As I'm sure at least a few of you have seen by yesterday's blog, I've adopted a new Nokia Lumia 920, operating on the new Windows Phone 8. I have a soft spot for Nokia's rugged build quality, and they always go above and beyond in terms of pleasing the consumer with worthwhile products. The Lumia has been nothing short of astounding, offering me great functionality, and unrivaled speed on a mobile device to my own experience.  

Since acquiring it, I've grown accustomed to the new unique Live Tile interface, even though I felt rather partial to it in the first place (Hence me getting one). I've been granted with the power to write Word Documents in Office (which I'm doing right now), access media of any sort through SkyDrive, easily follow on social media amongst you avid GIO tweeters, and have integrated functionality for both Xbox Games and Xbox Music. This may sound like a commercial, but I'm so overwhelmingly pleased with the purchase that I can't help but share. The full suite of features is great for someone as heavily entrenched in Microsoft's ecosystem as I.  

As such, it's why I'm creating this blog. I'll more or less write a review of the Lumia 920 at a later date, but as of now I've been put through a dilemma that's been nagging for two weeks now - should I upgrade to Windows 8? 

 

 

Much talk has swelled around the topic of Windows 8; the operating system is risqué, the marketing campaign both bold and unrelenting, and the corporate decisions questionable. I know many people who would immediately cry foul to the entire advent of MCSFT's new software lineup.  

And for the most part, I can understand why. For those who may not exactly know, but have seen the cool commercial for the Surface Tablet, Windows 8 is the latest refresh and upgrade to Microsoft's PC software. As such, it's replacing Windows 7.  

For many in the tech community, public opinion has been more negative than anything else, and the reason is this: In claims of functionality, Microsoft has chosen to remove the beloved "Start" button from the Operating System. What does this mean? Well... That icon in the lower left corner that you normally use to launch programs and search for files is now gone. But what happened to it, you ask? Instead, it's been turned into the "Start Hub". 

 

 

You see, the Start Hub takes obvious design cues from the Xbox Interface, which in turn was inspired by the daring interface created by Windows Phone 7 and 8. With the Start Hub, which has been designed to be mostly accessible through touch interfaces, you have access to many of the same mobile-, media-, and social-centric "apps" that you would normally run on your smartphone. You have things like Photos, Messenger, People, Maps, and others.  

It's this reason alone that people claim death upon existence towards Microsoft's new interface. Thing is, I really enjoy the layout, look, and functionality of Windows Live Tiles.  

Now that 8 is finally released, Microsoft's plans to create a unified platform for all areas of your life is now complete - and it pertains to all of my interests. Xbox 360 features the interface, but maintains the great purpose that I had originally purchased it for. Windows Phone 8, my next step towards Microsoft-ification is one the best tech devices I've ever used. With Windows 8, I'm hoping for something similar. 

 

The unity of a platform allows for familiarity and similar functionality across the board (something I'd like to have), and means that I get a lot of the cross-platform benefits. SkyDrive, my personal cloud storage format of choice, is supported and integrated across both phone and PC, and soon Xbox as well. Xbox Music, which I'm fixing to subscribe to come Christmas, allows for unlimited music streaming, as well as physical downloading of any song I want from Microsoft's store. Since Xbox Music is exclusively and universally supported across all platforms, it means I'm able to use anything I own as a media hub that is smooth, cool, and works the way it's supposed to. 

 

 

As for the rest of Windows 8's operating system, it's still traditional Windows - it's only slightly hidden. The traditional layout of a PC's "desktop" is still entirely there. Large icons, a taskbar at the bottom, and program windows displaying your information is there as always. The way I'm telling myself to see it, is that Microsoft only felt it better to move the Start Button away from the desktop and widen its functionality by expanding it into a full interface, complete with programs, shortcuts, and additions. 

This is where you guys come in, though. In the wake of my Windows Phone, some people say I'm still floating on Cloud 9 from my recent tech device. While I'm still doing research and working to make an internal, educated choice on whether or not I want to upgrade or not, I'm opening up some reception to you guys.  

 

 

Am I being quick-handed with my judgment of the operating system, or is it worth taking the shot?  

Do you use the operating system, and does the new interface work well in terms of productivity and ease of use? 

What's your advice for what to do? 

 

 

Some extra tidbits: I use my laptop (brand new from last year) mainly for internet browsing, media consuming, gaming, and writing. Currently, until January 31st, any Windows user as far back as XP can upgrade to Windows 8 Professional version for the surprisingly cheap price of $40 dollars.  

 

 

Ultimately, I'm actually pretty chill with the idea of an interface refresh. It seems like addition of functionality, rather than subtraction of it. I've checked, and just about any true, certified program or game should run on Windows 8, and even better than it would on 7. Windows 8 uses less resources, RAM, wakes up from sleep and start-up 50% faster, and runs programs quicker.  

Sorry for the ramblings. Anyways, thanks for your time and talk to you guys again in the near future! 

 

 

~ GoldvsSilver