Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?

As we know either from talking to people or experience, when Microsoft released Windows 8, it wasn’t the best choice. You heard the complaint and people were really resistant of it and the change. In fact, as a teacher (at Learn Local organizations), I’ve experienced all types of emotion when, usually on day 1 of classes, I ask how many people have used Windows, then ask about XP, Windows 7 and then Windows 8. As you expect, typically almost all hands went up when I mentioned Windows (and yes I’ve had people – about 1% – of over 100 students that had or used Apple). Then when I went to XP, I had the most hands, then Windows 7 I had less than XP but still a few. However, when I reached Windows 8, it was like someone farted or threw up – only single digits of hands went up AND the look on people’s faces when from smiling to the one of a really bad fart, annoyed or throw up (see the queen’s face for an example). The first few times I saw this, I knew I was going to have problems with resistance. I took a deep breath and said the current business software was Windows 8.1 which is what we’ll be using. You should have heard the groans – you would have sworn they had food poisoning or their appendix was about to burst the way it was going on.

The first time this happened, I was unprepared. I knew everyone hated the software, but I had no experience in it and the one time I had used it I wasn’t impressed myself. However, it wasn’t that bad and I’ve used worse. I told them we were going to learn together and it was going to be fun to see how many mistakes we would all make as I hadn’t had experience in the software almost at all and at that some people laughed at. Other people sat there like they just sucked on a lemon and started to mumble.

Windows 8.1

Well on we went to use the tool that we had – Windows 8.1. We started up the computers and I then showed them what it looked like. I warned them the first screen we get to looks like what you would get for a tablet because essentially the software was made for tablets, but Microsoft has done some changing of the software to make it better for us.  I told them at first it looks new and completely weird, but I’d show them how to make it look like the Windows we all knew and liked. This got the learners more interested and comfortable. I pointed out:

The desktop icon on the desktop. This icon takes the user to what everyone is used to seeing – somewhat of a start button and the task bar at the bottom. I did point out ways it was very much like the past Windows once you got to the yellow desktop.

The charms bar (located on the lower right side) was anything but charming, BUT once you got that up it had the search box which is how you can find the program you wanted. This is exactly the same as all the Windows before, but with more options, like stuff online.

The taskbar is still there at the bottom, but if you have a program open, you need to go to the upper left side and you will see what is open.

The last change was the logging off of the computer. This was the most complicated thing as it wasn’t the most direct way – either go to the charms bar or go back to the main screen (purple on our computers) and then go to the upper right side at the top, to turn off the computer.

Was Windows 8.1 different than Windows 7 and Windows OS before? Of course, but once you take away what you were seeing and putting it into something you were used to, most people felt comfortable with using Windows 8.1. I do prefer it? Nope. We’re happy at home sitting here with our Windows 7 OS.

Windows 9

Back in April 2014, I did a post regarding Windows 9 called “Is Windows 9 is coming..?” and yes I put this title this way on purpose to draw out the reader’s eye.

I have finally found more information on Windows 9 – it seems Microsoft is doing a major backflip from Windows 8 after having so many complaints and, in my opinion and the biggest motivator, profits weren’t just down a tiny bit – they were greatly down. Also, once users found out there was to be a Windows 9, they were annoyed with “getting stuck” with Windows 8, so now Microsoft is trying to make points back with possibly a great idea – give Windows 9 away to these users for free. At the moment, this is what I’m hearing, but there is no confirmation that I have found so far in Mashable’s article “Confirmed: Windows 9 to be a free upgrade for Windows 8 users” but I’m not so sure… Then I found a  Yahoo News article called “The Windows 9 upgrade might not be as free as initially believed” and in this article, it goes on to say how if you bought Windows 8 outright, then you will get it free BUT (isn’t there always a but?) if you bought the OEM or a computers pre installed with Windows 8, then you will have to pay a small fee. Anyhow, for now, just know there is hope coming… when? All indications are pointing to early October, which is right now for us in Australia where today is October 1st. I have also heard it is on Tuesday October 2nd 2014 when Microsoft will make its announcement, but we shall see.Also, as we are Windows 7 users here, I found if we want to upgrade to Windows 9, then we will have to pay a small fee as well. The amount quoted in the Yahoo News article, points to about $20 which is a very small fee.

Reemergence/New things in Windows 9 are said to be:

These things will hopefully make those sour faces go away from my learners.

The return of the Start menu  – This will hopefully make the smile come back into the life of people.

The voice-based search assistant that’s currently available only on Windows Phone

the Notification Center – which we all liked as it told us things that sometimes were important instead of guessing

Support for multiple desktops– many of us use our computers for business, personal and our many different hobbies. This way you can have desktops for each of these without loosing anything. Now this sounds like something I’d like!

Several other UI enhancements

Most of these changes will make people happy. I’d be happy for the Start menu, taskbar and the multiple desktops! This gives us a hope.

Windows 10

This is something that is currently being looked at and they are looking for testers for the software. Would I give this a shot? Normally I’d be all over it, but since changing our study, which has our desks in it, we lost desktop space and I don’t have room for another one on here, sadly. I wouldn’t trial software on any currently used system only because this is experimental stuff and I wouldn’t want to lose any of my information and work, which is what could happen if I used my current system.

I have heard Windows is finally starting to see the light and making Windows 10 for different pieces of hardware – Desktop will be different from tablet. Tablet different from phone. Phone different from desktop. This will be interesting if it comes about.

However, here’s more about the software and information if you want to try it. It takes a bit of time to get into it because they tell you about they are looking for testers, but it is worth a look at for the Windows 10 information.

What do you think? Are you willing to upgrade or are you happy with what you currently use?


2 thoughts on “Have you heard the news on Microsoft’s Windows?

  1. People and Products lost in 2014…and what can we look forward to in 2015 – Jo Ann Fitzgerald's Professional IT Blog

  2. Windows 10 is to arrive in 2015 – What’s in it for you? – Jo Ann Fitzgerald's Professional IT Blog

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