The Windows 8 Consumer Preview is now available

Right on schedule, Microsoft made the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available earlier this morning. You can head to the official portal for more information. An automated setup application is available over here (no need to enter your e-mail address, by the way) if you want your hand held through the download and installation, but more experienced users might want to head straight to the ISO download section. There, you can grab 32-bit and 64-bit disc images in English, Chinese, French, German, and Japanese.

Not sure what you’re getting into? Then why not check out this freshly released teaser video—whose background track sounds, horrifyingly, like it moonlights as dubstep. (Here I thought game trailers were the only casualties of that recent trend.)

A more complete preview of the, er, Consumer Preview can be perused over at the Windows Team Blog.

Oh, and additional details are available in the official FAQ page. There, you’ll learn the hardware requirements (a 1GHz processor, DirectX 9 graphics, 2GB of RAM, and 20GB of storage capacity for the 64-bit version), where to grab the developer tools, and how to revert to your previous operating system after installing the Consumer Preview (you can’t). Unless you want to take the red pill, we’d suggest installing the Consumer Preview to a different partition or grabbing your favorite virtualization software.

Comments closed
    • From40zto5thz
    • 8 years ago

    I have to say after wiping my vista partition on my desktop and a couple hours of use that I have only one complaint, the friggin’ start menu. I really wish they would give users a option to disable the touch interface and revert back to the old start menu.

    I have two monitors and on the primary monitor it displays the annoying start screen the other monitor shows the desktop. If i try to hit the start menu and use my programs or look for a control panel function I have to type it in and then press the desktop function. Its like they turned my computer into a xbox- touchpad with a keyboard and mouse.

    I do like the fact that USB 3 functionality is built in and it detects majority of the hardware without a problem. I can see this being really good for a tablet.

    All in all I will probably stick with Windows 7 on my desktop until they have an option to disable the touch screen interface so annoying features like click and drag the mouse up to log in, and all the arrow keys to move to other screens.

    • geekl33tgamer
    • 8 years ago

    FWIW Gerbils, I’ve installed this to a separate HDD to see how it runs without VirtualBox virtualising everything (slower).

    Now, I don’t like the Metro UI control scheme for a mouse and keyboard – It may grow on me, and has a definite use for tablets and the like. It is fast and snappy, and there’s some social feed integration and the like which is pretty promising where Facebook and Twitter, Email and MSN Messenger (is it still called that?) are concerned.

    I also don’t like the hot corners concept akin to OSX – somehow it just doesn’t seem to work as well on Windows? I have found myself going to the top right corner of my screen heading for the close window button, only to be shown the charm bar overlay. Frustrating but lets hope the sensitivity of that feature is reduced somehow.

    Those are my 2 biggest gripes, and fairly minor. What I do like is the way it runs – Desktop or Metro mode, it feels fast and responsive. Even more so than W7 does (which is hardly sluggish). Notably, it’s cold boot time is reduced over W7’s on the same PC. Everything hardware wise (except for my X-FI) also had drivers installed right out of the box. I’ve also noted the RAM occupation when running is very, very low (700-800MB only) and that’s with a few bits and pieces open like iTunes, Chrome and Steam.

    Speaking of the latter, it works just like W7 does. I’ve installed it without any issues, and my games work just as before too (thanks to the ATI Win 8 drivers, woot!). On a compatibility front it’s a win-win for me at on that side of things too.

    This OS is receiving a LOT of negativity out there. Yes it’s not perfect, but I really do like the underlying optimisations MS has made to the OS under the hood. Metro may grow on me in time and be a great deal more useful is that UI was easier to navigate with a mouse and keyboard.

    (Edited for a few typos) πŸ˜‰

      • Krogoth
      • 8 years ago

      Win8 is receiving a lot of negativity, because it is clearly a portable OS being hamfisted into desktop/workstation role. It doesn’t offer anything compelling over Win 7 for current desktop/workstation users.

      It almost as if MS is trying to make Win 7 more appealing to people who still linger onto XP. At the same time, they are trying to build a new generation of users (younglings and newcomers) who prefer touchscreen UIs.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        krogoth = qq

    • anotherengineer
    • 8 years ago

    one good thing I have seen is USB 3.0 integrated windows driver.

    I wonder if the AHCI sata driver has been updated vs win7 and if there is any improvements on intel and amd chipsets?

    Sounds like review time again guys.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 8 years ago

    I don’t know how i feel right now about Windows 8. I like the underlying tech but I don’t like the UI for a desktop user. For a tablet or a touch screen interface I think it’s great. However I don’t want or use a tablet and I definitely don’t want a touch enabled display for my desktop. I personally like the standard desktop/start menu/taskbar setup that Windows has been using. Win7 has been treating me real nice. Granted I have not played around with the preview all that much but I really hope I can boot to the non Metro interface on my desktop.

