Windows 8

September 15th, 2011

Well, I’ve decided I ought to get more into the habit of blogging again and I’ve been handed a perfect opportunity in the form of the Windows 8 Developers’ Preview release. Now I’m not one of those who has to jump on every new thing that comes along, but since starting my current job I’ve been buried up to my eyeballs in all things Microsoft so it seems like a worthy endeavor.

I downloaded the x64 version, set it up in my Hyper-V lab… and was underwhelmed. The Metro interface is just invasive and counter-intuitive to my own sense of how I use my computer. I can see it being a big hit in the tab;let market (which it is clearly aimed at), but as a desktop UI it’s not-yet-ready-for-prime-time. Now let’s be fair: this isn’t even a Beta version, it’s a pre-beta at best, but I would have expected a way to get past the Touch-screen enabled interface.

I noticed a few people complaining about logging on with a Windows Live account. Get real, folks. It’s not required and this is a Developers’ Preview. Microsoft kind of expects folks will want to share their experiences.

I figured part of my problem was running this through hyper-V so I stuck an extra HDD in my spare workstation and installed to iron to see if that improved things. In this case an Intel Core 2 Duo E2200 with 2GB PC800 and a 1GB ATI Radeon HD4600.

Much better. The apps in Metro actually work (Only a few did in the Hyper-V install), but they are a cast iron bitch to actually close. Ctrl-Esc brings you back to Metro, but leaves the applications running. To actually kill them you have to go to task manager.

If you are a multiple monitor user you’ll be relieved/horrified to know you can have a crippled standard desktop (sans start men and other common items) on one monitor and Metro on the other.

This thing is a memory glutton in its current form- remember: PRE-BETA. So far the only way to shut down an app completely that I can find is to open task manager and kill it. Not a happy thing.

I’ll play with it more and see if there’s anything worth reporting later ;).