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Geek Girl Report: A Quick Look At Windows 8

Mario Tama, Getty Images

As I mentioned last week, the long-awaited Windows 8 released to the public last Friday. Reviews across the Internet have been widely varied, from excited enthusiasm to harsh criticism. But most of them agree on one point: for better or for worse, this is a brand-new kind of Windows. While it’s impossible to include all of the new features Windows 8 offers in this article, I’ll go over a couple that I find particularly interesting.

New Interface

The most obvious new feature is the Start Screen. The Start button bar is gone, and has been replaced by these huge, full-color tiles that represent your apps. The cool thing about the tiles is that they will display the most current information, like E-mail and calendar appointments, without you having to actually open them. However, you’ll probably be in for a bit of a headache, as most everyone who has tried out the new interface has noted there’s a “steep learning curve” between using Windows 7 and using 8.

Operates on both tablets and PCs

One of the big features is that Windows 8 will work the same on a tablet as it will on the PC, more or less. Windows 8 is powered by the ARM processor, the same kind of processor you can find on most handheld tablets. That, coupled with Windows 8 touch-screen capability, makes this a great OS for a tablet. So why did I say it worked “more or less” the same? Well, in some cases, the tablet-friendly OS isn’t quite as friendly to your standard PC, and doesn’t work quite as well with a mouse and keyboard as it would with a touch screen.

App Marketplace

Taking a cue from Apple, Windows 8 is introducing its own App Marketplace. Now, Windows users can purchase apps, games, and other such software without the need to mess with discs, or even getting out of the house. But don’t expect too much of a selection right now. Windows’ Marketplace is, at this point, significantly smaller than Apple’s selection.

After looking at some of what Windows 8 has to offer, I still stand by my opinion that this won’t be too well-received by the public, at least on the PC side. I can respect Windows wanting to make an operating system that is compatible across multiple devices. But I think Windows will always be a PC-system first, and this new outlook just doesn’t work as well for PCs as it does for tablets.

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