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10 sweet and scary things about Windows 8

Halloween isn't the only thing with sweets and scares, now that Windows 8 has been unleashed! Here's a list of 10 things to love and hate about Windows 8.
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1 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Scary: Windows 8 Ads

Microsoft made an interesting decision to monetize some of their pre-installed Modern (formerly Metro) apps with ads, like the Weather app, as shown above. I don't know about you, but if I paid full price to install Windows 8 on my system, the last thing I'd want to see is default Modern apps running ads! Usually, people pay to have ads removed from an application; not included. But honestly, it's not so much about these in-built ads; it's about where Microsoft might take Windows ad-based monetization from here -- perhaps in Windows 9, or beyond.

[See also: 10 epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try]

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2 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Sweet: Windows 8 Free Games

Thanks to the addition of the Windows Store, free games are just a couple of clicks away! Eventually, I imagine the "top free games" section will be inundated with "freemium" games; but for now, there are plenty of worthy games to quickly choose and install -- all for free!

[See also: 15 gadgets every 8-bit gamer needs]

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3 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Scary: Windows RT and Windows 8

For the life of me, I cannot understand Microsoft's decision to market Windows 8 and Windows RT as separate entities in the manner that they have. Talk about confusing consumers, I'd love to be a fly on the wall the day that however many people go to install a Windows 8 desktop app to the desktop of a Windows RT device. I tried explaining the difference to someone recently (a casual PC user), and they immediately glazed over. I imagine such a reaction will be a common occurrence as soon as the average user hears/reads "Windows RT/ARM/Windows 8/Intel". Should be interesting to see how this one pans out...

[See also: 10 excellent iPhone and iPad and iPhone gadgets and accessories]

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4 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Sweet: Windows 8: Search Cornucopia

Search in Windows 8 is pretty darn spiffy. Basically, you can define all the apps you'd like Windows to use to perform a search that you specify from the charm bar. This way, the power of search is all consolidated to one handy location: whether you need to search for something on your computer, on Google, or elsewhere, it's all right there for you without having to click through various windows.

[See also: 10 Google search secrets]

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5 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Scary: Windows 8: App Fragmentation

Perhaps one of the most glaring inconsistencies I've seen in Windows 8 thus far is the discordance between Modern and desktop apps. The Skype app is a perfect example, in which you can have a "Windows 8 Modern UI" version installed, in addition to a desktop version. Both have completely different UIs and they run independently of one another. It's not really a big deal, until you get to things like installing Internet browsers. Because the installations are completely different, all the bookmarks and settings you have in, say, Chrome for Windows 8 will be completely separate from whatever you might do in the pre-existing version of Chrome that runs on pre-Windows 8 versions of Windows. Get ready to start picking and choosing!

[See also: 10 excellent iPhone and iPad and iPhone gadgets and accessories]

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6 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Sweet: Windows 8: File Transfer

FINALLY! Microsoft finally coded the ability to pause file transfers in Windows 8. Not only that, but they also included a real-time data transfer rate that shows how fast your files are transferring. Right now, this is one of my absolute favorite features of Windows 8!

[See also: 10 fascinating facts about the Internet and the Web]

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7 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Scary: Windows 8: Vendor App Woes

Many early adopters of Windows 8 are going to be sure to notice one thing for a while: vendors are going to need to either redesign their apps to function properly within the Windows 8 desktop environment, or they're going to need to re-code the app from scratch to work within the Modern UI. At the moment, there are quite a few apps that just aren't working properly on Windows 8. If you find that you're the victim of this, try running your app in compatability mode. That worked for me in one particular application, but I found that it still wasn't functioning quite right. Hopefully, vendor app woes will be worked out sooner rather than later.

[See also: 20 awesome office gadgets and must-haves]

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8 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Sweet: Windows 8: Task Manager is Amazing

For you power users out there, how many times have you wished you could see the specific processes that fell under every instance of SVCHost? Well, now you can! The new Task Manager in Windows 8 is nothing short of awesome. Another one of my favorite features is the "App History" tab, which allows you to see a snapshot of apps you've previously used, as well as other metrics about them, such as how much bandwidth they've taken up (finally, you can see how much data you've sapped from torrent downloading)! A very handy tool in Windows 8.

[See also: 10 epic Windows 7 pranks you absolutely must try]

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9 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Scary: Windows 8: No X-ing out of Modern Apps

One of my biggest gripes with Windows 8's Modern UI is the sheer amount of unused space by apps, as well as the lack of right-click functionality and application-close functionality (or "X-ing out" of an app). In this OS, you'd better quickly learn to use the myriad of shortcuts available to you, because you're going to need them. It's things like this that slap you squarely in the face to let you know that mouse and keyboard users were an afterthought in the development of Windows 8's usability.

[See also: How to make money online with YouTube: a comprehensive guide]

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10 of 10 Stephen Chapman/ZDNet

Sweet: Windows 8: Windows Key + Print Screen Key

If, like me, you're a screen shot freak and take them all the time, then you'll be beyond thrilled by the addition of the Windows key + Print Screen key combo! When pressing these two keys, Windows not only takes a screen shot for you, but it also goes ahead and saves it as well. No more Snipping Tool or pasting the screen shot into Paint or Photoshop just to save!

[See also: 10 fascinating facts about the Internet and the Web]

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