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back to article Windows 8 release preview imminent

Microsoft is about to release a new Release Preview of Windows 8, according to a pair of blog posts. One of the posts, reported widely, suggested May 31st would be the big day. That post quickly vanished from the web. But a post announcing new features in Microsoft's SkyDrive says we can expect the preview in “the first week of …

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Sil

Live Mesh

Mesh is still much superior to the SkyDrive app.

First you can choose a collection of folders to synchronize ( vs one folder tree in SkyDrive app).

Second it also synchronizes IE favorites as well as Office templates.

Having tested both - Mesh for years - I will continue to use Live Mesh as long as Mesh isn't canceled.

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Re: Live Mesh

According to Wikipedia, "Windows Live Mesh is set to be superseded by a new SkyDrive desktop application" which will mean PC-to-PC sync won't work any more, it'll have to go via SkyDrive. A shame.

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Joke

hoo ray

I can hardly wait, no really, so very excited about this, edge of my seat.

I can't wait to get the metro interface onto my desktop computer, as it's so much more useful than the standard desktop interface. Huge Tiles instead of icons is just such an obvious way to interact with a mouse and keyboard. I really love having to slide away a screen with a big date/clock thingy on it after logging in too - really easy to do with a mouse.

What appeals to me most, however, is that nothing else has changed, except for the missing start button - heck, who needs it? I've only been using that concept since 1995, why would I want to keep on using something so familiar and simple?

Above all else, I thinking forcing a touch screen interface onto desktop users is an excellent idea, as it will convince them that what they really need is a windows based tablet device to increase their productivity.

And SkyDrive - what a novel idea! - I'm amazed nobody else has come up with something so simple and effective. To be able to easily store files in the cloud? Whatever next! - clever chaps at microsoft, especially that Balmer fellow. I'll send him a chair.

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Re: hoo ray

"I really love having to slide away a screen with a big date/clock thingy on it after logging in too - really easy to do with a mouse."

I'm not trying to condone Microsoft's insistence on forcing the Metro UI on everyone but this screen is easily dealt with. It slides neatly out of the way when you press a key on the keyboard, so that's only one extra pointless keystroke you didn't need to use before.

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Re: hoo ray

You miss the point, no-one bloody wants to have to do it. I have a desktop PC not a 6Kg phone with two external monitors.

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JDX
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Re: hoo ray

Nobody wanted to use a stupid Start Button either in 1995.

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Re: hoo ray

Oh yes Skydrive, such a wonderful feature. I tried uploading some of my holiday photos, after two hours it had managed to take 19 of the 300 or so.

Thats marvellous. How did I manage before?

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Silver badge

Re: hoo ray

"Nobody wanted to use a stupid Start Button either in 1995."

The main criticism of the start button was it said "start" which didn't make a whole lot of sense since the computer was already started. As a launcher though it proved very successful especially considering what it replaced in Windows 3.x.

The issue for Metro is that it doesn't provide any advantages over start at least for mouse / keyboard setups. Instead of a compact alphabetically sort list of programs you now have a contiguous smear of large tiles running several vertical screens sideways. It's a huge waste of space, requires a lot of mouse travel and mental effort to use and by flattening out groups it loses any sense of sorting.

MS could do a lot to improve the experience. First off would be to allow program groups. Most program groups contain 3 to 5 icons pointing at READMEs, help, uninstall etc. Just grouping stuff would save 3-5x the space in metro.

Second allow users to zoom in and out so that the tiles don't waste hideous amounts of space.

Third provide users with the means to multiple select tiles and ranges of tiles and sort them. Also provide a way to auto sort tiles.

Fourth, provide a metro launcher which provide some visual context of their desktop while they're doing this, e.g. the way GNOME's activities launcher does.

Fifth, put the Windows start icon back in so people can discover metro is there in the first place instead of expecting them to discover it by accident.

All of these things are simple and obvious ways to improve the experience. If they implement them they would improve the metro experience immeasurably over what is there. Whether it is "better" than the start menu would remain to be seen but at least it would make the experience tolerable.

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Re: hoo ray

I should proof read. Vertical = horizontal.

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zb

Re: hoo ray

"The main criticism of the start button was it said "start" which didn't make a whole lot of sense since the computer was already started."

It made even less sense when you had to click it to stop the computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: hoo ray

@zb: Really? Most people can deal with using the ignition key to stop and start a car. I don't have a problem in switching on and off features in a UI using the "View" menu. etc. etc.

It strikes me that there is a class of people who will find fault in anything MS do, no matter how tenuous.

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Hope metro has got the work it needs

The consumer preview was a really shoddy experience for desktop use. I'm hoping the intervening time has been put to good use and look forward to seeing what has changed.

