Windows 8 optimize

Poll: Have you downloaded and tried Windows 8 Developer Preview?

Windows 8 Developer's Preview has been available for over a week. Are you ready to embrace it as Windows reimagined?

During the BUILD Windows conference, Microsoft released Windows 8 Developer Preview to developers and the public in general. Almost immediately the TechRepublic Forums were flush with members declaring the new operating system a failure, with many vowing to jump ship for an alternative OS.

Most of these declarations were much more impassioned than was necessary, which reduced their impact to persuade and sway opinion. After all this is not even a beta version of Windows 8 -- many changes will take place between now and when the operating system is actually released. There is no need to bring out the vitriol now.

With that out of the way, I will go on record to say that I like what I see in Windows 8 so far. I can see the potential in the Metro Interface for use on smartphones, tablets, and other touchscreen devices. It will be interesting to see what developers come up with in terms of apps for Windows 8.

And for desktop users complaining about the tiles and the loss of their preferred interface: You don't have to use tiles and the Metro Interface. The Windows Desktop is still there and is not going away.

My testing has shown the Developer Preview version to be very nimble. On my test machine, a Dell Studio Hybrid PC, Windows 8 boots in 11 seconds, whereas Windows 7 took over a minute. One thing I will be watching is how fast Windows 8 boots when it gets to a beta version and I start installing a typical set of applications.

On the assumption that you have actually downloaded Windows 8 Developer Preview and that you have actually tried it, what do you think of Windows 8 so far? Do you see potential? Do you foresee problems? What aspects are you concentrating on during your testing of Windows 8?

Also read:

About

Mark Kaelin is a CBS Interactive Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He is the host for the Microsoft Windows and Office blog, the Google in the Enterprise blog, the Five Apps blog and the Big Data Analytics blog.

38 comments
rcl4rk
rcl4rk

I've been using Windows 8 Beta 64bit since March with the standard desktop and downloaded start/shutdown buttons. IMO this OS was less trouble and faster than both Windows 7 Beta and vista Beta which I also tested. Since I'm using this on one of my HP laptops, the metro screen is pretty much useless although I can see the potential for smartphone/tablet use. @rcl4rk

Louisapple
Louisapple

Hah, I just want to post a poll to ask the same question, but find yours. o~o yes, I have download windows 8 consumer preview and installed into my VM. Hah, so far so good I think. And I am going to dual boot windows 8 and Windows 7 at home.

aureolin
aureolin

I downloaded Win8 and installed it on an old box that we had laying around. It's an old emachines T5048 that had it's memory upgraded. Yes folks, Win8 will run (and fairly well too!) on a Pentium 4 / 3.06Ghz machine with 2.0Gb of ram. Gives me hope that a low powered ARM tablet might not be such a bad thing.

sachinmistry25
sachinmistry25

It looks like Microsoft have grab ideas from different sources and mixed into Windows 8...when I tried using Camera function...for a couple of second my thoughts was am I iPhone apps? At current stage speed could be only positive factor...for this OS. Lets see what next..

pegassus
pegassus

I've been trying Developers Preview since the first day it was released and of course that I've noticed several things that need to work on, but I can tell you this: even though that this is just a preview, I've been abble to do anything that I was doing in Windows 7 and even in Linux Mint (that is my prefered). Let me explain: I have the need for office aplications and Office 2007 works perfectly; I have the need for burning and Ashampoo Burning Studio 2010 Works exactly as I expected; I needed to make some designs and Corel works fine; I'm a VLC fan and works smoothly in this Preview; for several months now, I've been using A Tube Catcher, I installed and works exactly the same than in W7; I'm always trying to have a "clean" system so I've installed CCleaner, works very well; and I could go on and on for several applications that I'm using right now, did'nt find any problem. As I said, this is just a Preview, and I'm already waiting for the Beta. I would like to tell you a lot of thing more but I think this is enough for now.Please accept my apologies por my bad writing, I used to read a lot in English but don't write or speak it. My natal language is Spanish.

