Windows 8 is a bit different to Windows 7, and here’s why.
Wondering why people are so surprised by Windows 7? Here’s some of what has changed
If you’ve used or seen Windows 8, you’ll notice it’s different as soon as you see the Metro interface. With its square and rectangular tiles, it couldn’t be more different to what we’ve seen since Windows 98 – a Start button, taskbar and desktop with icons littered everywhere. So what’s changed? A lot.
Change #1: Metro
The biggest change by far. Microsoft widely rolled out the new Metro UI to consumers in Windows Phone 7, which won praise for its fast and simple OS. We also saw two revisions on the Xbox 360, beginning with the New Xbox Experience, or NXE, and what was effectively version 2.0 in Fall 2011.
Windows 8 is a little different. Tiles are a lot bigger than those on the Xbox 360, and can be resized and rearranged. This replaces moving files around the desktop and creating folders, and the result is simple to use. Some users have criticised using Windows 8 on a desktop, claiming its unintuitive, but it’s at least very simple to use. It rivals iOS in its simplicity, which is a positive: the iPad has been so successful partly because you can turn it on and go. You can’t do that with Android tablets.
Change #2: Windows Store
Yes, there’s an actual place to buy content app. Like the Mac App Store, this will bring content into one place that would be found on Windows Phone 7 or across the web. It’ll be interesting to see how Microsoft approaches Games for Windows Live, and whether mobile-esque games are in the Windows Store. Apple offers AAA games – such as Call of Duty 4 – in the Mac App Store, so there’s no reason why Microsoft can’t.
Change #3: SkyDrive
Long overdue, Microsoft has integrated its cloud service – SkyDrive – into the operating system. This means that users can upload and manage files directly from Metro Windows 8; different tiles sizes represent files and folders. Content can also be accessed from SkyDrive.com, even from another PC. There’s no dedicated iCloud app on OS X, so that’s a good move for Microsoft.