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@Matt 89

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sacr6_2737.jpg

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Linux

I love Metro

Because of what it's about to do for microsofts market share. The IE fall was a mere pinprick in comparison. It's already game over for servers and mobiles, this completes the hat trick.

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Re: I love Metro

What kind of a brand-obsessed idiot wants to see Windows get worse just so they can point and call names? Competition is what keeps raising standards. Apple, Linux, Windows, WP7, Android, iOS... All of them get better by having others around them that are good. It's self-destructive (and self-centred) to cheer problems in OS's, just because you identify yourself too closely with one product line. You don't see me celebrating a fall in Reebok's share price just because I wear Nike trainers at the moment.

Anyway, this assumes MS's share price will fall, which remains to be seen.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I love Metro

Already game over for servers? Even by your rabid anti-ms standards that is a piss-poor troll.

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Re: I love Metro

Well lets see how long you can last managing a server with tiles and widgety things that pop out from the corner of the screen and don't work properly on rdp, etc etc etc.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I love Metro

@Benjamin 4 - How long could I last managing a Windows server? Well, as these servers aren't going to be having anything other than a command line - by default - I'm going to say I'll manage just fine with remote terminal. In the same way that I manage just fine administering all servers (beit Windows, Linux, Solaris etc) from the command line now. I've not heard anything specific, but I seriously doubt that the next version of Windows server will have the Metro UI, and that is even if you choose to install them with any UI at all.

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Go

Re: I love Metro

I really hope W8 will be a huge success. Imagine the consequences if only 1% of MSs customers switch to a free OS. Have you ever read the Umbongo forums ?

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Anonymous Coward

I can wait.

I really can.

I won't be upgrading to Windows 8, it's a disaster. Microsoft has really lost it's mojo since Balmer took over.

Broken Xbox360

Failure after failure in the mobile market

Dismal Windows 8

Confusing strategies

Zune (WTF was that...)

The Kinect joke

The only things he hasn't manged to fuck up yet, is basically Office and Visual Studio (although some would argue that Office was fucked up before he started, and that VS express editions are now fucked up)

Is there anything Microsoft have gotten right since Balmer took over? (I mean technically, not viral marketing shit products to make them look good - they have been VERY good at that).

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can wait.

Yeah the 360 is a total flop and Kinect isn't at all a worldwide success.

And since W8 hasn't been released yet it's nice to hear your review of something that you haven't seen.

Crap troll. Go back to tattooing Linux source code on your chest.

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Re: I can wait.

Um ... the 360 is broken how exactly?

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WTF?

Re: I can wait.

And what's wrong with Zune? It's the best music service I've ever used (and I've gone through many - from Napster to Spotify and back).

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Re: I can wait.

I believe he is referencing the red rings disaster, it's rumoured that the 360 had a 30%+ hardware failure rate. It has apparently cost them over $1 billion.

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Broken XBox

That's just Barry Shitpeas and his "perfect" PS3 again. Let it go.

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Re: I can wait.

You know all the ring of death stuff when it first came out?

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Mushroom

Re: I can wait.

"And what's wrong with Zune? It's the best music service I've ever used (and I've gone through many - from Napster to Spotify and back)."

Zune is excellent - very easy to use and good selection. But their billing department has brought me to the point of giving up on the service. Repeated authorisation errors when card providers confirm that they are authorising the transaction and it's something at MS's end. Complete inability to solve the problem so far (it's been nearly three weeks). Extremely frustrating.

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Re: I can wait.

With regards to the metro interface on the xbox, I believe he's on about the wretched interface. The highlight is that the currently selected box is a bit bigger than the others and you can't tell which is selected without moving the selection, which means that if you press left when you're in a box on the left hand side, you swoosh to the group on the left.

The xbox iplayer is even worse.

If it's not obvious where your cursor is, then it's bad design.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I can wait.

Sales != Quality

The best selling car is the Toyota Corolla. Enjoy your Xbox Corolla loser.. I'm enjoying my Audi R8.

You measure of quality seems to be sales. You need to wake up, take a look at all the Kinect shovelware, and the 2ndhand stores full of them, and tell me again how it's a "worldwide success"

Typical salesman. I'll have 2 bigmac's please.

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Bronze badge

Re: I can wait.

And you concept of quality appears to be badgenomics.

Enjoy the overpriced Audi A3 for example, while the Skoda Octavia and Seat Leon owners laugh at you for buying basically the same tin.

Brand != quality.

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FAIL

Haven't we been here before?

http://i46.tinypic.com/2yl426f.jpg

Ouch....

