Thoughts on Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

For starters, the sky is not falling. Despite what you have heard or read, Windows 8 is not as bad as you may have heard. From a developer’s standpoint, virtually every program that we have used prior to the launch of the new OS still works. IDEs, utilities, open source productivity programs, graphics suites, and word processing applications still work. To further clarify, we are able to develop native code, at the SDK level, for the web, and more. Windows 8 or 8.1 have not prevented us from accomplishing what we need to do to deliver for our clients.

The only issues I have seen are peripheral related, the UI, and user confusion. Some drivers do not work smoothly for wifi adapters and some printers. This can be fixed in most cases. If your device worked with a previous iteration of Windows, it should still work (with some exceptions of course).

That leaves the UI and navigation. Many people are just used to the classic desktop that has been prevalent for years (so this is a matter of personal taste). When it comes to navigation, there are some people who miss the start button. If you go to settings and personalize so that administrative tools are visible as tiles, you are good to go on that. Most apps and utilities that were in the start button are visible by default or at worst can be found with the built in search. In desktop mode, if you want to leave shortcuts to documents visible on the desktop screen, you can. If you do not like the tablet version of Internet Explorer, you can use the desktop version of Internet Explorer.

If you are considering an upgrade to 8 or 8.1, check it out in a store or download a preview. Having challenges? Stay on the desktop side until you feel more comfortable. This side feels like Windows 7 and aside from the start button is mostly the same.

Have a comment to make or experience to share? We want to hear from you.