well beyond the 8 hours the Windows RT surface can provide.

Presently, the Windows RT version can be pre-ordered from the Microsoft Store, but depending on the release of Windows 8 it may make sense to wait and see if the Surface can really stretch its wings with the added functionality.

Multiple monitor improvements are coming to Windows 8

Multiple Monitors Windows 8

The Consumer Preview of Windows 8 was a bit of a nightmare when used on multiple monitors with the taskbar stretched across both displays, and offered no obvious reasoning behind the odd design. Luckily for us (meaning the collective Windows user base), Microsoft has confirmed via their Windows 8 Blog that positive changes will be coming to the experience. But that doesn’t mean they are going to stray too far from the Windows 7 multi-display formula.

Basically, the way Windows 8 is displayed on multiple monitors completely depends on your unique preferences when interacting with the new software. You can have the Metro Start screen on one monitor with the classic desktop view on the other. You can also have the classic desktop view on two monitors or the Metro screen stretched across both monitors. Of course, you can take any combination of the two and display them on three, four, or more screens.

Customization has been improved as well. Microsoft has enabled smart-selection for portrait-style monitors, improved shared corners, allowed more than one image as a desktop background, and the option to span one panoramic image across multiple monitors. Improvements have been made to the taskbar as well, providing the option to set a main screen to hold all your open app icons, or span the taskbar across all monitors and display app icons on whichever screen holds the corresponding open window.

But there’s more. Gestures are accessible from each monitor, which means Start, Charms, and Settings can be opened by moving your mouse (or finger if your PC is touch-enabled) into the appropriate hot corner. You can also drag-and-drop apps from monitor to monitor, a feature that works with both full-screen and snapped apps.

So it looks like Microsoft will finally do right by their customers with Windows 8, putting the decisions in the hands of their users. The new multi-display functionality allows for any number of configurations and can even keep the Metro Start screen out of the way for those Windows purists who can’t stand innovation.

Microsoft Says Farewell to Aero Glass in Windows 8

When I first booted up into Windows 8 with my beloved Samsung Focus mobile phone at my side, I was appalled by the jarring visual differences when switching back and forth from the Metro start screen to the traditional Windows desktop view.

On one hand, there was this amazingly simple Start screen with a bold interface daring to standout from the crowd. On the other, an ancient and tacky faux-glass-themed, cluttered, and – quite frankly – ugly desktop interface.

I found it incredible that after putting so much thought into the Metro UI’s design, Microsoft seemed to forget about the desktop altogether. I thought they changed. I thought they cared about details, the user experience, and beauty! My disenchantment became so bad that up until a week ago I had given up on ever experiencing a truly simple and beautifully designed version of Windows.

What changed? Microsoft is getting rid of Aero Glass in Windows 8, baby!

First introduced with the debut of the ill-fated Vista, the Aero desktop design has outlived its relevancy. The days of transparency, gradients, and shadows are long behind us and especially do not belong in a modern interface like Metro that relies on flat icons and bold colors to garner attention. According to Microsoft, they also see the drawbacks of their current design and promise to start “flattening surfaces, removing reflections, and scaling back distracting gradients.”

Microsoft doesn’t see the desktop as a mode, but rather “a paradigm for working that suits some people and specific apps.” But Microsoft isn’t willing to forfeit compatibility with existing programs by drastically changing the desktop UI. To preserve their existing user base, Windows 8 will continue to use black text on a light-colored background as opposed to the white-on-saturated-color look of Metro.

In short, Microsoft gave their desktop UI a mini Metro makeover. The default color that surrounds the windows is white, rounded corners on icons and windows are now squared, and the taskbar blends even more into the desktop wallpaper. Even the ribbon will see some changes with icons treated to the same squared-off edges and stripped of all gradients to “make them feel more modern and neutral.”

Unfortunately, the Release Preview hasn’t fully abandoned the Aero theme and it won’t be fully replaced until the final release of Windows 8. We would have liked to see what it looked like in action, but it just wasn’t in the cards.

If you’ve ever wanted to read a comprehensive history of Windows design over the years, then hit up this post from the Building Windows 8 blog.