    • oldog
    • 8 years ago

    I installed Win 8 on my trusty Think Pad X60 Tablet last night. It runs pretty fast but the Wacom digitizer and Pen is completely useless. This is obviously a finger poke and swipe interface only.

    I have also noticed that this version of the OS eats my battery life for lunch.

    • HallsMint
    • 8 years ago

    I personally see nothing wrong with the new interface. Call me crazy all you want, but it took me all of 5 minutes to figure out how things worked, and I don’t understand why the majority of people are whining about it. At least it’s a tablet version of the Metro UI, not the UI straight from Windows Phone 7. Have any of you seen launch pad for Lion? It does not look nearly as good as Metro, and it’s nowhere close to having as much functionality as the new start menu

    If any of you noticed, it does feel much more responsive and quicker. I can’t wait to see the performance increase in games when mature drivers come out for it, even if it is just a couple of frames per second.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    ESRB rating information for Solitaire! Really?

    After taking a closer look at this it seems like a perfectly fine “me too” response to Android or iOS. Windows as it is on the desktop today has been thrown in the recycling bin though. Everything that needs to be done to this to make it a good desktop OS just ends up turning it back into Windows 7. Should be nice for tablets though. Too bad Microsoft is about three years late to market.

    • mcnabney
    • 8 years ago

    No Mediacenter = worthless

    Since I don’t have an ARM desktop floating around I don’t see what possible reason I will have to install this. I am downloading Flight though. That appears to be something of actual use to the public. Not sure what is to be gained by Win8. If you love Metro so much you can actually use Mediacenter (and change the background to green) for the exact same functionality.

      • sweatshopking
      • 8 years ago

      I can see your point, but the built in video/music/pictures apps are really quite nice. it does require a bit more clicking, and the xbox companion app is handy for people who have xboxs. I realize if you don’t, like I don’t, and use mc, then it might be annoying. That being said, I do think it brings a fair bit, and the metro ui has been greatly improved since the developer preview.

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        And can’t handle tuner functionality. Or install advanced applications that plug into Mediacenter, drastically increasing functionality. And I don’t use an Xbox.

      • insulin_junkie72
      • 8 years ago

      Media Center is in the consumer preview, despite earlier reports.

      It’s virtually identical to Win7 Media Center, so no big changes on that front.

    • DeadOfKnight
    • 8 years ago

    Fuck windows 8

    • Steel
    • 8 years ago

    Well, netbooks are out. Every single Metro app I try to run tells me “The screen resolution is too low for this app to run”.

      • ET3D
      • 8 years ago

      Saw the 1024×768 in the requirements and it though it a pity, because I wanted to try this on my old Fujitsu P1510D, the only PC I have with a touch screen. I still might end up installing it just to see how it runs.

      Still, if it means manufacturers will not be able to use a screen less than 1024×768 in size, that’s good.

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        It also means that the efforts to make Win8 run leaner are less useful since it won’t be able to run on older, but still adequate machines. People checking email and surfing the web don’t need an platform running Ivy Bridge and a 2560×1600 display.
        For example, I have an extra HTPC plugged into an old CRT-based HDTV in my basement which does 1080i, but not 720p. The device currently runs Win7, but couldn’t be updated to 8 because it will see the display as 540p (the highest non-interlaced resolution it can run)

          • yuhong
          • 8 years ago

          It will run. It just can’t use the Metro stuff.

            • mcnabney
            • 8 years ago

            Which Microsoft is herding the developers into. So that MS can get their cut. I’m not sure that they thought this all the way through. Steam has the same thing going and publishers are already revolting and developing their own digital delivery system. I’m pretty sure nothing from EA will be coming to Metro!

    • ALiLPinkMonster
    • 8 years ago

    It actually looks pretty darn efficient for touch screens, but… I mean come on. What am I going to click on? I want BUTTONS.

    On a different note, I will never understand what is so great about dubstep. I kind of HAVE to enjoy it to an extent, because EVERYONE I FREAKIN KNOW LISTENS TO IT NONSTOP. I will never consider it good music, though. South Park got it right with their subtle reference to it sounding like somebody defecating into your ear.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      The Ad is designed to create and inspire people with ADHD.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]The Ad is designed to create ... people with ADHD.[/quote<] moo? edit: f'd up the tags.

    • UberGerbil
    • 8 years ago

    For those suffering from future shock, try
    WinKey+Q
    WinKey+X
    WinKey+I (make sure you look at More PC Settings — you can also get here via WinKey+C).
    And WinKey+D to get back to your beloved desktop.

    Most (all?) of the other familiar and handy WinKey shortcuts work also, like WinKey+R to get the Run box, WinKey+Pause to get to System Properties and WinKey+arrow to throw windows against the various screen edges.

