The Windows 8 home stretch surprise

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.
Written by Ken Hess, Contributor

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.

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