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Windows 8 consumer preview

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 7:20 pm
by popo
In case you're curious what Windows 8 is looking like at the moment, the consumer preview is now available for download: link.

Downloading it now, the 64 bit version is 3.3GB which could take a while on my connection. Gives me time to switch out the hard disk of my laptop which I'll use to test it on.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:07 pm
by popo
Got it and had a bit of a play.

The start screen replacing the start menu didn't annoy me as much as I thought it would. With a little getting used to I don't think it is a major deal.

The bigger problem overall is it feels very much like it is trying to do two things, and not well at each. You get the Win7 like underlying features, although many bits have been given a polish it's fundamentally the same.

The new tablet like mode... doesn't feel right with a mouse. Maybe I haven't got used to it yet, or worked out how to best use it with a mouse. The sample apps, which are clearly marked as samples, work ok and look ok, but a bit of a waste of space on a 1080p screen. I wonder if in future there's a place for touchscreens on desktop? Not replacing a keyboard an mouse, but supplementing it. Actually, maybe just replacing the mouse. But as anyone who's used a tablet before, an on screen keyboard no substitute to a physical one if you want to use it more than a little. Even using a touchscreen monitor to replace a mouse input would raise a lot of new ergonomic questions that needs good answers.

That might be getting a bit ahead of ourselves, and might be something for Windows 9.

PostPosted: Wed Feb 29, 2012 11:08 pm
by Citruspers
Reeled it in, will install it tomorrow, I think

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 9:01 pm
by Gordon Laing
The old PCW Editor in me is crying out "download it, test it, test it!", but the Cameralabs Editor is saying, get on with your camera reviews and server upgrade! I think the latter will win-out at the moment, so I'm looking forward to hearing what you guys think of it...

PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2012 11:29 pm
by Bob Andersson
Hi folks,

Would anyone be kind enough to tell me if one can configure the W8 Preview so that the Metro interface can be dumped in favour of a 100% seamless classic Windows Desktop? I can't imagine ever running W8 on a tablet or similar so Metro is of no interest to me.

@Gordon Will you be tempted to test out the preview on the new machine before you retire your old machine?


PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 2:38 pm
by grahamnp

Yes, I don't find it to be as cohesive as I would like but this is sort of a 1st gen product now and I would expect the first release to be less than perfect. I think it will be a while before MS can get the unified desktop/tablet OS thing done perfectly and until then it's just going to be quite awkward.

PostPosted: Fri Mar 02, 2012 5:28 pm
by popo
Bob, I don't know, but you can't be the only one thinking that. Tried giving in to the dark side?

Graham, this is a preview, so I guess there's still plenty of scope for the final version to change.

PostPosted: Sun Mar 04, 2012 5:03 am
by grahamnp
Yes, plenty can change between now and the final release but I was referring to the consolidation of a desktop and tablet OS in general as being flawed for now. I think it will take several revisions before MS can get it perfect, I hope they make good on their promise of speeding up OS releases.

The Verge has posted a preview of W8 running on a tablet. Wasn't very revealing but what was shown was quite impressive. Very slick, makes the iPad look a bit old actually.

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 11:29 am
by Gordon Laing
Hmmm, Bob, it would be tempting to try it out briefly on the new hardware, but equally I just want to get up and running...

PostPosted: Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:31 pm
by AnderssonPhoto
Im sticking with Wndows 7 until Windows 9 is out

PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2012 8:57 pm
by popo
I had to restore Win7 on my laptop as I actually need to use it! But to offset that, I'm installing it on two others. I dug out my old laptop, and trying an upgrade install from XP. I'll let you know how that goes on if it ever finishes!

The other box is my overclocked X6, used for pure processing power. Install off DVD (same one I used on my main laptop) worked very quickly. Just messing around with it now. It feels faster than my laptop did, but that might be mostly due to the spare hard disks I used.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 12:39 pm
by popo
Just reporting in the laptop update failed. It is now stuck in a loop of non-bootingness. I've downloaded the 32-bit ISO so tonight will nuke the disk and see if that works better.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:23 pm
by popo
ISO install didn't work either. Error 0x0000260 which after a quick google seems to be caused if the CPU doesn't support both PAE and NX. I guess this laptop is just a little too old...

Re: Windows 8 consumer preview

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 2:53 pm
by Bob Andersson
In this article bit-tech wrote:A former Microsoft employee has launched a website dubbed 'Fixing Windows 8,' in an attempt to convince the company to address what he claims are major issues with the user interface on non-touchscreen devices.
Bibik isn't alone in his belief that Microsoft has taken a wrong turn with the design of Windows 8, blinded by the success of Apple's iPad tablet range and the clean lines of its own - small-device centric - Windows Phone platform.

Read the full article for the context. Any thoughts on this from our brave beta testers?


Re: Windows 8 consumer preview

PostPosted: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:25 pm
by popo
Every version of Windows has introduced new functionality that hasn't been obvious. I'm still finding the odd hand shortcut now. Example: for Windows 3.x users, you may remember double-clicking the top-left of a window closes it. It still works in Win7 even if the graphical element is no longer there.

The question then is, how easy are the essential parts of the Windows 8 interface to find? Would something like a 5 minute 1st time use intro suffice? After that, it doesn't really matter.