Windows 8

Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Tue Mar 13, 2012 12:51 am

stitch626 wrote:My only complaint (from the pics since I can't test it atm) is that the metro interface looks like it was made 10 years ago...


That didn't stop people from using Windows XP! :P
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Sonic Glitch » Tue Mar 13, 2012 3:06 am

Captain Picard's Hair wrote:
stitch626 wrote:My only complaint (from the pics since I can't test it atm) is that the metro interface looks like it was made 10 years ago...


That didn't stop people from using Windows XP! :P

Hey, if it works!
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Reliant121 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 7:32 am

We loaded the preview onto my other half's nettop of yesterday; boy that was impressive. Windows vista made a pigs ear of it (it is only a q.6 dual atom core) but windows 8 runs virtually without a hitch. And metro run. surprisingly well without a touch screen
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Re: Windows 8

Postby McAvoy » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:46 pm

That is what matters to me. I got Vista and I really want to get rid of it, but since apparently 8 is superior to even 7, then i can wait.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby IanKennedy » Sun May 27, 2012 6:13 pm

How do you get rid of Metro, on a VM it's completely useless.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Sun May 27, 2012 6:18 pm

IanKennedy wrote:How do you get rid of Metro, on a VM it's completely useless.


There was a registry hack to disable it in the (alpha build) developer preview, but I've heard of no way to do so in the (beta) consumer preview. The (release candidate) release preview is expected out the first week of June before the final release in October. Perhaps some developer will find a way around Metro but it seems Microsoft doesn't want to go that way.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby IanKennedy » Sun May 27, 2012 8:30 pm

Captain Picard's Hair wrote:
IanKennedy wrote:How do you get rid of Metro, on a VM it's completely useless.


There was a registry hack to disable it in the (alpha build) developer preview, but I've heard of no way to do so in the (beta) consumer preview. The (release candidate) release preview is expected out the first week of June before the final release in October. Perhaps some developer will find a way around Metro but it seems Microsoft doesn't want to go that way.

Then it make the system pretty much a failure from the start in my view. It's awful.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Sun May 27, 2012 9:26 pm

IanKennedy wrote:
Captain Picard's Hair wrote:
IanKennedy wrote:How do you get rid of Metro, on a VM it's completely useless.


There was a registry hack to disable it in the (alpha build) developer preview, but I've heard of no way to do so in the (beta) consumer preview. The (release candidate) release preview is expected out the first week of June before the final release in October. Perhaps some developer will find a way around Metro but it seems Microsoft doesn't want to go that way.

Then it make the system pretty much a failure from the start in my view. It's awful.


Since before the new interface in Win 8 was revealed high execs at Microsoft like Steve Ballmer (CEO) and Steven Sinofsky (VP in charge of Windows group) have made statements to the effect that Window 8 represents one of the biggest risks in any new Windows release and that it is one of their most ambitious projects. Now we know why. It's unfortunate since, as I've been following the development there's truly been a ton of great work done in the inner workings of the OS. Technically it's Windows NT 6.2, based on the same underlying system as Vista (6.0) and Seven (6.1), but even better optimized than Windows 7 already is. This new windows will boot much faster and be lighter on use of all system resources (memory, CPU, even power use/battery life). There will be more class drivers (e.g., for USB 3.0) and more natively supported capabilities which previously required third-party plugins or utilities. Ironically, many of the enhancements are most strongly apparent in "Metro style" apps and while traditional desktop apps are still supported, they won't see the full range of benefits available to the newer app model and associated API's.

As far as the new GUI, their goals are clear and understandable. They are attempting to simplify the GUI while unifying the experiences across different Microsoft families from PCs to tablets to Windows phones to XBox. If anything their execution in how they've gone about it is most questionable. One of my biggest complaints is the jarring juxtaposition of two very distinct environments when you use primarily desktop apps (at this stage there aren't many Metro apps available. Those that are there now are only previews as the new Windows App Store hasn't opened to full availability yet); it doesn't mesh well as a cohesive environment. Metro itself is great for tablets and touch devices but doesn't 'fit' so well when shoehorned into a desktop PC.