Windows 8 Boots Too Quickly to Be Interrupted

Boot Options Menu

We previously told you that Windows 8 could manage a cold boot in eight seconds flat, and that still holds true, but now there are reports that an SSD-equipped PC can manage it in under seven seconds. It’s not a huge difference in boot time, but it does create a minor and rather curious problem. Mainly, the user no longer has enough time to interrupt the boot menu.

Chris Clark, program manager at Microsoft’s User Experience team, explains in a Building Windows 8 blog post that a mere 200 millisecond window is all the time available to users if they want to make changes to a PC’s boot setup.

A new method

Since the Windows software and general computer hardware have become too fast for us puny humans, the days of reading “Press F2 to enter setup” are over and Microsoft recognizes the need to offer an alternate way of accessing the familiar boot menu. They found their top tappers could only manage about a 250ms frequency and catching that elusive 200ms opportunity was based a lot on chance. In other words, the added speed became the opposite of user friendly.

In response, the team came up with three solutions that work together to solve the issue. Clark notes in his post that “no one should need to learn how Windows is built” and the team wanted the new boot options to “just work”. A refreshing choice of words as Windows is notorious for requiring complicated work arounds for simple problems depending on hardware, software version, and general computer skills of the user. But keeping with their new, simplified design aesthetic Microsoft has decided to make a single menu for every boot option.

How it works

Microsoft’s solution is a three-pronged approach:

  1. The various boot settings that have previously been scattered from one end of Windows to the other will now be available in a single boot options group
  2. The menu will automatically appear whenever Windows is prevented from booting up correctly
  3. Microsoft is providing the user with plenty of different ways to bring up the new menu at will.

Basically, although you will no longer be able to access the boot menu from the start up screen, you’ll still be able to check it out once your PC has finished booting up. Specifically, you can bring up the menu through Advanced startup on the General tab of your PC’s settings. From there, you can choose to Restart now and choose a new start up volume during a reboot.

There’s an even quicker method built-in, simply holding down the Shift key while click Restart in your computer’s shutdown menu will cause Windows 8 to reboot into the boot menu as well.

One important note is that these changes are only applicable to newer PCs with UEFI BIOS. This exclusion, according to Chris Clark, can be chalked up to the speed restricitions of older hardware, meaning they will spend enough time booting up for a user to interrupt with the F8 or F2 keys.

Windows 8 ‘Release Preview’ Brings New Apps and Updates the Old Ones

As we assumed when various apps in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview were marked with an “App Preview” tag, the core Metro apps have been updated in the Windows 8 Release Preview. The updated applications feature some improvements to the user interface (there were some apps that really needed it), a unified app settings bar, and even some all-new applications.

The preview pages of some revised apps have been floating around online via the Windows Store, but this is the first time we are seeing the new apps in action. Though it isn’t surprising that the core apps have been updated, we are still extremely excited to see the makeover results. Some of the apps were just plain difficult to use and lacked cohesion, ease-of-use, or basic functions.

To kick things off, we begin by applauding the unified look of the app bar that drops down from the top of the screen. The options may be app-specific, but it’s nice to see a cohesive design structure being employed.

Updated Apps

Photos

The new Photos app (pictured above) features a new smart screen complete with a full-size background photo chosen from your own collection, and smaller thumbnails pulled from your local library, SkyDrive, Facebook, and Flickr are displayed overtop. It’s very easy on the eyes and closely resembles the Windows Phone version.

Calendar

In the Consumer Preview, the Calendar app was missing a simple search function. Maybe not a problem for the average user with two or three appointments in a week, but incredibly troublesome for the power user with a growing number of time commitments. Thankfully that search function has been implemented in the latest release and answered our dearest prayers.

Music

The most exciting change in the Music app is the integration of Zune Pass, which means all of your cloud-based music is finally accessible via the Windows 8 desktop.

Mail

When we first started working with Windows 8, the Mail app haunted our nightmares. It was unreliable and clumsy at best, and though the new version still lacks threaded conversations (really!?), it’s been optimized and crashes a lot less often. The user experience has become actually, well, usable now.

