While the Windows 8 environment is pretty sparse as far as sophisticated apps goes (more about that later) the beauty and the brilliance of the Windows 8 Pro for Intel operating system is that it is also an exact duplicate of the Windows 7 environment. All of my Windows 7 programs and data files and records are fully usable and the only difference is that those applications also now take swipe gestures. So I can use my old Windows Office word processing files, my excel files, powerpoint, database, etc. just as if I was still on my old Windows 7 computer. Except they all function a LOT faster.
All I had to do was add a START button to the 'desktop' (the Windows 7 look-alike environment) and I might think I was using my old computer. When I want to try a Windows 8 app I just click the Windows 8 icon and I'm in a flick and swipe world. This gives me what I need to be productive, while the Windows 8 applications 'catch up' to the market place.
About that lack of sophistication in Windows 8 apps. It's not that Windows 8 is lacking; it's that the producers of the apps haven't gotten up to speed yet to fill the market with fully functioning Windows 8 apps. Here's an example:
I was using the Amazon.com app to search for something I wanted to buy. When I thought I'd found it I wanted to compare it to what I had bought previously. So I clicked the Amazon.com "history" link. Woah!!!! Obviously the designers of the Amazon app haven't gotten around to programming that yet, because I was jumped out of the Windows 8 environment, into the Windows 7 desktop environment, then my Windows 7 Chrome browser opened up, and it went to the Amazon.com website, opened my account, and went to my purchase history page. All of that happened transparently, but it was only done because the Windows 8 app hasn't been finished yet. Sort of like a Beta 1.5 version. You know; the 1.2 "we fixed the bugs!" version is out, now we're gonna work on all those other little nasty's we haven't finished yet version.
Some applications are really, really sad and woefully inadequate. Take Skype for instance. Using the Windows 7 version we have a fully functioning application with tweaking options for video enhancement, audio testing, nice little avatars for our friends pictures, etc. Use the Windows 8 version and you basically have a white screen with blank tiles with your friends names (no pics), no audio settings, no video settings, no way to edit your profile, etc. This version is not only a "not ready for primetime" version, it's not even worthy of being called a beta version.
But all that is up to the marketplace to catchup with the apps. The Windows 8 operating system is solid, fast, and fully functional.
One other thing that I have found most people don't realize, and even the question posed in this forum doesn't clarify, is that there are 3 different Windows 8 operating systems: Windows 8 for the Microsoft Surface tablets; Windows 8 RT for the tablets with Atom processors, and Windows 8 Pro for laptops, netbooks, and desktops running Intel chips. The first 2 are strictly tablet "consumption device" operating systems. Forget about doing productivity applications on those. The Windows 8 Pro is a wonderful full operating system that smoothly and fluidly grandfathers all the old applications and software, into a new future looking operating system that will handle what the designers throw at it. When they get "up to speed". This is the time to get on board to get familiar with the system and be prepared when that time comes.
Looking for great gifts under $100?
Trendy tech gifts don't require a hefty price tag. Choose from these CNET-recommended useful and high-quality gadgets.