Most people that know me are probably surprised to see me post something positive about Microsoft or Windows. I am a believer in, and advocate of, GNU/Linux and open source. That has not changed. I still use open source systems almost all the time.
However, I am not, and never have been, anti-Microsoft. And I believe in giving credit where credit is due. I still have many clients that use Microsoft operating systems all the time. And, I still have systems that run versions of Windows going back to Windows 2 on an original IBM PC/XT. I have done upgrades, on at least one of my systems and many client systems, to every version of Windows that has been released.
Recently, I bought a new Toshiba laptop to take a primary place in my daily use systems. The laptop came with Windows 7, which I also have on a desktop system, and offered a low cost upgrade to Windows 8 Pro when it was released. Since I already had a system with Windows 7, I intended to use the new laptop to get acquainted with the Windows 8 upgrade procedure and the Windows 8 operating system.
Having been through Windows upgrades that have gone, let's say, far short of smoothly, I kept two days open in my schedule to devote to the upgrade. On the designated day, I went to the Windows 8 upgrade site and began the procedure.
The online upgrade adviser program recommended that I uninstall a couple of programs and then directed me to Toshiba's site to get other recommendations. I followed the recommendations and began the process, fully expecting to have issues. I removed the recommended programs and downloaded and ran the install files for Windows 8. Then I used the Toshiba Upgrade Assistant to reinstall the programs and drivers that had been removed prior to the upgrade.
Total time from start to having the system ready to use: 2 hours and 43 minutes. And, it only needed input from me about 30 minutes! To say that I was impressed would be a major understatement.
But, I still had not configured or tested the external devices that I often need. I was not ready to give the upgrade a green light yet. Experience has shown that very often the external items; like USB drives, printers, scanners, projectors, and so forth; are where the real trouble starts. Many of the items that I have are no longer in production and the drivers have not been updated for new operating systems.
I will just tell you, to keep this from getting too long, of the 40+ items that I tried only 12 needed drivers that I had to search for. That is a record! Better yet, there were only 3 that I was not successful with that same day.
Less than 10 hours after I started, I was done with the upgrade and with installation of most of my devices.
I have to admit that I was surprised at how easy the overall process was. This is as close to an ideal upgrade as I have seen in a commercial operating system. Well done Microsoft!
With all that said, I will have some comments about the Windows 8 user experience in a future post. For now, I will say that there are things I really like and things I really do not like. So far, the things I like outnumber the things I do not like.