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Meet the Windows of the future

[UPDATE 1 ] Tues. 2/29/2012 10:03 a.m.
Windows 8 Consumer Preview (a beta build) is now officially live on Microsoft's servers, so get ready for the rush.  Travel here to get it.
Windows Chief Steven Sinofsky at the unveil event stated, "We are really excited to be here. This is a day that's been long in coming for the Windows team. I just got a picture of the operations center where they're getting ready for the downloads. They've been up since 3 AM."
Let's hope they're ready -- in 2009 a similar beta of Windows 7 saw so much demand that it crashed Microsoft's servers.  It was all for a good cause, though -- the beta process found and fixed 2,000 bugs in Windows 7 and proved a key part of its record-smashing commercial success.  Microsoft hopes to recapture that success with Windows 8.
If you download it and try it, be sure to leave a comment letting us know what you think.

A crucial step in the road towards the launch of Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) next commercial personal computer operating system is set to be taken in just minutes or perhaps hours from now.  Microsoft will unveil a public beta of Windows 8 to the world.  It is pitching the beta both to consumers and to businesses, who might not have jumped onboard the earlier MSDN/TechNet preview builds.

The new OS brings a slew of improvements including a developer-friendly 20-80 Microsoft-developer split for high-grossing apps, less painful Windows Update processfaster bootsdecreased OS resource consumption, and improved file transfers, a streamlined upgrade process for the initial installation, and switching to a primarily online sales distribution model.

Like Apple, Inc.'s (AAPL) forthcoming Mountain Lion, Microsoft is pushing hard to "appify" traditional programs, bringing them in line with smartphone apps in terms of app store distribution, icons, and interfaces.  Microsoft is also pushing its SkyDrive -- its cloud storage scheme.

Metro Apps in Windows  8
A slew of Metro Ui apps in Windows 8 [Image Source: The Verge]

The new Windows 8 beta is being launched in Barcelona, Spain, at a 2012 Mobile World Congress event.  The location is appropriate given that Microsoft's new operating system heavily focuses on tablets, for the first time.

Ahead of the launch, some of the built in wallpapers have leaked via r27, an Italian website.  You can grab the 23.6 MB package from here.

WallPaper 1 Wallpaper2 Wallpaper 3 Wallpaper 4 Wallpaper 5 
Wallpaper 6 Wallpaper 7
(Click to enlarge)

The entire Windows 8 download (X64) is expected to be a bit under 3 GB.

Update: The X64 download is 3.3 GB for the English version, while the 32-bit version is 2.5 GB.

Microsoft has published a guide [PDF] for business.  It suggests how business can put Windows 8 on a USB stick for quick and painless managed boots at remote locations.  Given current USB stick capacities have reached 128 GB, it shouldn't be hard to squeeze a managed copy of Windows 8 on there, space-wise.  

Microsoft's business guide also brags about SmartScreen Application Reputation, a feature that screens downloads.  When you go to open a download, if it is a suspect file type and not from a trusted source a warning is given suggesting the user to abort.

The new OS should go live shortly, we will post a link when it does.

Remember, you can install the new operating system as a fully bootable operating system on a single-boot or multi-boot configuration, or more convenient pop it in a virtual machine like VMWare, Inc.'s (VMW) VMWare Workstation.

Sources: The Verge, r27

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By jeepga on 2/29/2012 9:28:19 AM , Rating: 1
I've been casually following the development of Windows 8. I can see where this will be great for tablets, but I just don't see anything compelling. Am I missing something?

RE: meh
By borismkv on 2/29/2012 9:30:36 AM , Rating: 5
Native ISO mounting and Hyper-V will be useful, but the Metro UI is completely retarded when you have to use a mouse.

RE: meh
By quiksilvr on 2/29/2012 11:32:02 AM , Rating: 2
Actually, I would have preferred the Metro UI to be the desktop background and have the TaskDock on the bottom at all times, and just have an option to hide it completely if need be.

That way for desktop/laptop users, you can see what apps are running at all times, the time, the status of software on the bottom right, and, if need be, click Start for more complex actions.

