Is Windows 8 good for Business Users, esp. Quants?

· IMHO, Programming

Being member of the MSDN, I just installed and tested the new Windows 8, Office 2013 and Visual Studio 2012. The step in MS Windows evolution is actually quite big and in the following, you find my first impression.


The installation on my Asus laptop was smooth and took about 30 minutes. I could not upgrade my windows 7 because I wanted to switch from 32 Bit to 64 Bit. So, I am left with a clean installation. Windows found most drivers without even telling me. But, a few laptop specific functions like my function key “fn” and “+ sound volume” do not work.


All my programs worked without large issues. The small things I noticed:

  • Navigation is all different: Users are often confronted with a full screen without any choices or options. They are often available pointing into one of the screen edges.
  • “Start” is gone from the desktop and thus it is sometimes hard to find the programs and tools you need.
  • “.NET 3.5” is  not installed – installing it manually was no problem (otherwise my MS Excel plugins did not work).
  • Drag and drop does not work with the new VLC.

Features, Look and Feel

  • The look and feel is all different. Windows 8 feels fresh and clear.
  • New features like external data versioning of “My Documents” are great.
  • The UI is designed for a touch interface and keyboard. Using the keyboard only feels awkward.
  • Metro Apps, Office 2013 Apps, the Webstore integration and the question for a Microsoft account everywhere (e.g. starting Visual Studio 2012 with JavaScript) give you the feeling of being monitored.
  • The permanent online style together with hidden technical details destroys the feeling I had in previous Windows versions that you know at least to some extend where your data is and what is done with it. Now, everything is in the cloud…


The new Windows 8 will change the way of working. My impression is the even quants will have to learn JavaScript for creating useful UIs within Windows and MS Excel. Collaboration using Sharepoint or Skydrive is a lot easier and loosing data seems to be a lot harder.

Even though Windows 8 requires learning many new UI concepts, I like it. Integrating all business workflows with Apps and standard web technology is the right way to go.


Comments RSS
  1. Kevin McDonald (@i001962)

    Nice post. I can imagine an open source JavaScript project that is similar to R coming into being thanks to Office Apps.

    The sounds on this video isn’t working but I think you and your readers will get the idea i.e. now within Excel we can run any Javascript library including those from and others. The visualization options are quite exciting too.

    The web world and it’s pros&cons are now in the desktop world. I think it’s a good thing but we’ll need to be careful with sensitive information that is often in Office docs.

    • Andreas Grau

      I totally agree. This is a cool video!

      Thanks for sharing!

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