johngml
johngml like.author.displayName 1 Like

Installed it on an older computer that has run Windows 7 without any problems but found it dog slow with Windows 8. I know it is a Developer version but it just doesn't feel usable. The only thing that worked on the Metro interface was Windows Explorer, none of the other buttons did anything. When early versions of Windows 7 came out it was very usable and I loved it from day one. I am not getting the feeling with this as nothing appears to work on it. To get Internet Explorer working I had to go into the programme files and find the .exe. That worked very well but the whole thing does not feel user friendly, in fact it doesn't feel like it is anywhere near the level where it should have been released. Maybe it is heavily biased to touchscreen, I don't know but I doubt I will be spending much time playing with it in that state.

wsmith
wsmith

I installed a virtual copy at work and installed a dual boot with Win 7 at home for my 13 year old daughter so she could play around with it. She likes it a lot but it is very easy for her to learn new ways of doing things. I think I could get used to it.

Spexi
Spexi

That was also the first problem I faced when tried install Windows Developer Preview in a virtual environment. As the PC didn't had this support for running virtualization it soon ended with blue and black screens. From the information I've got it might be possible to run a Win8 copy within a host which running Win8 in Hyper-V, anything else won't succeed IF not having support for hardware assist in the hardware. From my own Point of view it looks like Microsoft wish to take some advantage from users that not having hardware assist yet in make them visit the store and upgrading their PC's if they want to run Win8 in a VM. We know virtualization belongs to the future and if also consider that the PC market doesn't seems that growing anylonger mainly of the global economic situation it might be fair believe the hardware industry are open for all help they can get in stimulate increased sales. Heard of figures on minus 30% If we should talk about combinations between the developing situation from when Windows seven saw it's first light in comparison with how it looks now in speak of Windows 8 and how the market looks like. Well, when Seven started the journey we were in a positive position on the top of the market. A year before Seven became released 2008 the market started to fall but it wasn't that big trouble for Seven as also could be seen in the release in name of new features developed gui and so on compared with former versions. This time Microsoft had a different situation in developing Windows 8 as they have to put much more effort in do the same thing since middle of 2009. If they succeed I will be impressed but my expectations not that high as the economical environment always has a tendency in colorize at almost everything we do and the decisions we take. In speak of Windows developer preview, I have to say it ended well after installed it in a dualboot right on my laptop. So I have been testing it and the new Metro interface looks like a freaking playground based on influences from the Browser Choice update KB976002, mixed with influences from Windows Gadgets. Feeling like a KID again despite my age :D

Realvdude
Realvdude

I think it's great that everyone can get their hands on it at such a early stage. I can see the real value of the Metro interface for phone and tablet (FYI arrow keys will move between tiles). I suspect that as this nears release, the registry value will allow a manufacturer to set the Start behavior, or at least the default. I like the full screen effect of the Metro apps. I ran into a bit of a stale mate as to which version to try, on one hand you only get the preview dev tools with the 64bit preview, but Virtual PC under Windows 7 will only allow 32bit client OSs. At work, I have the full 64 bit under Hyper-visor, at home under Virtualbox. One thing I did note, is that the Windows Features lists Hypervisor. Has anybody looked at this yet? Another question I have is has anyone looked under the hood to see how much Windows 8 has changed from Windows 7? I did note that MS said that they reduced the resource requirements, which I confirmed by first running in a VM with a single core and 768Mb of RAM, though I am now running two cores and 1Gb of RAM.

RicoSpain
RicoSpain

I was a bit lost in the interface until I installed a program, which popped up as a tile in the new Metro interface and put an icon on the desktop, and it was like "ahh, now I get it". Two places, same thing. I get to choose. I've made groups of tiles based around tasks. That said, I would like the start menu to swap to W7 style if you are in the desktop part for a while. That would give me the best of both.

PaleRider1861
PaleRider1861 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I have build 8102 up and running under Hyper-V, having installed from the ISO file. No problems with the install, looks good. IE 10 works fine, you can turn off the 'tiles' with a registry edit. Good to go so far.

pohsibkcir
pohsibkcir like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

Having been in on the beta and earlier trials for every Windows OS since Windows 95, this one scared me the most ... But then again, it is also the earliest preview of an OS I've seen to date as well, aimed at developers. On face value, Windows 8 is not a computing system for the real world, It is a direct response to the needs of a VERY SMALL demographic range. And for all that the Windows 8 Metro interface represents, the whole system could and should be placed on a ROM chip, within a USB3 drive and ran on the component level. One very noticeble thing to mention. Bootup and open MSOffice programs were measurably faster, Microsoft needs to drop notepad and wordpad and release a hybrid that contains features from both, with tabbed document pages. As mentioned above and by many people, it is a Developer's Preview and the finalized version won't even be near what I and others have tried out with the Developers preview. As it is, I rate it up there with Windows Millennium, lol ... Only less usefull.

