With the gift of a new laptop, my opinions on Windows 8 have radically changed.

Disclaimer: I've not been the most positive about the changes that Windows 8 has bought us in the past but that has all changed this weekend.

Old thoughts on Windows 8

Before I got my little present, my primary use of Windows 8 was on my desktop PC which had ran Windows 7 like a champ since I built it. On that desktop, Metro apps seemed (to me) to be a complete waste of my 1080p screen and there has been little perceivable speed boost in the jump to 8 (but that is testament to how well Windows 7 ran, not a knock on 8).

So what changed my opinions then?

My wife bought me a modestly specced laptop last Friday. An Acer Aspire V5-171 with an Intel Core i3-3217u @ 1.9GHz, 8GB's of ram, 500GB HDD and the built in Intel HD 4000 GPU. Windows 8 runs blazingly on this and easily keeps up with my desktop for general usage (Phenom x4 840 @ 3.6GHz, 8GB's of RAM and an Nvidia 550Ti).

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My Start Screen

The first thing I noticed is that I absolutely love using Metro apps on the smaller screen. Having two metro apps running side by side on the laptop, snugly nestled together is perfect and seems far more efficient to set up compared to manually moving Windows in desktop mode, just drag and snap, simple! Either with my Twitter feed or gMusic streaming my Google Music Library whilst browsing in IE seems perfect, but the cherry on the cake is the gestures!

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IE and gMusic

Swipe from the left to flip between Metro apps and the Desktop, swiping from the top to bring up tabs in IE or from the right anywhere to see the charms menu, it all makes perfect sense once you get used to it. It's also far better than doing it with a mouse (IMO).

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Desktop mode with Chrome and Twitter.

All I can say is I'm very thankful to my wife for the Laptop and to experience Windows 8 in such a way that I have now. I've seen a lot of people say Windows 8 is really geared for tablets (and using Splashtop on my Nexus 4 and iPad, I can see the benefits W8 bought to those), I've got to admit that I didn't expect to see some of the improvements Windows 8 bought, even to non-touch based laptops compared to Windows 7 (it's gotten to the point where I actually MISSED Windows 8 on my Windows 7 powered work PC today - A prospect I'd never thought before last Friday!). I've even fallen a bit more for the Metro start screen.

I know this post is most likely preaching to the converted but I'm really looking forward to see where 8.1 takes us now and am enjoying this brave new world in Windows 8. A lot of my criticisms have now been annulled thanks to my experiences with it on this little machine. The only thing I'm seriously considering now is an SSD upgrade on the laptop to squeeze a little more performance out of it.

Microsoft: All of that initial negativity I had with Windows 8, can I take it back?

Chaz - A Windows 8 convert.