I recently got a new laptop!
And with a new laptop almost always comes the experience of a new operating system. We all don’t buy laptops every couple of years, after all. I was “fortunate” to have bought my last laptop in 2008: The year of the dreaded Vista OS. I had heard the rumors. How it stunk, lagged, forced administrative decisions upon you every day for no reason other than downloading a program. But I got used to it. I stuck it out. I lasted 5 years with that sluggish OS, and by the time it was time to get a new one it was at the point where I finally understood why people hated it so much. So….slow….
But now, here I am again. New Laptop. New OS. Same problem. People complaining.
I am here to say NO! This OS is fantastic! (But if you don’t have a touch screen, I feel for you.)
I can not IMAGINE using Windows 8 without a touch screen or tablet. The amount of scrolling and right-clicking you would have to do would hurt your fingers. And with Windows 8.1 out, having multiple apps running side by side would be a headache. How would you pull the app from the left of your screen? Can you even do that? How on earth do you access your apps/program start menu? Is there a special button combination for that on a keyboard??
For a touch screen, however, it is so very intuitive. It just makes sense. You can do everything you want with a wave of the finger. If I have my cat to the right of me, blocking my mouse? I can pet my cat AND browse the internet at the same time by touching the screen. (That in itself is an award winning feature.)
The ‘people’ app packaged with the OS puts facebook, twitter, and other social sites into one clean-cut, fancy looking area. The new search function on Windows 8.1 searches your computer, the internet, EVRY DANG THANG for what you’re looking for. Theres news, weather, and other such apps available for your start menu, so you can always stay well informed. Also. Games. Free games. Its just..glorious.
However, I do see some issues:
-Do not eat cheetos while playing on your laptop (No I don’t didn’t do this…but I totally wouldn’t)
-Theres no way to add other ‘social’ sites onto the ‘people’ category. You’re limited to what Windows thinks is the ‘thing’ everyone is using. What if I would like to see how my Deviantart account is doing? And what if Twitter/Facebook stops being the “it” thing. Could you imagine if you had a permanent link to Myspace on your laptop?
-Sometimes these swipes can be a little confusing, and you feel the need to use the mouse. I have to swipe right..AND down if I want to just delete a tab? (I would prefer if I didn’t ever feel the need of a mouse. If the OS is so good, I shouldn’t even NEED to grab for that.) Maybe this is that beginners curve, however.
– I feel FORCED into using IE. I put firefox as my default browser, as I love it, but it automatically directs me to IE when jumping from an app to the internet. Same for searching. It automatically uses Bing. I don’t mind Bing. Its a nice web browser. But I am not a fan of IE.
-No iTunes app for most obvious of reasons. Sad :[
So, yes, if buying a Windows 8 laptop, you’re a little pigeon-holed into Microsoft endorsed ‘apps’ if you want to feel the full Windows 8 experience. I AM glad they have the desktop still there, so that if I really really want to use my Firefox I easily can, but I feel removed from the experience of Windows 8. I have the opinion I shouldn’t have to feel isolated for using what I like.
I think maybe more customization, at least in terms of web browsers, would’ve been great. But I can see why that would be complicated to do. (I can understand why iTunes isn’t available. We don’t want Steve Jobs rolling around in his grave.)
Windows 8 is great…but HP as a company has greatly annoyed me.
I love my laptop, don’t get me wrong.
But is it necessary to give me all these apps I won’t need?
Windows 8 has a music menu. It has a games store. It even has Windows media player for DVD playing and the like. Why, HP, would you then put in your versions of this? Do you hope I will be dumb enough to get sucked into your shiny WildTangent game app and begin forking over money to you in exchange to play, of all things, Bejeweled? And sure, HP Connected Music seems like a really nifty music service…for 90 days. After 90 days I have to pay for that crap?! AND! DRM? DRM REALLY!?
And don’t even get me started on Cyberlink. I am not a movie director. I do not need a DVD maker that takes up 1gig of space.
All of these programs shipped with this laptop has reasonable, free equivalents available online. Just give me your excellent laptop and shush up. Be happy I have picked to stay with you for 5 years, and not some other company.
I love my new Laptop. I love Windows 8. But HP.. you need to improve upon how you ship your products. I dealt with Dell for most of the time I’ve been on the internet, and even though they had their own programs they put into their laptops (as I am sure most average computer companies do), none felt as intrusive or forced upon the customer as these HP apps. And the Dell programs were free whether I used them or not. I will not be tricked into dishing out more money!