I already have a smartphone which does everything I would expect a tablet to do – it’s a Samsung Galaxy S2 with a 4.2″ screen running Android 4.0 ICS. When I need something more than my phone to get some real work done I don’t need a bigger screen, what I need is my desktop computer. That’s where Windows 8 comes in.
Here’s a quick run down of some of my favorite features:
One glance at the (elegant) Start screen is all it takes to take in a host of information, like tomorrow’s weather , any unread messages, latest stock prices (yes I actually do some trades on shares), etc
Clean, minimal and chrome-less design are all winning features as far as I’m concerned
It’s all about the apps, indeed. I’m looking forward to more apps in the Windows Store in the coming months but generally I find using the free-from-clutter “Metro” apps makes for quite a satisfying experience. I like how the Windows 8 SkyDrive app let’s me browse my files on SkyDrive without having to store local copies of the files on my machine unlike the desktop app. OneNote MX is another great app, syncing perfectly with my notebooks in the cloud.
Unified UI for simple sharing between apps, quick access to context-based settings and in-app search, etc. Makes life a lot easier.
Search for anything (files, settings or apps) right from the start menu. You can even search within apps such as eBay or Wikipedia without having to launch the app first, all from one search interface.
The Ribbon in Explorer
I’ve been a great fan of the Ribbon ever since Office 2007 released.
Windows 8 tablets can boot in 8 seconds flat, but my moderate-spec 2.2GHz Core 2 duo laptop with 2GB RAM boots in 35 seconds -now that’s fast compared to almost two mins with Windows 7.
Refresh and Reset
No more fumbling around for your OEM recovery DVD’s, the ability do a factory reset or restore from a system image is built right into the OS. Why didn’t anybody ever think of that before?
No more multiple drive letters, just add a collection of hard drives into a ‘storage pool’ and Windows 8 sees it all as one massive hard drive or ‘storage space’. Bit like RAID, only easier to set up.
Since my last Windows 8 and I post, I’ve come to realize just how much a tablet/PC hybrid makes sense. I’m currently using the Release Preview on a laptop and it’s easy to imagine how much difference a touchscreen would make to the user experience. Better still it would be great if it was dock-able so I can carry the tablet with me and use the dock for ‘work’ mode. Yes, I know I’m just repeating what I already mentioned in the last post but it all just makes a lot of sense!