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Windows 8 Pro - Impressions

By CharlieSpencer ·
Day One.
HP Elitebook 8440p with external keyboard, mouse, monitor.

Things same as W7, or not much different
+How to add to domain? Still System Properties, but now must access via Control Panel. There's no longer a Start menu to provide a right-clickable 'Computer' menu entry.
+How to access local Admin account and change password? Still Control Panel, Admin Tools, Computer Management, Users.
+Office 2010, Sophos Anti-Virus installed with no problems.

Actively dislike
+Resizing tiles on Start must be done individually. If two or more tiles are selected, the 'Smaller' option disappears
++It is not possible to select multiple tiles on 'All Apps' screen, if you want to pin more than one to Start, uninstall more than one, etc.
++Some sort of 'AutoArrange' with tiles; cannot be positioned exactly as desired. Cannot move tiles to bottom of block; autoarrange forces tiles to top and left of a group.
++Wide 'dead zone' margins where tiles cannot be positioned.
++No games. Can be downloaded / purchased through Store but requires a Windows Live account. Absence of previous standard feature used to drive creation of Windows Live accounts?
++Large number of default tiles that require Windows account. Unpinned most of them since they don't do anything I'm interested in anyway. may delete in future.
+Created unwanted tiles for Sophos Anti-Virus application; installation on XP or W7 created only out-of-the-way menu entries.
+Unlike Classic desktop tray icon, Metro desktop has no apparent way to tell if Sophos is active.
+Inability to arrange tiles and groups on 'All Apps' screen to my preference.

Disorienting
+Lower left 'Start Screen' hot spot must be clicked, but clicking upper or lower right Charms hot spots makes the Charms bar go away.
+Constant jumping between Metro and Classic desktops.
+How to get help? Must type 'Help' on Metro screen, where F1 does nothing. F1 does still work on Classic desktop. (Later learned on TR that starting help in Metro requires Win+F1, not F1 alone.) Ironic that when started, 'Help' runs on Classic desktop only and can't be seen on Metro screen.
+Going to bottom right corner to cl;ick '-' button to shrink tiles, but clicking desktop to enlarge them instead of going back to corner and expecing a '+' button.

Hard to break habits
+Heading for the Start button.
+Heading for the Start button with the intent of clicking 'Run'
+Heading for the Start button with the intent of entering characters in the 'Search' box.
+Heading for the Start button and clicking the IE icon since it's where the Start button used to be.
+Being able to type on the Metro screen but not on the Classic one.
+Right-clicking on Metro desktop and expecting a 'Personalize' menu option.
+Overshooting the upper or lower right corners and inadvertently activating the Charms bar.

Other thoughts
+Start hotspot on Classic menu behaves better than in betas (in my opinion). In betas, the Start icon was positioned a few dozen pixels diagonally out of the corner, and it disappeared as soon as the cursor left the corner. This confused me since I wanted to move the cursor up to the slightly-out-of-corner icon before clicking. Now moving the cursor out of the corner does NOT make the Start screen icon disappear, and icon is positioned in the corner itself. It remains on the screen even with the cursor out of the corner about twice the cursor's width.

Questions Yet Unanswered
+What will it take to make IE 10 do what I want (assuming it's possible), especially considering it behaves differently on each desktop? Forget it and install Firefox?
+Why is IE not picking up default home page and trusted sites from Group Policy?
+What's the difference between the 'Computer' and 'File Explorer' tiles?
+How to put a clock on the Metro desktop?
+How to change wallpaper on Start screen, beyond the limit dozen or so MS-provided options.

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Day Two

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Windows 8 Pro - Impressio ...

Things same as W7, or not much different
+Updates work.
+Classic desktop taskbar tray configures the same way.

Actively dislike
+I don't know how to use the Metro version of Windows 10. I can't find the settings for the proxy server or home page. The Help is of no use for 'proxy settings in IE'. Also, it tells me how to add a favorite, but not how to retrieve it. And I can't figure out how to get back to the IE app from Help. Upper left hotspot does nothing; Alt-Tab does nothing. I have to close Help and reopen IE. Unpinned tile from Start screen.
+I've never like program icons on the task bar. I can't tell the open ones from the unopened one, and I don't like losing taskbar space to inactive icons. By the time I pin the eight or so programs I use most frequently , there's little room for anything else. But the only thing I'm doing with the Start screen is starting programs. Is it a choice between a crowded taskbar and going back and forth from the Start screen?
+Apparently IE toolbars can be added or removed but individual buttons and icons still cannot be rearranged.

Disorienting
N/A

Hard to break habits
+I moved the Taskbar to the left side, as I normally do. Now when I aim for the upper left where the Start button use to be, not only do I not get the Start menu, I don't get the Start screen icon either; it's still anchored in the bottom left.

Other thoughts
+If all I'm going to do with the Start Screen is launch programs, why not take advantage of posted work-arounds to boot directly to the Classic Desktop and add a simulated Start button? Am I missing some value of this screen, or does it just not fit how I use a computer?

Questions Answered
N/A

Questions Yet Unanswered
+Why is IE not picking up default home page and trusted sites from Group Policy?

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Day Three

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Windows 8 Pro - Impressio ...

Windows 8 - Day Three

Things same as W7, or not much different
+Reassigning default directories - There's no Start Menu, My Documents. Must use Explorer, navigate to C:\Users\username, and right-click directory to reassign. Dialog boxes are the same as W7.
+VirtuaWin virtual desktop application works. I was concerned about conflicts with the Start screen being treated as a desktop; or that after switching to Start screen from desktop #2, switching back might default to desktop #1. Remember, W8 treats the Classic desktop itself as a single Metro app.
+Unsurprisingly, W7 drivers for Canon imageRunner 3225 apparently acceptable. Quite surprising is that drivers for HP 2800 also appear to work, at least no worse than they do for W7

Actively dislike
N/A

Disorienting / Hard to break habits
N/A

Other thoughts
+I'm disappointed that Outlook 2013 doesn't have a live tile. I expected to see appointment alerts and new message counter, at the least. No, that's not W8's fault, but I thought it might give me a reason to look at the Start screen.

Questions Answered
N/A

Questions Yet Unanswered
+Why is IE not picking up default home page and trusted sites from Group Policy?

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Suspension

by CharlieSpencer In reply to Windows 8 Pro - Impressio ...

I don't see a reason to continue testing W8 at this time. There may be plenty of improvements in the background, but none of them noticeably improve my 'computing experience'. We won't be deploying it this year, so there's plenty of time to catch up on it if needed.

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