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back to article Microsoft drops 'risky' Windows 8 preview on World

Microsoft has released to the World near-final code for Windows 8 - its riskiest bet yet. Officially called a Consumer Preview, but actually a beta, the next Windows 8 milestone will be the release candidate followed by release to manufacturing, Windows Division president Steven Sinofsky said Wednesday. Microsoft chose the …

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$30 upgrade, one version that does it all

If they are serious about getting people to ditch xp,vista,7.

It is just not worth more than that for a bit of eye candy and a few bug fixes.

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you mean someone actually managed to download it?

I gave up after numerous attempts that stalled out.

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Re: you mean someone actually managed to download it?

really, one thing that I can't complain about was the download speed. 2MB/s throughout.

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MIc
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w8

Looking forward to it myself. I always though the desktop was a waste of space / unusable. Im curious to see how it will work on my 4 1920X1080 monitors :)

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Megaphone

Hooman Compooter Inter action

I've tried the Dev Preview, it was unfinished. I'll reserve judgement until I've tried the consumer preview and maybe even the final product. I have to say though, where is the desktop/WIMP metaphor going? Metro + Ribbon = a messy experience.

I think MS should concentrate less on dumbing down (and making a mess of a desktop metaphor that works) and more on educating the user.

Why make the top left corner of the screen a hotspot for the mouse to switch icons, which will be inadvertently strayed into when the user knocks a touchpad, when you can just educate them to press alt+tab?

If I can disable Metro, and the footprint is sleeker than Win7 then I'm happy.

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JDX
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Re: Hooman Compooter Inter action

>>when you can just educate them to press alt+tab?

Sounds like the way open-source people view designing software! Anyone designing software needs to accept users are not looking to be educated.

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Meh

It's all a bit moot, anyway

Yup, I'm a Mac man - but I still need a Windows machine at work - Industry specific software written way back in the '90's. Suspicion has it it was the 1890's.

Prior to installing WMWare on my office Mac, I had a Pentium 4 running XP Pro on my desk. I was one of the better equipped staff - Win2000 and lesser Pentiums abound - but so they do in many large organisations who might have their own esoteric S/W - which, if a relic of pre-2k days, is probably not that demanding on resources. Add that to Lotus Notes, a bit of Word/Excel and there really isn't any great need or incentive to upgrade.

With companies still using Win200/XP on a regular basis, I just don't see the huge mass of commercial users rushing out to upgrade.

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Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

You forget that most big corps have enterprise licenses, which only support certain versions of windows and MS will OOL certain versions (eg XP). There is some flexibility there if you please nicely with MS (or threaten to leave them), but at some point MS will force them to upgrade purely to stay within license and support agreements.

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Pint

Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

I'll take your word for it:- being mostly a Mac specialist, I've never been involved with MS's enterprise/site licences - or the implications thereof.

It will upset many organisations who still have dozens of P4's floating around, though...

Beer? - Why not?

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Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

It's one good thing about Mac land, things don't change so massively between releases of the OS. It's almost like Microsoft feel compelled to keep radically changing the UI to justify charging so much for the upgrade.

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JDX
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Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

MS react to what users want though. They tried to kill off XP but users demanded otherwise and they extended support (same for IE6)... if companies hate W8 the way they hated Vista, MS will do the same and let them stay on W7 until W9 comes out, knowing how slowly corporate IT updates anyway.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Re: Re: It's all a bit moot, anyway

Yep, the global mega corp who employ me has only just started rolling out windows 7 to the non-IT staff.

For me it's not an issue because I am fairly computer literate and am open to change but the amount of bitching and moaning about things being different (espescially as they have just gone to office 2010 as well) you wouldnt (or maybe you would) beleieve,.

Some of the people I work with, I can imagine their heads exploding if you sat them in front of a windows 8 machine!

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FAIL

Someone who likes the Consumer Preview please tell me...

...why is it a good idea to have TWO taskbars at once? Which cover each other? The only alternative is to use Alt+Tab to go through a combined list...

Is there a concept behind this...? If so, WHAT? Seriously, it seems like they weren't even trying... :(

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You might have to wait

I think he's getting an eye transplant.

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WTF?

So, you take a failure and...

Make no mistakes about it, the Metro UI/WP7 is a total and utter failure - even Nokia's abandoned N9 managed to outsell the ultra-hyped Lumias. The interface feels constrained and limited after trying to use for more than a few minutes, and to anyone who has seen widgets done properly (Android and KDE), the crippled tiles are a total frustration.

