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The Voice of the DBA

Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Schizophrenic Windows 8

I’ve been using Windows 8 almost exclusively for about 3 weeks. I got a new desktop a couple months back, which has only had Windows 8 installed on it. My new laptop arrived about 4 weeks ago and a week later I finally abandoned my Macbook Air and moved fulltime onto the Windows 8 platform.

Overall I like Windows 8. It boots quickly, so quickly that I don’t mind the occasional restart when an update requires it. It’s gotten to where I get annoyed at the length of time it takes for me Windows 7 VMs to restart. The restore time from sleep when I open my laptop is OSX-esque. Almost immediately after I open the machine, I can log in.

There are improvements that make my life easier, like duplicating my taskbar across both my monitors. I’ve learned the Windows+I shortcut, which is really the only one I need. I’ve gotten used to the charms/settings bar on the right, and I rarely invoke it. Overall, this feels like a faster, more complete version of Windows 7.

Except.

It’s schizophrenic.

I know that’s not what I mean. Really I mean it has a split personality, but I like the word schizophrenic.

Updates

When I want to update Windows, I need to run Windows Update. I know that this is supposed to be automatic, but I don’t like things breaking, and so I need to run Windows Update and select the updates I’ll apply. If I go to the Start menu and type “windows u”, here’s what I get:

win8_schizo_a

That seems strange, because I know there’s an application of sorts for Windows Update. Fortunately I know that Windows+I, and then selecting Control Panel gets me to the main panel. I’ve learned to use search, which I can do:

win8_schizo_b

If search is the way to do things, and lots of recommendations say it is, why doesn’t a search on my start menu find "Windows Update? I can search in every Explorer Window. The Start screen starts searching as I type. The Store searches.

Schizophrenic.

What’s even worse is that apps I’ve installed from the Windows Store, of which there is a dearth as of this writing, are updated separately. I get a note on the Start Screen for the “Store” tile:

win8_schizo_d

Or in the upper right corner if I select Store. I actually missed this a few times when looking for updates. That might be me, and I’m not complaining about updates being here.

win8_schizo_c

I’m complaining they are in two different places.

This is endemic of poor design. Not because of the Start Screen, or the tiles, or the movement of items around in the OS. Because of the lack of integration between the old, desktop style view of the world and the Windows 8 Metro/Tile interface.


Filed under: Blog Tagged: syndicated, windows

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