RE: meh
By mmc4587 on 2/29/2012 3:15:10 PM , Rating: 2
1. The Metro Style UI is very easy to disable: MetroController

2. Win_8 has several significant improvements over Win_7:
...Start-up times are quicker
...the RAM footprint is smaller
...the anti-Virus is built in

RE: meh
By borismkv on 2/29/2012 4:40:55 PM , Rating: 2
Having to use a 3rd party utility or registry tweak to disable something does not count as "Very Easy"

RE: meh
By jvillaro on 2/29/2012 6:45:43 PM , Rating: 2
Tell that to Android users that really like their devices after "only" rooting and loading a custom ROM :)

RE: meh
By kensiko on 2/29/2012 5:05:17 PM , Rating: 3
thanks for the metrocontroller tip

RE: meh
By JasonMick on 2/29/2012 9:39:09 AM , Rating: 3
I've been casually following the development of Windows 8. I can see where this will be great for tablets, but I just don't see anything compelling. Am I missing something?

It will be faster, use less memory, and have a cleaner update process... both nice improvements over Win7.

Built in app store, is great if you're a developer.

Even as a consumer, you should have much broader access to apps -- like Steam, but on a broader scale.

There's a lot of new stuff, don't write it off so soon. It looks at least on par with Win7 in terms of iterative improvements.

RE: meh
By Sazabi19 on 2/29/2012 1:03:06 PM , Rating: 4
I've had a developer copy for a few months now and I wasn't really all that impressed with it. Win7 update process never seemed invasive to me, and I have 12 gigs so the running a little leaner doesn't mean much to me. The start button is annoying as hell and keeps bringing me back to the stupid app menu, do not like that at all. All of my traditional options are gone, not even a "(My)Computer" or anything of that nature, just the annoying little folder that you click to open file browsing. A lot of Win7 drivers can be used on Win8 (found that out from my Auzentech soundcard that doesn't have dirvers for 8). Overall I have to say I did not like the developer copy and didn't use it much. Maybe they switched some stuff up for the Beta, but if it stays the way it is I honestly don't like it and think I won't move to Win8. 7 is great and unless I see some real gains on my side (XP-->7) then I won't do it. I don't know about "faster" either, not saying it's not, but on a clean OS install I boot in about 15 seconds, I have my OS SSD and then storage/program drives. I don't honestly see a lot businesses moving towards this either, and I can see this being a technicians nightmare.

RE: meh
By ShaolinSoccer on 2/29/2012 2:05:20 PM , Rating: 3
I've had a developer copy for a few months now and I wasn't really all that impressed with it.

I feel the same way. Not sure why someone rated you down but it's been a major headache trying to use it. Not to mention it's a resource hog. Maybe the consumer preview will be a lot better?

RE: meh
By B3an on 3/3/2012 11:34:24 AM , Rating: 2
A faster, lighter OS that uses less memory and has less processes running is a resource hog? Riiiight. Even if you disable Metro it has zero effect on resources.

RE: meh
By Mitch101 on 2/29/2012 2:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
Just turn it off if you dont like it.

1. Open regedit by typing regedit at the Start screen.

2. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Curren tVersion\Explorer

3. Modify the RPEnabled key to a “0” instead of the default “1”.

4. To return to the Metro UI, just change the value back to a “1”.

RE: meh
By Sazabi19 on 2/29/2012 2:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
It wasn't just that, did you use it at all? If you did then you know what I am talking about when I say I also hated the old "Start" menu. If you click it then you go straight back to the Metro UI and it is just a huge pain. I didn't play with the registry or anything like that though. I also had a hard time trying to find a button in the actual OS to turn off the computer. I could only find it when I logged off. It's not that it just wasn't devoped yet, it was an alpha, I get that, it's just that it looks so poorly designed that the actual desktop experience and making it scale well for being managed (enterprise) is either an afterthought or just non existant. I support an enterprise of 10,000+ users and we are about to migrate to Win7, this is fine because it is easy to manage, I do not see anything happening with Win8 unless this beta and/or the final retail version are drastically better than the dev copy.

RE: meh
By Mitch101 on 3/1/2012 10:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
Your using an old Windows 8 release because the start is no longer there IE is where the start button was so there is NO START to click on any more you hit the windows key to get to the metro interface.

Let me solve 99% of your navigation issues with 6 Tips.

ALT+F4 to close an application
ALT+Tab to switch between open applications
WINDOWS button to get back into metro gui
Click DESKTOP TILE to get to the familiar desktop
JUST START TYPING and windows will find the application and or document you are looking for.
To Shutdown just touch your power button which will start the shutdown process.
Along the bottom you will see a slider you can drag to move the window view if its larger than your screen can display.

All of the above have been built into Windows for a very long time with the exception of Just Type which I think started in Vista and let windows find what your looking for.

Microsoft recently released the Kinect for the PC and I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of the navigation could be done by waiving gestures in the air as if it was a tablet.