Inboxes are listed on the left-hand pane, doing away with the hellish way of switching inboxes in the App Preview, which involved pressing the back button a whole lot of times. You can also pin specific accounts to your start screen in order to choose whether to check your personal or work email before launching the app. It’s still not as feature-packed as say Gmail or Hotmail, but we must admit that it’s gorgeous.

Web Browsing

The most interesting and innovative change to IE this time around comes in the form of “Flip ahead”, a feature that uses crowd-sourcing to predict which web page a user will click on next. So instead of needing to click on the suggested page, you can simply swipe or click the on-screen forward button to navigate there. At the moment it works best for flipping to the second page of an article, but hopefully with time the algorithm will prove more useful. “Flip ahead” will be turned off by default, so you’ll have to enable it manually.

Sharing options are built-in now, which isn’t too exciting, but worth noting. Flash has been enabled as well, which was inevitable. But what rocks about Metro IE’s implementation is that it’s plug-in free by default so Flash works without any additional setup.

Weather and Maps

Nothing much has changed here. The Weather app is still beautiful and information-packed. We thought Maps lost it’s dedicated search function, but it was only moved into the Charms bar.

Lock Screen

The lock-screen saw a mini-refresh as well. You can now adjust the volume and pause or skip tracks without unlocking your device, which we love.

Brand New Apps

Most of the new apps are Bing-centric, which makes sense for Microsoft’s clear dedication to all things Bing. The moniker of Bing seems a bit redundant since the apps are obviously powered by the search engine, but you can’t blame a company for tooting its own horn. Besides, each app is gorgeous, works great, and beats the pants off the competition.

Bing News

The Bing News app opens up to the top story of the moment and as you scroll right, you’ll find more top headlines pulled from several different categories. The app bar serves as a way to drill down into specific sources or trends. Of course, you can pin any category or custom topic to your start page for quick access to personalized news feeds.

Bing Travel

Basically a Metro version of the site’s trip planning feature, Bing Travel lets you do research and flight / hotel booking. If you don’t already have a destination in mind, the home page serves to inspire you by displaying a collection of pictures and travel articles from featured destinations. Once you choose a place to visit, the app provides you with plenty of helpful details ranging from maps to weather stats and local prices.

Bing Sports

As you may have guessed, Bing Sports helps you keep track of your favorite sports teams and general news stories in the realm of athletics. A top story is displayed on the home page by default and as you swipe to the right you’ll be greeted by more articles, game schedules, and a place just for you called “Favorite teams.” This section of the app is pretty self-explanatory, type in a team name and you’ll receive personalized information relevant to that team like standings, rosters, player stats, etc. And from the app bar up top, you can filter news stories by sport if you could care less about specific teams.

Conclusion

What do you think? Will Windows 8 be the next big thing or the next big flop? Sound off below!

If you’d like a more in-depth look at the Release Preview, a slideshow of all the apps (new & improved) has been provided for your viewing pleasure.

[nggallery id=13]

Microsoft invests $300 million in Barnes & Noble; looks to spin off Nook business

In what may be considered an interesting and somewhat odd move considering past events, Microsoft has announced that they will be investing $300 million into a “strategic partnership” with Barnes & Noble to work on the future of e-reading by creating a whole new subsidiary of Barnes & Noble that will focus on all things Nook as well as its education/college business.

With Microsoft’s $300 million investment, they’ll own a 17.6 percent stake in the new business (valuing the new company at $1.7 billion), while Barnes & Noble will own the remaining 82.4 percent.

The first thing on the agenda so far is a Windows 8 Nook app, as well as working on spreading and popularizing the Nook Study software on Microsoft’s platforms. Just from these two things alone, Microsoft desperately wants content on their platforms. It seems they want their own answer to Apple’s iBooks and to offer Windows users an alternative to Amazon’s Kindle Fire.

However, this could end up being a bitter mistake for both Microsoft and Barnes & Noble if things don’t go even remotely well. Microsoft has a recent history of catching up to established markets by siding with mediocre companies (their partnership with Nokia, for instance). Microsoft’s partnership with B&N, who – let’s face it – is a lesser-performing company in the e-reading market, could become a complete flop if not done right, especially when going up against powerhouses like iBooks and Amazon’s established ecosystem.

