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Relative Efficiency Discussion: Win8 and Win7

  1. #1


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP

    Relative Efficiency Discussion: Win8 and Win7


    This topic is not for general argument about the merits of Win8 and Win7. It also is not about what one should emphasize in forming a preference for Win8 or Win7. The topic also is not about the traits or personalities of those that post on our forums or their strong and weak points.

    This topic deals only with the relative efficiency of Win8 and Win7 in performing specified tasks
    . I am hoping that you will identify a task and attempt to assess the relative efficiency of Win8 and Win7 in performing the task. I suggest that you assume a single user and ignore the extra step in getting to the Win8 start screen (three steps--for example, power up, bypass first screen, and sign in) versus getting to the Win7 desktop (2 comparative steps--power up and sign in). I am starting the relative efficiency analysis by considering the simple task below. Assume the task begins on the desktop for Win7 and on the metro start screen for Win8. Throughout, for simplicity, I hope that you will work with efficiency as I have done for consistency--essentially defining efficiency in terms of steps.

    (1) In Win7 (starting on the desktop) (see second edit below), if I want to open a recent file in Word 2013 and subsequently open a recent file in Excel 2013, then I click on a Word taskbar shortcut and then click the file name on the Word start screen (2 steps). I then do the same with Excel (2 steps). Total steps = 4.

    (2) Under Win8 (starting on the metro start screen), if I want to do the same thing as fast as possible, then I click on the Word tile and click the file name (2 steps)(assuming I have arranged my start screen so that I don't have to scroll right to get to word--which would require an extra step). After doing so, I am on the desktop. From here, I click on an Excel taskbar shortcut and click on the file name (two steps). Total steps = 4. As an alternative, I could have gone initially from the start screen to the desktop, but I would have ended up with 5 steps.

    (3) And, if I had wanted to emphasize the metro interface, then, after opening the Word file in (2), I would access the charm bar, click the start screen, click on Excel, and click on the file name. This approach takes two more steps than if I had gone directly to the Excel taskbar shortcut as above when on the desktop. That means total steps = 6 (4 + 2).

    If I emphasize the first approach in (2), then neither OS has an efficiency advantage. If I emphasize the alternative in (2), then Win7 has an efficiency advantage by a small margin. If I emphasize (3), then Win 7 has a larger efficiency advantage.

    Feel free to extend my example by adding one or more tasks to my basic task. Also, I performed my task, under both systems, the way I would do them currently. If you have a more efficient way to perform my task under either OS, then please chime in. I am sort of a clunky user. And, finally, if I have made any task counting errors, then please let me know. I may make some edits in what I have said at time marches on. I will not intentionally make edits that will bias "things" in favor of one OS or the other.

    I hope this topic can be a fun and interesting one--without the acrimony that arises in many of our topics.

    I need a question. So, which is more efficient as judged on the basis of actual tasks performed by you--Win8 or Win7? Eventually, I will provide my own answer based on my understanding of what your say.

    Edit 1: I had an extra step under Win8 from the start menu. I revised my step counts accordingly.

    Edit 2: In carrying out the Win7 part of an efficiency analysis, it seems like it usually would be acceptable to use the Win8 desktop provided that you wouldn't need to use the Win7 start menu or have a good 3rd party substitute for it on Win8.
    Last edited by znod; 11 Jan 2013 at 17:44.

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  2. #2


    Posts : 1,925
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    This topic is not for general argument about the merits of Win8 and Win7.
    But I guarantee it will be.

    You do realize that Windows 8 has Jump Lists just like Windows 7 does, right?
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  3. #3


    Where did my Recent Items go in Windows 8? « Bennett Adelson Technical Blog

    Comparatively, seems to be the same amount of steps once configured (unless you are pushing for the "but I don't customise" logic)
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  4. #4


    USA, Idaho
    Posts : 1,062
    Win 8, (VM win7, XP, Vista)


    Hello znod,

    Good idea for a thread. So as to your first point:

    (1) In Win7 (starting on the desktop), if I want to open a recent file in Word 2013 and subsequently open a recent file in Excel 2013, then I click on a Word taskbar shortcut and then click the file name on the Word start screen (2 steps). I then do the same with Excel (2 steps). Total steps = 4.

    Not really sure why it would take four clicks. If I start out on the modern/start screen (after booting up) and have a need to start out in excel then it would be only one click to get to excel on the start screen. From there I am taken to excel on the desktop, and at that point there is no need to go back to the start screen if my task bar or my desktop contains all the necessary icons needed to go into other apps (unless you want to use one of the Win 8 apps from the app store).

    Also let me point out that you can use a "Dock." There are quite a few out there (Rocket Dock, Objective Dock, etc), there is also Stardock "Fences." With these once you are on the desktop you will not need to go to the Start Screen unless as stated before you are using one of the Win 8 apps.
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  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörður IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there
    In addition to this mix you should add using Ms Office 2013 with Windows 8 compared to Office 2010 in Windows 7 or even Office 2010 in Windows 8.

    I NEVER (or extremely rarely) ever use Office in Full screen mode - especially on large monitor(s).

    Unless you set it up right you need to get an extra keystroke in office 2013 to start in a normal "File view" in Windowed mode -- I invariably have several office documents of various types open concurrently either on one monitor or more.