gak
gak like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

There are many changes to the classic desktop. This alone justifies the upgrade. My favorites are the finally fixed Task Manager and network load balancer. The new Metro style apps live cycle alone justifies the upgrade. The side view mode for all apps, including Desktop, also justifies the upgrade when taken alone. And so on... MS does not lie telling it is a truly new Windows, and it is a better one. Some things are still undone or crippled, like the start screen. Let the Intelligent Zoom zoom it out. A very narrow line of something crosses the empty screen. Is that "intelligent"? The lack of structure in the Star Screen prevents the system from scaling and makes any classical program installation a disaster. However, it is a DEVELOPER preview. Users should not bother or at least behave themselves. Faults mentioned above are of minor interest to a developer and can be addressed later.

Funashi
Funashi

am surprising people thought to be acute in thought can see way better and potential for Win8 and yet they fail into unmetrosities. or is it because they just have something to say. Win8 looks promising. Microsoft is offering something they should have done 5 years. With better participation this Windows 8 has a niche to just turn well. Microsoft will have to do better with the Metro UI. The defaults apps fine, but the newly installed apps shortcuts on the Metro UI are not just alligning well with ugly icons. Don't make that a let down

andrew.glenda
andrew.glenda

It's a year away, so I guess it will be sweet by then but it's a bit of a pain finding your way around-I'm sure if I had a touch screen I'd be having more fun. I put it on a plug in PATA drive and unplug my SATA drives before I run it-I'm too chicken to use the upgrade feature. Getting in and particularly out of it is not intuitive but It runs essential software java 64 flash 64 open office acrobat etc. I wait for the next version but not with baited breath. PS I have installed a SuperOS linux beside it on the same drive (different partition) with no objection from Windows 8 and now use the Grub bootloader with no problems!

eralper.yilmaz
eralper.yilmaz like.author.displayName 1 Like

I'd found the chance to check some the new changes on totally new Windows 8 http://www.kodyaz.com/windows-8/how-to-install-windows-8-installation-screenshots.aspx In fact I see some similarities between Windows Phone 7 and Windows 8 I remember that the Microsoft is keeping roaming profiles of WP7 users, it is now similar for new OS users too. The new OS is like a tablet PC more than OS that we are used to I believe this new UI will make Windows more enjoyable for home users, but when I consider professional IT stuff it may change

jkameleon
jkameleon

The next version of Windows is just a planned obsolescence thing, which I don't need, and I'm not at all curious about it. Right now, I have Windows/Linux dual boot. My next machine will probably be linux only. And, by Cthulhu, if I decide it'll be Linux it will be Linux, even if Microsoft carries this plan through: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/09/21/secure_boot_firmware_linux_exclusion_fears/ I'll order the Pulgunbyol box from North Korea, if I have to.

pjboyles
pjboyles like.author.displayName 1 Like

I expected at least a patch to add it to Windows Virtual PC on Windows 7. Oh well there is Virtual Box to run it. The Metro UI may be great for phone and limited use touch systems. For a laptop or PC you really need to change it to the old desktop. And multitasking is missing in Metro.

cecilled
cecilled

pjboyles It will load and boot in virtual box even the 64 bit version. That being said I still am not extremely impressed seems to be another of those lets skip this one and wait for the next version which should have all the problems worked out. Like skip Vista and wait for WIN7. Skip WIN8 and wait for next release.

stansil
stansil

I didn't even try Virtual PC because I expected problems. It installed easily on my Mac using Parallels. The only quirk I've found in running it on the Mac is that I can't run it full-screen as there's no way to get out of this mode. On other guest OS's you point at the upper-left corner of the screen to uncover the escape, but not W8...

gak
gak

W8 makes a very different impression when run from its own partition than when run in Virtual Box.I do not see this effect with Linux or XP, but with W8 it is striking. Cannot tell why that happens.

