The Windows 8 home stretch surprise

The Windows 8 home stretch surprise

Summary: Black Friday might come a little early this year with the release of Windows 8. Here's to October 26 and a new era of computing.


This Friday ushers in a new era of computing on the desktop and on mobile devices. Frankly, I can't wait. Though I've used Windows 8 for a while now, I can't wait until Friday because I have a little surprise for you. Now, if I told you, it wouldn't be a surprise, would it? You'll have to be patient and find out what it is on Friday. It might be later in the day but rest assured it will be fun and enlightening for you and for me.

But, more exciting than my little surprise is the fact that the release of Windows 8 is in the home stretch. While I'm not so directly affected by the launch as some of you might be, I am excited because the launch of Windows 8 is the most exciting operating system release since Windows 95. Seriously.

This one is big because it's so different than previous OSs. It's made for the new era of mobile computing with its touch-oriented interface, App store, integrated SkyDrive and more.

I hear that the pre-orders for the Surface tablet are piling up. My advice is to get one now and save it until Christmas, if you can. I think this OS launch will be bigger than anything Apple has seen so far. I'm happy about it. I've waited a long time to be excited about a desktop OS and this one is long overdue.

To be perfectly honest, I haven't been this excited about an OS release since the release of Windows 3.0. That was a long time ago. I was excited about Windows 3.0 because I felt like that release would finally get me out of the black DOS* screen and that infernally blinking cursor. Blink, blink, blink. It was enough to drive me crazy at the time. That drive is much shorter now. I just don't have the patience to sit around waiting for something to happen anymore.

Sure, Windows 95 was exciting in its own way but not like this. Not to this magnitude. Windows 8 measures on the Richter scale. 

Perhaps you don't see the significance of this release yet.

Allow me to enlighten you.

Windows 8 is not only a desktop/laptop/netbook OS but it's also a tablet and other mobile device OS. It looks the same across all platforms. It behaves the same. And, it enjoys the same functionality--with the exception of a few things reserved for the more advanced Enterprise version.

Just think about it. One OS for all your devices. That's exciting. Not even Apple does that.

I think that corporations are going to snap up Windows 8 tablets and convert by the millions to Windows 8 on every device possible.


Because Windows XP is old now and companies have held off for as long as they can for those long overdue upgrades. A few have stepped off the gangplank in favor of Windows 7 but not as many as you'd think. Most are waiting for Windows 8. And, rightfully so.

One of the reasons for the huge predicted corporate adoption is that you don't have to upgrade your hardware to upgrade to Windows 8. In fact, Windows 8 will likely breathe new life into some of your older hardware. I believe that Windows 8 is a Windows XP killer.

It's kind of a shame that a software company has to outbuild its own products so profoundly. As far as I'm concerned, Windows 8 is the next best step after Windows XP. Vista was a disaster. Windows 7 is OK but it seems 'heavy' by comparison with XP and 8.

One really cool feature of Windows 8 that no other Windows OS prior to it has is that it can mount ISO files without third party software. As a user who uses a lot of ISO files, I'm very pleased with that new feature.

To mount an ISO file:

Right click the ISO file and click Mount. Your ISO will appear as if you inserted a CD/DVD into a drive. You can still use your physical DVD drive simultaneously.

In my mind, Windows 8 is what we've been waiting for--for home, mobile and corporate use. I also believe that now that there's a true Windows tablet available that BYOD programs that didn't exist or lay dormant before will now flourish. Corporations love Microsoft. They love its desktop. They love its Server. And, they're going to love it on every platform.

So far, I haven't found any major problems with Windows 8 and I usually find bugs that no one else does. The ones that seem to impede that one thing that I really need to do that only two other people on the planet needed to do. And, both of their questions and their resolutions are totally indecipherable.

No frustrations thus far for me. If you find some, let me know. I'd love to hear about them and to see if I can replicate your experience.

Are you going to start chilling some champagne for the launch or are you over Windows 8? Talk back and let me know.

*Of course, if you know my history, I'm still a command line junkie: DOS and UNIX shells alike.

Topics: Windows, Microsoft, Mobile OS, Mobility


Kenneth 'Ken' Hess is a full-time Windows and Linux system administrator with 20 years of experience with Mac, Linux, UNIX, and Windows systems in large multi-data center environments.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Wow...

