Students struggle to adapt to Windows 8 software

Over the summer, Geneseo updated its computer operating system across campus to Windows 8. For some, the software update has been exciting, but for others it has proven to be an obstacle to their productivity. Junior Eric Meyer, an employee of Geneseo’s Computing and Information Technology department said, “I know it gets a bad rep, and people don’t like it. It’s originally designed to be for touch platforms, so it doesn’t really fit anywhere perfectly.”

Recent updates to the software have made it more accessible to the people using it.

“When they gave it the 8.1 update, it focused on issues that would make it more desktop friendly, which is the vast majority of Windows users,” Meyer said.

Sophomore Max Zintel said that the new update only adds time to his routine.

“Whenever I’m in the library, and I have to print something, it takes way longer than it did when the computers ran Windows 7,” Zintel said.

Both Zintel and Meyer agree that one of the major issues is education. Students simply aren’t taking the time to figure it out.

“A lot of the time, people don’t know how to get somewhere, the menu is very complicated and navigating it can be a nightmare for someone that is less savvy,” Zintel said.

“The biggest problem people have is they don’t take the time to figure it out,” Meyer said. “The start menu is gone which really throws people for a loop, but the new interface really isn’t a bad thing. A lot of the productivity stuff is really cool, such as the snap feature which allows you to view two windows side by side.”

For independent users, Windows 8 boot times are significantly faster than those in Windows 7, largely due to the fact that Windows 8 has been built from the ground up, whereas Windows 7 is the culmination of building upon six previous iterations. On a campus-wide scale, this fact becomes irrelevant as, when students log in to the Geneseo domain, it has to go through personal setup functions, which take time, and most computers are already booted.

Zintel added, “It’s also randomly glitchy and there can be problems that people can’t figure out.”

While students may be having issues, the update has made administrative and instructional processes smoother.

“Connecting laptops is easier now for dual screens,” Meyer said. “Professors can have one screen with a PowerPoint and another with their notes for lectures, or something else like presentations. It makes it smoother and cuts down significantly on set-up times.”

Meyer added that there is a CIT self-help wiki, located at wiki.geneseo.edu/display/cit/CIT+Self+Help.

“It includes everything you need to know about software here at Geneseo,” Meyer said. “Most of the problems that students come to us with, they could do themselves with the self-help document.”

Given that Windows 8 has just been implemented, it is unlikely that it will be replaced in the near future.

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