Print 43 comment(s) - last by Justin Time.. on Sep 14 at 7:21 PM

Windows 8 is on the way!

We've talked plenty about Windows 8 in the past, but Microsoft is really gearing up to get developers onboard with the highly anticipated successor to Windows 7. Microsoft showed off the latest version of Windows 8 to developers at the BUILD conference in California this week. 

To put the icing on the cake, Microsoft handed out prototype Samsung PCs to developers attending BUILD with the Windows 8 Developer Preview already installed. 

“We reimagined Windows,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.”

The biggest news, however, is that general consumers can download the Windows 8 Developer Preview starting TONIGHT at 8:00 PM Pacific Time at the following link. The developer preview will run on both 32-bit (can't we kill you already??!!) and 64-bit x86 computers. No activation will be required for those that choose to install the software, but you will need a Windows Live ID to initiate the download.

Be prepared for slow servers as everyone and their grandma will be rushing to get in line to get their "Metro on" with Windows 8.

Updated 8:28pm EST

The Windows 8 Developer Preview can be downloaded RIGHT NOW.

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By Stuka on 9/13/2011 3:26:27 PM , Rating: 2
Can someone explain why the user interface needs to be changed each time? Was there a productivity limitation with the 95/XP UI? Is my life made easier by using shifting tiles on the screen?

XP is still perfect for me. My Quick Launch has every program I use the most, one click away all the time, and they don't move around. Why can't we have a new kernel, new file system, new memory management, new everything else, but with the same tried-and-true UI (maybe with prettier colors/graphics)?

RE: hmmph
By cjohnson2136 on 9/13/2011 3:29:39 PM , Rating: 3
it was made more for the idea of tablets, at least that is what has been said before.

RE: hmmph
By andre-bch on 9/13/2011 4:07:49 PM , Rating: 3
AFAIK Windows 8 has two UIs. One looks like vista/7, mainly for PCs with keyboard + mouse.
The other one is this, which is suitable for touch tablets.
So you don't have to use the new UI if you don't want to, but it seems you want the old XP UI. Oh, well.

RE: hmmph
By cjohnson2136 on 9/13/2011 4:13:18 PM , Rating: 2
I wonder if I could find a tablet and install this on it....hmmm time to start searching for cheap used tablet.

RE: hmmph
By Mitch101 on 9/13/2011 4:16:46 PM , Rating: 4
You needed to watch the demonstrations. The interface takes into consideration touch first but fully allows for mouse/keyboard. Realistically the tiles provide more information than icons giving you information at a glance without having to open them and find out nothing happened. Which is why I find the Windows Phone 7 screen much more informational than my Android or any other icon based gui. Try the tiles you will like them. If not would you could you on a boat? Think about it you use about a dozen apps on a daily basis with the new interface you have immediate access to those dozen or so apps even at a click. Quick launch is OK but the icons don't tell you anything the tiles do. Still not a believer then would you could you with a goat?

Also if you watched the demo you would know that the memory footprint of Windows 8 is much smaller than Windows 7. If it Runs Windows 7 today it most certainly runs Windows 8.

I dont care about boot times but basically it took the monitor longer to refresh the display than Windows 8 took to BOOT. Not hybrinate FULL BOOT.

The low power states were a nice surprise as well including the bios protection methods that can prevent malicious pwnage from even a USB stick.

Windows 8 is Impressive I loved XP too but its more than time to move on.

RE: hmmph
By seamonkey79 on 9/13/2011 4:39:24 PM , Rating: 2
How much more information does a person need than an icon with a label saying what that icon is for... I don't even have the labels on for my Android phone... I fail to see what having 'more information' is needed versus an icon based system.

That said, I like the Zune and the interface that is on it. I just don't know that it's "better" than a simple icon based system. Just as good, maybe.

RE: hmmph
By Mitch101 on 9/13/2011 5:09:24 PM , Rating: 2
Take for instance the E-mail and Messages Tile sometimes has a number on them. Thats the number of Messages or E-mails since the last time you checked. Its not the number of Unread e-mail its the number since you last checked. No number then I have nothing to check there. The tiles are informative.

An ICON tells you nothing you still have to open the app to find out no messages or oh I got 3 messages. The tiles keep you from babysitting or micro managing your programs for information.

I can glance and my phone without having to dive into my apps it just makes sense.

