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back to article Windows 8: We kick the tyres on Redmond's new tablet wheels

The surprising thing about the Windows 8 Release Preview just delivered is not how much has changed from February's Consumer Preview, or even the Developer Preview from September 2011, but rather how little. Microsoft is set on delivering this hybrid tablet-and-desktop operating system pretty much as-is, despite widespread …

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FAIL

A foolish decision by Microsoft to force metro upon all users, desktop as well as tablet. It's one which will likely backfire in spectacular fashion upon them. I can see the taglines and twitter posts now: "You can't spell METRO without ME".

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Thumb Up

You also can't spell it without ROT.

Or MORT for that matter.

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You'll have to pay me FRAND

I claim right to that meme... Windows Muerto and similar works.

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Trollface

But then again...

Windows Metro is basically "Windows Me" with a bit of added troll.

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Devil

What is Metro?

Metro is like Windows without all those awkward windows, and the apps you paid so much for, and the devices like cameras, printers and scanners you use every day. It's the new thing and doesn't support that stuff, so throw out all your old things now so you can embrace the wonder that is Metro!

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Anonymous Coward

Rather generous review

Even the hardcore Windows users will claim Windows 8 is a backwards step in PRODUCTIVITY, which is what everyone wants from a desktop OS.

Nobody cares about shiny swish boxes.

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Meh

Re: Rather generous review

So the iP* users don't like boxes huh?

They don't like Shiny?

We'll see - the thing is, this will cause a split in the market which Apple I think has failed to appeciate. This gives windows that "shiny" feeling that apple device users expect. No longer will they feel the need to buy an apple computer to go with their latest shiny tablet or phone. As their new computer has the "same"* boxes on a screen interface their iP* already has

* Yes, I'll think you'll find most users don't know/care that windows and iOS are two different things - both present boxes in a grid format which you activate to achieve a goal.

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*rolls eyes*

Correct me if I'm wrong, but M$ are "forcing" a UI designed for a touch screen tablet onto their entire desktop user base just so they can claim "Work on your tablet just like you do on your desktop" on the advertising blurb of the Windows tablets.

They're crippling their desktop users just so they can have a punt at 3rd place in the tablet market - aka over taking the abandoned WebOS!

Oh well... Guess that's me sticking with Win 7 for a while... Which at the moment is hosting an XP VM!

Hmmm, I've got Windows 2.0 floppies somewhere, I wonder if I can find a floppy drive...

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JDX
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Re: *rolls eyes*

So use it predominantly in Desktop mode then.

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Re: *rolls eyes*

I recently bought a second hand high spec gaming PC with a floppy drive in it. I thought it a lovely touch! Haha! Now to find a floppy disk... errrr.... hmmmm.....

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Facepalm

Re: *rolls eyes*

Yeah, just stop using the start menu!

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Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

I think you're underestimating how well the tablet side of this will do. Android might be king in the smartphone world but they're a distant second on tablets. I can see Windows easily beating Android for market share here but I doubt it will make a dent in the iPad.

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Coat

Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

It's pretty hard to make a dent in the iPad. They usually shatter.

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FAIL

Re: *rolls eyes*

"So use it predominantly in Desktop mode then."

So that would be Windows 7 then?

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Re: *rolls eyes*

The desktop mode is a stub (No "Start" - button), breaking it for those who want to play on a non touch device, also not brilliant on the works Dell XT2.

In desktop mode your forced to switch back tothe swipee Metro interface (via a key combo or a painful hot corner - especially if running via a VM on a Mac), to swipe around, and find and Start an un-pined program.

Same goes for login / unlock, you need to swipe up, to get the login prompt to appear (took a min or two, to work that one out), and working out how to Shut Windows 8 down wasted another few min's.

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Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

> Windows easily beating Android

There will be (if the OEMs actually want to build them) both x86 Windows 8 tablets and ARM Windows RT.

OEMs have already said that they can't make an x86 tablet that is competitive with iPad because of the cost of Windows and of intel x86 chips even if they are SoCs. The final cost of a useful tablet would also require Office (the RT Office is only for ARM). While there may be some sales the users will be disappointed that their existing desktop applications won't work with touch.

The ARM tablets may be considerably cheaper but will only ever run WinRT, will disappoint the users because they will think that existing Windows applications should run but won't and the Office is a cut down version. The only thing that it will have is Metro which is already mostly rejected on WP7 and on Win8 previews.

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FAIL

Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

Wrong!

Every Chinese tablet other than the iPad runs Android, and M$'s licensing strategy isn't going to change that any day soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: *rolls eyes* 3rd place

The licensing strategy for RT is key, though hardly mentioned in these discussions. Digitimes claimed rumours of $50-$90 per Windows RT license last month sounds on the high side given much of the tablet space is focussed around retail $200 Kindle - $5/600 iPad 3. If MS price RT aggressively e.g. $25 for 7", <$50 for 10" its a serious competition IMO. Higher and the BOM sums seriously favour Android.

