Why is everyone pissing on Windows 8?

I have to agree, first time I saw it I called it Windows Tiles.

Then I installed it (the Developer preview) on my lame, but trusty Samsung NC10 netbook with 2 Gb ram (which had been running Windows 7 prior to that), and actually started using it. I read a bit about it to get more comfy with it, tweaked it a tiny bit, and began to really like it. Once I managed to see the Start screen as a large Start menu, it started to fall into place.
Add to that that it was considerably snappier than Windows 7 for running Office-like desktop apps, and keep into consideration that, on this Netbook, speed is a concern, and you may understand why this Samsung is now running the release version.

I even went as far as installing Visual Studio 2012 on it. While, with Windows 7, VS2010 was lethargic bordering on comatose, VS2012 on Windows 8 is actually working. The 1024×768 resolution doesn’t help, but at least I can now actually write and run code (and write blog posts) while on vacation. On a decent keyboard even (the NC10 keyboard is one of the best Netbook keyboards). Plus it doubles as an image storage tank for my photos (no, I haven’t even considered installing Lightroom on it). Plus it has 6h+ battery life, which is more than it had on Windows 7. Allegedly, the 6+ hours melt when I actually use VS2010, but hey, that’s to be expected.

When the hard disk gave out, I went as far as installing a 240gb SSD. By now, it’s plenty quick enough – time from power-on (not from sleep mode or hibernate, but from shutdown) to having a desktop, with Outlook showing my Exchange mailbox, is down to 30 seconds. When I got the thing four years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt that was even possible.

Of course, this is not your average Samsung NC10. It’s had a 1Gb upgrade, and (more importantly) it’s got an SSD drive instead of the regular 160Gb hard disk. But even with the regular hard disk, Windows 8 was noticeably considerably faster than Windows 7 (which was already an improvement over the Windows XP install it came with).

Also, I am probably not the average user. I am a software architect that insists on writing code himself. I want to not only design solutions, I want to code them too, and I’m lucky enough to work in a team, and for a boss, that allows me to do so full-time.
As a result, I don’t do much travelling. For most of my work, and quite a bit of my leisure, I rely on my privately-owned I5 desktop with 8Gb ram, which is what I currently type this blog post on. It’s hooked up to my home network which has big phat host machine that also hosts a couple of virtual machines performing various duties. When I am in the office, I use a thick phat Dell Latitude with an I7 and 8Gb ram to code on.

But when I am on the road (read: 9 out of 10 times camping out), or in the kitchen, or when I’m lounging in the living, I want something that browses the web, hooks up to my DMS to find recipes, holds (as in “doesn’t process, but stores”) the photos off my camera, enables me to type a blog post or some email, and lets me do some fooling around in C#. An iPad won’t let me do all these things, and the things Apple does allow me to do, can be done on my Android phone just as well. But now that I have Windows 8 on the NC10, this puny netbook can do all these things.

So.
I’d encourage anyone to look beyond the first impression and actually give it a try. I don’t get what’s wrong with it.

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