New Windows Phone Mango speech technology can't be beat
Windows Phone 7 is the most stable
I have tried different 3rd party applications and integrated services to try to control my iOS, Android, Symbian, and BlackBerry devices just with my voice. Some apps and services did well, but NOTHING has functioned as well as Windows Phone 7.5 (aka Mango) from Microsoft.

Windows Phone 7 growth is big
Windows Phone 7 generated only 2 percent of ad impressions during the month, but encouragingly had a 71 percent increase month-over-month . The indicates that more of these phones are in the market each month, and with Mango due to launch soon WP7 could be poised for good growth.

RE: hmmph
By Justin Time on 9/14/2011 1:54:38 AM , Rating: 3
"I dont care about boot times but basically it took the monitor longer to refresh the display than Windows 8 took to BOOT. Not hybrinate FULL BOOT."

I think you'll find that's the FAST boot, and not a full cold boot.

FAST boot uses a hybernated kernel session, and just initialises the user session.

This means that there is no Plug&Play enumeration, but users don't change hardware as often as they boot.

RE: hmmph
By B3an on 9/14/2011 9:09:05 AM , Rating: 2
It's pretty much the same thing as a cold boot. It uses no power at all when off, and it's the default boot setting. If someone didn't already know what it did exactly then it would seem like a cold boot to them.

RE: hmmph
By Justin Time on 9/14/2011 7:21:29 PM , Rating: 2
Neither does hibernate use power, but it's not a cold boot.

Fast boot skips a whole bunch of stuff by loading a kernel hibernation file, and only initialising the user session, but it's not a cold boot... it's a partial hibernation resume.

Making it the default mode is a sensible approach for the way people use their personal computers, but it doesn't change the fact that it's not a full cold boot.

Cold boot is still required to install/change hardware and/or drivers, and no doubt for windows updates etc, and is still comparable to Win7 cold boot times.

RE: hmmph
By ekv on 9/14/2011 2:45:41 AM , Rating: 2
If not would you could you on a boat?
Very METRO'esque statement if I may say so. Not liking the Metro UI -- which is not the same as saying "it doesn't work" -- but being forced into using it for my desktop? ... will wait for #9.

Win8 is clearly attempting to meld the desktop and mobile worlds. It may work, who knows. But try the "would you could you" on my Kinect and I will KEEL you 8)

RE: hmmph
By TakinYourPoints on 9/14/2011 6:13:37 AM , Rating: 2
Windows 7 is like that for me (didn't care much for XP). I'm having a very hard time thinking of reasons to move from Windows 7 or OS X 10.6 to Windows 8 or Lion at this point, as I don't care for the mobile paradigms that are being rolled into what I feel are already excellent desktop operating systems. In the case of Lion it is actually not that extreme, a few things here and there without supplanting too many features (I still don't like what they did to Spaces). Windows 8 on the other hand seems way more aggressive in terms of rolling the Metro UI over.

If I can make room for a partition I may fire it up this weekend and see what I think, we'll see.

RE: hmmph
By bug77 on 9/14/2011 6:24:58 AM , Rating: 3
Long story short: because users are dumb and do not care much about the improvements you make under the hood. But show them a pretty paint job and they'll be more than happy to buy your "new" OS.

RE: hmmph
By Paj on 9/14/2011 7:26:19 AM , Rating: 3
XP is balls, I hate using it now. Rubbish search, no sidebar/favourites, no aero snap, crusty Win95 icons.

The user interface needs to be changed each time as new technology allows for more possibilities with interfaces. Resolution increases, indexing becomes more seamless, increased computing power allows for more functionality. If we had it your way everyone would still be using a CLI.

And (unfortunately or otherwise) many studies have confirmed that a prettier UI is perceived as being more usable. This, again, is possible through advances in technology (animation, indexing, drag and drop, advanced APIs, etc)

RE: hmmph
By Belard on 9/14/2011 2:22:13 PM , Rating: 1
The UI hasn't been changed every time.

Win1~3... useless garbage.
Win95~ME, exact the same but more color effects added.
Win2000, looks like Win98.
WinXP, 2 versions (Home/Pro) and MCE, which added a bit more color, more backgrounds at higher res.

Vista: Change the Start button to a circle, but the task bar is functionally no different from XP. Start menu was changed a bit - scrolling menu rather than LONG LONG pop-up menu - looks better, but has its issues.

Win7: changed the taskbar, added functionality.

Since WIn95~Win7.... Theres been 3 semi-major changes. For the most part, everything is in the same place. Its just a skin job.

"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook
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