Review - MS Windows 8 Consumer Preview
My review for the newly released Microsoft's Windows 8 (Consumer Preview) Edition with screenshots! :)
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview
- Windows 8: A new way to use your PC
- Windows 8: Ways To Install
- Windows 8: The Lock Screen
- Windows 8 – Sharing is Easy
- Windows 8: Metro apps
- Windows 8: Rearranging Apps
- Windows 8: Internet Explorer 10
- Windows 8 : New Task Manager
- Windows 8: Cloud integration and synchronisation
- Windows 8 : My Verdict
Windows 8 Consumer Preview
Released Date: 29 Feb (Leap Day!)
I was very excited about this release as i have seen many videos relating to the new UI so the first thing I done today is downloaded the iso file and tried it on VMWARE.
And I was quite amazed by their new Metro-UI and apps.
Windows 8: A new way to use your PC
Log into a Windows 8 , and you're greeted with the Start screen. In place of a Taskbar full of applications and a desktop packed with shortcuts, your screen consists of a grid of tiles. (The Metro UI ) ;D
As with icons, clicking or tapping a tile launches an application; unlike icons, these tiles display useful data. The weather tile, for instance, displays the current weather and updates itself without your input. If you've seen Windows Phone 7, you'll immediately recognise this 'Metro' interface.
In Windows 8, whether you're using a touchscreen tablet or a powerful desktop PC with a keyboard and mouse, the default interface displays a horizontal grid of tiles that are arranged into customisable groups.
Windows 8: Ways To Install
When you download the Consumer Preview, installing is easier than usual with a beta operating system. You can start the installation directly from the web page, instead of having to download an ISO file and burn that to an optical disc.
You can still burn an ISO if you want, and the installer can also create a bootable USB stick so you can download Consumer Preview once and install it on multiple machines.
Download ISO: Download Windows 8 ISO
Windows 8: The Lock Screen
Windows 8's lock screen is pretty much what you'd expect: it's got a beautiful picture along with a few little widgets full of information, like the time, how many emails you have, and so on. However, after swiping to unlock, Windows 8 shows off some pretty neat touch-based features, particularly a "picture password" feature.
Instead of using a PIN or a lock pattern to get into your system, you swipe invisible gestures using a picture to orient yourself (in the example they showed, the password was to tap on a persons nose and swipe left across their arm).
Windows 8 – Sharing is Easy
Sharing from any app is built directly in to Windows 8. It’s like having that suite of sharing icons (like the ones you see on every news website, including Mashable) at the ready at all times. “Share” is ever-present in your options menu, no matter what app you’re in.
Sharing in Windows 8 is an incredibly powerful feature, making Apple’s Twitter integration in OS X Mountain Lion look like a pathetic baby step
The above screenshot is from my FB profile.
Windows 8: Metro apps
Instead of the games and utilities bundled with the Developer Preview, the apps included with Consumer Preview are the basic apps you need – mail, calendar, contacts, messaging, photos and social networking, plus an app for exploring your files on SkyDrive (the desktop SkyDrive app is ‘coming soon’).
These apps are all labelled as previews and while many of them were produced by the Windows Live team, they’re not the final Windows Live apps that will be coming for Windows 8. Microsoft told us to think of them as representative of the kind of experience you’ll have in the final apps but not of the features that will be in them.
Windows 8: Rearranging Apps
Once you launch apps, you can use gestures to arrange them. Swiping from the left switches to the next app, but you can also swipe and drag to put two apps on a screen side by side - and one of those can be the Windows desktop.
There are only three window sizes for apps arranged like this (counting full screen), so that developers don't have to worry about making an infinite number of layouts look good. One app is a thin QVGA 'snap' view on either side of the screen, and the other is a larger VGA full view - which is why this only works on 1366-resolution widescreen PCs.
Windows 8: Internet Explorer 10
IE10 runs in Windows 8's Metro interface as well as the desktop. If you want to change settings - such as turning on the Tracking Protection Lists or saving a favourite or home page - you'll need to swipe for the app bar and tap the button to open the page on the desktop.
Swiping also shows the address bar and the list of open tabs. Press the '+' button to open a new tab; press and hold to open a new tab for InPrivate browsing that doesn't save cookies or history. Most of the time that's all you need from a browser, so IE 10 works very well as a Metro app.
It also works well as a modern browser - it has the vast majority of usable standards in HTML 5 and CSS 3, it's fast because of the hardware acceleration and it has excellent security thanks to SmartScreen.
Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 also still has Flash, Silverlight and all the other plug-ins that other tablet browsers often lack.
Attached the screenshot of my wikinut page on IE 10.
Windows 8 : New Task Manager
Microsoft's finally redesigned the task manager, and it looks pretty great. You have a very simple task manager for basic task killing, but if you're a more advanced user, you can bring up the detailed task manager filled with information on CPU and RAM usage, Metro app history, and even startup tweaking—so you can get rid of apps that launch on startup without going all the way into msconfig.
Windows 8: Cloud integration and synchronisation
Install an app from the Windows Store and it will show up on all your PCs. Give it a Live account and Windows 8 will also sync settings between all your PCs. It'll sync your desktop background, lock screen, what you have pinned to the task bar, IE favourites, passwords and your browsing history so you can find the page you were looking at, whether you opened it at home or at work.
Windows 8 : My Verdict
It looks like Windows 8 is certainly going to take some getting used to. But underneath that daunting new interface are a wealth of smart decisions that go a long way towards dragging the behemoth that is Windows into the future.
The transition between the Start menu and the desktop is also a little jarring, even though switching from Metro to desktop apps works well.It may be that Microsoft will refine the experience, or it may be that people will get used to it.
For me the Windows 8 experience is extremely compelling and genuinely innovative.