Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 9:24 am

Today, at an event in Barcelona, Spain, Microsoft is to publicly release the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.
Image
Windows 8 news articles at Neowin.net.


Much like the Developer Preview released last September, the Consumer Preview is to be a free download
for anyone willing to try it out on a "testbed" PC or in a virtual machine. As it's classed as a public beta,
it isn't generally recommended to install it natively on your main (or only) PC, although that's entirely
up to you to decide. With a bit of common sense, and keeping relevant data backups, you shouldn't
have much of a problem, especially if this is as stable as the Windows 7 public beta was.

If you're taking the plunge with Windows 8 Consumer Preview, post your experiences here.


UPDATE:
Official ISO images now available for download HERE.
The 64bit ISO is a 3.3GB download, and the 32bit ISO is 2.5GB.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Antony » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 1:49 pm

Microsoft has posted an amazing promo video:
:youtube: Meet Windows 8
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 7:59 pm

Still running the Developer Preview ... need to do some backups before installing the Consumer Preview.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Antony » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 9:38 pm

Do you run it on a whole machine or under virtual machine?
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Wed 29 Feb, 2012 10:24 pm

I've set aside a 100GB partition on my secondary hard drive. Grant George from the Windows team at MS
recommends the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is installed natively on actual hardware rather than a VM.
That recommendation is in this article about Windows 8 CP system requirements at Neowin.net.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby beanboy89 » Fri 02 Mar, 2012 3:56 am

I've installed Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual machine (using VirtualBox). Thus far, I've tried both the client and server versions (x64 for both), and everything's gone smooth enough for a beta; a lot better than previous builds of Windows 8 that I've tried out. I want to eventually try it on native hardware, but that will require some upgrades on some machines, as I'm not willing to install it on my main machine yet. Anyway, here are some screenshots after a few days of use and some customization:

Metro Start screen:
Image

Classic desktop:
Image

Server desktop:
Image

I can provide more/specific screenshots by request.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Antony » Fri 02 Mar, 2012 4:18 am

Windows 8 Preview has an impressive download result:
1 million downloads in first 24 hours!

To accommodate this impressive result, Microsoft scrapped the initial cap of 2.5 million on the release, and extended availability by two weeks.

Microsoft Build Windows 8 tweet
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Sun 04 Mar, 2012 5:38 pm

Having used the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for a couple of days, and I'm not really liking it so far.
The Metro UI is all well and good for touchscreen devices such as tablets and smartphones, but I
can't see many people liking it on regular desktops and laptops when Windows 8 is finalised and
eventually installed as standard on new computers.

One major aspect of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview that seems to have got people talking, and
not necessarily in a good way, is the traditional Start button/menu, or sudden lack thereof. A lot of
people are going to really dislike this, especailly if they're upgrading from venerable Windows XP.
Having the traditional Start button/menu (first introduced in Windows 95) killed in favour of a full
screen layer of dumbed down Fisher Price-esque widgets (aka. Apps) that look very much out
of place on a regular desktop/laptop setup, is going to p**s a lot of people off. At this time,
it is a weird hybrid OS with a touchscreen GUI on top of a crippled desktop.

In much the same way many folks that bought PC's bundled with Windows Vista a few years ago,
exercised the option to downgrade to Windows XP, I can see history repeating with Windows 8.
While folks are unlikely to ask for Windows XP in place of Windows 8, there'll most definitely
be cases where people want Windows 7 back when they see the mess that is Windows 8.

I am fully aware Windows 8 Consumer Preview is a public beta, and not the finalised product,
but as much as was the case with the public beta of Windows 7, bar a few bugs and glitches,
the boffins at Microsoft will now consider Windows 8 to be pretty much feature complete.
If that is the case, Windows 8 could turn out to be an embarrassing flop.

For those with W7, there'll be no major reason to "upgrade" to W8, while W7 is good enough.

I know some might not agree with my opinion, and there is nothing wrong with healthy debate,
but if you don't agree, and still haven't given the Windows 8 Consumer Preview a go, I would
definitely recommend you try it for yourself before posting a rebuttal.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby James » Sun 04 Mar, 2012 7:11 pm

Why bother? You the expert have spoken. MS boffins (your words) have produced another lousy product. Funny thing... MS keeps selling more and more licenses for its lousy products. My stepson who works for MS is a millionaire several times over. Of course, he's one of the boffins responsible for Win95, Win98 and X-box.

I'm not going to give a rebuttal to you. However, for those who are interested, Leo Laporte, Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Folley all give their thumbs up on the new OS in a one and a half-hour podcast from twit.tv. You can check it out for yourselves to see what they have to say. The interesting thing is, Leo was dead set against the touch-screen like OS on a non-touch-screen system until he started using it. Asfor the legacy folks, they can simply by-pass the metro GUI as can everyone.

On a related note, I don't find my Windows 7 phone to be Fisher Price-like. I LOVE the live tiles compared to the static Droid widgets. Different strokes for different...
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Sun 04 Mar, 2012 9:03 pm

TBH, I couldn't care less about the view of a bunch of tech journos and bloggers of the likes you mentioned.
The opinions that really matter, are those of the public, the people that buy the computers, and Windows,
the sort of people that have helped your stepson become the multi-millionaire MS employee is he today,
and fair play to him, I'm sure he's earned every penny (or cent) while he's worked there.

