Friday, February 1, 2013

Windows 8 Gaining Traction; Yet Loses on Various Fronts to Mac

It seems that the $1 billion budget Microsoft has set for the marketing of Windows 8 has started reaping fruits for the software powerhouse. The OS is outpacing Mac if we talk about the worldwide user base of the two. Certainly, it’s no mean feat considering the repo Apple’s products have developed over due course of time.

As per the figures that were released last Monday, Windows 8 was installed in 2.36% PCs worldwide. That’s right behind Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the most recent Mac OS version. Previous versions of Mac are behind Windows 8 by quite a distance with Mac OS X Lion at 1.96% and Snow Leopard at 2%.

The stats clearly indicate that Windows 8 is steadily gaining acceptance and if things go well, may soon be rated in one of the preferred operating systems in the Windows series. Here’s a somewhat critical view on Windows 8 vis-à-vis Mac OS X. Read it and judge by yourselves on what to pick and kick between the two.

Interface Needs to be Simpler

So much is said and written about the new user interface of Windows 8. According to many, it’s complicated, especially for the first-end user or the one who has just upgraded from Windows 7. We also somewhat agree that anyone should be able to use the technology right from the scratch rather than first going through a crash course of sorts to get trained in it.  Certainly, an average mind may need that in Windows 8, but not with Mountain Lion. However, it’s also worth noting that the company has tried something new with Windows 8 and as we can see, it has started reaping benefits for them.

How Secure is Windows 8
No doubt Windows 8 is far more secure than legacy operating systems from Microsoft, but expecting it to stand on its own to deal with canniest of online threats is asking too much from this OS. Mac OS X however has far more secure architecture than even Windows 8 and delivers on security all by its own.

It’s New and Different
History is the witness here. Whenever Microsoft has tried something new it has failed big time—Windows Phone 7, for instance; Windows Vista was a sure shot disaster. Probably we will have a more precise answer on Windows 8 in a few months time. Moreover, enterprises are waiting for Windows 8 to get rid of its so-called issues before they deploy it. Mountain Lion, on the other hand, is an open text book of sorts if we talk about issues here and is far more acceptable than Windows 8 in the current scenario.

Less Apps; but Time is the Key
Apple is a big player in apps. Its Apple Store has more than 1 million approved apps in comparison to Windows Store with 40000 odd. A clear advantage for Apple here, but once again let me remind you that Windows 8 is just over three months old.

Hardware Stands No Chance
For sure Apple has an upper hand here. Unlike Microsoft, the company manufactures and sells its own hardware along with the OS line. And the technology, with due respect to the likes of HPs, the Dells and the Lenovo’s, is in a league of its own. On the contrary, as we all know Mac OS cannot run on any of these machines, whereas Windows 8 can. More options for an end user to pick you see, with Windows 8 that is.

Updates are Less Frequent
Mac OS X gets far more rapid updates than Windows-based operating systems. For the record, Apple updates its OS almost every year unlike Microsoft’s strategy of incremental updates, once in a few years only. So, Mountain Lion gets new features almost every year.

So Windows 8 may be gaining traction with every passing day, but Mountain Lion still scores more on various fronts. However, as with other Windows-based operating systems, Windows 8 can run on any machine, even a Mac. The same is not true with OS X though.

You can also watch this video and learn to operate Windows 8 in exactly four minutes and believe me, it’s not difficult.


Image by:  comedy_nose

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Five Problems That Make Windows 8 Prosaic

Close to three months passed by since Windows 8 came in. Though Microsoft succeeded to sell about 40 million copies of Windows 8 operating system in the first two days of its release, the later sales figures were way below expectations. Just 60 million copies went purchased till December, way below the projected target of 400 million. And many among those who purchased the OS are unhappy with the issues that it yields. Here we discuss a few complaints that are frequent with Windows 8. 

User Interface and Related Hassles  
You know something? The Start button, which glorified the desktop of Windows operating systems for ages, is not there in Windows 8. Similarly even the Control Panel or Settings buttons are hidden in Charms Bar, which you need to play your fingers to discover. Reason - Microsoft opted for an entirely different user interface this time. Although there were minor interface-specific modifications since the days of Windows 95 but this time around, Steve Ballmer’s team has gone for a wild experiment, so to speak, enough to bemuse ‘not that tech savvy’ chaps. So the moment they turn on their PC after the Windows 8 upgrade the first thing they are bound to ask is “Where is the Start button?.” However, you can follow this link for the workaround. 

