You are here:

Update on Windows 8 -- 2nd Review

Hello there fellow readers, as promised in an earlier blog I told you that I would get back to you all on Windows 8.

At the same time that Windows 8 was released Jaws for Windows had also made its release to version 14.0.

In actual fact I ended upgrading my Jaws before installing Windows 8 in its upgrade mode.  I figured that it wasn't worth reformatting my drive, and doing a fresh install of Windows 8, since everything was going fine and well with Windows 7.

When you purchase the CD of Windows 8 Professional you are actually getting the full copy of Windows 8, but if you choose to run the installation under an earlier version of Windows, then you will actually install Windows 8 in upgrade mode, which means that your old Windows directory will be under Windows.old, while the new Windows 8 will have the new folder under Windows in the main folder of your hard drive.

Running the Windows upgrade installer was extremely easy, and one just has to follow the prompts which will guide you through the installation process.

After the installation was complete, I was guided through the set up wizard to set up my network settings, and my name and so on.

After everything was complete, I got an error from Jaws stating that I needed to re-install Jaws over again, and wouldn't you know it, my system actually froze, and crashed.

What I didn't realize was that I wasn't supposed to run the installation using Jaws 14.0.  In fact I was actually told by the folks at Freedom Scientific that I should have not installed Jaws 14.0 in the first place before running the upgrade.  I quickly answered back to the technician at Freedom Scientific, "how was I supposed to know this?" There wasn't any documentation stating that you were not supposed to run the installation using Jaws 14.0.  I quickly got a response from the technician that they were working on a new build of Jaws which is supposed to resolve this issue.  In the meantime if anyone is thinking of upgrading to Windows 8, simply don't install Jaws 14.0 before doing so.  You can use Narrator and run the upgrade installation that way for the moment until the folks at Freedom Scientific clean up their act and release a new build which they told me is supposed to be sometime this month.

What I can tell you from experience, about Windows 8, is the following:

1. The Start menu has completely been eliminated, giving the user a new screen called "the home screen,"  Not to worry though, Jaws and other screen users do have access to this menu by simply pressing the windows key on their keyboard.  Alternatively one could press Control plus the escape key.

Navigating the home screen is extremely simple.  One need only press the Windows key, and simply type in the search box the application they wish to launch, or another menu they wish to go to such as the Control Panel.

However, if one doesn't want to enter a search in the edit box, you could use your arrow keys to navigate the menu itself.  From what I have been able to understand in all of this is that the home screen menu is arranged in rows and columns.

2. The desktop is still there, and one only need press Windows+M, or Windows+D, to go to this part of the system.  Incidentally if one wants to shut or restart the Windows operating system, one only need press Alt+F4, to get to a list of choices.  I have not yet figured another way in which to shut down Windows 8, as this option doesn't seem to be available in the home screen.

3. Launching Windows Explorer is still done by holding down the Windows key and press in the letter E.

You will find that navigating the list of drives hasn't changed compared to that of Windows 7.

However this is where the problem arises. If one gets in to the main hard drive, and tries to delete a folder, they are given a message that the folder access is denied, and you actually need to get in to the properties of the folder to apply a rule in the security tab to allow you to delete the folder.  This is somewhat of a pain if you ask me, but I guess its Microsoft's way of giving you the best in security features.

Well, that's about all for now, as I'm still learning more and more each day about this new release of Windows from Microsoft.  If I come across anything, I will definitely keep you all informed.

What I can tell you is that because of the new start up system implemented by Microsoft, which is called "Fast start up," your system will restart in about 12, to 15 seconds depending on the system you are using when restarting, or after shutting down your system, and starting it up.  A Pentium I7 will definitely accomplish this.  A great feature if you ask me that Microsoft has implemented.


This blog is curated by the AEBC, but welcomes contributions from members and non-members alike. The thoughts, views, and opinions expressed in the Blind Canadians Blog are those of the contributing authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the AEBC, its members, or any of its donors and partners.
ZZ - Disregard this link; it is used to trick spammers.