During the BUILD 2011 conference Microsoft released a Windows Developer Preview, aka Windows 8 Beta, sort of. I'm a bit late to the party as usual, but today I got to install it.
I was quite excited to see what's new in this build, especially since it features the new start screen. Decided to install it on a partition instead of a VM this time. The installation was pretty smooth, although not really that fast. So after about 30 mins of tinkering I finally got to see the beautiful metro desktop.
Didn't get to use it much, but so far my experience is pretty mixed. On one hand, the new UI redesign is pretty awesome, on the other hand everything seems highly unintuitive, especially for people who don't intend on using this on a tablet;
The metro apps are fullscreen (and pretty too) - quite similar to how apps on phones and tablets are.
There is no more start menu, pressing the start button or key will bring up this menu you can see in the screenshot.
Everything in this metro interface is simplified, I guess that's for tablet use but I find the lack of configuration abilities... disturbing.
One thing that bugged me is that unlike Omnimo (to which I got really used to), this whole thing is absolutely NOT customizable. You can't change the colors of tiles, or even the background. I hope it's only temporarily. As we speak, PandaX is hacking his way through system files in order to find what makes the style tick
Anyway, maybe it's not really designed to be customizable. It takes getting used to, I'm pretty sure a lot of people are going to hate this new interface.
Since I'm stuck with this shitty slow laptop, the boot process isn't any faster than win7. However, owners of SSDs should notice a significant speedup.
There are a few visual changes so far - a new theme with the start button, explorer ribbon (debatable usefulness), and a redesigned task manager. You can find screenshots of all of these floating on the internet. I expect a few more things to be changed since so far, the UI seems incredibly inconsistent (metro+aero+ribbon).
One thing that kept me from using Windows 8 as my main OS is that programs have shitty compability so far. Skype doesn't work, Firefox has broken CSS for some reason, and I'm not even trying things like Steam.
In conclusion I'd like to say that there are quite a few radical changes in Windows 8, not all of them being pleasant. The whole Metro UI thing is quite questionable in my opinion and I can't tell for sure how the fate of Windows 8 will turn out to be. Another Vista? Possibly. But let's hope that Microsoft will do their best to make this OS a pleasant experience not only for tablet users, but also for PC/laptop users. Meanwhile I'll just go back to using my trusty old windows 7.
Ive tested the developer preview, Consumer preview, and am currently testing Release preview. So far it is WAY stable Windows Vista! (But ANYTHING is more stable than Vista!) Only 1 time it bluescreened and it was directly related to a bad stick of ram, And VARIOUS compatibility issues which seemed to be fixed after some of the updates were released in Developer preview. I dont mind the whole Metro interface, just so long as they add an option to go to the start menu styles used in Windows 7.
My verdict on Windows 8 - Good, but needs some fixes and added options to switch styles back.
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`anmari has been spreading her infectious positivity throughout our community for over 6 years. Throughout this time Ana has been at the core of all things devious, passionately developing an eclectic gallery, helping organise devmeets, participating in chat events and also recently completed dedicating her time as a Community Volunteer. We are absolutely delighted to bestow the Deviousness Award for May 2013 to `anmari, congratulations! Read More