And you take this over-hyped failure, which not even Orlowski is defending that hard now, and put it on a desktop, and try to force everyone to use it? And make the desktop a tile? And you expect that away from the hyped reviews and the typical softies, anyone will want to use it?

Seems like a "unstoppable" Bob+Vista combination... I wonder if this is an attempt to to prove the old saying "if you make something idiot proof only idiots will want to use it"?

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JDX
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Re: So, you take a failure and...

You've not managed to actually read any reviews of WP7 before telling us what everyone thinks, have you?

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FAIL

Re: Re: So, you take a failure and...

Unlike the paid reviews and the softies, I won't tell you how anyone thinks besides me. Just look at the sales figures for the Lumias, at the sales figures for the N8 for the same period last year, and at the sales figures for the N9, and you'll see the obnoxious failure that is WP7. Or if you can't get the figures, just look at the sales of WP7 as a whole and compare it with the sales of Windows Mobile.

As for what I think, I tried to use that crap as my main phone. I tried giving it to my wife. Now it is my second phone, usable for emergencies only. I've gone back to my two years old Nexus One, My wife has her ZTE Blade back, and we're much happier than with that fugly fisher price toy of a phone that is the Lumia 800. The only regret I have is that the screen and the camera are good enough that would have made it my main phone if it had a decent OS.

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Windows

Preview on the preview...

I've turned into quite the Microsoftie over the last couple of months, right up to a point where my company has become an (not fully official as of yet) MS reseller. Quite frankly I grew quite the liking towards Windows 7 & Office 2010 (and some of the other products too) which is quite frankly one of the main reasons I decided to go for partner & reseller -ship (don't kid yourself; the other reason is obviously that I expect to make some income out of it).

Quite frankly I credit Microsoft for their courage, although I'm still not too sure if it isn't stupidity. I actually like Metro; on my upcoming Windows phone (which I expect to get in a week or two, even though I was and still am quite a critic on some points). But this ?

Anyway, its downloading and I'm quite anxious. Will this version be compatible with Windows' own Virtual PC or do I need to get Sun's Virtual box again ? Can I still hook into the OS using PowerShell or rpc (sc.exe) or has that changed? Do I need to create shortcuts to .cpl files on the desktop so that I can avoid Metro to get to the control panel or...

To quote Luke Skywalker... "I have a bad feeling about this..."

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Dex
Holmes

Metro Controller gets rid of Metro easily enough

Metro Controller gets shot of all aspects of Metro, a simple google search for "metro controller" will easily return what you want.....

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Re: Metro Controller gets rid of Metro easily enough

But without Metro you also lose the option to start any of your applications. Perhaps apart from skimming \Program Files yourself and making shortcuts for everything on your desktop.

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Anonymous Coward

Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

"Windows 3.1? It's nothing more than what Windows 3.0 should have been."

"Windows XP? Look at the internal version numbers. It's just a service pack on top of Windows 2000. Nothing More."

"Windows 7? That was my idea"

We've all been here before, people. Every 3 years or so, there will be new software.

If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you.

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Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

"If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you."

I want improvement not just change !

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Anonymous Coward

@Chemist

As you're a dedicated Linux user (based on your previous posts) why do you want improvement from MS?

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Re: @Chemist

My original post which didn't mention MS (other than in the auto-generated title) was :

{

"If you're change adverse, then perhaps IT isn't the right industry for you."

I want improvement not just change !

}

The comment was a general one - too often mere change is seen as a good thing when real improvement is what most people want.

I'd like all OSs to improve because I don't want any sort of monoculture - I make the choice to use Linux - I certainly wouldn't want to constrain other users.

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Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

@ Chemist. I'm sure you won't mind if I change the wheels on your car for rectangular ones... after all you're not change adverse are you?

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Re: Windows 9? If I must use it, I'll switch to (Windows 8) Classic Mode.

@Chad H.

Are you stupid ?

I said I'd rather have improvement not just change (Hint : triangular wheels would NOT be an improvement because the ride would be bad )

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I've been using it today

It's not that bad as most people make out. Ok, there's some new stuff so you have to change your set in ways, but these changes are actually more efficient from a getting things done point of view. It's probably going to suit a newbie user quite nicely as it hides a lot of complexity from the user and common tasks are easier to find.

No doubt there will be more attractive themes to come along at release as I do find the block colours a bit heavy. Otherwise it all runs very snappy

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WTF?