Is Windows 8 Ideal Just for Touch Screen?
With Windows 8, Microsoft has taken technology one step ahead. It is true that all futuristic computers will be touch screen oriented. And Windows 8 is just a beginning. Unfortunately, Windows 8 is not apt to run on traditional computers, but is an ideal choice for tablets, and touch screen laptops. So does it mean that I should shift over to touch screen laptop to enjoy the best of Windows 8? The answer is may be. Read what David Goldman of CNNMoney has to say here  Wi-Fi Connection is in Mess A problem frequent with Windows 8 first timers – as and when it’s upgraded, your PC suddenly refuses to run Wi-Fi once Windows 8 is installed on it. Do not worry about it. The driver may be corrupt. Just remove it to replace with a new driver and see the change.

Oh I forgot to mention that even old batteries can also stop Wi-Fi from functioning flawlessly. So why not change the batteries and check out? Anyways, here’s what Microsoft has to say on this.

And what about your wireless keyboard? Is it working fine? I am asking this just because complaints regarding wireless keyboards not functioning on Windows 8 are common. Probably this is due to the corrupt driver. Here is a solution worth trying though. Just replace it with a new one to fix this issue. To be frank, it would be better if you have a look at all the drivers that worked fine with your erstwhile operating system. A few of them may be iffy with Windows 8.

Sudden Restart and Shutdown Are Worrying Many
Another major concern plaguing Windows 8 users are those linked to sudden restart and shutdown. Many a times the PC restarts itself as soon as the login screen appears. Mostly this issue is caused due to the Hybrid Shutdown feature introduced in Windows 8. Hybrid Shutdown reduces the startup time by hibernating the kernel session instead of closing it. Just disable the Hybrid Shutdown feature and go for a complete shutdown. The problem is hereby resolved. Here’s a source on how to get it done.

BSOD or Blue Screen of Death Error
Do not panic when the screen goes blue. It is the very common BSOD or Blue Screen Error. Now do not conclude this as virus attack. A corrupt hardware or software may be the reason for this problem. Just dial a nearby hardware vendor to upgrade your hardware or replace it with a new one. May be your PC has numerous unwanted or corrupt files that need to be removed or a cluttered disk that you may have to cleanup. Be it any, better that you opt for expert support. Here’s a few solutions for you. 

Naturally this question popped up in my mind after looking at the response of Windows 8 towards certain websites. Just kidding. Anyways it is a fact that certain websites hesitate to open up once you install Windows 8 in the PC. Most often they are social networking sites. Even uTorrent fails to function sometimes. Try out this app though. Several users also claim that they face problems with the display of photos in Photoshop CS6 as well. However Jeffrey Tranberry from has some suggestions waiting.

These issues are not that common, but are affecting few Windows 8 users. Problems like freezing up of start screen, issues with certain hardware and breaking up of Windows store are also alleged from few corners. Hope Microsoft will address these problems in coming days.

Monday, January 7, 2013

If a three-year old can use Windows 8, everyone can

We do agree that Windows 8 is somewhat a tough nut to crack for average brain heads worldwide. However there is s flip-side to it. With a little guidance to the users, it’s bound to gain the level of traction it has rather missed out on since its launch in October last year. The video underneath for instance explains just why we are of this view.

The video depicts a three-year old child explaining the basic use of Windows 8. Though he seems to be trained to do so, the fact is that he finds using the OS as easy as a eating a pie. So if you have some preconceived misconceptions about the user-friendliness of Windows 8, think again. It’s not that bad after all.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Windows 8 Is Surely Not for the Drunk

Windows 8 certainly has some amazing features as we’ve figured out from our blog. However its initial impressions to an end user especially if he is not in his best of senses are bad to say the least.

The video underneath features a drunken lady named Jennifer, who seems to be lost upon the first sight of tiles that appear on the new Metro UI of Windows 8. She took almost four minutes to find a photo of her favorite dog and, with due respect to the good old Internet Explorer, misses Chrome, the all so famous browser from Google.

11 year old demonstrates the usage of Windows 8

Oh c’mon; don’t tell me that Windows 8 is so easy to operate that an 11 year old kid can explain its usage at will to the prospective buyers. Or is it? At least, Microsoft Portugal thinks so. Watch the video here to decide on your own. But you need to manage with the subtitles as the conversations are well, not in English.

Nevertheless, you can always visit our previous posts to know all about what Windows 8 and its pro avatar has to offer.