RE: meh
By Mitch101 on 3/1/2012 10:14:04 AM , Rating: 2
I thought so - Kinect for Windows 8

This should solve the navigation through the metro interface.

RE: meh
By 91TTZ on 2/29/2012 4:39:35 PM , Rating: 2
All of my traditional options are gone, not even a "(My)Computer" or anything of that nature, just the annoying little folder that you click to open file browsing

I noticed that the trick I use in Windows Server 2008 R2 works on this. If you go to Search and type in "show desktop icons" you'll get a hit which enables you to change the icons on your desktop.

RE: meh
By jvillaro on 2/29/2012 6:47:31 PM , Rating: 2
The CP presented today is leaps and bounds more usable and has way more features. I mean it was a developer preview

RE: meh
By Sazabi19 on 2/29/2012 1:06:25 PM , Rating: 2
Oh hey Mick, I forgot to ask, do you know if it is possible to update the dev copy to this Beta or does it need to be a fresh install?

RE: meh
By PrezWeezy on 2/29/2012 1:39:28 PM , Rating: 2
They always want you to do a fresh install on pre-release versions because of stability and upgrading the old pre-releases is not their focus. Some people have been able to hack around it and upgrade, but it's not the preferred method. You should do a format/reinstall for each beta version.

RE: meh
By Sazabi19 on 2/29/2012 1:40:41 PM , Rating: 2
Figured as much, already grabbed the .iso, was just wondering if anyone knew for certain. it's only like 10 or 15ish minutes, not bad. Thanks for the info.

RE: meh
By Gnarr on 2/29/2012 2:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
there is no problem doing an upgrade from the developer preview. It does a clean install but keeps your files.

RE: meh
By jeepga on 2/29/2012 2:19:53 PM , Rating: 3
Those are certainly nice enhancements and bug fixes. But, those things aren't all that compelling unless you're coming from Windows XP or Vista.

As a developer I'm not all that excited about being herded to a single source selling model (app store). I understand that it certainly can be beneficial to certain breeds of developers. As far as I know we're not being forced yet.

I like the Metro interface, but not for the desktop. I think their strategy of designing to the lowest common denominator is flawed. Desktops/laptops have different advanced features than tablets/phones, so a one-size fits all mentality will come at the expense of one or the other. We still have the desktop as an option, but I've been in the Microsoft camp long enough to know that it'll get starved.

RE: meh
By Reclaimer77 on 2/29/2012 9:34:06 PM , Rating: 3
But Windows 7 is clearly made for desktop use. Windows 8 might have some great features, but I can tell you right now from what I've seen, Windows 7 users have absolutely NO reason to upgrade to 8.

To use Windows 8 to the fullest you need a touch screen monitor. And I'm just really NOT sold that those are ever going to be more than a gimmick.

RE: meh
By Skywalker123 on 3/1/2012 11:52:18 PM , Rating: 2
You're an idiot, go ahead and upgrade from windows 95

RE: meh
By Valahano on 3/2/2012 10:53:53 AM , Rating: 2
Skywalker13, well said. Now go back to your cave.

RE: meh
By MikadoWu on 2/29/2012 9:46:29 AM , Rating: 2
Most complaints I here is about having to use a mouse. I believe and from information spoken in certain circles, we are going to start seeing a huge push towards Touch screen desktop next year.

Question is more will they be able to produce enough glass.

RE: meh
By Makaveli on 2/29/2012 10:29:33 AM , Rating: 5
I already hate dealing fingers prints on my touchscreen phone.

Now I have to deal with that on my desktop display no thanks!

RE: meh
By MrBlastman on 2/29/2012 1:55:41 PM , Rating: 5
Fingerprints on the monitor do not just bother me, they piss me off. The last thing I want is my daughter with her mac n cheese covered hands groping on the screen to select things on the internet. I love my daughter but, well, I love my monitor being tidy too. I want to look at the internet when I use it, not mac and cheese stains. :)

RE: meh
By rburnham on 2/29/2012 10:55:48 AM , Rating: 1
Acer has a nice 23 inch touch screen monitor for sale that people seem to enjoy. I would imagine we will see more of this. Touch on the desktop will probably be a secondary method of interacting with your computer. We'll probably use the touch screen to browse programs, then touch the icon of the software we want to run, like a game, and then we'll use the mouse and keyboard as usual. It's gimmicky, but kind of neat.

RE: meh
By borismkv on 2/29/2012 11:18:56 AM , Rating: 3
Ick. I don't think I could stand having a touchscreen monitor hooked up to my desktop. It'd be useful on a laptop (can't stand the freaking touchpad mouse on laptops) but a desktop would be just annoying to use with a touchscreen.

