Microsoft Windows Developer preview initial impressions

Every time Microsoft releases a new version of Windows, they promise a “reimaging” of it. Well, we got that from XP to Vista and a slight change from Vista to 7. Not to mention Windows 3 to NT and 1 to 2, 2 to 3, of course. Once again, Microsoft was able to keep they’re promise… Sorta. They released Windows 8: Developer preview this September and we were unable to install it until last night. (touchy OS…) Once I was done installing it which took two and a half hours (and a reinstall due to a first-boot error… .~.), I was taken to the new Metro UI start menu. It was nice. I liked how they managed to let not only touch-screen users in on the fun, too. Windows 8’s Metro UI was a bit different and I kept hitting the start menu on the desktop, forgetting what it did. I was unable to actually start any Metro apps with my mouse for some reason and needed to use the touch-pad on my laptop to access any Metro apps. I will need to re-enable the start menu we have in Windows 7, because there is no way to get to paint to make my “tile”. The lock screen was great. Again, both touch-screen and non-touch-screen users could use it. What I found one of the best things about the new Windows was that they re-did the ribbon on the top of windows by changing the Close, Maximize and Minimize button graphics and they moved the title to the center of the ribbon, as well as making it slightly larger. One of the things I disliked most was that in order to “customize” the PC, you had to activate Windows, which required Internet, of course, and we don’t have Internet where we live. You get a 30 day trial, but the activation is free and automatic! If you don’t have Internet on your desktop PC, do NOT install Windows just yet. They give you an option to “Activate via phone”, but that requires a certain file which was missing… I installed it in a virtual machine and plan on installing it on my old laptop as an upgrade from Vista tonight. Using it in a virtual machine was strange. I gave it half my RAM of the host system and some extra acceleration, but it still froze up. It also will fail to reboot, so make sure you use VirtualBox’s “Snapshots”. They are life savers. Put one after installing, after first boot and after everything is ready to go if you use it in a virtual machine. I suspect the issues I get in a VM will disappear when I upgrade my Vista tonight. The installer includes a “Repair” dialog, which is actually Windows 8 style. I hope they can manage to make the whole installation like that repair dialog in the final version. You can download Windows in three versions; 32-bit, 64-bit and 64-bit with extras from http://www.buildwindows.com/. Thanks for reading this really long and rather obnoxious blog post. Winking smile See ya!

-Ben

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7 comments on “Microsoft Windows Developer preview initial impressions

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