Besides Literature and writing, my other hobby in life is following the tech world – primarily Microsoft. To broaden the scope of my blog I have decided to expand my Other Musings category to include anything and everything I am interested in or have an opinion on. So, here goes.
I have been using Windows 8 since the Release Preview, and am now using Office 2013 Preview as well. Although you will find many negative reviews of Windows 8, I have found that after using it for the last few months, it is really something that once you get used to it, you will love it. I recently booted Windows 7 to do a few things with my data on there and it was like using some ancient piece of technology. The new features in Windows 8 really do make a difference. For the non-tech people who may be reading this: The Start Screen shows all of your apps, features, etc. all in one place on the monitor in front of you. On this Start Screen you have tiles for different things that you can customize to your liking. There is a Mail app, People, Photos, Weather, Video, Music, etc. All of these tiles present information to you so that you do not have to click on them and open them up to see what the app is all about. This is very handy for things like Weather, Social Media updates, e-mail, etc.
I have found that the Charms, Switcher navigation, and Start Tip are all very useful things that take a while to get used to, but once you do you can’t go back. I spent most of my time in Win 7 dragging my mouse to the bottom left of the screen to bring up the Switcher interface and using right-click in Internet Explorer to view the tabs I had open.
The best part of the new Windows and Office: all of this is synced in the cloud so that any Windows 8 computer or tablet I use will recognize me and all of the apps that I have installed. No longer is an app tied to your device, it is now tied to your user account. This is pretty cool stuff that most people have no idea is coming. Perhaps the most intriguing new feature coming with Office 2013 is that it is all tied to my Microsoft Account. I was using my computer at work and editing a file in Skydrive. Windows told me that it noticed I have Word 2013 and asked if I would like to use it for this instance or use Office 2010 that is installed on the hard drive of the computer at work.
I have all of my documents and pictures uploaded to Skydrive so I can access them from any device I may be using. This means I can be working on a Word document on my Desktop Tower PC, head on the road and update my document with my Surface Tablet, continue working on it on a train or taxi with my Windows Phone, and then come back home and have the completely updated file sitting at home on my desktop PC. it is this kind of interconnectivity between devices that I believe is the future.
There are some great features coming with Windows 8 and Office 2013. Give it a try when it comes out and it may surprise you.