RE: meh
By ShaolinSoccer on 2/29/2012 2:14:00 PM , Rating: 2
but a desktop would be just annoying to use with a touchscreen.

Not to mention it would be a strain on your body/arms if you had to do it for long periods of time. Wouldn't be so bad on an angled table, though...

RE: meh
By Nexos on 2/29/2012 3:02:00 PM , Rating: 2
Not to mention it would be a strain on your body/arms if you had to do it for long periods of time.


A technology freak friend of mine bought a 15" touchscreen back in 1999 for a crapload of money and I got to try it out. Web and Windows navigation was ok, but playing Starcraft (which worked reasonably well with touch screen input) or doing any real work for more than 15mins made my arms hurt like hell. quote

RE: meh
By 91TTZ on 2/29/2012 4:44:35 PM , Rating: 2
Due to the way the desktop sits on the desk, it won't make much sense to have a touch screen desktop. With a keyboard and mouse your arms get to rest on your desk which makes it easier. Imagine having to hold your arms up all the time to type on the thing.

On a tablet or phone the device is in your hands so it's natural to touch the screen that way.

RE: meh
By ShaolinSoccer on 2/29/2012 6:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
They should just stick to the old Windows formula. At least give us an option to go back and forth from regular Windows to the new UI. And when I say "regular Windows", I mean just that. The entire OS turns off all the running apps from Metro. Kind of like how you can have more than one 'profile' for what programs/services you want running for each account.

RE: meh
By Reclaimer77 on 2/29/2012 9:51:14 PM , Rating: 2
Touch screen monitors aren't practical for another reason besides fingerprints, viewing distance. I really can't see people sitting a large LCD right up to their face to the point that they can easily reach it. Hell I only have a 32" and there's just no way I would want it any closer to me than I already have it. As it stands my desk has a special shelf for the monitor and it's far back enough as to be impractical for use as a touch input device.

RE: meh
By TakinYourPoints on 3/1/2012 2:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
For a touch interface, large size trackpads make more sense for desktop use. It rests on the desktop while allowing for touch input and gesture commands. Global gestures for large trackpads and OS X work very well in terms of getting touch functionality out of a desktop UI. For something small and portable like a phone or tablet, this also makes total sense, and Windows 8 is aimed very well at that.

Desktop monitors are another thing entirely. I absolutely do not want to control my desktop by reaching up and touching a screen all day. For a 22"+ desktop monitor it doesn't make sense. It certainly doesn't make sense for my big 27". Consumers will reject it for normal desktop use. It'll work for convertable laptops and tablets though.

Either way, Microsoft has completely disregarded ergonomics and efficiency if they think people are going to use touchscreens on a desktop monitor. Why would I use that instead of a mouse or trackpad where I have my arms resting on my desk? For a tablet it absolutely works, but not so much otherwise.

RE: meh
By tonycova on 3/1/2012 9:08:49 AM , Rating: 2
I could see a way to really exploit this type of interface: use a Kinetic type input like what was used in Minority Report for navigation as a replacement for a mouse. I don't see any suitable input replacement for the keyboard though.

RE: meh
By TakinYourPoints on 3/1/2012 2:05:10 AM , Rating: 1
I don't see how they possibly think this will be used in any office.

Going forward we'll basically have server products going back to a command line (I'm fine with this, nobody should have to RDP onto a server to do tasks) while the desktop OS goes to what they are presenting in Windows 8.

This unfortunately leaves power users such as myself in the dust. I really wish that there would be some segmentation between the tablet features and the desktop OS features. At least OS X Lion did a fair job integrating some iOS tablet features without getting in the way of the normal window/folder desktop functions. Otherwise the main Windows 8 additions I'm interested in, native ISO moutning and PDF viewing, have been in OS X for over a decade. Nice to see it is finally in Windows. Otherwise I really don't care for it so far, I'm done with it at the moment.

Since 2000 I've gotten my copies of Windows from a friend at Microsoft for about $35. I can get Windows 8 for cheap and I still don't know if I'll be upgrading from Windows 7. This is the first time I've ever felt that way about a Windows upgrade. I thought XP fans were nuts for not upgrading to Vista after its driver issues were hashed out after about six months, but this I'm not so sure about. :/

RE: meh
By TakinYourPoints on 3/1/2012 3:21:49 AM , Rating: 2
Remove the Metro UI or give an option to bypass it completely, add the start button back, and you have an updated Windows 7 with a tweaked kernel and some needed improvements (ie - ISO mounting and PDF reading). That would be cool and much more compelling than this tablet oriented OS.