    WinKey+E launches Explorer, where the Ribbon has actually improved things IMO.

      • Deanjo
      • 8 years ago

      And if your keyboard does not have a Winkey?

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        I guess you should be using Linux then, Mr. Happy Hacking Professional.

        • [+Duracell-]
        • 8 years ago

        Super key?

        • Ricardo Dawkins
        • 8 years ago

        Buy another keyboard accessory for your iDevice..eerrrr Mac.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 8 years ago

      So now we must navigate with the keyboard 100% because the GUI is unusable? Why not just make the command prompt the shell?

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        Actually I was trying to help people who are keyboard-oriented (as I am much of them time, since I actually use my machine for work). My initial impression of the Metro UI was like a lot of the responses you see here — [i<]that's great if I have a touch-screen, I guess, but I don't so what good is it?[/i<] -- but eventually I discovered you can actually pull up a lot of the functionality without taking your hands off the keyboard. That didn't seem obvious (at least, it wasn't to me) so I thought I'd highlight it. I'm still not sold on the whole Metro experience for a desktop PC, but I'm unwilling to just dismiss it out of hand because it doesn't look and act exactly like the 30-year-old WIMP paradigm. And actually, it's pretty easy to avoid Metro altogether. I've been using Win8 all afternoon and haven't seen it except when I explicitly went looking for it (since I'm fooling around with writing a Metro tile). Of course, it took a bit of time initially to get things set up to do that, but that's not unlike setting up my Win 7 box (where I seldom use the Start menu anymore either, now that I have it tuned to my liking)

        • jstern
        • 8 years ago

        I’m keyboard oriented, it quickly becomes 2nd nature, and it makes things faster.

        • Meadows
        • 8 years ago

        You’re a “l33t g4m3r”. You’re [i<]supposed[/i<] to use the keyboard already.

    • indeego
    • 8 years ago

    I’m le lazy and never want to reach out to my screens or smudge them with my greasy hippy-ster hands.

    Actually I’ve been busy all day with [url=http://securityonion.blogspot.com/<]Security Onion[/url<]. What a great little IDS. Recommended!

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      I’m actually thinking of going full Kinect with this thing so I can wave my greasy hands around to control it like some kind of twitching dubstep meth-head.

    • insulin_junkie72
    • 8 years ago

    MS is also releasing the freemium Microsoft Flight today, too:
    [url<]http://www.microsoft.com/games/flight/[/url<] It's been obvious for a long time it'll be no true FSX replacement, but I'm probably more interested in checking that out first over Win8 πŸ˜› Also a Visual Studio beta. Busy day at MS.

      • travbrad
      • 8 years ago

      It should work better with a joystick than Win8 does with a mouse, that’s for sure.

    • ew
    • 8 years ago

    First impression is that this is terrible. Completely changed UI just so that Microsoft can sell junk in their own app store. I shouldn’t have to relearn Windows for that.

      • xtalentx
      • 8 years ago

      If you need to learn how to swipe and tap.. you got problems.

        • ew
        • 8 years ago

        How do I swipe and tap my way back to the start button or any of the other concepts in Windows 7 that have been completely changed with my mouse and keyboard?

          • aceuk
          • 8 years ago

          Learn to use the Windows key, duh!

    • DarkUltra
    • 8 years ago

    When an unstoppable force meets an unmovable object. This is Microsoft pushing a touch pad UI onto their desktop users. It will fail.

    With the Win7 Start Menu I can right click files and quickly find their location. I can drag files to other programs. It is compact (a single list) so I can reach every program and search result with a single click. All these usability features is not possible with the Metro UI and its start screen.

    Having a big 24″ monitor and several applications open and quickly shift between them with task bar. Think OC your PC and running OCCT, IBT, GPUZ, AI suite to monitor temperatures and a text document to note progress. Impossible with Metro UI.

    The classic UI in Windows 7 lets the user grow and learn new ways to organize and be more efficient. The Metro UI will hold people back at smart phone level. I love the windows phone and it will be a huge advantage to have access to file system and desktop programs on a Windows 8 tablet, but the Metro UI has very little to offer desktop users, other than nice animations and bloating away the pixels.

    I want the new explorer in Windows 8 so I can minimize the ribbon and use the quick access toolbar, and the unified file transfer dialogue. Unfortunately these vanish if I enable the classic Start Menu. I hope this has changed in the Consumer Preview. Best of both worlds!

