FYI- this post has nothing to do with family ministry directly; however, I am kind of a “tech-jock.” With that said, from time-to-time I will type a post for the category of technology.
So, just to let you know I am neither a Mac guy nor a Windows guy. Both systems have their ups and downs. But with our church being blocks away from the Microsoft main campus I have a vested interest in supporting the company. The main reason I work with Windows is that all my software is Windows based…meaning I stick with Windows for my laptop as my main workhorse. With Windows 8 (W8) there came many promises and after a week of using W8, I must admit, I am beginning to like it. Here is my review; the good, the bad and the bottom line.
- Speeds- I have a newer laptop but it did have Windows 7 (W7) on it for a little while before W8. With that in mind, I am LOVING the startup speeds of W8…it’s about as fast as my Mac-lover wife’s five-year-old MacBook. I also noticed that the W8 system uses fewer resources, which means I can multi-task at faster speeds. For instance, I can render a video using Premiere Elements while designing a logo in Illustrator.
- Graphic User Interface (GUI)- I like the unique look of the Modern (used to be called Metro) page (see image below). At first I thought it was only good for a tablet and to indicate a new version of Windows, but no…it serves a great purpose. It is customizable and offers a great way to interface with your computer.
- Search- The search ROCKS! In my opinion, this is one area that completely kicks Mac in the teeth. I love Spotlight on my Mac, however the options and sometimes results have been less than good. The W8 search feature has become my favorite way to locate files, open apps and manage my system.
- Windows Store- I love the Mac Store and I never purchase software on DVD’s anymore. I download and install my software. The W8 Store is catching up to the Mac Store by making it easy to find and install software from a simple-authorized site.
- Family Security/Parental Control- The Family Security settings are a huge help. You can filter, set time limits for your children and give reports on what exactly your child was doing online. I fully believe this is a helpful feature, especially for a family seeking to protect their children.
- No Start Menu- For those who know Windows, you know the Start menu. At first it was terrifying not to have a Start menu. But soon I discovered a way to access the items I needed from a similar menu using a keyboard shortcut.
- Need a Multi-Gesture Touch Pad– If you don’t have a multi-gesture touch pad on your laptop or a touch screen computer W8 doesn’t function quite as well. The loss of functionality can be frustrating to some users without the multi-gesture or touch screen capabilities on their computers.
- Drivers for Third Party Devices- This bugged me. W8 is not at fault, but I use a docking station in my office, which connects to three separate monitors and all my computer peripherals. My dock has beta drivers, which basically means my multiple screen system no longer works. It will take a while for third-party items to update their drivers for W8.
- Learning Curve- There is a learning curve for operating Windows 8. Learning the new layout, new shortcuts, and multi-gestures will take some time. Rest assured, you will figure it out.
In my opinion, it’s not the operating system that matters most. It’s the hardware and the user’s ability to function well in the OS. I like Mac because of the solid hardware, the simplicity of the OS and the usefulness each element of the OS adds to productivity. Microsoft took a BIG step in the right direction with Windows 8 – mirroring but also separating itself from Mac. I am happy with W8!