Hot Areas

One thing that I have been trying to puzzle out (I've been to lazy to actually try a preview yet) is whether there is any visual indication whether these "hot areas" in the corners have any kind of visual indication that they exist.

I'm normally very pro change and generally like Microsoft's stuff (I even defend Vista as in my opinion it was much better than XP and I enjoy pointing out when someone talks about a great Win7 feature, that it was actually in Vista) but using the metro UI as a replacement for the start menu just seems completely daft why not a supplement if in desktop mode? Click start button, get starts menu AND metro ui.

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Re: Hot Areas

Some have but other don't. So if you hoover to the lower left corner you see a "metro preview" appear so you'll know that this will fire up Metro. But the rest doesn't have this. So upper left then the previously ran program appears (preview). And the other two corners will immediately show the controls for the active program.

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FAIL

Still not supporting own technology...

So I have the whole thing setup in Microsoft's virtual PC and guess what ?

HAL_INITIALISATION_ERROR.

/Exactly/ the same problem as the developer preview gave us. I consider this to be an epic failure; I mean what is /the/ first pick for Windows users when it comes to virtual machines and the likes?

And its not as if this stuff is anything arcane or something since other virtual environments have no problems at all with it.

Dumb move right there IMO.

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Anonymous Coward

Search Technet

If you have a look at technet, it explains how to setup VirtualPC for Win8.

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Anonymous Coward

Microsoft isn't going to be around much longer.

It's just a prediction I heard by Ben Fulford.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NfmwxCLXyNg

I agree, I don't think Microsoft is going to be around much longer.

With Gates is practicing eugenics, I hope they do fail.

Every new version of windows since XP makes me want to puke.

If they want me to buy another OS from them, they need to re-offer xp, and provide security updates.

WIth win 8, I am left wondering.

WIll my old expensive thousands of dollars in audio hardware work with win8, it didn't with win7

Will the new .NET 5 break the old .NET scripts

Will IE9/10 ever remove active X?

Will the new shell, kill off 16 bit apps? How about TWO SHELLS? jesus tits

Will the audio mixer ever be fixed?

Will decent audio mixer SDK examples of the audio mixer ever be released?

Will I still have to run an XP in a VM to get my work done !?

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JDX
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Re: Microsoft isn't going to be around much longer.

You mean the same way IBM disappeared when they lost the PC battle?

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Anonymous Coward

FOr the record...on XP I'd pay $300 for updates past EOL!

I'd gladly pay $300 for xp updates past the EOL.

idiots.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: FOr the record...on XP I'd pay $300 for updates past EOL!

How many Linux installs from 2001 still get updates?

It's a genuine questions as I don't know - I find myself updating my Linux installs (CentOS, RHEL, Fedora) every year or so. As for supported updates from a decade ago, forget it.

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FAIL

"Hot corners" a steaming heap of Fail

That'll confuse so many people!

"Where's the Start Button gone?"

"Oh just wave the mouse around, something might just happen if you're lucky!"

It's dumb to have something important that you're magically expected to know, and are unlikely to find out yourself. I can't speak for most people but I prefer to figure things out for myself rather than have to be trained.

I was using Win 7 for ages before I found out by accident that the lower right corner is a 'hot corner' to show the desktop! Have they completely missed the point about 'discoverability'?

Having said that, I expect that any glaring deficiencies in the user experience will be corrected by someone somewhere providing a freeware or Open Source workaround, so maybe it won't be a big deal in the long run.

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A repeat of the Pocket PC mistake

So while Microsoft tried to shoehorn the Windows desktop approach onto the mobile with their Pocket PC platform (later renamed Windows mobile), they are now making a similar mistake of changing what is primary a desktop OS into a mobile OS.

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FAIL

Coorporate Change

I remember huge arguments here when MS introduced the Ribbon bar on Office - "we can't upgrade people won't understand the change, we'll need training, etc." . We'll have the same arguments again - and frankly I can see why this time. Metro on a desktop PC is a poor change from the start menu. How many people are going to ring support once they're in an app

saying "how do I start/switch to another app"!

PS: VMWare Tools (workstation 8) install and appear to work - dual monitors - even bigger fail - Apps only run on one, desktop on the other - can't run two apps side by side?

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Joke

This just in.....

For release in 2013, Windows 9, Internet explorer 11. Preview to come soon. Marketing splash next. Now word on Office 2013. Should have improved interface.

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Wow it is unintuitive and horrible, they actually seem to have taken all of the best bits of Windows 7 and binned them. Even as an IT pro I found it awkward, the thought of putting this on my wife's computer fills me with dread. I do I need a full screen start menu when the windows 7 one worked. I know I have only just started playing with it but I have also just started downloading Linux.

