I am a gamer and I use Windows 8

Posted: May 5, 2014 by ryanlecocq in Features, Technology

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Microsoft’s newest OS has been much maligned since its release.  Now I grant that initially there were some very cumbersome design decisions in Windows 8, but most of them were not half as bad as Windows Vista.  Personally I believe that bashing every other Windows OS has become an internet passtime and most people do it without even trying it first.  That accounts for about half of the haters.  The other half are people who just resent having to learn anything new, regardless of how much better it may prove in the long run.  There may be some legitimate complaints that still have not been addressed by Windows 8.1, but after using it for the past year and a half, I would not use any other OS.  Before you cry foul, read on a bit to see why.

Games run better:

As you may have guessed from the name of this blog, gaming is my primary focus for any computer.  While convenience and usability are also important, the fact that Windows 8 runs games 5-10% faster on average would most likely be enough to convince me.  The reason this is possible is actually because of the features people like to hate on.  However you feel about Microsoft’s implementation of the metro shell, the now “layered” Windows is a dramatically more efficient way to prioritize tasks.  Windows intelligently pushes everything else to the background, while making de-prioritized tasks easy to view and move to the forefront as needed.  The result is that your games run faster because they get the lion’s share of your system’s power without interruption from pesky apps you don’t care about at the time.  It’s true that I had to do a few things like removing the Skype app and replacing it with Skype for desktop before it would work perfectly.  Even with a few tweaks though, I had to do very little customization to Windows 8.1 in order to game without interruption or hiccups.

Windows 8 is always with me.

Sure, Microsoft’s competitors offer their own cloud syncing services, but the Windows implementation has done the most for me personally.  The most basic aspect of this is that all of my computers are the same, much like Apple devices that all share the same account.  My laptop and my Minecraft server look and function the same and all I had to do when setting them up was enter my Live account.  All of my systems can be accessed and managed at any time from my Windows phone with OneDrive.  I even have it set up to backup and share the saves for my games that don’t support cloud saves on their own services (here’s looking at you Dark Souls 2).  So when I log into any computer I own, all of my computing resources are at my fingertips.  If I need a document like my resume when I am out and about, all I need is my phone and a local printer connected to a wireless network and I can have a physical copy within 2 minutes.

Beyond just syncing my files and apps, every setting and customization carries over too.  I can’t tell you how happy it makes me not having to do the standard hour or two of changing setting on every new PC.  I just log into my Live account during installation and by the time I hit the desktop, UAC is off and my desktop and programs are organized exactly as I like them.  Even third party apps like Fraps and Chrome will automatically show up in the proper column on my metro screen once I download them.

The new interface is faster, cleaner and just plain better.

If there is one thing I hate more than anything on other people’s systems, it’s the clutter and chaos.  When I see a desktop full of shortcuts, it makes me angry deep inside that people would use their computer so ineptly.  Windows 8 finally makes the desktop what it should be: a temporary workspace.  My desktop is completely clean of everything but the recycle bin.  The programs I use most are on the start screen in neat, tidy little groups and everything else is banished to what I call “the dungeon” (also known as the apps menu).  Now that 8.1 has pushed the clutter down below and kept your initial start menu clean and fully customizable, I have the perfect balance of access and simplicity.  I keep my interface divided into three layers: The desktop, where I keep what I am presently working on.  The start screen where I keep the programs I use and whenever possible I use one icon to launch everything on that service, like Steam or Chrome.  Then finally the app menu where I keep everything that I do not use daily.  I almost never go to the app menu and witness it’s ugliness, as I can now search from almost any screen in Windows and access anything on my system instantly.

Many windows features like the Task Manager have been streamlined as well.  You now see more relevant information, presented better and less useless crap and annoying cascading menus.  Useless features like the Windows Experience Index and many other clunky utilities in the control panel have been removed, making for a smaller overall hard drive footprint.  In almost every way I find my Windows experience to be more of what I want and less of what I don’t than any other OS.

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No touchsreen required.

One of the most common complaints I’ve heard about Windows 8 is that it’s hard to use without a touchscreen.  That is utter crap.  I do not own any touchscreen systems and operating my system is faster than Windows 7 in every way, every time.  With nothing more than the Windows key and a few shortcuts, I can access my entire computer.  I have not found one single thing (since the 8.1 update) that could be done faster in Windows 7 than 8.  If you think this is untrue, chances are you are doing it wrong.  With nothing more than a right click on the start button or a metro tile, you can access functions that took 2-3 layers of cascading menus before.  Maybe people just really like clicking a lot and hate shortcuts, but it’s difficult to argue rationally that this isn’t faster.

If me poweruser can do, Y U no get with program?

I would say that I am as much of a power user as anyone.  I like my machines to obey me instantly and I don’t brook any argument from them when I do something.  I expect my OS to keep me in the game without argument and Windows 8 meets my expectations the best of every OS I have tried (which is pretty much all of them).  I think what we need to do is stop bunkering.  People like to get set in their ways and put up walls in their mind blocking out any new information.  We saw this with Windows XP to the point where people were installing it many years after it became obsolete, just because some crusty old tech told them it was better than Windows 7.  I have seriously seen people running XP on a system where they were losing half of their hardware functionality just because they thought they were saving resources.  In my mind this is no different than the people who believe vaccines are a bad idea or that the world is only 7000 years old.  Sure, it’s easier to just bash new ideas than it is to learn, but eventually the rest of the world will leave you behind and enjoy the benefits of advancement without you.  If you are using Windows 7, thinking you’re so smart, just be aware that I am playing games at higher framerates without complaints.  I can access my files anywhere I go with nothing but the built in features and setting up a new computer takes me less than 15 minutes.  I have been where you are and I can promise you that where I am now is a better place.  So before you waste your time and money removing Windows 8 from your new system and paying for another copy of Windows 7, put in a little effort and time to see how much better your computing life could be.

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Comments
  1. Cryio's Qax says:

    Windows 8.1 is miles ahead of Windows 7 but a lot of people are dumb dumb dumb and can’t see all the benefits. They get so easily scared of the Start Screen. It’s almost like they forget the Desktop even exists.

    Anyway, all the “issues” people had will be resolved with Windows 10, so there’s that.

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