I don't find my Windows 7 phone to be Fisher Price-like.
I LOVE the live tiles compared to the static Droid widgets.


Like I said, the Metro GUI is good for mobile devices, tablets, smartphones such as your Windows Phone.
It'll be great for when Windows 8 powered tablet devices eventually become available. I should also say
that it also works well on the XBox360. Makes the Dashboard navigation smoother for me at least.
Heck, I was using the Metro style Dashboard a few weeks before it was even publicly released!

From a tech traditionalist POV though, Metro ain't so hot on the desktop IMO. I personally would like to
see the Metro GUI as an option on Windows 8 when it's eventually finalised, but also the choice of
using the traditional Start button, rather than trawling the net for a 3rd party add-on to restore it.

FWIW ... I'll spend a few more days in Windows 8 CP, and when it's released as final, it'll likely be my
secondary OS alongside Windows 7, once I've downloaded it via my Microsoft Technet subscription.

I don't actually think Windows 8 is a lousy product. I do think it is a flawed product, especially if they
decide to stick with Metro as default, and not even offer the choice of having the regular Start button.

As always ... choice is good.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby James » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 11:02 am

Men like Paul Thurrott and Steve Gibson have spent the greater part of their working lives in the tech industry and I respect their views. The general public (myself included) is often ignorant of what is really going on under the hood, so to speak. I give little credence to the views of the man in the street for the simple fact that his views change so readily when he is finally educated.

If you don't want to listen to the podcast on Windows Weekly, then here's a short report from this morning on how quickly it can reset the OS which is quite an engineering feat. It's just one example of what is under the hood and what the man in the street would not appreciate.

"BGR published a full review of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Consumer Preview last week, and to say we were impressed is an understatement. Make no mistake, Microsoft has plenty of work left to do, but we found its next-generation operating system to be a breath of fresh air while still managing to stay true to the groundwork laid by Windows 7."

You can read the entire report here: http://www.bgr.com/2012/03/05/windows-8 ... x-minutes/
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby James » Mon 05 Mar, 2012 11:06 am

Greg: we've both been members here for many years during which time we've crossed swords on numerous occasions. I didn't really mind your review; you're entitled to your opinions and I respect that. What I do mind is your describing the engineers at MS as boffins. That's when your post crosses the line and becomes personal for me and so I fire back a broadside (probably not the brightest thing in the world for me to do, but understandable given the circumstances). I felt I owed you that explanation. I apologize for the tone of my original post.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby DJGM » Tue 06 Mar, 2012 2:10 pm

Meh, don't worry about it. I use the word "boffins" as a general term, much like I might say "propellerheads"
about hardcore Linux/UNIX geeks. The word or term "boffins" is British slang for scientists, but these days
can easily be used to refer to anyone with high expertise in technological, scientific or engineering skills.
Computer programmers, be they at Microsft, Apple, Google or elsewhere come under that banner.

I think a certain someone's repeated use of the word "extremists" could be offensive to some people.
:wink:

The likes of Paul Thurrot and others, while I do respect their opinions about tech, opinions is all they are.
There are no rights or wrongs involved with opinions. Same goes for my Windows 8 CP review (of sorts)
earlier in the thread ... it's an opinion ... and if it creates healthy debate, that's a good thing.

While we're on the subject of people's opinions, and specifically about Windows 8, I've just been reading
an article on BetaNews.com that aligns with my own view about the use of the Metro UI in the new OS,
in that Microsoft should offer it as a choice alongside the traditional Start menu.

BetaNews.com article: "Microsoft, Metro takes our choice away!", by Chris Boss

A little about the author of the article in the footnote:
Chris Boss is an advanced Windows API programmer and developer of 10 year-old EZGUI,
which is now version 5. He owns The Computer Workshop, which opened for businesses
in the late 1980s. He originally developed custom software for local businesses.
Now he develops programming tools for use with the PowerBasic compiler.

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Last edited by DJGM on Tue 06 Mar, 2012 2:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby James » Tue 06 Mar, 2012 2:28 pm

Mary-Jo Foley, a blogger for ZD Net, appears to agree with Boss. A quote from her article below:

"While many love the tiled Metro start screen and are looking forward to using it on touch tablets and PCs, many others aren’t keen on it — especially business users who are convinced that Metro will be nothing but a nuisance, especially on non-touch-enabled hardware, and that they’ll do most of their work in the Desktop app on Windows 8."

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/som ... in;content

M-J's background: Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for more than 25 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).
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Re: Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Postby Mandrake » Wed 07 Mar, 2012 10:16 am

My thoughts on this are simple, and are largely in line with what DJGM said. Metro is fine on a smartphone or a tablet. It has no place on a desktop or notebook system. I'm running about ten applications at once here, across multiple monitors and heavily multitasking. This Metro-UI seems a big jump backwards in productivity to me. :(

I think Windows 7 it will be for me, for a long time to come if this is the future direction of Windows.
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