RE: meh
By masamasa on 3/1/2012 11:27:17 AM , Rating: 2
Completely agree. It's a mish mash of tablet/desktop in one, but they've taken away desktop user functionality that is convenient and made it inconvenient. The wow factor where's off pretty quick once you spend some time on it and realize they are hampering desktop users. Great for users of tablets who want to use desktop, but not the other way around.

If they don't do something about the desktop interface (e.g. lack of convenient start button, too many click to access programs, etc.) the masses will not upgrade to this. This will gain nothing and lose features they already use.

Really feels like they didn't think that one over too well, but we'll see if changes are coming in the RCs.

First Impressions
By geddarkstorm on 3/1/2012 11:22:39 AM , Rating: 3
I grabbed the Windows 8 64 bit, the first 3.3 gig iso on the download page. So here's my first impressions of it, for anyone wondering to try it out!


Well, funny story. So originally I wanted to put this in VMPlayer. But it turns out my Intel Core 2 Duo E7200 just isn't up to the job of virtualizing 64 bits.

So, I burned Windows 8 to a flash drive, and then launched the Setup.exe while in Windows 7. I thought I might be able to create and install it onto a partition on my second drive. No dice. Windows 8 detected Windows 7 and immediately wanted to install over it, while transferring and keeping all my user settings and applications. It checked to see if any programs had to be uninstalled first. The only thing was Microsoft Security Essentials (now Essentially built into Windows 8, so defunct).

I agreed.

See, you have to understand, I like adventure. And throwing this beta over of my perfectly good OS was quite an adventurous proposition. I'd used Windows 7 ever since it was first in beta, so why not 8? And I had kinda broken my 7 install when I reinstalled it when I got an Agility 3 harddrive (Sata 2), so it was glitchy anyways. Not much to lose right?

Installation was smooth, very smooth, far more automated than Windows 7. The entire installation screen was quite different too, and much more automated. In all it took 20-30 minutes to install on my Agility from a Flash drive.

And low and behold, it was a success ! All my programs were kept, my username, even my theme, wallpaper and power settings for the computer. All these transferred over without a hitch. The only things needing a re-install were my sound card drivers (had to set to compatibility for Windows 7, so if something won't install remember to try that) and my graphics drivers. The built in graphics drivers were also pretty dang good however; but would give some screen tearing if you try to scroll rapidly on a web page. All my programs I've bothered to launch so far also worked straight up without a hitch (Firefox, Pidgin, Chrome, Musicbee, Steam, Skype).

First Impressions

The Good:

Fast. Really fast. Usually you get a new OS and you think it'll be slower and more complicated than your older one, with all its updated technologies. Not so on my E7200. Windows 8 is noticeably faster than 7 in everything. Programs launch faster, windows are more fluid and snappier, memory management is much improved so even with 24 tabs in chrome and 44 tabs in Firefox all running simultaneously, these programs continued to be like butter. I really was not expecting this. And all of this without having the graphics drivers installed yet.

Another good point is that installing updates does not lead to the OS nagging you like a nosy Aunt, to restart every ten minutes. UAC is also much more muted, and seems better integrated into the system. Looking at Programs and Features in the control panel, the running windows services are much easier to read through and tweak to your liking. The file browser works well with that "ribbon", and it's really nice having it be context away.

And the task manager! That thing is gorgeous now, and much improved over the old 7. That alone is almost worth the upgrade ;).

The ability to hit flag key and start typing to search for a program by name is also a very welcomed treat, something people with Gnome 3 will be familiar with. It can speed things up considerably, and could have been even better but... this will be mentioned more in The Bad.

RE: First Impressions
By geddarkstorm on 3/1/2012 11:23:16 AM , Rating: 3
The Bad:


Whoever thought this was a good idea for a desktop OS made a mistake. Everything about metro is screaming Tablet. And if you were using this on a small screen device with your fingers, it would be great. But on a big (19") screen with keyboard and mouse as your interface, it just doesn't work.

Forget about your usual fluid multitasking. You can use the desktop, thank goodness--our one concession given by Microsoft--but there's no start menu. If you have programs open, watching them as they feed you data as you multitask around, you're going to have to forget your normal usage models. Going to the start "screen" results in completely being locked away from your desktop. You can hear a program send you a notice, but you can't go to it or see what it's doing without clicking back on the desktop and out of the start screen. So why would you need the start screen? To launch any program not on your desktop or taskbar. You're also forced into the start screen when you do a search for a program. Again, locking you away from all your multitasking.