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Even as an IT pro I found it awkward

It is often the case though that IT pros are so used to a particular way of working and have so many different tasks to carry out that a change in the UI can be much more of a hindrance to us than to 'normal' users.

I haven't seen this one yet but I expect to be annoyed by a load of things most of which are broadly similar to the things that annoyed me in the switches from ADFS to DOS to Windows and then through the various iterations of that.

I have to say there's nothing about this that makes me think I want it but I'll see how it goes in actual use.

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Trollface

Let's face the music

Having used this piece of pretty much crap, yes, it is quite unusable and most of all Aunty Tilly will suffer heavily from it, maybe up to a heart attack. Because that new paradigm of continuously switching interfaces get's on everyone's nerves who is not yet insane.

But let's face it, it will be "cool" to the majority of dumbos who'll run after any most fashionable craze; even if they need therapy (or at least a batch of evening classes to master this abdominal nonsense). And yes, I didn't give up easily. And yes, I've been in IT for 30+ years.

Let's face it, I have given up on expecting users, I mean, the average user, to be sane. From thence it will make it, like The Tin Lizzy, which made it despite of its availability being limited to black colour.

So what we see here is an unseen combination of two interfaces: One can't touch, one can barely use because it is pimpled with overdimensional icons that you need to 'thumb' to reach. The best is the Settings. For those who have the .iso installed. Fantastic. I do it on my 24" screen, and I could be almost blind and yet see what I am setting. And scrolling like hell for other settings.

And yet, I know that I preach to the converted; the numbo-dumbos left and right will "love" what cannot, cannot at all, be loved.

What I'll do, is taking some GNOME 3.x around, and show it off as W8. And not mentioning the term "Linux", but adding a fake W8 background, and I'll be met with "Wow!!" (with a 'W' for 'Windows').

Branding, my dear compatriotes in the country of El Reg, is all. Branded s*** is "Wow" if only it is branded.

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Anonymous Coward

Sharp Ugly Corners

Who is the incredibly stupid executive moron that approved that awful design with razor sharp corners. Doesn't MS hire artists? For the lack of rounded corners, this will FAIL BIG TIME.

Also the complete lack of a start button is going to soooo turn off Mom and Pop consumer.

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Joke

Re: Sharp Ugly Corners

rounded corners! you dont think MS is made of money to pay those royalties for licencing apples "rounded corners" patent do you?

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FAIL

Why I think win8 is very poor...

Its simple really... I'm using Internet explorer to download a file, say an ISO file which contains a preview of a certain OS. Although my Internet connection is quite decent it will still take some time to grab 2Gb worth of data.

So first I visit El Reg and skim around, then I decide to play Spider Solitaire.

Note: while doing that I can - at all times - see the progress of my download. I don't want to play solitaire to win a dozen games or so, I want to kill time and as soon as my download is done then I'm through playing. This cannot be done on Windows 8 anymore. Whether you download using the "Metro IE" (which doesn't even have a start page anymore, very annoying and confusing at times) or the desktop IE... As soon as you start Solitaire (Metro) its full screen so you can no longer see what else is going on in your system. VERY annoying.

Another epic failure.. Say one of your metro apps goes haywire (which has happened two or three times now on my box) and your screen is locked. In regular Windows you can always hit control-shift-escape and the task manager comes up, maybe something is stalling? Or when all else fails: control-alt-delete and select the taskmanager. At the very least you get a new window from which can fix stuff (you can even start new programs and such from here).

Windows 8? When Metro locks up and you hit control-alt-delete you still have the option to start the task manager. Its just too bad that it starts up on the desktop "app" while you remain locked in Metro. So your only option is to log off and back on again.

I don't want this full screen nonsense, I want my Windows back so that I can see what the heck is going on in the background.

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Unhappy

Re: Why I think win8 is very poor...

That sounds bad. I only use full screen for video games and generally don't like anything else to be full screen.

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Re: Disappointed and impressed at the same time

Perhaps this is Windows for the next generation? you do almost wonder if this OS has been optimised for people who live on Twitter and Facebook.

As an OS for creating things it will be quite annoying and distracting.

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Linux

My arms...

will drop off if M$ keep persisting that it can be used on a touch-screen monitor attached to a PC.

Why not make Metro (or runtime) ARM exclusive to ensure it's only tablets that get the feature? Stupid, stupid corp decisions.

Quack.

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