    • Kaleid
    • 8 years ago

    This looks a lot better:
    [url<]http://www.theverge.com/2012/2/24/2822891/windows-desktop-ui-concept[/url<] Apparently win8 has a killswitch: [url<]http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2400985,00.asp[/url<]

      • phez
      • 8 years ago

      saw that the other day. thats the design scheme found in the zune software

    • Thresher
    • 8 years ago

    I hate to judge something before it is actually out and I have a chance to use it for a while, but I just don’t see Metro working on a desktop at home. At work, it might, because I only use a few apps. But at home, first thing i would do is turn it off.

    • Krogoth
    • 8 years ago

    It looks, smells and feels like Windows 7 Mobile 2.0.

    It offers “nothing” compelling to desktop and workstations, while being stuck with a more cumbersome UI that is clearly meant for portables.

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah, but did you see how fast the video moves?

    • albundy
    • 8 years ago

    directx 9! seriously? MS proclaimed that anything after vista was to require directx 10, win7’s dx 11, etc.

    Is MS taking a step back? like way back?

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      Intel still doesn’t have correctly working DX10 drivers for some of their products.

        • travbrad
        • 8 years ago

        This seems to be a trend, Intel products holding back Windows. The only reason there was a 32-bit Win7 was because of the early Atom CPUs.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 8 years ago

          that is not the only reason, or else the only 32-bit Windows 7 would have been Starter. There is (as an oxymoron) a 32-bit version of Windows 7 Ultimate.

          They’ve said all along that they wanted everything that could run 7 to run 8, and during the 7 development cycle, they wanted everything that could run Vista to run 7. With Win 9, assuming they break from that trend, you’ll get x86-64 versions only.

        • rootheday3
        • 8 years ago

        It is true that some of the netbook GPUs from Intel are not DX10 capable. However, Intel netbook GPUs aren’t the only thing preventing Microsoft from setting DX10+ as the floor for Win8. NONE of the ARM GPUs are DX10 capable (including NVidia’s Tegra GPUs by the way). In order to allow ARM SoCs into the Windows world, Microsoft had to hold the standard lower.

        Given how stringent Microsoft’s WHQL tests are, it wouldn’t surprise me if ARM Mali, Imagination PowerVR, Qualcomm Adreno all struggle to get clean certification logs even just for DX9. No equivalent certification exists for drivers in the Android/Linux/… world. Intel, AMD, and NVidia have been at this a lot longer and have years to incorporate support for all the nuances of the specs implemented in their hardware.

        DX10 and 11 are *much* more complex and the WHQL test coverage and pass/fail criteria are much tighter. Give it another couple years before anyone (except NVidia) has an ARM CPU with a DX10+ GPU.

          • BobbinThreadbare
          • 8 years ago

          ARM and x86 Windows are separate products.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            32 bit and 64 bit Windows are separate products.

            Home and Professional Windows are separate products.

            Starter and Ultimate Windows are separate products.

            OEM and retail Windows are separate products.

            SP1 and SP2 Windows are separate products.

            Moopmoopmeepmowmow.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            Do you have a point other than proving a technicality? MS could easily have required DX10 for x86 Windows, while not for ARM since there is no compatibility between them.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 8 years ago

            Do you?

            They could also require 16GB of RAM for the x86 version. But what would that accomplish when other “separate products” can’t do that?

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            My original point was that MS couldn’t go DX10 only, if they wanted to, because of Intel. Their foray into ARM processors has nothing to do with what their x86 version requires.

            • rootheday3
            • 8 years ago

            Let’s think through what that would mean…
            Microsoft makes DX10 a requirement for x86… and then, let’s say, they implement parts of IE10 or Metro or Office 15 based on that. But they still have to implement a DX9 version of Metro for the ARM parts. So they have to implement it twice. Why would they do that to themselves?

            Maybe they could avoid that by using the DX10/11 apis but having the run time map that to DX10 or DX9 under the covers (DX11_on_9, Feature Level 9_3).. but that would require restricting their use to only the DX9 subset of features. Otherwise they would have features that didn’t work on ARM or that had to be implemented twice anyway. Ok, so they restrict themselves only the DX11_on_9_3 subset of features… – which would let all the stuff run equally on ARM or x86 DX9 parts. At that point, why would they artificially raise the bar and tick off/alienate all the people who bought netbooks over the last couple years who now can’t upgrade to Win8.

            Now substitute every other ISV out there in place of Microsoft… Do you want to create fragmentation for yourself? Implement code twice? Alienate potential users?

            Against all of that… tell me what practical benefit it would give. DX10+ is a nice cleanup/overhaul of the API for developers – but that is true when using DX11_on_9 also… the fact that DX10-ish code is converted into DX9 is invisible to the ISV. Yeah, you don’t get to use Geometry Shaders and a few other advanced features. For most app (and even many game developers) the DX9 feature set is just fine – especially given that is about what the consoles support.

            • BobbinThreadbare
            • 8 years ago

            “Do you want to create fragmentation for yourself? Implement code twice? Alienate potential users?”