This is a huge step back for productivity from the normal way we're used to interacting with the Windows OS. What would take one or two clicks to do, now takes several and typing to boot. Even Windows 7 can turn off Aero and basically be a Windows 3.x GUI. But no more. You can feel just how much they don't want you in that desktop, as now it's just one minor tile in the start screen instead of your major interface. But it's the desktop where things get done. Also, install a new program and you don't get a nifty highlighted line getting you back to it in the start menu of old--I'm not even sure how you would easily find it now if you didn't know its installed .exe name for searching it out. In fact, I haven't even really found (though I haven't looked deep, but I shouldn't have to) how you find a list of your programs, instead of having to search by typing. What if it's months later and you know you have something but forgotten its name, or simply want to browse through what you do have? I'm sure it's doable, but now it's buried instead of right there as a main focus.

Apps... Oh apps. This goes right back to metro being a terrible idea for a desktop; apps highlight this to the extreme. Only app I launched was Solitaire. Immediately it went full screen; again slaying any productivity and multitasking. How do you screw up solitaire as a program, well just run this sucker and you'll find out. It's laggy, it's ugly, there's no resizing, minimizing, or shrinking it. And there's no close button. Oh no, to close it you have to click at the top of the screen, yes, the very top, hold and then drag it all the way down to the bottom of the screen.

That would work if this was a tablet, and it isn't too massive a motion on my little resolution, but just think what this will be like for people with bigger screens if they have to do it often. What a huge blow to useability--ignoring how the app takes over your entire screen.

Final Thoughts

The underlying core for Windows 8 is a surprising improvement over 7. Faster and more fluid, and the ability to search out programs integrated in for how you launch them (no more start menu lists... which is a bad thing, both features together is how it should have been). Installation was a breeze, and it really did keep all the Windows 7 settings and programs flawlessly running when doing an "upgrade". Only a few drivers had to be reinstalled, and those drivers had to be in legacy Windows 7 mode to do it. But they did install and work. This makes upgrading to 8 both a safer and easier proposition than 7 was from xp.

Metro is geared totally for a tablet, and just is a ridiculously clunky idea for a desktop. A step back, it makes it harder to collate productive programs and run multiple things at once dynamically. And the whole "apps" idea is executed extremely poorly. Again, it'd work for a tablet, but it will not work for a desktop. Forcing you to address just that one "app". You can alt-tab, but you can't watch multiple things at a time. And closing it requires large motions instead of a simple click. For people with big screens and resolutions, this'll be especially painful a change.

In all, Windows 8 really is great, but I think Microsoft needs to give us the ability to completely deactivate Metro (except the flag-key search feature; and integrate that into the desktop experience like Gnome 3) if they want this to be a truly productive OS. Business are doubtfully not going to like this thing with Metro, and that extra layer of complexity is going to make IT and troubleshooting support a nightmare.

Drop metro, and this is the true, and worthy successor to 7.

But, this is all my opinion. Give it a shot, and see what you think!

RE: First Impressions
By geddarkstorm on 3/1/2012 11:42:05 AM , Rating: 3
Another bad I just discovered: how do you even turn off or restart the computer? Where's that hidden now, without alt-ctrl-delete? Instead of being right there in a start menu, it's now... err... somewhere? I tried to do a restart from updates but... it seemed to have failed. That I just chalk up to it being a preview and glitching. But that little popup overly if you mouse to the right of the desktop is gone (that overly also keeps you from docking things on the right, another step back I think, while not really providing anything... my attempts to use it previously yielded no results where it just didn't respond), so if it held the secret of restarting, I've lost that to this glitch for the moment... Though I didn't see such options when I was fiddling with that overly earlier.

Ah well, this is what you get for making a silly limited start screen your hub instead of the useful and dynamic desktop.

RE: First Impressions
By geddarkstorm on 3/1/2012 11:45:26 AM , Rating: 3
Ah-hah, intuition was correct. Got that right side overly back, and it does have the power options under settings, which puts you back in the Start Screen and out of the desktop to go see. That overly would be ok... if this were a tablet, but it's not.

I'm sure there must be keyboard commands too, but I don't know them (and I'm a mouse oriented user).

RE: First Impressions
By TakinYourPoints on 3/1/2012 3:59:33 PM , Rating: 2
Pretty much agree with you here, nice writeup!

RE: First Impressions
By Valahano on 3/2/2012 11:07:23 AM , Rating: 2
Thanks, nice overview.

