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back to article Windows 8 Release Preview open for download

After much speculation, Microsoft has opened its Windows 8 Release Preview for download, the last major update before the client code is released to manufacturers. "If the feedback and telemetry on Windows 8 and Windows RT match our expectations, then we will enter the final phases of the RTM process in about two months," said …

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Re: 20gb?

A full-size 64-bit Debian testing comes on 10 DVDs, but that's a complete copy of the repositories (ie, all the software available as well as the OS)

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Windows

Re: 20gb?

I think the author overlooked a major issue.

By default you download a 5 Mb executable which can then setup the whole OS for you.

BUT you can /also/ download an ISO image. Which is either 3.3Gb for 64bit and 2.5Gb for 32bit.

Come El Reg, we should be able to expect better coverage than that!

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Boffin

Re: 20gb?

I can have the base OS, OpenOffice AND the entire GCC suite, PHP, Mono, Python, Perl, Ruby, TCL/Tk and a whole other bunch of dev tools on just one 8GB SD card with room to spare on Ubuntu!

You're telling me that Windows 8, which does not come with an office suite and a development environment, is 20GB? And with that $#!* UI?

Makes me glad I've changed my mind about putting Win 8 on the third rig with the announcement that Steam is coming to Linux (nothing wrong with Wine, just that, well, ELF binaries will run better than PE binaries with a translation layer). Now, if only the ALSA project can get them E-Mu 20k1 cards fully working. I have a old X-Fi on the Linux rig and I can't offload MIDI synthesis to it...

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Re: 20gb?

"You're telling me that Windows 8, which does not come with an office suite and a development environment, is 20GB? And with that $#!* UI?"

To put this into context, Windows Server 2008 plus all the patches uses the best part of 20 GB.

To be fair there's a lot of stuff in there just waiting to be enabled, and you don't need to dig out your DVDs or download a pile of stuff when you decide you want to enable something.

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Re: 20gb?

"I can have the base OS, OpenOffice AND the entire GCC suite, PHP, Mono, Python, Perl, Ruby, TCL/Tk and a whole other bunch of dev tools on just one 8GB SD card with room to spare on Ubuntu!"

That's nothing. I can get a 2TB, 6Gb/s hard drive for <£100.

So I can live with Win8 taking up 20GB (which, incidentally, is less than my C:\Windows folder in Windows 7 (an area that excludes installed programs and is just the O/S for those that don't know). So if you think Win8 is oversized, just keep in mind that it's smaller than WIn7 right now so anyone who doesn't mind that shouldn't mind Win8.

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Trollface

Re:Nice OS apart from the metro start screen which is still awful.

So, nice apart from everything that differentiates it from Windows 7?

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Re: Re:Nice OS apart from the metro start screen which is still awful.

If you think that Metro is the only thing that differentiates Win8 from Win7, then you haven't paid the slightest attention to what new features it has and have probably derived all your information from comments on El Reg.

Did you know that it has native support for Vector graphics in programs for example? You can do your entire program in vector if you like. Have you any awareness of the enterprise features? That you can install company specific applications on a device that activate only when you're connected to a signed company server (along with their locked data) to allow users to BYO device and yet stop them accidentally (or deliberately) wandering off with that information? There is a lot in Win8 to differentiate it from Win7 that you plainly know nothing about.

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Re: Re:Nice OS apart from the metro start screen which is still awful.

But think of it like this. Symbian is the most powerful mobile OS ever, it has more features and facilities than many mobile OSes, it is also very efficient.

But it has a really diabolically dated user interface so it doesn't matter how much power and features it has, it is horrible to use.

So Win8 can be the most powerful OS around, but if the UI is frustratingly bad to use then what good is it?

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Soon, a shitty Xmas will come preloaded

Presumably for people on the "naughty" instead of "nice" shopping list.

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Another thought.. as someone who's generally downloaded every MS OS at beta just to make sure the stuff I write is compatible with it (I even suffered Vista for 9 months) I really can't get any enthusiasm for Win8, or even get interested enough to download it. Must be getting cynical in my old age... Is it just me?

