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Thread: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

  1. #1

    Default My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    So Windows 8 has been out for a while as a consumer preview and quite a few people have had a go at it. Some have liked it, others have not and for the most part its better for tablet users than those of us with two hands and a keyboard and mouse. Concurrent to my long-term review of Linux, I'll be looking at Windows 8 as a replacement for my desktop install of Windows 7 Professional and I'll see if my heart has any love for it. I'll be starting the experiment soon using the free Consumer Preview in a virtual machine, but some of you may have the opportunity to house the install natively on another hard drive or a separate partition.

    Join me as I try to figure out why reinventing the wheel is such a popular idea. (columns are on the way)

    Download the Consumer Preview:
    Windows 8 Consumer Preview 32-bit (2.5GB)
    Windows 8 Consumer Preview 64-bit (3.3GB)

    The ISOs are on a hosted server which supports the resume function. For virtual machines, I suggest users install Oracle's Virtualbox software, assign at least 1GB of RAM to the OS and enable the option to use your graphics card for 2D and 3D acceleration.
    Last edited by Wesley; 31-05-2012 at 01:55 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    As I started helping others find their way around in computer class, I began to write instructions for them and they all started with “Click the Start button”. Years later at my ex-girlfriend’s house I first toyed with a Longhorn beta and began using the search feature extensively in later builds on my laptop. In college I got my hands on Windows 7 Beta, and things since have never been sweeter. However, I still find myself having to teach people to remember that the Start Orb in 7 and Button in XP were fundamentally the same thing.


    Lamenting the loss of the Start Orb/Button

  3. #3

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Latest Windows 8 screens show a lack of Aero

    So I leave you today with this short piece, a screenshot of Windows 8 in its current build being modified by Microsoft. Its the desktop mode, sans Aero Glass for the major UI elements like open windows and apps. The taskbar retains the opacity that neatly shows your background wallpaper, but the rest of it is flat and somewhat dull, in my opinion. What's next, removing the rotating desktop wallpaper option?


    Linky

  4. #4

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    I actually like what they're doing there. Having the option to tone down the "special effects" can be handy for someone like me that does a lot of his work inside a virtual machine. In fact, I often have more than one open at the same time, the less resources they use the better.

    At the moment almost all my VMs are XP Pro based (the other one is Linux), but it will be nice to update at some stage. (Heh, now that I think of it, they're all set to Windows classic theme as well. Really kicking it old school.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    So I'm in Windows 8 now, installed as a dual-boot. It is quite fast - much faster than 7 was at a default install, but I'll attribute that to the total lack of a lot of things like redundant printer drivers, useless services at start-up and nothing consuming a large amount of page file space.

    I'm still in the setup process and getting used to things around here. One irritant - Metro IE and the desktop IE are two separate apps. It would have been better to have them linked as people would want to switch between the two.

    Edit: Metro IE10 needs a lot of work. Too many things, here on the forums even, don't work or aren't integrated. I can't save and edit my posts, for one. Only the history is shared and things like passwords, auto-fills and search terms aren't shared. Two separate apps with the same name, two different goals. Its my first real gripe - Yay!
    Last edited by Wesley; 23-05-2012 at 09:50 PM.

  6. #6

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Hey Wesley. I don't have anything to contribute. I just wanted to say, keep the updates coming! There is at least one guy reading them :P
    /cheese

  7. #7

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Right so the Metro IE issues have sorted themselves out after I cleared the cache, things are working better now. I'll save most of my thoughts for the next article update but so far IE 10 as Metro app is like IE 9 in full-screen mode. No surprises there.

  8. #8

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    I had Windows 8 on my laptop as my primary OS for about two months, and it was absolutely awful. It really is like W7 with the metro skin just tacked on. The user interface was clearly aimed at touch input, which is obviously required with the whole tablet-epidemic, but they could at least have left some of the mouse-friendliness Windows users have become accustomed to. Everything that I did felt awkward, which was worsened when I was forced to use the touch pad. Seriously, **** the touch pad. They also broke some things that were never broken before, which kinda confused me a bit, like the Metro IE stuff. Surely it's not THAT hard to get it working properly before you send out a consumer preview?

    I did however love the new task manager, the responsiveness and speed with which it started up, and the visual effects the Metro interface offered. In my humble opinion the whole experience would have been a ****e-sight less frustrating if Metro had been integrated into the regular desktop in the same manner that one can with Rainmeter. If that were the case, I would have loved it.

  9. #9

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Windows 8's Release Preview is live today

    Note that this new version requires the use of a new product key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J. You can download both the 32 and 64-bit versions here. although I'd urge everyone do download and use the 64-bit ISO if you're going to try it out. The more Microsoft sees users abandoning 32-bit installs, the quicker it'll drop it from the lineup. Those of you who've previously downloaded the ISO will notice that the 64-bit version is now 200MB smaller - thats thanks to the removal of Aero and a couple of applications which weren't working for users worldwide. While its still a beta, Windows 8 is now stable enough for everyday use, though I'd caution you not to chop off your Windows 7 install just yet.
    Linky

  10. #10

  11. #11

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    The methods to enable the start button and regain the Aero interface will no longer work in the next preview build. Microsoft is very intent on making customers use Metro and stick with it.

