Gadget: Windows 8

For the speed alone, Windows 8 is a winner
For the speed alone, Windows 8 is a winner
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IT’S ALWAYS a nerve-wracking moment when a PC restarts after having had its intestines replaced and its brain fiddled with.

Windows 8

Online upgrade available for £24.99 or £49.99 on DVD;

I had to leave Windows 8 installing and head off to work as three hours after starting the process, it was still chugging away. The upgrade process finally finished after four hours and I was greeted by a garish multi-coloured futuristic vista of a background which I had to swipe with my mouse to enter my password.

With its constantly updating tiles, there’s no doubt that the new Windows start menu is pretty. I was informed by the Twitter tile that “omnishambles” was trending now and by the weather tile that I should pack my brolly for tomorrow. There’s an expanding, although slightly disappointing range of apps available to download as well.

The transition between the funky start screen and the usual desktop is clumsy. The start button’s been exterminated, so programs are either selected as Apps or from the taskbar. You have to hover in corners to pop-up menus, terrific if you’ve got a touchscreen but frankly rubbish if you don’t.

Thankfully Windows 8 is speedier than a startled water vole; even my semi-geriatric PC got going from a standing start in less than 20 seconds, and my usual graphic design programs like Photoshop were noticeably lag free.

For the special upgrade price of £24.99, it’s a bit of a no brainer. As long as you’ve got Windows 7 all your files and programs are transferred over, anything older, like Windows XP, and you’re likely to need to reinstall your applications. For the speed alone, Windows 8 is a winner.