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?

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