On February 29, 2012, Microsoft made the Windows 8 Consumer Preview available to everyone as a free download. Of course, I downloaded and installed it to a PC right away to see what all the fuss was about.
For an even closer look at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, check out the accompanying TechRepublic Photo Gallery.
Keep it simple
I haven't had time to do a full evaluation of the Consumer Preview, but my first impression of this version of Windows 8 on a desktop PC is one of pleasant surprise. I am surprised because I find myself liking the Metro Interface. The tiles are simple, clean, and straightforward. In fact, some may say they are actually intuitive. Moving between applications is very nimble, and as far as I can tell all the applications work as advertised. You can get more of my initial reactions in the photo gallery.
For the multitude of TechRepublic members who were predicting doom and gloom for Microsoft and Windows 8, I suggest you download the Consumer Preview and give it a thorough try. It may change your mind. And even if you don't like the Metro Interface, you may find the more traditional desktop just as functional as the desktop in Windows 7 or XP. There is just no catastrophe to see here.
As time passes, I'll see if my initial reaction holds sway, but as of right now I think Windows 8 is going to win some users over with its keep-it-simple-stupid (KISS) philosophy. For me the real test is whether Windows 8 can run the games I typically play on the PC. I'll get back to you on that. (On a side note, I am installing Windows 8 on a tablet as I write this blog post.)
Have you downloaded and installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview? What are your initial impressions of this latest version of Windows? Can you live with the Metro Interface? Have your experienced any problems?
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Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.