Windows 8

Windows 8 Release Preview available earlier than expected

The Windows 8 Release Preview is now available and ready for you to test-drive.

Microsoft has made the Windows 8 Release Preview version of their soon-to-be-finalized operating system available for download. I am downloading and installing it now, so I haven't had a good look at this latest version yet, but the blogosphere is buzzing about some of the new polish Microsoft has been able to add to Windows 8.

if you are curious about Windows 8, you can download the Release Preview directly from Microsoft.

To prepare yourself for the Metro interface, you might want to bookmark some of the tips we have published for the Consumer Preview version. Most of the tips should still apply to the Release Preview. And, of course, TechRepublic will have plenty more to add to the Windows 8 conversation as the retail version inches closer and closer to release.

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.

16 comments
CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

With the previous two releases, I've seen enough already. Specifically, I've seen enough to know that I'm not going to deploy this before the third quarter of 2013 at the earliest. It's too much of a change to inflict on my users in exchange for minimal benefits. I suspect we won't roll it out until new hardware doesn't have W7 drivers. There's plenty of time for the rest of you to beat your heads on the Metro wall, and I'll be happy to learn from your (probably frustrating) experiences. Thanks in advance for taking one for the team.

The_Real_BSAFH
The_Real_BSAFH

Be done with Windows and learn how to use/admin a real server OS; switch to Linux. You want customization? Switch to Linux You want to keep your company on a standard? Switch to Linux. You may now close this forum for comments. I have spoken.

jkameleon
jkameleon

... metro is, for my needs, worse than useless. It's made for mobile stuff, for touchscreens. It's not for me. If I can afford to avoid it, I will. Similar opinion from MarketWatch: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/microsoft-reinvents-the-wheel-with-windows-8-2012-06-01?link=MW_story_popular [i]The real problem is that it is both unusable and annoying. It makes your teeth itch as you keep asking, Why are they doing this!?[/i] . . . [i]Do you work on a huge 27-inch or bigger monitor? You know, so you have room to organize your programs and files? Well, imagine everything running full screen on that. Its a joke.[/i]

Thack
Thack

OK, I've been using it in a VM for weeks and I've just installed the Release Preview. I'm strictly a desktop only user - so I don't care about any touch functionality. And I'm sorry, but I just don't get it. For me (and there must be millions like me) the only difference of any substance is the Metro screen acting as a replacement for the W7 Start menu. The W8 desktop environment is basically the same as ever (although the proposed chrome looks rather bland to my eyes). crostron76, in particular, really likes W8 on a desktop machine. I'm really keen to learn why, as I've been an instant-upgrader of Windows ever since NT3.51 and want to keep up with Windows as it develops. In conclusion - yes, I can see that the Metro interface is a big step forward for touch devices. For desktop users who have a large number of "traditional" Windows applications, it's really nothing other than a different Start screen. Please, what am I missing? Thack

Astringent
Astringent

I have been an early adopter of every version of Windows beginning with 3.0 in including ME and Vista. Despite the instability of some of these versions I was willing to put up with it because there were some real improvements (ex. vista search, navigation, & file copy not about on a bad file). I would rather see an improved Windows 7 - which I love. For the first time in my career I can see nothing in this new version (8) that would want to make me upgrade. Metro bad. There appears to be a focus on directing you somewhere where they can sell you something. I don't need marketing and I don't need to revolve my life around social networking. Improved Task Manager... that ougth to sell a lot people. Not.

Craig_B
Craig_B

It looks like they have made some tweaks that make it a little nicer though the deal breaker is the Metro interface. They have gone to the lowest common denominator interface (Windows Phone) as the interface for all devices. All they really need to do is offer choices instead of forcing this on everyone. Simply allow users to choose Classic interface or Metro interface. Yes, I can take the time and energy to learn the best way to use the new interface however it's not just me, its all the people I support that will need to be trained all because Microsoft knows better than the people who actually use the product, the customers.

lehnerus2000
lehnerus2000

I'm downloading it now. I'll install it on a VHD. I'm not expecting much. MS has made it plain that desktop users can rot (giving the middle digit gesture). If it fails to install my sound driver properly (just like W8CP - W8DP could do it) it will only get started for updates. [b]Update:[/b] I just installed it. W8RP still can't manage to install the sound driver properly (unlike the "obsolete" W8DP). At least they killed the fish.

Slayer_
Slayer_

After reading that the only real changes are in the apps. I lost interest. More touch centric programs for a touch centric UI.... on a non touch centric device. No point in wasting the effort in making a new VM, I already know I won't like it again. If the interface requires swiping, I'm going to end up punching it. The pain to my knuckles will be less than the pain to my wrist from the carpal tunnel we will all get from all the stupid swiping.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

So is this latest version of Windows 8 better? I am seeing some real improvement and it appears some of the concerns many have expressed are being addressed. Your thoughts?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Then you've got to use Windows. It may come as a shock, but you're not in charge here.

crostron76
crostron76

I've been using Windows 8 Customer Preview and both touch and non touch devices since it was made available and I loath having to go back to Windows 7. Yes it's touch centric and works great on my Tablet, but it also works equally well on my desktop that has no touch at all! Now I'm not going to waste my time educating you on the new features and improvements in Windows 8, there's already been plenty of documentation and articles written taking you through these already. But seriously, if you're not even prepared to give the operating system a try for yourself then please spare us your uninformed opinion.

Slayer_
Slayer_

Why should I be forced to use a system that does everything exactly the way I dont want it done. I don't want to swipe, I want to click, I don't want to pinch, I'd rather roll a wheel. And I certainly don't want to touch my screen, finger prints really annoy me. I carefully keep my screens spotless. So whats left, the apps? I hate facebook, don't use linkedin, don't use internet explorer, don't watch sports, and I refuse to pay for MP3's. I do program though, so having 3 monitors is very handy. I usually have a taskbar full of programs running, and often I want to display more than 1 application on a screen (WHAT A CONCEPT!)

The_Real_BSAFH
The_Real_BSAFH

Come one man, your the sysadmin. Man up and make those users submit.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

but what makes you think the users I support don't? Your suggestion that I install Linux fails to take that minor detail into account.

abbos
abbos

Using my system as deskop and love the mouse and keyboard (though i want to touch the keyboard as less as possible). The last thing i really want is touchscreen in my household. I deleted my FB account (what a waste of time) and only use LinkedIn. For the rest i recognize myself. I use 2 screens (for my work which i do most at home) and have most of the time at least 8 applications running and divided over my 2 screens. ... i am skipping Windows 8..:) Btw: i have tried out W8 for a while in my virtual machine and it gets a big thumbs down from me.