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No

Win8 is just crap Tony. That's all there is to it.

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Wisdom....

generally comes with age. Perhaps that's it.

I don't think it is just you either, I have no intention of using Win 8 ever.

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Mushroom

Re: Wisdom....

Would generally agree, though Microsoft offers concrete proof that there's exceptions to every rule. Shouldn't they be smart enough now about Windows to not make egregious choices like making Metro the default start menu? Personally, I'm out. I have every intention of going straight Linux or BSD once they kill support for Win7.

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Anonymous Coward

"once they kill support for Win7"

Why wait? Heck, start with running various variants in VMs to get your feet wet, should you haven't done that already. Since things will be different, not to mention the many, many things to try, you will need some time. Even if you decide to stick with macosx or even windows after all, it won't have been wasted time.

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"I really can't get any enthusiasm for Win8, or even get interested enough to download it. Must be getting cynical in my old age... Is it just me?"

I doubt it's just you but it's also not universal. I develop primarily on UNIX systems (I've done the odd bit of Windows work here and there), but I've been reading through the development blog for Windows 8. Apart from the suitability or not of Metro on the Desktop, which I've yet to make my mind up about, Win8 is actually reading like they've put a lot of thought into assisting developers. It is well worth the time to have a read through the articles on their blog where they explain a lot of their reasoning. For example this article on screen resolutions:

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/03/21/scaling-to-different-screens.aspx

Might seem a bit dry by topic, but things like native Vector support in applications so I can construct the whole application as vector graphics, the APIs for scaling, layout handling, automatically using selecting images based on the user's screen DPI, et al. are actually quite enthusing me. I particularly like the development tools that let me at a touch, switch between all the supported screen resolutions for testing. Similarly at the more techy end. I like how Chkdisk can now function on a mounted volume and can drop repair time down to <2secs. That's even faster than my ext4 partions. There's a lot of stuff like that.

Also, I was initially concerned about Win8 being dumbed down. It's well worth reading this (again from their design blog) article on the Enterprise features for "Bring Your Own" PC.

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/04/19/managing-quot-byo-quot-pcs-in-the-enterprise-including-woa.aspx

I'm still not 100% sure what to make of Win8. It looks like Fisher Price, but take the time to read through the design blogs first. It looks like it's going to actually be a dream to develop for.

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Anonymous Coward

Here we go!!!!

This is it people the game changer. This is the modern OS that is the future of computing. Forget the outdated Start Menu people need to get with the times!

Microsoft have a vision and Windows 8 is the first step on the road for the next 15 years of computing. Fast boot times, vastly improved security system, long overdue rethink of the Start Menu and more efficient code that uses less resources than Windows 7 and Vista.

Once people see this thing out in the wild they'll soon realise the fantastic productivity savings and innovative features that this OS offers and they'll switch in their droves. I expect this to be the most popular Windows OS yet

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Boffin

To avoid confusing the newbies...

...when you post something so obviously tongue-in-cheek as AC, the convention is to surround it with faux-HTML tags, i.e. <sarcasm> ... </sarcasm>

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here we go!!!!

So more efficient code = 4 times the space requirement of my full 64bit, 3 different GUI linux install?

Yea, I'm real impressed by the efficiency ...

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Devil

Re: To avoid confusing the newbies...

nah .. that's so 1998 .. it's part of the fun to read n00bs not getting well done sarcasm

how better for the children to learn than to experience their own lack of humor

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here we go!!!!

I think you're trolling, but I'm not sure.

So, productivity then?

How do you open two documents, the second based on the content of the fist? Because metro seems to hide the whole screen while you're deciding.

Metro is a UI for a phone. I can't help but think that the Chinese have a ten year plan to destroy America by getting US designers to make all their software pointless.

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FAIL

Re: Here we go!!!!

So "Anonymous Coward", how long have you been a Microsoft employee?