I'm disappointed with UI decisions of Microsoft ever since Vista. Maybe I'm too old-school, but Vista/Win7 UI was a downgrade for my productivity. Type-search start menu offers nothing for me as I use Launchy, for example. Thank god for Classic Shell/7TT on Win7 too - up button and classic start menu/taskbar.

I'm hoping for some sort of 3rd party shell replacement/enhancement software for Win8 too.

Already installing CP
By Gungel on 2/29/2012 9:48:40 AM , Rating: 2
RE: Already installing CP
By MikadoWu on 2/29/2012 9:43:54 AM , Rating: 2
SWEET... Nice post

RE: Already installing CP
By Gungel on 2/29/2012 9:53:18 AM , Rating: 2
"The entire Windows 8 download (X64) is expected to be a bit less than 3 GB."

Actually it's just over 3GB, 3.3GB for the 64bit and 2.5GB for the 32bit version.

RE: Already installing CP
By MikadoWu on 2/29/2012 10:09:25 AM , Rating: 2
Degugging code will be removed on final build.

RE: Already installing CP
By Gondor on 2/29/2012 11:36:18 AM , Rating: 2
Anyone got any idea why such a huge disparity between x86 and x64 programs ? Few per cent would make sense but 30+% ?!

RE: Already installing CP
By Flunk on 2/29/2012 12:49:22 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, it's because Windows x64 contains a 32bit compatiblity subsystem and extra copies of certain libraries. If Windows x64 couldn't run 32bit apps it would be similar in size to Windows x86.

RE: Already installing CP
By Hieyeck on 2/29/2012 1:09:34 PM , Rating: 2
I read CP and was all O_o

Then I remembered it was Consumer Preview. Maybe not the best choice of acronyms...

By BZDTemp on 2/29/2012 10:25:38 AM , Rating: 2
Do not try and make a dual-boot installation where you put the Win8 on a separate drive.

With the Developer Preview it was fine having multi-boot if the bootable partitions was all on the same drive. However I opted to put the Preview OS on a new separate drive and the result was the new OS went there, wrote a new boot sector on my original drive, with no boot menu and essentially destroyed my existing OS partition. Oh, and to add insult to injury the original drive is needed to get the Preview booting resulting one drive holding only a boot sector.

Proceed with caution.

By JasonMick on 2/29/2012 10:40:03 AM , Rating: 3
With the Developer Preview it was fine having multi-boot if the bootable partitions was all on the same drive. However I opted to put the Preview OS on a new separate drive and the result was the new OS went there, wrote a new boot sector on my original drive, with no boot menu and essentially destroyed my existing OS partition. Oh, and to add insult to injury the original drive is needed to get the Preview booting resulting one drive holding only a boot sector.


Did you report the bug??

It's super important that people report those bugs. As the Win7 beta showed (2,000 bugs fixed) MSFT is listening.

Also, it may be fixed, though I'd be careful checking, obviously. MSFT said it made 100,000 code improvements/bug fixes since the Developer Preview.

By PrezWeezy on 2/29/2012 12:56:06 PM , Rating: 2
Also, you should be able to put in your Win 7 disk and do a repair, which will make the drive bootable again. Not sure if it will enable dual boot, but you can at least get back to Win 7.

By delphinus100 on 3/12/2012 6:06:03 PM , Rating: 2
Is it possible to dual-boot any version of Windows from a non-boot drive?

I do not fu***ing understand
By Da W on 2/29/2012 2:26:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is a great tablet OS and all, but switching app is a nightmare! Windows had the best task switching of all: THE TASKBAR!!! Open a program, it's on the taskbar, just click on it to minimise it or to go back to it. Open a gazillion of apps and pages and switch to the one you want INSTANTLY even if yoou opened 10000 after it. I never used their alt-tab thing, their stupid flip 3D or other way to swith apps. Just click-double click on the taskbar did the trick faster, even on my vista tablet PC.
Why are they getting rid of it in metro is beyond me. Hidden charms bar is long. Left corner and move down to see tumbnails is not as fast. Just keep the damn taskbar in metro and let us switch between metro apps and desktop apps! I can live with the other changes.

Written from metro explorer 10, and the bloody text box is so small and you can't zoom i only see 8-10 words.

RE: I do not fu***ing understand
By Da W on 2/29/2012 2:28:08 PM , Rating: 2
You can bet i won't upgrade my non-touch laptop and my HTPC, i'll even buy another OEM copy of Windows 7 before they go out of print.

By MrBungle123 on 3/1/2012 3:52:48 PM , Rating: 2
Better get retail copies of windows 7... the EULA in the OEM copies locks it to a motherboard.