Sums different for Windows 8 Intel/AMD but still pressure on historical MS OEM pricing for desktop/laptop as MS enters lower cost tablet space.

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Re: *rolls eyes*

I find it hard to take anyone seriously who still substitutes Microsoft with some other monikor. It seems a little childish. True, Microsoft is not a charity, but the world most capitalized company is now Apple who, depending on your IT religion is worse or better than the monopoly attributed to IE. Isn't iTunes the same?

It terms of crippling the desktop users. My experience of Win 8 is that its faster than Windows 7, crisper in the detail and some interesting new features. Nobody is forcing a new UI - you don't have to buy it - but to be fair there is marked difference between PC and tablet type operation.

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Re: *rolls eyes*

"you don't have to buy it"

Are you suggesting that in a year or two you'll be able to buy a PC without it ?. I build my own and only use Linux but for most people ...

(Unless it all goes pear-shaped)

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Users were not so much won over to new versions

They simply had to put up with whatever was preinstalled, or foisted upon them in the workplace. People are adaptable, and can learn new ways of working, but some "improvements" weren't.

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Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

First thing I did with Windows 7?

Made the taskbar work properly.

First thing I did with Office 2010?

Ignored it and used OpenOffice.

So much for being won over. I think I'll give 8 a miss.

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Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

True about the foisting, but those versions of Windows were still basically Windows. This wacky tablet interface is going to take active resistance from ordinary users, not just power users. And businesses? You've got to be fucking joking. They've got work to do.

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Re: Users were not so much won over to new versions

I never came across any one who was won over by Vista. Perhaps MS should stick to two letter acronyms like NT or XT which seem to work for them.

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Facepalm

"Microsoft is set on delivering this hybrid tablet-and-desktop operating system pretty much as-is, despite widespread feedback that the concept is not quite working"

Puts fingers in ears

LA LA LA LA LA LA

- Windows 8 Management

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Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

The best thing Microsoft could do would be to remove Metro from Windows 8 completely. If they want something for the tablet market, while that lasts; produce something specifically for that. It they won't remove it, allow it to be completely disabled. I have the misfortune to have to work on a Windows 7 machine, but at least most of the irritating features can be switched off and it can be made to work almost as well as XP. Why not allow the same for Windows 8?

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Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

That would leave you with windows7.

I find its hard to not think this is true, because after all even the requirements are exactly the same. Its a design change and thats all by the sound of things?

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Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

That's a pity. Generally, the really important changes between Windows version have been invisible; i.e. they are not inprovements to the GUI, although there may be some, but improvements in the performance, robustness and security of the system, plus support for new types of peripheral. Without these, there is no real point in having a new version.

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Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

Metro doesn't have to be killed, it just has to offer functionality comparable to that delivered by the start menu. I can't believe how badly it still functions so close to RTM. I was prepared to give the benefit of doubt to the consumer preview, openly wondering but hoping things might improve but it's clear MS are releasing this thing whether it is ready for the desktop or not. I believe they've decided to get this thing out of the door regardless of it being broken and then we'll see a followup release much like Windows 7 was for Vista.

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Stop

Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

But if they allow that, that's what everone will do, including every corporate on the planet, and Microsoft won't be able to sell you apps, and they won't be able to shove Windows Phones, Xboxes and tablets that they can't otherwise sell under your nose and say "hey it looks the same" (even if it doesn't run the same stuff).

Windows 8 isn't what USERS want, it's what MICROSOFT want, and that's where the product want wrong. The let that fucktard Balmer have a say in things.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

The best thing Microsoft could do would be to do what Jimmy does at the end of 'Quadrophenia'.

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Re: Please kill Metro, or at least allow it to be completely disabled

Windows 8 feels faster than Windows 7 on a relatively underpowered virtual machine, so if they had a proper start menu and the ability to disable Metro, it would actually be a decent upgrade.

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Holmes

I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

Microsoft are doing this so they can claim to have invented square corners. Genius. Soon, legally, all of computing (hardware and software) will belong to either Apple or them. So who's laughing at Metro now?

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Joke

Re: I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

I'm laughing -- I just patented concave corners!

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Re: I finally get it! It all makes sense now...

And I just covered the last base by patenting the circle.

First letter being drafted to Tefal as we speak.

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train wreck

Looking at the MS answers site regarding Windows 8, it seems the overriding questions are relating to 'how to remove Metro', 'where is my start menu?' and so on.... and this is from more tech savvy users of the kind who install preview software

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_8?sort=ReplyCount&dir=Desc

Imagine the train wreck this will be once PCs start shipping with this and the average joe gets his new PC home and can't figure out where his desktop or start button have gone?