It's been a bit strange how this company, after taking over a dominant position in its market years ago, has had a spotty record in "reading" the market, and less consistency in user interface model over the years than it's primary competition (Apple). Here they're trying to re-invent a well known and understood desktop environment, in stark contrast to Win 7 which took said desktop and focused sharply on improving it (with great success).
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Re: Windows 8

Postby IanKennedy » Mon May 28, 2012 3:46 pm

Captain Picard's Hair wrote:Since before the new interface in Win 8 was revealed high execs at Microsoft like Steve Ballmer (CEO) and Steven Sinofsky (VP in charge of Windows group) have made statements to the effect that Window 8 represents one of the biggest risks in any new Windows release and that it is one of their most ambitious projects. Now we know why. It's unfortunate since, as I've been following the development there's truly been a ton of great work done in the inner workings of the OS. Technically it's Windows NT 6.2, based on the same underlying system as Vista (6.0) and Seven (6.1), but even better optimized than Windows 7 already is. This new windows will boot much faster and be lighter on use of all system resources (memory, CPU, even power use/battery life). There will be more class drivers (e.g., for USB 3.0) and more natively supported capabilities which previously required third-party plugins or utilities. Ironically, many of the enhancements are most strongly apparent in "Metro style" apps and while traditional desktop apps are still supported, they won't see the full range of benefits available to the newer app model and associated API's.

As far as the new GUI, their goals are clear and understandable. They are attempting to simplify the GUI while unifying the experiences across different Microsoft families from PCs to tablets to Windows phones to XBox. If anything their execution in how they've gone about it is most questionable. One of my biggest complaints is the jarring juxtaposition of two very distinct environments when you use primarily desktop apps (at this stage there aren't many Metro apps available. Those that are there now are only previews as the new Windows App Store hasn't opened to full availability yet); it doesn't mesh well as a cohesive environment. Metro itself is great for tablets and touch devices but doesn't 'fit' so well when shoehorned into a desktop PC.

It's been a bit strange how this company, after taking over a dominant position in its market years ago, has had a spotty record in "reading" the market, and less consistency in user interface model over the years than it's primary competition (Apple). Here they're trying to re-invent a well known and understood desktop environment, in stark contrast to Win 7 which took said desktop and focused sharply on improving it (with great success).

I haven't much liked the direction windows has been taking since WinXP. They seem determined to make tech support difficult. Simply talking someone through the new style control panel over the phone when you cannot see the screen is almost impossible. That said 7 isn't too bad but Metro is a complete disaster when used with a mouse. The desktop and tablet devices and interfaces are completely different and so are the things you need to do on them. Not providing a way of ridding your self of Metro will be the biggest mistake Microsoft has ever made. The one advantage that MS had was that people knew how to use their interface, simply throwing away all of that and starting fresh is not a gamble, it's suicide. Basically you are saying to people "it's time to learn something completely new". Faced with that there's more than one choice for what they learn. Be it Macintosh or Linux there are other choices available than just Windows 8.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Sonic Glitch » Tue May 29, 2012 5:45 pm

I actually don't mind Metro, and I'm using Win8 on a device with a mouse. It's certainly not one of my favorite user interfaces but it's not horrible either. I can use it, and if I don't want to I can just open the Desktop. While it would be nice to have that option at start-up, for a Beta release I don't mind it. I also won't object if enough people objected that it will be changed in the actual release.

For me the biggest issue is just that I can't really do anything with it. Tho I guess that is to be expected from a beta release. I can play around with some of the fun free apps but I can't really do what I use my computer for because there doesn't seem to be a good (free) Office-equivalent app out there. So I only really use it for internet surfing. Does anyone know if there are plans for a Metro-app or Win8 compatible microsoft office?
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Tue May 29, 2012 6:18 pm

Sonic Glitch wrote:I actually don't mind Metro, and I'm using Win8 on a device with a mouse. It's certainly not one of my favorite user interfaces but it's not horrible either. I can use it, and if I don't want to I can just open the Desktop. While it would be nice to have that option at start-up, for a Beta release I don't mind it. I also won't object if enough people objected that it will be changed in the actual release.

For me the biggest issue is just that I can't really do anything with it. Tho I guess that is to be expected from a beta release. I can play around with some of the fun free apps but I can't really do what I use my computer for because there doesn't seem to be a good (free) Office-equivalent app out there. So I only really use it for internet surfing. Does anyone know if there are plans for a Metro-app or Win8 compatible microsoft office?