I just bought 2 copies of Windows 7 Ultimate im preparation for skipping Windows 8 until Windows 9 brings back a reasonable desktop interface or I migrate to Linux / Hackintosh

By vincentxweb on 3/2/2012 8:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Using Windows 8 for me was pretty maddening the first few hours, and I hated it also. Like everyone here, I was just too used to the start button/task bar.

Then I just started using the Desktop "app" as my primary interface, and thought of Metro as more of a full screen Start menu. It sort of works in the same way if you think about it. The Start button is still there in a just click on the bottom left (like you did in Win7 and before). Hit on the Windows button on your keyboard and Metro ("Start Menu") shows up. Within Metro, just start typing, and you can do a search like before (for Programs, Documents, etc)

The Desktop app is just like Windows 7 then. You can still pin your frequently used apps to the task bar, etc. I guess it just took me to rethink where things are before I liked Windows 8.

There are a lot of changes in this build
By hemmy on 2/29/2012 10:50:05 AM , Rating: 2
I am very excited, as it seems many things are much improved (mouse/keyboard nav included):

By ati666 on 3/1/2012 7:01:01 AM , Rating: 2
what about the gameing performance since win8 is DX11.1?

win8 directX
By ati666 on 2/29/2012 11:46:39 AM , Rating: 1
only thing thats different in windows8 from windows7 is the addition of DirectX 11.1, we are gonna have to see how it performs from its predecessor.

RE: win8 directX
By StraightCashHomey on 2/29/12, Rating: -1
RE: win8 directX
By B3an on 3/3/2012 12:02:07 PM , Rating: 2
Lol true. Yet even more idiots rated you down. They're everywhere.

Theres a tons of improvements for Win 8. Even basic every day stuff like file copying is better as you can finally pause it, and multiple copies are grouped in to a single window.

Better multi-monitor support - task bar on each screen that just shows the things displayed on the screen, and a different wallpaper for each screen, or one long wallpaper that can span them all.

Storage Spaces - best feature ever. Just read about it.

Less RAM usage, fester boots, and just simply faster at everything overall.

Native ISO and VHD support.

Improved security and built in AV software.

OS-wide spell checking.

New task manager and ribbon added to Explorer.

SkyDrive / cloud integration - sync your user, system and browser settings across all your PC's.

Lots more but cant be bothered, i'll be here all day. It's a way bigger upgrade than 7 was to Vista. Infact it's the biggest upgrade MS have ever done with any of there OS releases.

By KOOLTIME on 2/29/2012 12:54:52 PM , Rating: 2
Nothing really new in win 8 other then making it look like a cell phone app type of interface.

Switching between apps actually is worse under this type of system.

I did not like the app screen interface at all for a desktop, all looks but no real functionality. Just a gimmicky for phone. But big time waster for getting to programs, once you need more then one at once, swapping around is more cumbersome.

Win8 == OK, needs improvement
By chromal on 2/29/2012 8:44:08 PM , Rating: 2
Playing with the Win8 public beta now. This doesn't seem so bad. A few tweak here or there, and it'd be decent. They just need to make it look and feel exactly like Windows7, and then it's job well done.

Seriously, how to I bring back the start menu? There's no justification whatsoever for turning our backs on a seventeen year-old UI standard.

Win8 system restore questions
By kyleb2112 on 3/2/2012 1:24:01 AM , Rating: 2
I've heard the new system restore is supposed to let you go back to a clean install, but does that make you re-install all your apps? And can you do it from a dos prompt or restore options on boot up?
I was shocked lately to find Windows 7 would only let me do a true repair install from WITHIN Windows 7, so when you need it most (on an unbootable system) you're hosed.

By HackSacken on 3/5/2012 5:51:26 PM , Rating: 2 this video. It appears it might be helpful for those not knowing to how navigate Win8:

Nothing to see here, move along?
By navair2 on 2/29/2012 9:50:07 PM , Rating: 1
Having just migrated from Vista 64-bit a year ago, I see absolutely no reason to purchase anything from Micro$oft for the foreseeable future.

Everything I've seen and heard likens this new OS to something one would find on a tablet or similar small device. I'm "old-fashioned" and prefer "Classic view" XP, so anything with large icons and silly little graphics would probably frustrate me.

Add to this Micro$oft's continued march towards tracking everything you do and every piece of hardware you own, and I'm even less interested.

Maybe in 5-6 years, but XP lasted me for 7 years, so I think I can get a few more out of Win7...;)

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