Then again, Microsoft lacks any real strategy to compete in the e-reader business in the first place, so this partnership with Barnes & Noble is certainly a good first step if they really want to compete. It will allow them to get more content onto their platform — especially Windows 8 tablets.

In any case, it’ll be interesting to see what consumers will get out of this once the competition is in full swing.

Image Credit: George Kelly

First Look: Using Windows 8 on a Tablet

Microsoft is aiming high with Windows 8. Not only will Windows 8 be their next flagship desktop operation system, Microsoft is also looking to make it their first OS that’s actually usable on a tablet (anyone who has used any version of Windows on a tablet up to now will tell you that it makes for a less than stellar experience).

I recently had the good fortune to play around with a tablet (specifically the Acer Iconia Tab W500) running the Windows 8 Developer Preview. While the developer preview is still a very early build (and it shows), it’s showing a lot of promise.

Right away I was impressed with Windows 8’s boot time, Microsoft is finally paying attention to an area it has struggled with in the past. With the help of the W500’s solid state drive I clocked the time from pushing the power button to staring at the log in screen at around five seconds. Compared to the 30+ seconds you’ll see on a Windows 7 desktop with a standard spinning drive that’s quite an improvement, and a necessary one for a portable device like a tablet.

In Windows 8, Microsoft added the option of tying your Windows Live ID to your standard log in. This allows you to sync things like browser bookmarks and passwords across all of your devices and facilitates downloads from the upcoming Windows Store. It’s similar to both Apple’s and Google’s approaches to tying your device to an account with the added bonus of syncing things you’d normally find in a roaming profile on a Windows-based network. Most everyone has a Live ID lying around for something or other, may as well put it to good use!

My favorite addition to Windows 8 is the expanded Task Manager. It’s actually useful! All of the stats you could ever want are available at a glance. Instead of just CPU and memory activity you can now see which processes are hogging disk or network access. Ever wonder how many threads are currently active, or how many open file handles there are? Probably not, but it’s there for you to view. The Task Manager also integrates the useful Startup (previously found in msconfig) and Services (previously services.msc) tabs, making them easier to get to.

Windows Explorer has also seen a welcome update with the addition of the ribbon interface found in recent versions of Microsoft Office. Gone are the days of having to dig through a menu just to do something simple like show hidden files and folders, you can now make it available right on the main screen by pinning it to the ribbon.

But enough about Windows 8 features in general, how does it work on a tablet? Pretty well, actually.

The main tablet interface will be familiar to Windows Phone 7 users as it’s basically an expansion on that. Big friendly buttons make it easy to go where you want to go, and standard touch screen rules apply (for example, to move an icon long press on it and drag).

Windows 8 also features a browser optimized for tablet browsing. If you’ve used other mobile browsers it shouldn’t take much getting used to. In normal mode, the whole screen is dedicated to website viewing, with additional options like the URL bar or tabs available at the swipe of a finger.

The most useful feature of Windows 8 on a tablet, in my opinion, is the fact that if you end up needing to do something that a traditional tablet can’t handle there’s still a full Windows operating system to fall back on. Sure, it’s just as clunky to use as past versions, but the important thing is that it’s there. For example, it wasn’t too long ago that Android was hurting for a full-featured video player that could handle such things as a wide variety of codecs or subtitles. On a tablet running Windows 8 that’s a non-issue, just install VLC and play whatever you want.

Unfortunately, the benefits of a full desktop OS also add something you might not want: weight. To handle an OS like Windows a tablet needs powerful hardware. That desktop processor and solid state drive don’t come light, and the W500 weighs in at around 3.5 pounds, compared to the iPad 2’s 1.3 pounds. If you have something to rest the tablet on it isn’t so bad (or if you’re using a ‘transforming’ tablet like the W500 that can plug into a keyboard attachment), but holding it up can get annoyingly tiring.

Windows 8 also features the obsession with whitespace that seems to be sweeping the design community

As previously mentioned, the familiar Windows 7-like portions of Windows 8 still don’t handle a touch interface very well. Right clicking is done by long pressing, icons and menu options are small enough to make them difficult to click with a finger, and convenient keyboard shortcuts are impossible to use. Hopefully the Metro portion of Windows 8 will be up to handling most tasks, because while a Windows desktop is useful as a fallback option trying to use it for more than short period of time is an exercise in frustration.

