And what a powerful Kernel it is. Windows 8 is the most solid Windows Kernel ever. The boot times are amazing, as is the stability. While OS X has been in a transition, the core Windows Kernel has remained relatively the same since Vista but with huge refinements. And it shows. As a technology lover, I love to test the latest and greatest. I have played with beta and pre-release version of Windows since XP. Of course the negative about these testing versions has been the instability. Windows 8 beta was odd in that respect. It wasn’t about testing the desktop mode, it was about testing the new metro experience. From day one, it was solid.
And if you know Windows 7, you know Windows 8 desktop mode. All is there, minus the start menu which has been replaced with a start screen which is the core of the new experience. But the rest is there and refined. Pin your favourite apps to the taskbar. Snap windows left or right.
The UI has been a little refined. Ribbon is everywhere. I personally like ribbon, it allows quicker access to common tasks. Gone is Aero, the transparent UI introduced in Vista. Instead is flatter look that looks more modern and professional. Task manager has been further expanded and simplified. For casual users it has a list of apps to end. For power users who hit more details, the amount of data is staggering and includes details such as memory used and bandwidth used.
Pro users will like this hint. Right click in the lower left corner (where the start screen access hovers) and be treated to menu of important locations such as control panel, device manager, system, disk management, and even elevated command prompt.
Overall the desktop mode is the best in any Windows to date. Sure some might wish the start menu was still there. But internal research showed its lack of use. Windows 7 did cause people to pin their most used apps to the taskbar, a feature still available in Windows 8. And I think the start screen is a well worth replacement for the start menu. The start menu was introduced in Windows 95, as was revolutionary. But its time has gone and it’s a gamble Microsoft is willing to make, especially since no other mainstream OS uses the technology. The desktop mode is the most streamlined and productive of any Windows to date.