Irfanfare
Irfanfare like.author.displayName 1 Like

Love it with all its faults and all which I'm sure will be overcome by the time it reaches rtm. Running it mostly in dual or triple boots on 32 as well as on x64 bits on 3 pc's, had some problems like disappearing other OS's from the boot manager but they were ratified with a little effort and research, some times even with the help of your articles published. Now I'm rediscovering Windows Explorer with this article.

olsenbanden2
olsenbanden2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

I know that is is not a finished product, but it seems that "normal" functions are not there or hidden. I like Win 7 and this does not come close. There is no way other than using Taskmanager to close opened apps. And WHERE IS THE @#$%^$!! Shut Down or Restart???????????????? They need to get alot fixed before the next (Beta) release. This Windows 8 feels, to me, like "a Vista".

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer like.author.displayName 1 Like

I missed that initially because I wanted to leave work and didn't bother to shut it down. Now that you mention it; I didn't see any way to turn it off, short of the power button. I suspect that will just hibernate it; pulling the cord or removing the battery may be required.

Realvdude
Realvdude like.author.displayName 1 Like

Closes the window like all the other versions of Windows that I can remember.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

that MS has spent decades training to look for 'Start, Shutdown'. Incidentally, Alt-F4 seems to work in the 'Classic' desktop view, but doesn't do anything in Metro. Also, Alt-Tab doesn't appear to do anything in either interface - no app switching, no menu of open apps, nothing.

simbasounds
simbasounds like.author.displayName 1 Like

It's the tangled wiring underneath that needs streamlining*. That ugly veneer seems like it's trying to cover up the mess. * not that they can fix the wiring.. their huge market share, slanted towards huge enterprise networks ensures that they can only add to an already bloated product, rather than risk compatibly issues.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer like.author.displayName like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 3 Like

I'm running it on a stand-alone laptop (Dell Latitude 620); external mouse, keyboard, monitor; no connectivity. My first impressions aren't favorable. It's not that I dislike it; it's too early for that. It may well eventually rock on a touch-enabled device, but I just can't figure it out on a conventional laptop. It's like every action MS has spent 25 years ingraining in me is no longer valid. I'd expect that if I were switching to Mac or a Linux GUI; I'm not. - Some of the demo apps wouldn't start until I increased the resolution from the default 800 x 600. Those apps gave no warnings or notifications; double-clicking the tile just did absolutely nothing. Obviously a demo app isn't the OS itself, but still... - I can't figure out how to close an application, or get to the desktop to start a second one. Don't tell me to push F1 for help because... - The help is on line, useless on a system running without a connection. Hopefully it will be present in the release version, because I've plenty of computers on the factory floor that don't have Internet access. - As many others have noted, the transitions between Metro and Classic are abrupt. The final version should have a single interface; pick one or the other. - I accidentally tripped over the 'Start' hotspot in the bottom left. I noticed several items on the menu opened menus on the right side of the screen. I think these should open on the left; I've already got the cursor over there. Why chase back and forth across the screen? Esthetically, I find the interface too 'clean'. I've become addicted to having a clock tucked away in the corner of the screen, one I can glance at with not action needed to bring it up. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I want a tray icon or similar substitute visible at all times telling me my AV software is running. I want a tray icon to adjust volume on the fly; I don't want to have to click Start, then Settings to get there. I want Taskbar shortcuts; I don't want to return to the desktop every time I want to start a new app or toggle between them. At one point I lucked into having two apps running at once, but I had no equivalent to Taskbar icons to switch between them. This wouldn't have mattered as much except... - Alt-Tab wouldn't work. The only to go between two Metro apps was to return to the Metro desktop first, then reclick the app's tile. I predict that until an app comes along that requires it, we'll be skipping this version where I work like we did with W2K and Vista. In the meantime, anybody got an instruction manual? Edited - I can't figure out the behavior of 'Start' in the bottom left. Sometimes it takes me back to the Metro desktop and tiles, sometimes it takes me to a 'Classic' desktop and Start menu, sometimes it takes me to an already running Metro app. What it DOESN'T do is bring up a Classic 'Programs' menu; in Classic mode, all it appears to do it return me to the Metro desktop. - It also appears starting one Metro app kills the previous Metro app. Will Metro multi-task? - It also appears some of the demo apps aren't mouse-friendly. Heck, at least one (Labyrinth) isn't even mouse-responsive. Again, I know demo apps aren't the OS itself; still, it doesn't make a favorable impression. - It's a minor quibble, but items on the Metro desktop don't behave the same. The word 'Start' in the upper left does nothing. Based on that, one might expect the username and icon in the upper right to also be inactive. The cursor doesn't change when hovering over it. However, clicking it brings up a menu. - The desktop tiles appear to be limited to certain areas of the screen. They can be rearranged within those areas by dragging and dropping, and moved from one are to another, but not outside those areas. This leaves huge amounts of wasted screen acreage. Can you say 'Windows 3'? I knew you could. - Those of you who like minimalist browsers will love the version of IE that's included. One bar with Back, Forward, Reload, Print, and Pin (to the Start Menu). If there were other controls (Favorites, Find text on page, Tabs), I couldn't find them. Unlike the demo apps, IE is an integral part of the OS (unfortunately), so I consider it fair game. - The state of Indiana adopted Daylight Saving Time almost a decade ago. Why do the last three Windows operating systems (V, 7, 8) still include a separate time zone option for Indiana? Have they all been based on the same original kernel as W2K?