            I was under the impression they were doing this anyways.

      • yuhong
      • 8 years ago

      Note however that XPDM is dead in Win8! For 2D-only video cards that still exists WDDM 1.2 supports display-only drivers. MSBDD (Basic Display Driver) is the new VESA/GOP based fallback driver.

    • lycium
    • 8 years ago

    Even worse for those of us who (also) like dubstep, “dubstep” is coming to mean “Skrillex-style epileptic mixing”. There’s a little of that in the music, hence the association I guess.

    Here’s something recent and hopefully more representative of the genre, by Burial: [url<]http://www.hyperdub.net/releases/view/149/HDB059[/url<]

      • LiamC
      • 8 years ago

      Isn’t that more brostep (the Skrillex stuff that is) than dubstep?

      • internetsandman
      • 8 years ago

      I’m amazed this hasn’t started a flame war between fanboys of various genres.

    • fellix
    • 8 years ago

    The GUI changes are mostly repelling for me. I simply can’t get along with the missing/altered star menu, and that’s just scratches the surface of the problem. Some routine tasks and manipulations now take more time and clicks to accomplish. I have many programs that are nicely ordered and pinned to the start menu on my Windows 7 machine, so that the desktop and the task bar would avoid the cluttering. In Win8 this have to change for worse. πŸ™
    Forcing the Metro interface on a desktop machine for me is a way of MS to shove their own services and applications in a most daring manner in the user’s environment, with far removed way of interaction the PC users have been accustomed. I don’t like someone to push me something I don’t like or don’t have the intention to use. I would really like to see some day a modified version of the OS with ditched Metro GUI, app’s and services.
    One thing I really like is the new Task Manager — if it’s possible, I would snap this right in to my current Win7 installation.

      • bjm
      • 8 years ago

      I like it, but I admit it does take some getting used to. If you place your desktop apps into the first page of the Start screen, its functionally the same. Press the start key on your keyboard, then click your desktop app, and it opens in the desktop area. Or click the same area using the mouse.

      When it comes to mouse/keyboard setups, I believe the main issue is going to be how discoverable these commands are.

    • Dizzytaz00
    • 8 years ago

    I’m trying ti right now in vmware player & i’m staying with my windows 764bit ultimate. It feels out of place. (like a fish out water) If my mother bought a w8 pc she be confused. Asking me where the start button? I just don’t digg the interface of metro style, & this is going to easier to use? hmm…..?

      • Chandalen
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve been using for the last couple hours, and honestly I just don’t like it. The fish out of water feeling is an apt description to using the interface.

      For what it sets out to do I think it did fine (mouse and keyboard controls in the metro style are atrocious once you actually get into a ‘tab/pane/wtfeveritscalled’) but it’s not something I’m remotely interested in using.

      For someone that is mostly computer illiterate I think my 76 mother would actually really enjoy this OS after spending a few days with it.

      I don’t like the fact I HAVE to have an email account/phone # to enter to even install the program. And it asking for other personal data is not something I really want my OS asking for (yes I know I can lie about all of it, but it’s principle of the matter that I disagree with).

      TL:DR – sticking with windows 7 for the foreseeable future.

      ps – ribbon sucks – toolbars forever! (bring the downvotes!!!)

      edit: removed stray plural.

        • bjm
        • 8 years ago

        [i<]I don't like the fact I HAVE to have an email account/phone # to enter to even install the program. And it asking for other personal data is not something I really want my OS asking for (yes I know I can lie about all of it, but it's principle of the matter that I disagree with).[/i<] Do you mean creating the user account that you use to sign in? You can choose to not setup a Microsoft account when creating the first user. Doing so will create the normal local user account that we all know and love.

          • Chandalen
          • 8 years ago

          i’ll be honest and say I don’t know. I’ll have to give it another shot at later date.

          It seemed like it was mandatory when I installed it, but I might of missed an option there in small print.

      • srg86
      • 8 years ago

      I totally agree. I’ve just got it up and running on a VMWare VM and I keep getting lost! After a few hours I think I would do a little better, but I just think of my poor Dad, he’d have no idea.

      What I have noticed are the lack of visual cues, I’m just left thinking “what do I do now”.

        • Dizzytaz00
        • 8 years ago

        srg86 I totally agree. I’ve just got it up and running on a VMWare VM and I keep getting lost! After a few hours I think I would do a little better, but I just think of my poor Dad, he’d have no idea.
        What I have noticed are the lack of visual cues, I’m just left thinking “what do I do now”.

        feeling the same way “what do I do now?”

        my mother 58 & the only way I consider using w8 is touch screen.