Windows 8 still has a way to go before it’s ready for prime time, but that’s understandable as it’s still early in development. A beta version is expected to be available sometime in February of this year which will hopefully address many of the faults found in the Developer Preview. Windows 8 probably won’t be a necessary upgrade on a desktop or laptop running Windows 7, but as a tablet OS it’s showing plenty of promise. And who knows, with Android being ported to x86 architecture and Windows 8 supporting ARM processors maybe we’ll see tablets dual booting Windows 8 and Android.

Special thanks to my dad for letting me borrow the tablet used in this article.

Windows 8 Gets A Brand New Task Manager

Back before we all knew better, the Windows task manager was accepted as the ugly eyesore that it currently is and we were happy to put it far out of our minds until the next time we had the misfortune to need it. To the experienced user, the task manager is a necessary evil, complicated, but not unusable. To a novice, however, the experience can be altogether alienating and is to be avoided at all costs.

Thankfully, following with their new-found love of simplicity, Windows has decided to rebuild the task management system, bringing an interface that the average user can actually understand. Rather than complicated file names, they added the actual names of programs in the default view. But with the changes, they haven’t forgotten their loyal users either. More detailed information is available at the press of a button to those that prefer it.

More often than not, however, the cause of your frozen machine lies in the hand of a pesky application that has either stopped responding or decided to eat up all of your precious resources in a petty attempt at a power grab. In this case, you’ll be completely satisfied with the default application view and more than able to solve your problem.

Clicking “More Details” will give you a list of processes that once had awful character strings that made absolutely no sense, but now have names that actually let you know what they do. More than that, Microsoft has grouped similar processes together in order to make the manager even more intuitive. And if you are still clueless, even with the new names, a simple click will take you to a web search of any process in the list.

Finally, there is the addition of heat maps. More proof that Microsoft has finally shifted some of their focus to good design. Heat maps allow you to visually identify which programs or processes are currently using the most resources (the problem ones will grow the brightest).

We’re obviously thrilled that Microsoft has finally let real design leak into Windows 8, but what do you think? Are they going far enough? What would you like to see change?

Windows 8 Can Do A Cold Boot In 8 Seconds Flat

We said what everyone was thinking. A coat of paint on a sub-par system does not a successful operating system make. Okay, my colleague said it better than that, but the message is the same. Regardless, we’d still like to give credit where it’s due and highlight something that Microsoft has done really, really well so far: Start-up time.

Praise be to whoever made this miracle happen, because Windows no longer takes an eternity to load. Now it takes 8 seconds. Yes. I’ll repeat that. 8 seconds. There’s proof in the video below. From fully powered-off to fully powered-on in just under 8 seconds. Even Apple can’t touch that.

Windows 8 has changed the way your computer shuts down. In Windows 7, everything (including the services and devices in the kernel session) are completely turned off. But in 8, the kernel session is put into hibernation mode, rather than being shut down. This allows Windows to avoid restoring the kernel session at every start-up. It’s a change that has improved boot times of PCs by 30-70%.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IcH8n_oFf0c

And that is not all folks. The boot process is also going to look better, a detail that may not seem that important until you boot up a MacBook next to a current version of Windows. With Apple, you see a nice spinning wheel with an Apple logo above it, but with the PC, well you’re going to get a mess. Scary scrolling text, jarring screen changes, and finally a couple of graphic screens.

But that’s all changed. Windows 8 will now show the logo of the company that made your computer and follow that up with a graphic windows bootloader. Clean and simple. Two adjectives that Windows have been lacking for a large amount of years. You may have noticed the improved boot screens in the video as well.

But what if you need to do something else during boot up? Like booting into a different operating system? They’ve got a simple user interface for that. They even beautified the screen that allows you to choose which attached media to boot from. Using Windows 7 is starting to look a lot like living in the dark ages. The only thing that hasn’t changed is the ugly, ugly interface that makes up the command prompt. When will this be fixed? Nobody knows. Anyway, I know you don’t believe me, but there is proof in this video:

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_PXsY9E3lc