    Lol... GeekPorn.
    But I am as excited as you my dear. My friends and family are getting intune with windows cause of me.
    5 days more brother, 5 days more...
  • You miss DOS...

    well, I admit it, I do as well! Up until about 4 years ago I was doing the vast
    majority of my web browsing, email, newsgroups, etc in plain old DOS.
    My Pentium 166 is upstairs, just beckoning for me to come up and plug in
    the telephone line and dial up my standby dialup ISP, hehe! I should probably
    do that some time soon and see if I can still post here from Arachne web
    browser! It worked last I checked a bit over a year ago, but the site has
    had a couple of re-designs since.
  • Even a 3 year old can use Windows 8

    Windows 8 is so easy, even a 3 year old can use it.

    I think it's pathetic how all these pundits predict the demise of Windows 8, because it requires more than 5 minutes of learning.
    P. Douglas
    • thats the beauty of it..

      my 4 year old can use it so I am not surprised...

      I have already ordered a surface RT for him...
    • Here's the explanation PDouglas

      Yes you are right! It is pathetic!

      The reason or simple: Fear! These brainwashed pundits drived by competitors companies like Apple and Google is just reflecting the big fear these competitors companies feel as the 26 arrive...

      And let me tell that these companies and their pundits will shit in their pants really soon... Windows 8 will be the huge hit... And just look in a couple of months the sell of Windows Phone 8, Windows Surface tablets and other OEM Windows 8 tablets, even Windows 8 Utrabooks... This will be Huge! All the OEM world just waiting about Windows 8 for a while so....
    • ...

      How many years has that 3 year old been using windows for work? Oh wait this would be his first os ever used so he has not become accustomed to 20 years of basic usability which he now has to unlearn then relearn something completely different. thats the point.Thats like getting rid of the steering wheel and saying you now use eye movement to steer the car.
      • Thank you, Fletchguy, for stating the obvious!

        Disclosure: I DO like MicroSoft. I also like the command line. That being said, I disagree with this author (in a rather strong way):

        I have no respect for an author/pundit/whoever that has been utilizing a product like Windows 8 for a while and can find nothing wrong with it. Nothing wrong in the way of functionality, cosmetics, flow, Ux or anything? REALLY?!? I never thought the author was an MS Fanboi 'til now! I guess things change. You should have found some room for improvement or at the very least tried to change your perspective and realize why businesses are NOT going to dive headfirst into Windows 8.

        Businesses are NOT going to "snap up Windows 8 tablets"! Fletchguy above has it right! There's a lot of UNLEARNING to do. There's also stubborn people. There's also people in charge that learn something and don't want to change.

        The above may be shortcomings of human beings, but they're there. Businesses care about money. The points I made in the previous paragraph lead to decreased employee productivity and, consequently, decreased profits. 'Nuff said about that. It's fairly obvious! They'll get there, but they won't be snapping them up upon release. You said you HEAR pre-orders for tablets are piling up. From where? Such a statement is meaningless with a source to back it up.

        I have no idea what you're motivations are, but my first impression -and second impression upon re-reading the article- is that it is heavily biased. Why that is, I don't know.

        Personally, I can't wait to install Windows 8 on one of my machines. I'll test it out, play around with it and eventually implement it. I'm excited about it. I'm not THAT excited!

        In closing, I'd like to say that the author may be popping champagne corks for this. IT departments that deal with the average computer user, however, are ordering hard liquor by the case in preparation for the upcoming toast:

        "Here's to a year of retraining workers who don't understand why hey have to change. Their input and output won't improve with the new O/S. Now they have more work to do as they relearn how to do the same job. To make it even better, they blame us! CHEERS!"
        • Correction to my post above

          "Such a statement is meaningless with a source to back it up" SHOULD read:

          "Such a statement is meaningless WITHOUT a source to back it up."

        • Yea, no one wants to learn something new

          No one has learned Android or iOS in the last few years. Your reasoning is heavily flawed! People will learn Windows 8 so that they have app compatibility with all of there business and consumer applications; all of which will run under Windows 8.

          They only have to adjust to a whole Start screen instead of a small scroll menu (that frankly makes me claustrophobic. By they way, for those not able to learn, you press the Windows Key to get to the Start Screen (Improved Start Menu). Oh, wait, you don't have to learn that one, that works on Windows XP, Vista, and Win7 also . . .
    • Actually....

      I like Windows 8, but I work with a lot of older people who have trouble with Windows XP. Most of them would curl up in a ball under their desks and rock and cry if we forced them to use Windows 8. We got dozens of complaints when we went to Office 2010 a few months back (we were on Office 2000, state agency, what can I say?).

