Can Windows 8 Save Microsoft?Shon Sullivan writes:

Hi, Chris. I have been following your vlog recently after being reintroduced to you during your visit at Ignite-U. I had originally followed you back in the days when you were mainly a software junkie.

Understandably, everyone has their opinions large and small — I am no exception. I value the insight expressed in your vlogs; your message is loud and clear, prompting me to ask questions before I buy — more so today than the past. I have always been a shoot-from-the-hip purchaser, usually regretting my purchase just days if not weeks later because 1) it didn’t live up to the hype 2) has missing features [why didn’t the developers include this, or why does it do that when it could do this?] 3) damn I knew I should have purchased that other device.

I have been an avid Gateway computer users for years, purchasing my first PC — a Gateway Pentium 60 MHz Tower (what a tank) — back 20 plus years ago. Over only the past five years, I’ve decided to purchase OEM hardware and build myself my systems from scratch.

I have had three Gateway laptops over the years and opted for the last two to be convertibles, which still work today — albeit with very loose swivel knuckle assemblies for the convertible / tablet experience. I purchased a Motion Tablet when they were the rage — and about 18 months back I got an Iconia Tab W500 without actually checking the device beforehand — I had to have it.

I have never purchased any Apple products or hardware, and frankly would rather it be given to me as a gift. I have gone as far as putting it on Christmas lists and birthday wishes for the past few years with no luck.

So, now that you have a bit of history, why do I continue to use Windows products when I have experienced the Apple iOS? I believe it is mainly cost. The truth is that, when I first got into computers, the ugly Apple IIe was on the market. I remember playing simple text-based adventures on the Apple IIe in junior high, but nothing more. I simply wasn’t impressed, and never gave any Apple product a second glance because of my experiences from the ’80s and ’90s.

So here I was, knowing how powerful the iPad has become, refusing to buy one — or even an Android tablet alternative from any number of manufacturers out there — and I ended up getting a Windows tablet regardless of what I have heard, read, or known from experience.

I purchased the Iconia Tab W500… and what a disappointment. On it, Windows 7 was horrible. My number one complaint: an un-responsive touch interface. I could press buttons over and over and not get the different browsers I installed — IE, Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, etc. — to work half the time. Storage capacity was just shy of 10 GB remaining after all the productivity tools I wanted were installed, including the OS. Games from Facebook, like WildTangent, ran so horribly that I just was beside myself with how a product like this could have made it to market. So I learned to live with it and remain patient as I fumbled through using Chrome to access Gmail, Google Calendar, and Google Drive. I even installed BlueStacks, thinking that I might be able to use some of the Android apps I am accustomed to on my phone; that wasn’t a good experience, either.

In came Windows 8.

I have read your posts on LockerGnome, your blog, and watched your videos and vlogs (among others) on YouTube to get an idea of what I might expect from Windows 8. The Surface was a complete disaster based on your own commentary — and I completely agree.

So I was left completely discouraged that my Windows 8 experience wouldn’t be any better than Windows 7 on my W500. All I had to do was bite the bullet and risk another $40. What could be worse? Nothing, really. I already had a junker of a tablet with Windows 7. I could only go uphill from there is how I saw it.

After demoing a Lenovo Twist (the airbag technology to keep the mechanic HDD safe was a joke, it had screen brightening issues, and auto-rotate unresponsiveness most of the time), I ended up installing Windows 8 over this last week on my W500 tablet. I am completely happy with this decision. It has turned my flailing piece of crap W500 into a tablet that it should have been when it came off the assembly line.

I am completely surprised by the tablet’s new responsiveness and ease of use. I easily have 13 GB free on a 32 GB SSD, and that is after installing additional apps (a count of 40 or more apps in total, including the defaults) from the Microsoft Store. Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, and even WildTangent’s Bejeweled, which ran horribly on the W500 with Windows 7, run flawlessly on Windows 8. So, for whatever it might be worth, my recent Windows 8 upgrade from Windows 7 was in fact probably my best purchase to date. Sure, I have a few issues, such as I can’t use Snap on Windows 8 because of screen resolution and I have yet to find a workaround that will allow me to use auto-screen-rotate again, but this is now a working tablet that has benefited greatly from an upgrade to Windows 8. Did Microsoft do something right? It is all a matter of opinion, but I would encourage anyone who hasn’t tried Windows 8 to do so; regrettably I did this at the 11th hour and can’t tell enough people before the sale ends this month — but, wow, I am very pleased.