For the last 4 days I have been using Windows 8 as my primary OS at work. It’s running as a native Boot Camp partition on my Mac, but surprisingly enough it actually boots faster than OS X. While logged into Windows 8 the entire OS as a whole feels faster and more fluid than OS X as well.
At first I put it down to the fact that it was a fresh installation that was free from user pollution, but as the week has gone on and after installing many applications the OS has retained its “snappyness” and fluidity.
When I use OS X on this MacBook Pro I have a single user account, which I use for both work and personal use. However, on the Windows 8 partition I have my corporate domain login for work purposes and my Outlook.com login for personal use.
It’s extremely efficient and allows me to completely separate work from play very easily. On my work login I primarily use Google Chrome, as our company utilizes Google Apps and I sync all of my work related bookmarks to my company Gmail account.
On the personal login I am happily using Internet Explorer, and so far I haven’t felt the need to import my bookmarks yet. I think I will keep it this way, as it feels more “fresh” so to speak. One thing I find myself doing though is staying in Desktop mode and using IE10 from there to browse the web, instead of using the metro IE10 browser. This is just out of habit from being used to a traditional desktop platform from OS X and prior versions of Windows.
Another thing I noticed is that the metro mail app seems inferior compared to using the web-based version. I have a number of emails placed in folders from many months ago, but when I go to view them in the metro mail app I receive the message “No new messages from the last two weeks”. Perhaps this is just a setting, so I will have to do some digging around on that.
Also, I feel as though there is far too much whitespace in the metro mail in comparison to its web-based counterpart. Again, maybe I am too stuck in my ways and need to adjust, but it almost feels too plain and lifeless.
For work I have been using Mozilla’s Thunderbird email client, as I can’t handle using Gmail’s web interface for the amount of email that comes in.
The Contacts, Calendars, SkyDrive, Bing, Maps, Weather and Netflix apps are all brilliant though. The Maps app is super smooth to navigate and scrolling to zoom in and out is very well done. It doesn’t jump around too fast, so you never lose your position.
I took a quick look at the Music, Video, and Games applications, but they are all tied to the Xbox Live ecosystem and I have no plans to start utilizing it as an entertainment platform. I’ll be sticking to Amazon for that purpose. There is currently no Amazon Cloud Player metro app available to install, but I can use the web-app or download the Amazon Cloud Player desktop client.
As part of our company policy I do have to run Sophos Antivirus, but it’s operation goes unnoticed. Perhaps it is because I have a 2.4GHz Core i5 (2 physical & 2 logical cores) with 8GB’s of RAM that makes it run smooth? I remember at the last company I worked at we used Symantec Endpoint Protection and it was such a resource hog!
So far, I have had no reason to complain about Windows 8. I don’t feel the need to have a touch screen laptop, as the MacBook Pro’s trackpad works well for navigating the new Start menu and the two-finger click acts as a right-click the same way OS X does; therefore there really isn’t that much new stuff to learn.