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Silver badge

Re: Haven't we been here before?

OH MY GOD YOU'RE RIGHT THEY'RE ABSOLUTELY IDENTICAL

except for all the ways they aren't.

Anyway, Android app drawer? Looks a lot like Windows 2.0 icons, doesn't it?

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Linux

Re: Haven't we been here before?

http://i46.tinypic.com/2yl426f.jpg

"Kids only" -- indeed

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Linux

MEH

Yes, MEH.

All my computers, at home and work run either Centos 6.x or Debian/LMDE, I get incremental updates now and then, and if someone decides to impose his SHIT environment or APP on me I just choose another.

I could survive in the 90 without a Windows PC, with Linux in the 2010s I do not survive I thrive.

MS is irrelevant, check how many computer devices under $100 / 75 pounds you can find in the market... all of them run Android. There is no way in earth that MS can stop Windows to fading into irrelevance.

The times in which MS could dictate for example to add or remove keys from everybody's keyboard are long gone.

The only interesting feature of Windows server 8 (Interesting as in that people have been asking for it) is clustered filesystem. And here Linux was there many moons ago.

So: MEH!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MEH

Just a quick reminder that ms made more money last year than ever before.....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: MEH

@John Sanders - So, the biggest software company in the world is irreverent? You really don't do your credibility any good by making statements like this. I would love to see Linux get a bigger foothold in the desktop market, if only because it would force MS and Apple to up their game, but MS, irrelevant? Please.

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WTF?

Coo - accessing photos! Advanced stuff!

I mean before we had generic ways to copy a file but it sounds like those geniuses at Microsoft have taken a look at that and thought "You know what, if we limited it just to image format files and gave it a funky name it would be SOOO much better!". Incredible! I for one welcome this amazing addition to Windows functionality.

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WTF?

Touch interface?

Does MS really expect us to all buy touch screens for our desktops and use Metro like that? You're supposed to sit about an arm's length away from your monitor so... well, um... I cannot reach the damn thing without stretching, leaning forward or bringing the monitor closer. All of those things are not good for me in one way or another.

Now, as a fun exercise, pretend you're going through the normal tasks that you would perform with a mouse during the day, but do it with your hand as if you're touching the screen and holding your arm out. Do it just for a couple of minutes. Tell me how awesome it is?

Never mind how great dirty smudges on monitors look.

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Angel

Re: Touch interface?

I'm buying shares in screenwipe companies

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Touch interface?

Time will tell.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Touch interface?

I'm buying shares in popcorn, as this thread is hillarious..

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Meh

Windows 8 Preview

Just a thought... if the ghastly Metro interface _wasn't_ a mandatory part of the Windows 8 preview, how many peope here would have tried it then ignored it without providing any feedback. By forcing preview users to use Metro, MS have got that feedback. Of course, whether MS reacts to it is a different matter!

Has anybody seen anything from Microsoft that states that the Metro interface will DEFINITELY be mandatory when Windows 8 launches?

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Re: Windows 8 Preview

Who knows but I doubt it. Would love to be wrong however.

What is odd is looking at any IT forum its 98% against Metro and 2% for. You seem to see a couple of rabid Metro evangelists that seem to forget how folks have managed to get by with desktops for the past 20+ years and live in a tablet centric world.

Probably from the skinny jean brigade with a ring in their lower lip?

Then if you look on the MS tech forums it's almost the complete opposite. Some heavy editing going on there?

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Thumb Down

Re: Windows 8 Preview

I would take anything you see on MS sites with a pinch of salt. They have plenty of product pages where there are fake tweets and other social media goobledy gook where made-up people pretend to like these things and tell us how awesome their experience has been so far.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8 Preview

@Seb123 - I'd also ignore trolling linux trolls as well, but then I have just failed at that by responding to you...

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WTF?

Re: Windows 8 Preview

I am a Linux troll? I don't even use Linux, but thanks for the compliment just because I pointed out a fact.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Windows 8 Preview

If it's a fact, cite a source.

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Re: Windows 8 Preview

Here is one of my favourites, directly from Microsoft.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/10/11/microsoft_browser_crituque/

The other notable stuff was on the windows mobile 7 preview page with praises from "users"

Unfortunately the site does not exist any more and I didn't think ahead to take a screen shot at the time to prove a point to some buffoon on the internet.

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Re: Windows 8 Preview

Hmm. Not sure what happened to the link

It's on this site. "Microsoft flags Firefox and Chrome for security failings" is the title.

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Stop

Re: Windows 8 Preview

I think you will find they either work for Microsoft, or work for a company employed by Microsoft to ensure there are people saying good things on the internet about Microsoft's dismal products

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