Does Windows 8 Offer A Memorable Experience?

For those who don’t know, a few years ago I switched to Windows 7 from using Mac OSX as my primary OS.

I had originally been a Windows user since Windows 3.1, but a few years into using Windows XP I finally grew tired of the experience and feel in love with a Mac.

When Windows 7 came to its Beta-stage I decided to give it a go on my secondary machine and fell in love.

So long story short, I switched to 7 again as my primary OS and haven’t looked back.

Now, there was period of time when I got a hold of an XP laptop (all my machines at the time were desktops) and started using it for my mobile needs.

I immediately started to notice that there were certain features, including the look and feel in Windows 7 that I sincerely missed when using Windows XP.

Eventually I gifted the laptop to a family member and kept stayed a desktop user (though for mobile needs I adopted a smartphone).

Bare with me, I shared all of this background because I have a point to make.

I have finally decided to bite the bullet and get a laptop as my primary machine (namely because my main desktop needed repair anyhow… long story).

For those who don’t know, on my desktop I used Windows Developer Preview as my primary OS. Now I have a newer thin-and-light HP laptop that runs 7.

It has been about a week and a half now since I switched to using only the laptop. I do plan on installing Windows 8 but I may wait til the Beta comes out in January.

The point of all this is that when I went from 7 back to XP (on a laptop), I noticed that things just weren’t the same and I missed the improvements found in 7.

Nearly two weeks in, do I miss the improvements found in Windows 8? Honestly, not as much as I thought I might. The speed for startup and restart was nice in 8, this is one area I do miss. Do I miss Metro though? Not at all.

This being said, I did actually enjoy Metro. It was clean and useable as an interface, though lacking in apps mainly because the marketplace isn’t out yet.

The problem with Windows 8, is that it just isn’t memorable as it stands. Honestly, I never liked Windows XP’s blue-colored theme and did like the way Vista looked (though not the way it operated).

This is partially the draw of 7 for me, I liked the interface and the idea of grouping opened programs under icons. Windows 7 had a clean feel that wasn’t that far away from what I was used to in Mac OSX.

Now, Windows 8 has this same feel and I can’t say I missed 7 when using 8. The thing is I don’t miss 8 when using 7, either. There just isn’t enough differences between the two right now.

How can this change? If Microsoft puts out a stunning Marketplace experience and adds new features to Metro like Zune integration, it will be a memorable experience that is worth upgrading too. If Windows 8 largely stays as it is when it ships?

It will be a perfectly fine experience, but nothing that you will “fall in love with” or be compelled to use. There have been a lot of varying opinions about Windows 8, and I personally feel that Microsoft is moving in the right direction.

How Microsoft handles itself between now and the expected late 2012 launch will largely determine whether or not I rush with open arms to Windows 8 or simply wait until I get new hardware that happens to run it.

What do you think of Windows 8? Is the interface and changes memorable enough and worthy of switching to 7?

As the operating system stands right now, will you upgrade your Windows 7 installation or simply wait until you have new hardware that comes with 8? Share your thoughts below, I’d really love to hear everyone’s opinion on 8.

As for me, I am overall mixed about 8 though I do WANT to fall in love with it, I’ve just yet to see any major reason to.

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