Dogfooding Windows 8: six long-term Windows 8 users tell all

Summary:We've all read the reviews. Many of us have installed Windows 8 in a virtual machine or on a test box. But how is Windows 8 to use, for real, day after day? We asked six users who've been using Windows 8 daily for their opinions. Their answers may surprise you.

Question #7: So, you're going to go out and buy your new, hot primary work machine. Would you put Windows 7 or Windows 8 on it, and why?

Here's kind of where the rubber meets the road. When it comes time for to upgrade their primary work machine, the one where they spend most of their waking hours, is it Windows 7 or Windows 8? Let's ask them, shall we?

Jason Perlow: I'd put Windows 8 on it, because I'm curious about the evolution of Modern UI apps, and there are clear performance advantages to using Windows 8.

Michael Krigsman: Win 8. It's stable and fast.

Michael Lee: I'd go back to Windows  7. Windows 8 is definitely a pretty upgrade, but I don't find there's any significant benefit to it when I'm constantly going back to working in the old Windows 7 desktop. If I had to move to a touch-based device, I could see Windows 8 being helpful, but the reality is, my PC workhorse isn't going anywhere. It doesn't need touch and I'm going to have a full suite of peripherals so long as I've got the desk space. Windows 8 looks like a great way of being more productive on a touch device that doesn't have the room for a keyboard or mouse, but on a desktop, it's simply not needed.

That said, Windows 7 isn't going anywhere in a rush and if the industry changes and Windows 8 becomes worthwhile, it's effortless enough to simply upgrade when the time comes.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Windows 7 period. End of Statement. Why? Because Win 8 gets in my way. Windows 7 doesn't. Linux is my preferred desktop OS, but WIn 7 SP1 is a fine, stable system in its own right. Win 8? I think it's best shot on the desktop will be SP1... which will have a desktop that looks a lot like Win 7 Aero. Then, then Win 8 may have real shot.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: Dual-boot FTW! Gives the the best -- and worst -- of both worlds.

Andrew Brust: Not buying a new machine, but if I were, I’d get 8. I always go latest/greatest, and do so rather arbitrarily.

Last question: do you prefer Windows 7 or Windows 8?

Finally, I wanted to get a feel for which OS our correspondents just simply liked better. Here are their answers.

Jason Perlow: I prefer Windows 8.

Michael Krigsman: I prefer Win 8, as long as I can hide Metro.

Michael Lee: Windows 8 doesn't stop me from using my desktop in the manner that I used Windows 7, as the new interface can largely be ignored for most of my day to day applications. If you need to put me in a Windows 7/8 camp though, I'd say 7.

Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols: Overwhelming Win7.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes: Windows 7

Andrew Brust: Overall, probably 8. Two very different reasons: (1) I do want the ability to carry a tablet that also runs Office and other Windows software, and (2) Win8 runs Hyper-V and permits hibernation on the same machine. Couldn’t do that with Win Server 2008 R2 (and getting it to run like a client OS took a lot of work).


Topics: Windows


In addition to hosting the ZDNet Government and ZDNet DIY-IT blogs, CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer David Gewirtz is an author, U.S. policy advisor and computer scientist. He is featured in The History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets, is one of America's foremost cyber-security experts, and is a top expert on savi... Full Bio

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