        Is & If that’s the way MS trying to go ( forgive me for saying this) , but it’s like windows vista clumsiness

    • smilingcrow
    • 8 years ago

    I have a Dell XT3 turning up next week which I ordered on a whim which should be a good candidate to try with this preview. I think a touch screen laptop is an interesting proposition as you are close enough to the screen that moving between keyboard, trackpad and touch-screen can be seamless and intuitive; well at least in theory. πŸ™‚

    • Neutronbeam
    • 8 years ago

    But…what is it good for?! Anyone? Bueller?

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      *crickets chirping AND sagebrush rolling

      • UberGerbil
      • 8 years ago

      I have to say, this is [i<]perfect[/i<] for my elderly mother. The stripped down mail client, for example, is exactly what she needs. Definitely not for me, but it in no way interferes with my ability to run what I want so I don't really care. She has trouble with remembering new things so it's very rare for me to try to change anything on her computer, but I'll be switching her over to 8 as soon as it goes gold,

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        Get her a tablet without the needless complexity (and virus/malware risk) of Windows. I got one for my mother in law and she LOVES IT.

          • UberGerbil
          • 8 years ago

          She already has a computer, and it has a large screen she likes very much (with her trifocals). Downgrading to a smaller tablet screen wouldn’t be acceptable. Her primary (90%) usage is email (pretty much all she does is that and solitaire, plus following the occasional link or PPS she gets in email) so she needs/wants a physical keyboard. I’ve asked her if she has any interest in a tablet, and she really has none — she wants to sit at her desk to use her computer, and type on a real keyboard. So a tablet would end up just sitting in a keyboard dock connected to her existing screen, which is what her current computer already does — except her current computer is something she already owns.

          She’s never had a virus, and given how little she goes on the internet (and how locked down I have her machine) it’s pretty unlikely she ever will.

          In other words, a tablet would amount to paying money for something she already has. I’ll pay $99 to upgrade the computer she already has to Win8; I won’t pay $600 to replace her computer with something no better (and possible worse, especially since I’ll be on the hook to remote into it and fix anything that goes wrong.)

            • ew
            • 8 years ago

            My 90 year old grandma has an HP touchsmart PC. Windows 8 will be a large improvement over the touchsmart interface. I’m reluctant to even touch her PC though since she already knows how to use it as is.

    • WaltC
    • 8 years ago

    I may actually buy Win8 at some point but right now I feel as though I’ve only begun to break in Win7 x64…;) I’m nowhere near “tired” of Win7 yet.

    That video: has to be one of the uuuuuu-u-u-u-ugliest OS promotionals I’ve ever seen. It looks like a commercial for a digital camera. Microsoft is really marketing this to the brain-impaired masses, aren’t they? Seems to me that Microsoft has created a gigantic market by treating their customers as if they have some sense–now the company wants to suddenly start marketing to the same customers as if they are little more than drooling adolescents?….;) I wish Microsoft luck with Win8–I think they are going to need it.

      • dpaus
      • 8 years ago

      [quote<]now the company wants to suddenly start marketing to the same customers as if they are little more than drooling adolescents?....;)[/quote<] You haven't heard that maxim about 'never overerestimate the taste of the American buying public', have you?

        • madseven
        • 8 years ago

        If apple can convince people that they are the best thing since sliced bread and are more valuable than oil, why can’t MS?

    • bjm
    • 8 years ago

    Posting this from a fresh install of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. It’s running on a Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop. Cheap laptop I got for $190 in 2010’s Black Friday sale. No touch screen, of course.

    I never ran the developer preview. But I must say, I’m impressed with how smoothly everything is running. Keyboard shortcuts for IE10 took about 2 minutes to figure out since they are the same as every other browser (CTRL-Tab to switch tabs, ALT-D to type in the URL bar, etc.). Or, just right-click on an empty space to bring up the tabs at the top and URL bar at the bottom.

    Just a few minutes of use so far, but so far so good. πŸ™‚

      • OneArmedScissor
      • 8 years ago

      Did you have to manually install any drivers to keep it from behaving weirdly?

        • bjm
        • 8 years ago

        Nope, none. I just checked the Device Manager also, everything was detected. Also ran the 3D Pinball game that came with it, and it ran fairly well also, so even the 3D drivers were installed.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Nice! Thanks for the update. The dearth of drivers with official Windows 8 support was sending me mixed signals. I’m used to new XP installs having choppy scrolling or not connecting to the internets without specific drivers. Time to play 10 years of catch up.

            • UberGerbil
            • 8 years ago

            Actually, it picked up the USB 3.0 controller on my Z68 mobo without needing any 3rd party drivers, which Windows 7 didn’t do. In fact, I had to download several GB of drivers for Win7 on this system to get rid of all the ⚠ in devmgmt, but Win8 picked up everything except the Intel SM Bus controller (no loss). You might still want the 3rd party versions eventually for performance or feature reasons, it but all works OOTB with just the default Windows stuff.