Justin James
Justin James like.author.displayName 1 Like

What you're seeing is a UI geared for a tablet/phone really nicely that is a disaster on a desktop. In WP7, each screen in an app is treated like a page in a browser, you have a "back" button on the phone to return to previous screen, unwind enough and you go back to the home screen again. Or, you can press the "Start" button to go to the home screen. But on the desktop, there is no "Back" OR "Start" buttons! With Windows 8 Metro, pressing CTRL+ESC acts like the Start button, sending you straight back to the home screen. There is multitasking in Metro, "restart" and application and it returns to the state it was in. I'm betting that the multitasking for Metro works like it does in WP7 "Mango", where, if the system is running low on resources, it "tombstones" the applications (sends it a signal to close out, and when the app is done acting on that signal [writing data to disk, saving state, etc.] the app gets shut down, and when it restarts the app is notified that it's out from "tombstone" and gets the chance to reload the data). It's an excellent system for phones and tablets, I love my WP7 phone to pieces, but for the desktop I feel that it's a mess. J.Ja

cbader
cbader like.author.displayName 1 Like

I may finally be ready to take the plunge and buy something other than Windows for my next computer. It may have to be a Mac if UEFI doesnt let me load Linux.

Spitfire_Sysop
Spitfire_Sysop like.author.displayName 1 Like

Microsoft simply can't do that. What they CAN do is make sure that you can't boot to Linux AFTER installing Windows 8. It's not the UEFI that is blocking Linux. There is a "Secure Boot" feature in the UEFI that can make a relationship with a given installation and protect you from "rouge OS" infections. So if you never use Windows 8 you never have a problem. P.S. I'm sure there is a way to turn this feature on and off.

spdragoo
spdragoo like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

There's at least 2 separate discussions on ZDNet on that topic -- one blog claiming Microsoft will "definitely" block Linux, one blog saying Microsoft wasn't committing to anything. Supposedly, though, Microsoft's official position is that while they'll require that the secure boot be enabled by the OEMs in order to get the "Windows 8 Certified" sticker, the OEMs will have the option of providing consumers with the ability to disable the secure boot feature -- either built-in or as a firmware upgrade. Of course, Apple already apparently enables EFI secure boot on their hardware, anyway -- it's why you have to use their Boot Camp software in order to dual-boot Windows & OS X, apparently -- & it's been around for a few *years*. Strange that the Linux fanbois didn't raise a fuss about that...

Justin James
Justin James like.author.displayName 1 Like

I think it's great for touch screen devices, but the shift to the desktop for legacy apps is "jarring" to say the least. They need to do something better, or else it will be a hard sell to people who depend on those apps, and tough to convince developers to not shift to Web apps en masse. J.Ja

smadge1
smadge1 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I downloaded it, installed it on my laptop, everything worked as expected. the UI does need a lot of refining.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin like.author.displayName 1 Like

On the assumption that you have actually downloaded Windows 8 Developer Preview and that you have actually tried it, what do you think of Windows 8 so far?

randy2b2
randy2b2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

ok except should scrap the tablet type interface.