      There is a learning curve, especially with a mouse. I learned it quickly, but then I like the latest new thing, so I was motivated to learn it. For some it is going to be very frustrating.
      • There's a simple solution to your problem

        The old-timers at your office don't need to keep using their current system... they need touch!

        I've seen it over and over... it's just more intuitive to touch something rather than interface through a device like a mouse.

        If you want to increase productivity, you should hurry and implement Windows 8!
    • You say that like it is unique or impressive or something.

      Ubuntu is so easy, even a 3 year old can use it;

      I think it is pathetic how all those pundits declare Linux could never succeed outside the confines of a server room or the basement den of a pimply faced geek, becasue it requires more than 5 minutes of learning or isn't the traditional OS of choice for factory installation.
      Mark Hayden
      • Linux and documents

        I can only wonder what kind of documents you write, because what I have experienced with Linux is quite curious result when somebody with MS-Office opens them.
        To test this out side my own PC I asked friend in Finland who has Upuntu in his laptop to send me a written document as attachment. I just say that opening it with the MS-Word, which is the most used program by business world, that I really wouldn't have my resume come up formatted like that. It was saved and sent by document format and by opening it with both linux and Word, the formatting was all over the place and different from each other. Like I do not know how the original looked although I have an idea. At home I tried open office with puppy linux and did some exel spread sheet work that was originally done with Exel after saving it in xls format and good for me the "scalc format" Exel promtly came up note that the file was corrupted.
        At least I can not rely on these kind of results. How would I know how the file would show somewhere if everything that I have seen so far is quite unreliable from the Linux based documents. My daughter works in office that handles most MS-Office type of documents and her experience is that you do not get converted documents coming out generally right. Maybe the there is a special method to do those documents in Linux machines but at least my friend in Finland didn't even realize that he had a problem.
        The fact that the text documents can be read doesn't mean that they are professionally suitable for use.
  • I can't wait!

    Been using the Release Preview for a few months and love it. I can't wait for the full release and to get my new Windows Phone 8 (I'm getting the Nokia Lumia 920 when it comes out on at&t in the U.S.) all in sync with each other.. Windows! Windows! Windows!

    also, I am curious to hear what this surprise is...
  • Excited

    I got excited when the article stated: "Though I've used Windows 8 for a while now, I can't wait until Friday because I have a little surprise for you.".

    But then a bit later on, an example of a 'Really Cool Feature" is to right-click and mount an ISO file.


    I'm now less convinced that whatever the cool surprise is on Friday will swipe me off my feet..
    Han CNX
    • Trust me...

      It's a good one.
      • Xbox Surface?

        Is it an Xbox Surface announcement?
  • Now thats how a real Windows user feels

    All the negative comments are coming from non-users or from haters. Once you use it, there is no turning back. It is so good!

    Best desktop OS ever, and also the most complete and again the best tablet OS ever.
    • RE: Wrong

      You can have not been reading the comments and seriously say all of it is non using haters. There are a fair amount of of posts by haters who are just gleefully loving every minute seeing long term Microsoft users PO'd that Microsoft is trying to be nearly everything they have been criticizing Apple for over the last 20 years. But the majority of posts are by the those PO'd long term Microsoft users.
      • Sorry, but....wrong.

        When I read the negative articles on ZDNet, what I see are people who have not given Windows 8 a real chance. Not, because they dislike it, but because of why they dislike it. All of their comments are in the area of "I cannot work as fast in Windows 8 as in Windows 7" or "I have to go to the desktop to get any work done" or "Where is the...".

        The comments show that they have not given the OS a really test drive. Car magazines take new cars and drive them for hours, in all conditions, before writing a review. They also have long term tests where they keep the cars for weeks or months.

        What I read is guys who have used Windows 8 for an hour or two and labeled it a failure. You need to use an OS for many hours every day, for at least a week to learn it. I am still learning things about Windows 7 and it has been out for years. They did not wring out the OS, they gave the equivalent of a dealer test drive around the block and then took it back and labeled it a failure.

        Now, a few of them are haters, but not all, and you are right in that almost no one can escape using Windows, but they are not long term Windows lovers who are POed, they are long time forced-to-use-but-dislike-it haters and it shows.

        And, many of them are just too hide bound to move on to something new because they do not see the immediate advantage.