A Mac User’s Impressions Of Windows 8

Low End Mac’s Simon Royal has been checking out Windows 8, noting that he’s used every version of Windows since 3.11 and despite being a prominent Mac user likes to keep currrent on developments in the Windows world, and being tech support for hos household, building, setting up, and maintaining Windows machines for other family members keeps him fairly up-to-date.

Royal says Windows 8 has a totally different look compared to previous versions, notably the new tile main interface, and takes a bit of getting used to. You can get back your semi-familiar Windows desktop, but will notice it has no Start Menu, something that’s been there since Windows 95. Hovering your mouse to the left, where the Start Menu used to be, will pop up a thumbnail of your giant full screen tile interface, and clicking will bring it back.
In desktop mode you have access to your regular look OS with your taskbar at the bottom.

He reports that the first thing he noticed was how fast Windows 8 is – a rare instance of a new version of an OS being faster than previous ones. Royal notges that a lot of Mac users live and work in mixed OS environments. Intel Macs can natively boot Windows, and with Apple dropping perfectly good hardware from its new versions of Mac OS X, Windows might be an option for some.

Microsoft claims the minimum spec for Windows 8 is a 1 GHz Pentium 4 with 1 GB RAM for the 32-bit version (or 2 GB for the 64-bit version) and around 20 GB hard drive space. That covers Windows machines running back to the year 2000. He observes that running Windows on your Mac may not be ideal, but it does mean your Vintage Mac (a term used by Apple and MacTracker) can still run a new OS even if it is from the competition.

Of course you could dual boot this new version of Windows with Mac OS X Snow Leopard and boot to Windows when there is something unsupported in your version of OS X. And if Windows is your thing and you already have a Windows machine, Royal says he would recommend it, despite its childish look and peculiar new interface – worthwhile getting used to for the speed advantage.

However, he fails to see how all this will fit in to the corporate world, noting that Windows 8 doesn’t look very professional, and he can see the tile interface getting in the way.

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