    Excel 2013 can be set up to start open in File view mode (the classical desktop way) but it's a pain to find and set the option - and Office still flips back to "Metro mode" at times for reasons I still can't fathom - even though it probably is a User error caused by me.

    When sometimes I do something in Office 2013 -- don't know what and the wretched screen goes into Full screen Metro mode it's a real pain to get back to "Normal Windowed mode".


    I only use Office 2013 when I really have to for Work compatibility -- fortunately 99.9% of my stuff I can do with Office 2010 -- I just basically need LYNC from Office 2013 for our company's "Instant Chat" type of application. However even LYNC 2013 is a dog since the screen behaviour is so much different from Lync 2010 .

    There have been so many complaints about the wretchedness of LYNC 2013 that out company might return to LYNC 2010 which IMO was a host better and more usuable even if the rendering video was better in 2013 (H264 codec too).

    Ms seems to have set this app up to work like Facebook -- I wish Ms would realize that an Office environment isn't the same as teens and sub-teens messing around on Facebook.

    When I start EXCEL I want to see this type of menu -- not the Full screen Metro abomination. ( Note pic is from an XP Virtual machine running Office 2007 but the EXCEL start screen in 2010 is the same on W7 / W8)

    On W8 unless you mess around EXCEL 2013 gives this on start.

    Screen shots enc

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails xp.png   excel2013.png  
    Last edited by jimbo45; 11 Jan 2013 at 05:39.
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  6. #6


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by znod View Post
    This topic is not for general argument about the merits of Win8 and Win7.
    But I guarantee it will be.

    You do realize that Windows 8 has Jump Lists just like Windows 7 does, right?
    I agree that it likely that some will argue about the merits of Win8 and Win7 particularly those who don't read post #1 thoroughly enough or care what it says, etc. In regard to jump lists or other possibly more efficient ways of doing my task, I said above: "If you have a more efficient way to perform my task under either OS, then please chime in. I am sort of a clunky user." The idea here is that efficiency might get examined from the viewpoint of more and less efficient task performers. I would greatly appreciate it if you would show how to do my task using the most efficient way you see as being possible for each OS. In general, I think it is important for an OS to be efficient across a wide range of users, and not, for example, only the set of "superior" users.
    Last edited by znod; 11 Jan 2013 at 06:59.
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  7. #7


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by hugoboss View Post
    Where did my Recent Items go in Windows 8? « Bennett Adelson Technical Blog

    Comparatively, seems to be the same amount of steps once configured (unless you are pushing for the "but I don't customise" logic)
    I am pushing only for having things done as efficiently as possible per individual. Sometimes others may indicate how things could have been done more efficiently under one OS or the other. Interesting task you link. I didn't count the comparative steps either so I can't conclude anything about relative efficiency advantage if any. Maybe you could do some step counting to make sure how things turn out comparatively.
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  8. #8


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by Lee View Post
    Hello znod,

    (1) Good idea for a thread. So as to your first point:
    ....

    (2) Not really sure why it would take four clicks. If I start out on the modern/start screen (after booting up) and have a need to start out in excel then it would be only one click to get to excel on the start screen. From there I am taken to excel on the desktop, and at that point there is no need to go back to the start screen if my task bar or my desktop contains all the necessary icons needed to go into other apps (unless you want to use one of the Win 8 apps from the app store).

    (3) Also let me point out that you can use a "Dock." There are quite a few out there (Rocket Dock, Objective Dock, etc), there is also Stardock "Fences." With these once you are on the desktop you will not need to go to the Start Screen unless as stated before you are using one of the Win 8 apps.
    Thanks much WRT (1) above. On (2), I woke up realizing I had an extra click when starting from the metro start screen. I edited for this mistake this morning before seeing your post. Thanks for reading carefully. On (3), even without a "Dock," as I understand you, my step counts on my first Win8 alternatives allowed for not going back to the start screen given use of Word and Excel. Please let me know if you don't understand what I am getting at.

    The thing you mention about using a metro app is important--the possibility of using one of the metro apps and going back to the start screen after, say, doing what I mention with Word. You could try to analyze such a case. In doing so, though, you'd have to come up with a way to get the same metro-app task done in Win7.
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  9. #9


    Posts : 2,156
    Win7 Ult on DIY; Win8 Pro on MBP/Parallels; Win7 Ult on MBP/Boot Camp; Win7 Ult/Win8 Pro on HP


    Quote Originally Posted by jimbo45 View Post
    Hi there
    In addition to this mix you should add using Ms Office 2013 with Windows 8 compared to Office 2010 in Windows 7 or even Office 2010 in Windows 8. ...

    Cheers
    jimbo
    Your post contains interesting thoughts and ideas. But, the "you" word is used above. I have done my task, although I may do some more over time if my topic persists for awhile. I am not going to try to analyze all the tasks that others think might be analyzed. Life is too long for that. I am hoping others will do some task analysis in relation to getting things they think are important. done. Even simple tasks are a lot of work to analyze.
    Last edited by znod; 11 Jan 2013 at 06:57.
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  10. #10


    the pin to taskbar option is highly attractive too ...
    Pin Excel or Word or adobe etc to taskbar, right click that pinned icon, and your recent (in context) docs are all there ...
    If taskbar visible, 2 clicks, done.
    If not, WIN+T, then go.
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