Windows 8: Download it, then speak YOUR brains
Reg readers gathered for a lunchtime debate
Live Chat Got any plans next weekend? Cancel them. Tell your partner to finally catch up with those old university friends, get a cat sitter in, and order a pizza.
This week sees the eagerly anticipated first release of Microsoft's Windows 8 to those outside the Redmond circle of friends.
Windows 8 is, according to bullet-headed Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer, the biggest bet in his company's history. It's a foray into tablets, a paradigm shaped and dominated by Apple. A world of touch with apps downloaded from on high. No mice, no keyboards. Well, not quite.
What you'll get this week is the Intel x86 version of Windows 8 for PCs and Intel tablets: the controversial build that weds the classic desktop experience in awkward union with touchscreen-friendly controls. Windows RT for ARM will come later and only as part of planned tablet devices.
Also, members of the Microsoft Developer Network can get their hands on Visual Studio 2012. So you know what that means: a weekend of serious downloading and coding.
So join us after the weekend for a special one-hour Live Chat debrief with All-About-Microsoft blogger Mary-Jo Foley, Reg regular Tim Anderson - who’ll have put Windows 8 and the new Visual Studio through their paces in our reviews - and other Reg readers. We’ll be gauging first impressions, measuring first frustrations, and looking what's next.
We’ll be talking about:
- What are you building or migrating, and why?
MetroModern UI everything you expected?
- Are you getting around Microsoft's hardware restrictions, and if so, how?
- Is it worth wait for Windows RT and Surface, or will you be sticking with Windows 7?
- What's missing and what should be in Windows 9/Blue?
The Live Chat is now closed but you can join other Reg readers for more Windows 8 RTM convo in our post-Live-Chat Windows 8 forum here. ®
First, second, third impressions...
You want my first impressions? Well, I downloaded the consumer preview, and the release preview, ran them both inside VMs, and if that wasn't enough recently reformatted an unused laptop and experienced it with full hardware acceleration, etc.
So, you want my impression? OK, to put it simply, it's the worst experience I've ever had using a computer.
Initially, my experience was hampered when running in VMs, because of it's reliance on hot corners / edges. But even when I give the computer over to it entirely, which made it easier to use the hot corners, it was still painful.
Things that should be obvious to reach - settings menus, switching 'tabs' in IE, etc. - all require weird, magical gestures that can't be reproduced reliably.
And the not-called-Metro applications? Hideous. A complete destruction of productivity thanks to not being able to task switch between them, and just the way they work is perplexing (see previously mentioned IE's interface.
Windows 8 is not going anywhere near my production machines. It's utter garbage. I'll stick with Windows 7 as long as possible, and if necessary move to either Linux or MacOS before I ever go near the Windows 8 UI.
Re: 2 camps
3) People who have tried it, and found it to be an utter piece of turd.
Re: You're not alone!
Except it's *not* a large start menu - it's flat, not heirarchical. Try enabling the administrative tools menu and watch as your screen turns into a complete cluster fuck.
To get to most apps you have to click on the bottom middle of the screen (which you have to find out by accident... whoever thought that was a good UI should be shot. I hope MS have put proper icons in the right places in the final release rather than this 'click randomly until something happens' stuff) - where it brings up a list of applications in apparently random order.. again, not sorted into their correct folders.. and, for good measure, not using any of the application icons... they're all document icons (another thing I really hope they've fixed).
TBH I'm bloody glad I don't have to be one of the support guys on this - it's hard enough for some people to handle start menu -> all programs -> company -> support without having to search a completely flat namespace where your support icon could be *anywhere* and might clash with another companies support icon.