            Of course, older systems with more orphanish hw might be a little iffy, though if Win7 supports it I’d be confident Win8 will as well.

            • RostokMcSpoons
            • 8 years ago

            I had to install the Synaptics drivers to get two-finger scrolling and pinch-zoom to work… but that was fairly painless. Everthing else seems to have OOTB for me too. (Acer 4810 with Crucial M4 SSD)

            • sweatshopking
            • 8 years ago

            that was the same for me. tecra r700. everything but 2 finger scrolling. I did update my Bluetooth to the Toshiba drivers, but I didn’t check to see if the ms drivers were installed, so Idk.

            • UberGerbil
            • 8 years ago

            The MS Bluetooth drivers were installed automatically on my system,

      • indeego
      • 8 years ago

      Control+L forever.

        • bjm
        • 8 years ago

        Yup, that still works, too. πŸ™‚

    • axeman
    • 8 years ago

    I tried the developer preview in VirtualBox, and it was unusable because the mouse was all messed up, and because it was “Windows 8”, I couldn’t install the guest addons to fix it. Perhaps either Microsoft or Oracle has fixed it now, though.

      • hans
      • 8 years ago

      I should work in VMware 8. At least that’s what I read when trying unsuccessfully to get the dev preview to run in vmware 7.

    • [+Duracell-]
    • 8 years ago

    I’m swallowing the red pill when I get home πŸ™‚

    Also, for those concerned with mouse and keyboard usability: [url<]http://www.winsupersite.com/article/windows8/improvements-mouse-keyboard-navigation-142337[/url<]

      • BobbinThreadbare
      • 8 years ago

      So they’ve brought back hotspots. I remember those from Windows 98.

      • Disco
      • 8 years ago

      I read your link. It all sounds good. Makes me feel a little better about the non-touchscreen users experience.

      Now that I’m used to my Android smartphone, I think think ‘flipping’ between screens could be quite useful on the desktop. Not so sure about all the social media crap though. How is anyone supposed to get any work done on these machines?

        • Voldenuit
        • 8 years ago

        [quote<]Now that I'm used to my Android smartphone, I think think 'flipping' between screens could be quite useful on the desktop. Not so sure about all the social media crap though. How is anyone supposed to get any work done on these machines?[/quote<] I've been using virtual desktops in UNIX for years (my old work had AIX and HP-UX workstations) and fiddled with virtual desktops as far back as XP (this was in the days of CRTs when multi-monitor setups took up a lot of room). Never liked them. I do use them on my smartphone, but only use 2 out of the 3 maximum home screens supported by Symbian^3. My wife has an Android phone w 7 home screens, and I find navigating her phone to be a chore. I'm still not sold on Metro for desktop use, and the video did not change my mind. One thing I do like though is the ability to consolidate space with panels (similar to Windows 7's lock to side feature), makes working on concurrent items more convenient. I've been wanting an easy way to queue commands, especially file operations.

        • UberGerbil
        • 8 years ago

        The problem I see with the “flipping” between screens thing is that Metro apps are in their own space, separate from the desktop. As a mouse user you can flip between them by flicking the cursor to the upper-left corner, but that only gives you the choice of the other Metro apps (and it’s a little buggy, in that you don’t see the others until you move the mouse down a bit). Metro apps are all effectively “maximized” on the screen, so you can’t have a couple of them up overlapping each other so you can easily switch between them. Of course the Start screen is supposed to substitute for that, inasmuch as all the running Metro apps can be updating their tiles, but that gives you a broad-but-shallow view of everything rather than a deeper view of just a couple. And meanwhile the traditional desktop and all of its apps are in their own space completely separate from that. So flipping between traditional apps and Metro apps is pretty clunky; in practical terms, you’re either using it like a WinPhone tablet in Metro-space, or like a traditional Win7 box in desktop-space, with the Start screen as where the twain (barely) meet. IE is really schizophrenic, with its old look on the desktop and very tablet-y maximized version in Metro (and if you have it running in both, the two sessions are completely separate)

        Also the “charms” thing is a little tricky when you’re using a (spanned) multi-screen system. Fortunately those aren’t particularly useful or interesting.

          • [+Duracell-]
          • 8 years ago

          You can snap a Metro app and still use the desktop. Try snapping the Messaging app and then hitting WinKey+D. Your desktop will appear in the larger side.

          Also, the upper-left charm also displays your desktop as a singular app if there’s a desktop app open.

            • UberGerbil
            • 8 years ago

            Ah, I see what you mean — from the vertical Metro “taskmanager” you can right click to snap individual metro apps left and right (as well as close them)

            And, amusingly, when I selected your text to try to quote it and used the RMB menu to “copy” IE crashed. In fact, it seems to consistently do that with the TR web page for some reason.

