Windows 8 Preview Build - First looks September 14th, 2011
This is not a typical review, yes you will screen screen shots, but more importantly a look at how Windows 8 compairs to Windows 7 and XP from the average users point of view. How easy will it be to adapt to using 8, will everything be easy to find or is will it be an easter egg hunt. Not everyone will have touch screens so does upgrading from an earlier version of Windows make sense. This will be an on going article, a little peak or comments over the comming days and weeks. Could call it a Blog but its not since this is a web based article, so call it a Wlog.
Windows 8 – Preview Build Review
Installation – On a new hard drive: If you have installed Windows 7 then Windows 8 is similar except for the “Developer Preview” logo which precedes the point in the install where you choose the Language, Time and Keyboard options. One thing positive is that the current status is displayed in larger text than Windows 7.
Two reboots later and it’s time to “Personalize” your computer by giving it a name. Next for the “Settings” option I chose the “Express” option. The “Log on” option asks for your “favorite email address’ to setup a live ID account. I chose not to use a Live ID account (lower left corner) and use the traditional “Local” account. About 30 seconds later the main window opens.
Obviously this is not your old Windows and it will take time to figure out how things work since mouseing (yes the mouse still works and you are not touch screen dependent) over any of the “Tiles” provides no help or tool tips. It’s conceivable as more applications are added the entire screen will be full of or overflowing with “Tiles”.
Score: Minus 10 points for lack of help, minus 5 points for all the clutter, minus 5 points for not making the “Desktop” tile more prominent.
Desktop: Clicking on the “Desktop” tile loads a more traditional Windows style desktop. The Microsoft logo replaces the location where the XP “Start” button or Windows Vista / 7 “Orb” was once located. Click on the logo and you are sent back to the Metro style desktop. Score minus 20 points for lack of traditional start button function on the desktop.
I decided to take of screenshot of the Metro and Desktop but could not find MS Paint (Minus 100 points) or any traditional means of locating it as the search box was no longer available. So I downloaded a third part application (Paint.Net), which installed without any problems (Score plus 200 points) and used it for the Metro and Desktop screen shots. And yes Ma there is a Library and Pictures folder available.
Turning off your Computer: Score minus 100 points for lack of shutdown option. Took a whole lot of searching with not luck on a simple shutdown (not a fast shutdown which will be covered later), finally had to do a traditional 3 finger salute (Ctrl+Alt+Del keys) to access the shutdown option. There must be a better way as this is not good.
Booting to Windows 8: Minus 20 points - Loads a nice background screen but has no obvious means of getting to either the Metro or Desktop interface. Stumbled upon the Metro interface by using the mouse wheel and then scrolling upwards.
I would imagine that with a touch screen you would use your finger to touch and flip or drag the background off the screen to access the user logon menu.
What about my devices: Right click on the ‘Taskbar’, select ‘Toolbars’ and place a checkmark in the ‘Desktop’ option. Then select:Control Panel / All Control Panel Items / Device Manager. Drag and drop this to the exact location on the desktop where you wish it to reside as there is no obvious means of moving the shortcut after you have dropped it.
Alternate method is to simply right click on the ‘Desktop’ toolbar and mouse over the ‘Computer’ option. Right click and select ‘Manage’. At this point you can pin it to the tackbar.
All the device drivers necessary for my P55 chipset appeared to be included except for the RAID chip (which I’m not using). Plus 200 points.
Disk Management: Desktop toolbar / Computer / Manage I choose to pin it to the Taskbar. Interestingly Windows 8’s ‘System,Reserved’ partition is now 350MB instead of the smaller 100MB size in Windows 7. This 250MB increase should help fix some problems caused by the undersized System partition in Windows 7.
Preliminary observations: This is either going to be another Windows Vista type dud do to the user interface changes or a touch based computer may make it a real gem.