Current versions of office run just fine on the Windows 8 desktop (just not the click-to-run web-based installer; you need a disk to install). The next version of office (Office 2012?) will be a desktop program also, though its interface will take some cues from the Metro style guidelines. I've heard no plans yet for a true Metro office app. However, upcoming Windows tablets running ARM processors (those currently running smartphones, iDevices and Android tablets - and an altogether different processor design than the Intel/AMD procs used in PCs) will include a version of Office 2012 specially designed for them, built into the OS (which will be called Windows RT to distinguish it from the Intel version of Windows 8). This represents the first time an Office suite will be bundled with a version of Windows natively.

There are free alternatives, not as feature-filled and not 100% compatible with Microsoft Office document formats (.docx, .xlsx, etc). Open Office or Libre Office will work for basic tasks and open basic MS-formatted documents though Office files with more complex elements will often not be displayed properly.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Tue May 29, 2012 6:28 pm

I find Metro to be useable, if not natural to use as a PC interface. It's usability is rather limited compared to the desktop environment, though Microsoft is planning for "Joe average" users as opposed to power users. It takes getting used to, and even when one is acclimated to it the combination of desktop and Metro interfaces feels awkward and not quite cohesive.

Also, a lot will depend on the selection of Metro apps that will come out when the full version ships: right now the Windows App Store is in a very limited preview state. Apps for popular services like Facebook, twitter, and skype and more and better games, utilities and other apps will be critical for the gamble to pay off (particularly on ARM tablets where defaulting to the desktop isn't an option).
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Thu May 31, 2012 11:43 pm

Update time again: like it or loathe it, this train is rolling and Microsoft is firmly set in its course.

The third and final preview release before the real thing ships is out as of today (May 31, 2012). As with the first two, this "Release Preview" is free to use for a limited time, and will expire at a certain date past which it won't boot.

Download link

In general it's more of the same, a bunch of bug fixes and further optimizations as the final release draws near. There are a few things of note, though:

Aero is dead. The desktop interface that debuted with Vista, featuring transparent elements in the titlebars and taskbar, will be replaced with a more subdued look for the desktop. The look will be "flatter," and more plain.

Screenshot courtesy of Microsoft:

Image

more info (warning: it's a long post!): http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/18/creating-the-windows-8-user-experience.aspx

Some vestiges of Aero styling remain in the preview but are meant to be rolled back to something like that screenshot in the final release. Note that the taskbar remains semi-transparent even in renderings of the final release; it's the windows themselves which get a new coat of paint.

The ability to replace the start button has been removed. In the Consumer preview, there were working hacks which replaced the missing start orb and "classical" start menu (though they did not remove Metro, they provided an option to use the desktop in a more traditional fashion). This ability is now gone, as the code which supported this has been stripped out. Microsoft wants you use the Metro start screen.

There are a few more "Metro" apps to play with compared to the previous "Consumer preview." Installed by default are new "sports," "news," and "travel" apps and the App store seems to have a few more entries also.
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Wed Jun 27, 2012 10:43 pm

I think I've decided to stick with 7 on my desktop and laptop once the trial period on the W8 preview expires. While I find a lot in 8 to like and I don't hate Metro I don't see myself using Metro apps, and to use W8 in desktop mode the improvements over what's already a great OS in 7 aren't enough to justify the cost. When MS starts to roll back support for W7 eventually I'll consider what's out then to move on to (maybe Windows 9 is coming out by then).
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Re: Windows 8

Postby Captain Picard's Hair » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:50 pm

There was a small surprise from Microsoft when they announced their upgrade plans recently: online upgrades from XP, Vista or 7 to Windows 8 will cost just $39.99 for a limited time (until 1/31/2013). The fact there's an upgrade promotion is no surprise, but this is the cheapest they've ever priced such an upgrade. Prices for new installs haven't been announced yet; these "upgrade" licenses are only able to upgrade an existing copy of XP, Vista or 7.

It looks like they're pulling out all the stops this time: the early sings point to this being one of the biggest campaigns they've ever put on to promote a new version of Windows.
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