Windows 8 Preview Menu (Photo : Por Ceo1O17 / Creative Commons)
Windows 8 has divided the computing community between those who embrace Microsoft's focus on a touchscreen friendly, "modern" user interface and those who believe that the Redmond-based company has abandoned the traditional desktop PC.
TechRadar commends the final release of Windows 8 as "sleek, fast, and fun" and notes that the new operating system sports "huge security improvements" and a "faster boot," yet warns that not all CPUs will run it and laments the absence of the start menu.
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InfoWorld states, "A desktop OS for tablets and a tablet OS for desktops, Windows 8 is guaranteed to disappoint nearly everyone."
But what are the fans saying?
On Microsoft's official Windows 8 forums, moderator Medico writes, "There have been many discussions about [whether Windows 8 is better than Windows 7]. It's difficult to quantify. Those of us, including me, who use Win 8 full-time generally prefer most of the features of Win 8 better when discussing the Desktop UI. When discussing the Windows 8 App space, the jury is still out. I do not think this UI is at its future level yet because there are no higher powered apps developed yet. Overall Win 8 beats Win 7 in my book."
User catilley1092 says, "with each new release of Windows, it's more secure, has more features, [is] faster, and generally lighter on resources."
Rcg6789 speaks about their experiences between Windows 8's dual interfaces: "I like Windows 8, both the desktop and Metro. When working, I spend most of my time in the desktop environment, though when taking a break I like the metro interface for a quick look at stocks, news, ect. There's a lot of potential there.
That said, I think Metro does have to mature. There are some things that bug me - like when you have two monitors - metro home screen on one and the desktop on the other - and you move focus to the desktop screen, the metro screen minimizes and also goes to the desktop."
As with any operating system or software, Windows 8 will mature over time. While the philosophy behind the OS will remain constant, updates will change the face of the system in the months and years after its release.
The final release of Windows 8 launches on Oct. 26.