            Edit: Ctrl+C to copy causes IE to crash too.

            No biggie, I was only using it because it got launched by something else anyway. (But seriously, MS: WTF?) And back to Chrome I go….

      • Grape Flavor
      • 8 years ago

      Thurrott would drink Steve Ballmer’s urine and claim it was the best lemonade he ever tasted. He’s a shill.

      That post did absolutely nothing to convince me that Metro is anything less than a usability train wreck for the mouse + keyboard set.

    • Madman
    • 8 years ago

    There is a single problem with this. It’s a touch screen interface!

      • bittermann
      • 8 years ago

      Remove the Metro UI, add the start button back in and you have an updated Windows 7 with a tweaked kernel…that would be more compelling than this tablet OS.

        • srg86
        • 8 years ago

        I totally agree, I wonder if there’s an “official” way to do it without registry hacks?

          • FuturePastNow
          • 8 years ago

          There isn’t and there won’t be. Microsoft doesn’t actually care if people use Metro, but it’s tied to the new MS app store and its apps, and they really really want to force people to use that.

            • travbrad
            • 8 years ago

            I prefer my app store, the internet.

            • srg86
            • 8 years ago

            Same here, much better than a walled garden imho.

            • srg86
            • 8 years ago

            Fair enough, then I’m planning on sticking with Windows 7 for as long as possible then on my Win machines. Not the end of the world, I mainly use Linux and KDE.

        • ew
        • 8 years ago

        So how do I get the start button back?

    • crabjokeman
    • 8 years ago

    This looked an awful lot like the Google commercials I’ve seen..

      • kyboshed
      • 8 years ago

      At least that means it’s not like past Microsoft commercials…

        • mcnabney
        • 8 years ago

        You didn’t like Lauren?

          • kyboshed
          • 8 years ago

          I don’t think the UK was ever blessed with Lauren… We have put up with the likes of this: [url<]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pmXcWZqpLg[/url<]

            • mcnabney
            • 8 years ago

            I’m so sorry.

    • Game_boy
    • 8 years ago

    To buy Windows you have to have an INTERESTING life with many outdoor hobbies, globe-trotting relatives constantly sending you pictures and videos, a huge network of friends you use social media to know what they’re doing every second of every day, and all the games you play use Mii-like social features.

      • crabjokeman
      • 8 years ago

      I’m a hermit without social contacts. I guess I’ll stick with Linux then.

        • sweatshopking
        • 8 years ago

        Sounds about right. They’re the only ones that use desktop linux

          • Bauxite
          • 8 years ago

          The department of redundancy department approves your comment.

          -Approved by the DoRD

    • flip-mode
    • 8 years ago

    While I totally respect most VMware products, the Player is awfully laggy. I’d definitely recommend Virtualbox over VMware player for those who haven’t used these before. Then again, you can download both and run both simultaneously and see for yourself which one you prefer.

      • axeman
      • 8 years ago

      They have such a lead in the market, they don’t seem to put much effort into free products for consumers anymore, (perhaps since they don’t need to try and sell people on virtualization like they once did?). ESXi is wonderful for free, but if you don’t want to give up a whole machine, VirtualBox is much more useful.

      • bittermann
      • 8 years ago

      +1 Virtualbox FTW…I like free πŸ˜‰

      • srg86
      • 8 years ago

      I’ve gone the other way, I used to use VirtualBox and have gone to VMWare player because I find it performs better is every situation I’ve used it in.

    • OneArmedScissor
    • 8 years ago

    What in the sam hill did I just see and/or hear? I feel violated.

      • Voldenuit
      • 8 years ago

      Seconded. As an experienced computer user, I don’t feel in any way informed of W8’s UI or multitasking improvements. Even though I’ve been (somewhat) following the blogs on Metro, I feel more confused after watching the video than before.

      Imagine how grandmom or grandpop would feel after watching this atrocity.

        • Peldor
        • 8 years ago

        If grandma is interested in consumer preview desktop OSes, that’s one sweet granny.

        I thought the video was pretty good. It’s a teaser, not a walkthrough.

        When this is sitting on the shelf in Best Buy with some blueshirted scoundrel showing Pops how to use Metro, the video will be quite different.

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 8 years ago

          Yeah, it will say:

          Windows 8 – processor agnostic! Now supports the minds of meth addicts [i<]and[/i<] the senile!

            • Peldor
            • 8 years ago

            You’re golden then.

      • Ifalna
      • 8 years ago

      Me had to use mute button in order to prevent permanent brain damage. :S

      • Grape Flavor
      • 8 years ago

      Yeah is that what the kids are into these days? I’m 24 and now even I feel old.

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