  12. #12

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    But now they have added a recovery install feature like what is in win xp but as a part of the install itself which implies you don't need the install dvd in the drive to do it?Win 7 should have had that from the get go and why they haven't added it to the installer is a mystery...
    Last edited by maxdamage; 06-06-2012 at 01:12 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    That was primarily because Windows 7 was designed with the same constraints as Vista and XP in mind - the computer should be useable without an internet connection. 8 takes the whole concept and throws it out the window and now you'll need a connection to get the most out of it and to get the best out of the various features that integrate with your Windows Live account.

    That's the reason why it can ship without a DVD-based installer because that can be downloaded OTA or through the internet and you won't have to worry about quick wipes if you've got all your documents and pictures saved elsewhere or through the cloud on Skydrive. That quick-wipe feature would have been beneficial to Windows 7, especially in small businesses and enterprises where devices get swapped around regularly. Now there's no reason to make ISOs of your system anymore, I guess.

  14. #14

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    I don't know if it's because of exam-boredom or actual interest, but I'm busy downloading the release preview to give it a whirl. Maybe they've sorted out the issues now. I've already partitioned my main drive so I'm going to be running it as a dual-boot on my main rig this time. That way I can at least switch back to good-ol' W7 for gaming and I can see what the performance is like with decent parts.

  15. #15

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Microsoft phases out Office Starter for Windows 8

    The company this week announced that all computers shipping with Windows 8 would instead come with a link for the online Office 365 app. Office 365 is part of Windows Live and features online versions of Word, Excel, OneNote and PowerPoint. Its the alternative to Google Docs with the exception that Microsoft probably won't ever allow Office 365 to support an offline version. That would introduce more complexity and mess up their idea that Windows should now live forever in the cloud and ties in perfectly with its Windows Phone initiative.


    Linky

  16. #16

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Ok, so I finally got around to trying this out. Also went the dual boot route.

    So far I have mixed feelings. I like the whole Metro start up as a user, but I can see it getting old quickly.
    I don't like that the Metro interface keeps everything open which you can see in the top left corner. Feels like it's wasting resources and I keep going there to close everything. Other than that, I think people will just click on the Desktop part to go back to normalville.

    As a network administrator, I hate the Metro interface. I can already see the crap loads of confused faces of the users. The idiots will not like this change and will complain constantly. Or they will just "explore" that and forget about all productivity. I wonder if it would be possible via group policies or something to log users in and direct them to their cluttered desktops. But by doing that it feels like the whole Windows 8 upgrade will be useless. I don't see Windows 8 in a domain work environment very soon.

  17. #17

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Quote Originally Posted by Gammaray View Post
    I wonder if it would be possible via group policies or something to log users in and direct them to their cluttered desktops. But by doing that it feels like the whole Windows 8 upgrade will be useless. I don't see Windows 8 in a domain work environment very soon.
    You can't disable Metro for the desktop OS but I see that the next Server OS does have the option to turn it on and off, so perhaps a group policy setting is on the way. Still, I don't believe that Metro is better for productivity on the whole.

  18. #18

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Windows 8 Analysis: Part One, the Desktop

    In my quest to figure out why I don't like Windows 8 I've decided to write it all down for you, dear reader, in the hope that when it launches this year that you'll be educated enough to figure out whether you want it or not. My opinions and preconceptions aside, whatever steps Microsoft takes to improve their software can only be a good thing in the long run for the company as a whole. Just as Vista was a stepping stone and driving force to make users adopt new hardware and embrace the 64-bit version in preparation for Windows 7, so will 8 be a stepping stone for Windows 9, further taking the Metro and Web 2.0 design changes into the next half-decade. I'll muse on those musings later, but for now lets go through the desktop experience in Windows 8.


    Linky

  19. #19

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    Microsoft's Windows 8 Upgrade paths detailed inside

    If you're running Windows XP SP3, Windows Vista SP1 or even Windows 7 in any updated form, you're able to upgrade to Windows 8 with the minimum of fuss and drama as Microsoft has recently revealed the (rather sensible) upgrade plans for its new OS.The company is also offering a $15 upgrade to users in the US and Europe to buy a new Windows 7 desktop or laptop that started last month until January the 31st, 2013.


    Linky - Link goes live at 9:00 AM tomorrow!

  20. #20

    Default Re: My experiences with Windows 8 as a consumer

    It really does look unprofessional and childish. With my time with it, I am so not impressed. Im sticking with Windows 7.

    My reaction to this- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umDr0...eature=related
    Last edited by 5h@un13; 02-07-2012 at 04:36 PM.

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