Productivity? As someone that needs multiple windows open, copy pasting between applications, etc. Metro apps are biggest nail in the coffin of productivity the world has ever seen.

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Re: Here we go!!!!

Productivity? As someone that needs multiple windows open, copy pasting between applications, etc. Metro apps are biggest nail in the coffin of productivity the world has ever seen.

I don't know where you got the idea that you can't do exactly this just as you can on Win7 (and rather better if you use multiple monitors) on Win8.

Have you been accepting the word of trolls on the Register as fact or something?

Because you can easily do that. Ignore the Metro launcher. It's just a launcher.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Here we go!!!!

Hello fanboy.

It is a game changer if using a computer is all about prodding the screen with a fat finger or anything else that resembles a digit.

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Go

Re: Here we go!!!!

OHOHO! Is funny because he say is great when his brain know it not true!

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Re: Here we go!!!!

but have they fixed rdpclip.exe which constantly barffs and makes cut & paste between Remote Desktop connections inoperative?

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Anonymous Coward

Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

... uninstalled.

What the hell are MS thinking.

I'll get my coat, mine's a Mac...

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Unhappy

Re: What the hell are MS thinking.

Phones. Possibly tablets.

Definately not PCs or notebooks.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

Nothing like a thorough, considered, evaluation.

Shamed you settled for ... nothing to say.

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Re: Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

Nothing like a thorough, considered, evaluation.

Sometimes though you don't need a thorough evaluation.

When running windows desktop apps, it's quite likely win8 will end up pretty similar to win7 in use, however there's a rather obvious and jarring paradigm shift in the interaction with the computer as a whole that's immediately obvious.

For some people, this is probably enough to move them away from windows, simply because if you're going to adapt to a new paradigm you might as well take the time to adapt to a different OS instead.

Personally I've stuck with windows because it has become 'good enough', windows 7 is a nice little OS that makes an okay job of years of bloat and UI cruft; windows 8 is different enough that I'll consider giving Gnome 3 a try.

In contract, I installed the win 7 CP in a VM and had a quick play, liked it enough to install it on my desktop, and am still using that same install several years later (upgraded to the release version of course.)

Unless Windows 9 is a serious refocus on the desktop I can see more people making the switch once 7 gets long in the tooth.

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Paris Hilton

Won't support me :`(

I have the CP installed on a 2.66GHz P4, 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive. Runs fine, though it needs an occasional restart when sleeping/waking repeatedly. The "Upgrade Adviser" says the machine doesn't meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 8. Even though it's already running it.

Paris, best icon for FAIL. Now I'll have to decide if I'm going to install from the ISO -- if it requires reloading everything I'll just throw my Windows 7 drive back in and call it a lesson learned.

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Paris Hilton

Re: Won't support me :`(

I found the answer in the forums pretty quickly. As of this release, Windows 8 requires NX/XD (no execute/execute disable,) SSE2, and PAE. The CPU the on which the Windows 8 consumer preview lacks NX capability (at the very least, as I suspect the system itself does not support PAE.)

It's a shame. Windows 8 runs very well on this architecture otherwise. Actually slightly better than Windows 7 in video playback performance. So I'll run this preview until it expires then swap back to Windows 7. (It's an old, crappy Dell connected to my TV, so it's not like it's critical.)

Paris, not like she's critical.

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Windows

I'm gonna get it, but...

I know I'm not going to enjoy it.

Heck; even looking at the screenshot in the article shows the idiocy (my opinion) of Win8.

You can see a live tile called 'pictures'. I also have that sitting on the main screen of my Windows Phone, I actually like it. Its a tile (using the full width of my phone's screen) which rotates between pictures which I marked as 'favorite'.

So I use my phone and I often see parts (picture obviously doesn't fully fit so it scrolls) of the pictures I like to see. Given that I don't go over my picture collection on a daily basis its always a nice extra touch (IMO of course).

But on Windows 8? Let me put it this way: Why would I want to have rotating screenshots visible on my start menu (also knowing this gobbles up hardware resources). In a *start* MENU.