And why can everyone else see this except Microsoft?

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Re: train wreck

Of course Microsoft can see this but their dominance of the OS market and the fact that nearly all new PC's are shipped with Windows means they don't have to care. What they expect is that... "users are won over in time". Of course this is not really the case, users are forced into the new tech because MS remove support for old tech and require OEM's to install the latest MS OS.

Installing an alternative OS may only be a small challenge for a PC user with a little IT literacy but the majority of PC users these days are not PC users at all, they are just consumers with little to no idea that alternatives even exist.

Metro is perfectly suited to those who want an entertainment/information displaying/social networking device... ie:a consumer. Productivity and use of a PC as a working tool is something else entirely, so whilst MS may win over the consumer with Metro they are going to have a hard time pushing it to those who use a PC as a productivity tool.

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Re: train wreck

@cap'n

"And why can everyone else see this except Microsoft?"

Emperor's clothes?

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Facepalm

Truth in naming

ME - a nasty debilitating illness. Yup.

Vista - means excrement in Sanscrit (allegedly). Yup.

Metro - anagram of Morte. Dead. Yup.

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Re: train wreck

It also seems obvious now that one objective of the prereleases was to let techies party on hacking Metro into submission. Then blocking all those exploits.

A significant number of 'average joes' never need to deal with the 'where's my XXXX gone' because they let their techie friend configure their machine before using it in anger. My brother let's me configure his new laptops before he even turns them on, something annoys me enough I turn it off before he knows it was there.

What will save Win8 (if that's possible) is people will find hacks faster than Microsoft can ship updates to block them. At some point it will be possible to configure Metro away and make it stick and a working 'enough' Start menu will get frankensteined onto Win8.

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FAIL

Re: train wreck

"Metro is perfectly suited to those who want an entertainment/information displaying/social networking device... ie:a consumer. Productivity and use of a PC as a working tool is something else entirely, so whilst MS may win over the consumer with Metro they are going to have a hard time pushing it to those who use a PC as a productivity tool."

If this is their target who on earth will they win from iPad and Android? Don't see it happening. They will be third and that's not how the Microsoft eco system can survive... Start selling your shares...

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Anonymous Coward

Re: train wreck

"Installing an alternative OS may only be a small challenge for a PC user with a little IT literacy but the majority of PC users these days are not PC users at all, they are just consumers with little to no idea that alternatives even exist."

Which means they wouldn't even realise if the IT dept rolled out their new PCs with Linux installed. It'd be a more familiar interface with a faster learning curve than switching a whole company to Win8/Metro with its associated massive shift in interface paradigm. ;)

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WTF?

Won over? Really ?

"Harris describes how every new version of Windows has had vocal opponents, but that users are won over in time."

Millennium, Vista ... NOT.

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Re: Won over? Really ?

Users are not won over in time. The old version is no longer available for sale and or no longer supported, so they are forced to use the new version.

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Flame

Re: Won over? Really ?

We never did get to find out what would have happened if it was ME or ditch Microsoft.

We never did get to find out what would have happened if it was Vista or ditch Microsoft. (Yes, I know Windows 7 is pretty much Windows Vista properly debugged. XP had a fairly Vista-like start as well.)

This time? Who knows. DEC managed to kill itself, at the third or fourth try.

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Joke

RTM

Return The Mother______

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Anonymous Coward

the work on multiple monitors sounds good

http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012/05/21/enhancing-windows-8-for-multiple-monitors.aspx

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Unhappy

multiple monitors?

What was wrong with multiple monitors before? I haven't had trouble with Windows or Linux.

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Re: multiple monitors?

doesn't mean they can't be made better, there are two main improvements.

1. The taskbar is now available on all screens in the monitor with options for whether the program buttons appear on all taskbars or just the one on the application screen.

2. Desktop wallpaper, you can now have wallpaper that spans your desktops or different wallpaper on each screen. There's even an option to automatically show landscape pictures on the landscape screens and portrait ones on the portrait screens.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: multiple monitors?

"What was wrong with multiple monitors before? I haven't had trouble with Windows or Linux."

No problem with multiple monitor support on linux either, but on Windows it -sucks-. Even with the latest Windows 7, you can't have a taskbar on each monitor, showing just the windows that belong to that screen. Can't have a start button or system tray on each screen. Can't define different wallpaper per desktop (if you want something like that, you gotta munge them all together into one big image file, align it exactly, and tell it not to stretch or centre it). Can't 'send to monitor to the left' or 'send to monitor to the right'. Complete and utter half-baked mess.

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