Alternately Titled: The Post I Never Thought I Would Write
And, no they’re not paying me to write this (sadly…)
I don’t really talk about this on the blog, so you might not know this about me but I work in the IT department at a university. In college I majored in Math and Computer Science and worked doing software development every summer. At the beginning of my Senior year of college, I turned down a job in that field to follow a call to seminary. That turn of events is the backdrop upon which the story of this blog is played out (and the inspiration for the name of the blog) but it isn’t a story that has ever been told here. Maybe I should…
Anyway, I work in IT while Andy is in med school and I am an online seminary student and we need to eat. Until recently, I pretty much considered upgrading to Windows 8 to be moving to the dark side. My first few experiences weren’t very positive. However, since I’ve been on the job in IT, I’ve had the chance to use it and learn it and even bought a new Windows 8 ultrabook that I love at the end of September. If you’re in the market for an ultrabook, I highly recommend the Lenovo X1 Carbon Touch. (And no, they’re not paying me either… bummer! haha)
1. Mobile Friendly Design
Some Geek Nostalgia from Microsoft.com:
As some have said, and I totally agree, “Windows 8 has seen the biggest change since the jump from Windows 3.1 to Windows 95” [source]. Compounding the impact of the change is the number of computer owners is exponentially larger than it was in 1992 when 3.1 was released. Windows 3.1 sold 10 million copies in the first 2 years it was on the market, 82.2 million PC units were sold in the last quarter of 2013 alone. When Windows 95 came out, everyone was still just learning how to use a personal computer. Windows 8 drops a reorganization bombshell on the system people have been using for almost 20 years.
So, the design is different. Nothing is where you’ve come to expect it to be and it will annoy you, but it is not too hard to learn. All of the things are still there, you just have to look for them (or type them in the search menu). After you get used to it, you realize that it is a really good thing that Windows has decided to come into the mobile/touch enabled generation. Windows 8 is a system that allows them to compete with iOS devices (and give them a run for their money in my humble opinion). Without a major update, Windows was zero competition to Apple in the tablet/phone war.
2. Faster Boot Time
The first difference you notice about Windows 8 is how fast it boots up. A long-standing critique of the Windows OS is its long boot time. Now at only a few seconds it is similar to boot times you would experience with either Mac or Linux. It is so nice to open your laptop and be working within a minute.
3. Side by Side Windows
This is something that I was initially skeptical of but have grown to love. In Windows 8, you can use put two apps side by side and use them simultaneously. I use this most when I’m working on my schoolwork and blogging. In the picture above you can see that I have Word open on the desktop working on this love story post and Facebook open in the Internet Explorer app for reference. (If you look at the date on that screenshot you’ll see how long it took me to write that post, and how long this post has been in my drafts folder…) When I am doing schoolwork, I will have my lecture video open on one side, and the notes PowerPoint open on the other.
4. Access to Apps
Another way that Windows brings itself into today’s market is access to their version of the app store. It is great to be able to think of software that you’d like to have and within 5 minutes you could be using it on your computer. (Granted, not good for developing patience.) Over Christmas I was showing Andy’s younger cousin my computer and she asked about games. I didn’t have any installed but within 5 minutes I was able to download 2 for free that we could play together.
5. My Favorite App: fotor
Speaking of apps, I’ll end with my most-used app: fotor. The first app that I looked for after I got the computer was something free that I could do some basic photo editing on. I have Photoshop on my desktop, but I wanted something that would do some light editing on the go for blogging purposes. Key my search is that I needed one that would allow me to add text to my photos. Most of the free ones don’t but fotor does. I use it for any and all photo editing I do to pictures before they show up in this space. Notice the Saturday Morning Breakfast, Love Story, and Advent series logos? Yep, fotor. Free + easy = winning in my book.
Useful Websites When Learning How to Navigate Windows 8:
- Getting to know Windows 8 by Microsoft
- 20 Must Know Windows 8 Tips and Tricks by PC World
- 62 Tips and Tricks for Windows 8 by TechRadar
- 15 Windows 8 Tips to Get You Started by PC Mag
NOTE: In this post I use the term Windows 8 synonymously with Windows 8.1. 8.1 has some new features, but it is still the same OS so I am using Windows 8 to refer to them collectively.
Linking up with Hallie at Moxie Wife with my nerdy Five Favorites.