Even if you go with the "Metro doctrine" it makes no sense. The start screen (the official name!) is after all meant to /start/ stuff.

If you like stuff such as that (I do to be honest) you'd have it on the location you use the most /AND? reside in the longest. Yes; I have a pictures gadget sitting on my Win7 desktop. It makes sense because I get to see that quite often.

Why would you want this on a start screen only used to quickly start stuff ?

To me Win8 is becoming more unappealing by the day it seems...

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FAIL

Win 8 better? C'mon

At work we're still using XP SP3 and have no intention of upgrading. Why? We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary. C'mon. Windows used to come on a few floppies. How much bloatware and trashware is in that bugger?

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Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP. I've even got it running reasonably well on a 7 year old Dell laptop (and certainly better than xp sp3 on the same machine).

If you're ever going to have to upgrade OS you're probably want to get 7, not 8. I've no idea if MS are going to keep selling 7 once 8 is out...

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Paris Hilton

Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

Seconded. I'm pretty certain we'll have downgrade rights for a certain amount of time, though I have no confirmation of this suspicion. I've now installed Windows 7 on a couple of really old Dell laptops (Inspiron 6300 and 8600) and even with the lack of Dell-provided drivers I've been able to spend a minor amount of time getting properly working drivers with surprising performance.

I have a Core2Duo 1.66GHz Latitude which still runs XP x64. I gotta stay here until I get 802.1x over wireless working in 7.

Paris, because why not?

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Stop

Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

I installed Win-7 64bit on my friends VERY inexpensive PC that was struggling to run 32bit XP and it runs much smoother now. I suspect the change from 32 to 64bit has a lot to do with that but nonetheless Win-7 is NOT a resource hog compared to XP.

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JDX
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We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

So you're working somewhere that hasn't bought a new PC for 5 years? Sounds like they really value their employees.

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Windows

Re: We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

Perhaps they pay them more, rather than wasting money on overspecced hardware to run overpriced bloatware?

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Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

Yup. My server at home is a 1GHz Athlon with 1GB of RAM. It manages to run Win7 Prof, a mail server, an FTP server, an audio media server and a video media server. The UI is a little sluggish sometimes but tolerable for a server. At work our test VM workstations all have 512MB assigned to them and they run just fine.

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Thumb Down

Re: We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

> So you're working somewhere that hasn't bought a new PC for 5 years? Sounds like they really value their employees.

There's a recession on. Hadn't you heard?

Some of us would prefer to keep all our colleagues rather than exchange them for a shiny new PC. YMMV.

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Meh

"I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP",

Maybe, but they did cut out a lot of useful stuff to get the improvement. For instance, you can't say that Windows 7 file explorer is better the the one in XP - well you can but you'd be wrong. (Speaking who someone who does use lots of files rather than using than the 'puter as an interface to the TV).

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Re: "I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP",

Have to admit I wish that ruddy great file overwrite warning dialog would bugger off.

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Stop

A game changer

I don't see W8 failing like Vista failed, I see it failing because it will not serve it's purpose correctly, in fact it's purpose is still very vague and difficult to define.

It is not a full blown Tablet OS and it is no longer a full blown desktop OS. They have bastardized W7, thrown in some Winphone and are praying that we will shout out "New Paradigm".

But it is not a new paradigm, it is a mixture of several existing ones, "prior art" anyone.....

I have the feeling that MS will alienate the office users and that is a very dangerous game to play.

I downloaded the intial release but I am in no hurry to download the RTM. - I found that the Metro interface interfered with the workflow rather than improving it.

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DJV
Facepalm

new paradigm?

Agreed, it will be about as popular as the New Parody Paradigm daleks!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: new paradigm?

At least there was a reason for trying to make the Darleks bigger.

When they had two short arses in the cast the old Darleks looks OK (actually designed to be about the same height as B.Piper), but next to a guy who is a very tall lanky fellow and the red-head with the long legs they looked a bit titchy.

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