It's been over a month after the release of Windows 8 in late October, and while many of Virginia Tech’s students have been quick to upgrade, the transition to a new operating system will likely take longer for the university and other large organizations.
Windows 8's radical design changes have attracted some early adopters, but in the bigger scheme of things, the operating system is still being accepted the way new versions of Windows have in the past: slowly and steadily.
The biggest and most obvious change to the operating system is the Start screen. Filled with large, colorful rectangles related to various interests and apps, it blurs the line between desktop and mobile device. The screen has a bit of a learning curve to it, but it offers a much different way of interacting with Windows.
"I love the interface of it," said Alexa Small, a sophomore political science major. "It just looks so easy and consumer friendly."
Those who prefer the design of previous versions of Windows need not worry. The desktop format of Windows 8 is still a large part of the operating system, it's easy to switch to, and it looks very similar to Windows 7.
The whole interface is much more tablet friendly, which can be good news to Tech's large population of tablet laptop owners like Shree Sanyal, a freshman math major who started using Windows 8 a few weeks ago.
“I saw I could get it free from Tech, so I decided, ‘Why not?’” Sanyal said.
Sanyal is one of many students who is able to download a legitimate copy of Windows 8 through Tech's software distribution website. Through it, most students are able to download any of Windows' more recent editions of Office and Windows for free.
Andrew Long, a senior in mechanical engineering, took advantage of the opportunity and upgraded once he could. According to him, the new start screen took a little getting used to.
"It isn't so bad. It probably took me just a few days to get used to, so not long."
While the interface might be exciting, the introduction of a new operating system means related applications and functions will have to adapt. Apple has yet to release Boot Camp support for Windows 8, which means Mac users won’t be able to try a fully-functional Windows 8 just yet.
Even VT Wireless has been reported to have some compatibility problems with Windows 8, though VT WLAN still works well.
Despite its mixed reviews among tech blogs and early adopters, Windows 8 hasn’t quite grown enough to receive a measured response from the general public. The real impact of Windows 8 on the working world has yet to come.