Windows 8

Since my main operating system is Linux Mint and I only use Windows to play games, I hadn't actually bothered upgrading from Windows XP until now. But Saints Row IV is going to require DirectX 10 and so I needed a new operating system. And you know what? It's OK.

I've heard a lot of complaints about the start menu being replaced by the start screen, and to the people making those complaints I have just one question. What the fuck do you use the start menu for anyway? I haven't had a use for it since Windows 98. The quick launch bar was a far better way to use your computer.

I have no idea how Windows Vista or 7 handle quick-launch icons other than that you can make programs stay in the taskbar even when they're closed (which is a horrible idea), but having gone from a quicklaunch bar to a start screen I can say that I'm on board. It's convenient and accessible and keeps my taskbar uncluttered.

Installation was slightly more hassle than Mint (particularly as Windows overwrites the boot loader, so after installation I had to boot from a CD to reinstall GRUB, whereas Mint detected Windows XP when I installed it and asked if I wanted to dual-boot) but most things worked the way I wanted pretty much straight away.

Mint has the advantage in that almost all the software I wanted came pre-installed, but I had to use Ninite to get a bunch of stuff in Windows, but both of them are about as straight-forward to set up and configure. When I've attempted to figure out settings in Windows 7 or Vista I've always found it excruciating, but Windows 8 seems to have made it a much more pleasant experience.

If I were recommending an operating system for general use I would still go with Mint, but if you need Windows then I'd say 8 is the way to go. From what I've seen so far it's way better than Windows 7 or Vista. Plus it apparently runs Saints Row 2 better than any previous operating system, so that's a bonus.


  1. I found running SRII as Admin on W7 fixed everything.

    1. You still need Powertools to make it run at the right speed unless your processor is 3.33GHz in both Win7 and Vista.

  2. I mostly use a single element of the Start Menu in Windows 7: the bit where you can type in part of the name of any program and then hit Return to run it. It's quicker and more flexible than Quick Launch.

    1. I used to have an address bar on my taskbar for that, but I found myself using it less and less as I sorted out my quick-launch and figured out which programs I actually used and put them there.

      I use the menu in Mint rather than a quicklaunch, but only because I haven't bothered setting up a quicklaunch and the menu is a lot more convenient and useful than the Start menu tends to be, because it doesn't have every program you install automatically adding a folder.