Thursday, November 8, 2012

Three great things about Windows 8 so far

NOTE: I have not read about any features of Windows 8, so some of these items may already be old news.

I decided to go head and upgrade to Win8 and mess around with it for a week to see what's what.  I figured that if it was bearable, I would just stick with it.  So I installed Windows 8 Professional and my initial impression is that it's not vastly different than Windows 7, other than the obvious re-positioning of the start menu.  I'll expand more on that later.    

First up: Blazing Boot Time


To give a breakdown of system specs, I'm running an i7 2nd gen processor with 8 GB of RAM and a SATA III solid state drive.  I recently had Windows 7 on this this system and boot time was probably about 10-15 seconds.  That was already a vast improvement over my previous config, which included the Sony-branded Win7 and OEM SATA drive, where my boot time took about two minutes on average.  However, after installing Windows 8 my boot time decreased to literally less than 5 seconds.  And for those wondering what I mean by boot time, I consider it the point where you can click on a browser to start accessing a website.

Discovery: Native ISO support


I do find occasional use for ISO files, and after downloading one of them, I found I could double-click into it without Windows asking me what program I wanted to use to open it.  Shocked, I navigated out of the ISO and right-clicked on the file.  What did I see?  Low and behold, native support for ISO files!  Right click and mount is pretty nice, that's for sure.

Driver Support: overall better than Win7


After the initial OS load, I found only two unknown devices listed in my device manager.  One was a USB host controller, and the other was the hotkey controller for this laptop.  That means out of the at least 15 drivers I had to load separately in Windows 7, I now only had two!  Talk about a time-saver.  I loaded the USB host controller driver from Sony's website with no problem.  To read about the near-maddening battle in resolving these two driver issues, read on.