I have been using Microsoft Windows 8 on several test machines in the office since the Build version released back in September 2011. As far as I can tell, it is a stable operating system, even though it is still in beta form. Using it for ordinary business uses like email, social networking, editing, writing, and analyzing data in Excel spreadsheets has been handled without so much as a hiccup.
I know many have been lamenting the Metro UI as some sort of demonic curse that requires exorcism, but I just skip by it and go to the desktop. Despite the volume of complaints, I don't think the inclusion of the Metro UI is that big of a deal for desktop users.
In late April 2012, Windows Division President Steven Sinofsky announced that the Windows 8 Release Preview version of the operating system will be available in early June. Judging by the name, I would suggest that this version will, or at least should be, a mostly complete version of the operating system. What we see in the Release Preview is what we will see in the retail version, give or take a few minor tweaks and bug fixes.
Both Greg Shultz and I will be delving deep into the Release Preview to see what's new and what's not. While there will be no overarching compelling reason to make immediate plans to purchase and deploy Windows 8 in your enterprise, it is still a version of Windows and something any IT professional should at least be familiar with.
If nothing else, the Windows 8 Release Preview should at least give us an opportunity to see more Apps in the Windows Store. The basic example Apps available in the Consumer Preview were, to put it bluntly, bland and nearly unusable. I would like to see some more effective Apps in the Store for this next release.
How about you -- what are you expecting from the Windows 8 Release Preview?
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.