back to article Microsoft unveils Windows 8 'release preview' for June

Windows 8 will be signed off and released to PC manufacturers in June, paving the way for a September or October launch. Microsoft will deliver what it's calling a "release preview" of Windows 8 in the first week of June, Windows chief Steven Sinofsky has revealed. Sinofsky announced the news at Windows 8 Dev Days in Japan, …

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  1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    I wonder if they'll have made it usable by then?

    1. Piro
      FAIL

      No chance

      .. You know it. It'll be exactly like the Consumer Preview, and be an absolutely unusable mess, with duplicate control panels, duplicate browsers, duplicate ways of managing tasks.

      Microsoft, there are no family-friendly words I could use to describe Windows 8.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No chance

        Off on a limb here but I'll guess not usable enough for the vocal grumblers here, many of whom apparently spend an unhealthy proportion of their day in the start menu/screen.

        I'm not expecting an unveiling of massive changes from customer preview in June but what I am looking forward to is seeing what the OEMs come up with as their launch Win8 configurations. Love it or hate it, Win8 is encouraging greater hardware diversity, IMO a good thing.

    2. pip25
      Unhappy

      The relatively small timeframe between the consumer preview and this "release preview" makes that pretty unlikely, I'm afraid. :(

      1. h4rm0ny

        It's possible.

        The only single thing they have to do, is to allow the user to turn off Metro. It's just one little thing. Do that and everything is rosy again. I guess we'll find out soon.

        1. Spoonsinger
          Meh

          Re: Do that and everything is rosy again.. Yes and

          install Classic Shell.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It works perfectly. Maybe you're just stuck in a way of working where you think the only means of using a computing device is to have a menu in the bottom left labeled "Start".

      It's not. Things change. Get used to it. It's the IT industry.

      1. phr0g
        Paris Hilton

        Totally agree

        I've had the CR on my laptop since it was released. Took me a couple of days to get used to it and it's great.

        More importantly, my brother put it on my old mums computer as she had XP on it, and she loves it.

        If you want "windows", it's the same, pretty much, just that the start menu takes up the whole screen. Is that too difficult to grasp?

        Paris - Dumb blonde.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @AC 1327

        I'm always surprised by the amount of people who work in IT, who are resistant to change. They always come up with the answer "but this isn't good change" or something like that. Always.

        It's not too long since all the people complaining about Win8 who are staying with XP were the people complaining Windows XP who were going to be staying on Win NT4 or 2k.

        1. Benjamin 4

          Re: @AC 1327

          And if modern versions of firefox and office ran on it I'd happily still be running 2k.

          1. keithpeter

            Re: @AC 1327

            IceWM on Debian Squeeze. Use the Redmond or '95 theme. Just like 2k and Sh*t of a Shovel fast. Try it.

        2. Danny 14 Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: @AC 1327

          Thats because change (for the sake of it) just means a rewrite of documentation, endless visits to peons who cannot figure out why the start menu is now round or where the file/save toolbar has gone etc.

          It is a drain on your time. Creating yet more GPOs to set up "classic looks" for the obvious luddites is also a waste. I agree that I would much prefer to install office 2010 and aero 7 on everyones machines. I imagine my phone would melt very soon afterwards.

        3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Re: @AC 1327

          > I'm always surprised by the amount of people who work in IT, who are resistant to change.

          I'm always surprised by the number of people who have managed to find jobs of any sort but don't understand that change isn't an inherent good. Perhaps they don't teach critical thinking where you come from.

          > They always come up with the answer "but this isn't good change" or something like that. Always.

          Perhaps because that's always the problem that they have correctly identified with the change in question.

        4. Stuart Castle

          Re: @AC 1327

          I take it you've just installed in your computer and think that's enough testing.

          I speak from experience when I say that something that works well on a technician's computer often works extremely badly when rolled out..

          Look at it this way. If you are a lone user, running maybe 5 - 10 applications on your PC, then change is easy to accept. You just learn the differences and deal with them.

          If, on the other hand, you are (as I am) an IT technician supporting hundreds or thousands of PCs and thousands of users (which various technical abilities and qualifications ranging from GCSEs to Professorships), not to mention that the average install on each PC is over 110 applications, then changes like this become a major event and require serious testing..

          We got a lot of calls for even the relatively minor changes Windows 7 introduced. God knows how many we will get if and when we switch to Windows 8.

      3. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        "Maybe you're just stuck in a way of working where you think the only means of using a computing device is to have a menu in the bottom left labeled 'Start'."

        Indeed, anonymous sir or madam. That's not the only way. You could have a bug-ugly menu covering the whole damn screen and no way to switch it off. BWUHAHAHAHA!!!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Look, I spend only marginally more time in Metro then I do looking at the start menu on Win 7, the only real difference is that in that same period of time I can check a whole bunch of other things.

          Productivity is significantly improved. Metro adds the snap shot of all things important, its not a UI replacement but it is a new way of working.

          Ive been testing this for quite some time now and I fully admit that there is a harsh learning curve for people that are already set in their ways, but once you hit that curve an get over the hump its actually pretty damn good even in its current state.

          New time users that haven't got a clue what they are doing actually pick this up very quickly, at least from my observations. Why? well I think its because things are were they expect them to be, simple sells, as proven by apple and Google. So why use outlook to check and delete emails? its a giant piece of software and id bet big money that the large majority of home users don't do anything more that read and delete stuff on it, a simple app would do and having that app on metro enables the user to see everything they have setup in the blink of an eye, but what do I know, I only spent time learning it, using it and feeding back to MS about it

      4. Chris Parsons

        Change is not necessarily for the better. Get used to it.

        1. Andrew Meredith
          Stop

          Change is for the profit margin

          One thing to note here, the proprietary software industry's moto should genuinely be "Change or die". They *have* to change their stuff every now and then in order to make people buy a new copy, or an upgrade and buy new books and training courses. If they just did minor bugfixes on the same old stuff the whole time, they would go bust. They need the cash from the updates.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Windows

      @Nick

      Agreed.

      And to all the AC's who claim that people simply can't stand change... That's not it; if it were the case you'd hear a lot more whining about XP going EOL and people being forced to use Win7. The changes between those two are also quite heavy, and also involve functionality. The main difference though is that Win7 also increases where functionality is concerned. AND that it allows you 'move back' again (to a certain extend).

      I don't think people who complain about Win8 complain due to the change alone. They complain because a whole level of functionality has been removed and nothing has been setup in return. The examples are numerous...

      Sure; we still have some form of Aero on the desktop app. But what good is that if you're constantly taken away from said desktop app the moment when you merely want to start another program ?

      Having to work with programs full screen without being able to see /anything/ else going on is not functional. Not in these days where a PC can perform a dozen tasks at the same time. And don't get me started on being able to run 2 Metro programs side by side but only if your monitor supports the right resolutions. I could run programs side by side on a 640 x 480 screen running Windows 98 (which in fact was simply a GUI running on top of DOS). So why can't you do that now?

      Its not Metro. Metro is a very good environment which can be very functional, I use it on a daily basis on my Windows phone and I actually /enjoy/ working with it there.

      The problem is enforcing the wrong solution at the wrong place. If they would have given us a choice; /or/ Metro /or/ the classic start menu then most people would have been happy.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: @Nick

        Interesting. I've used Windows since the very early versions.

        I run most applications full screen and then I tab between them. I don't use the Start Menu to launch anything. I use the Task Bar or I hit Windows+R and start typing.

        I don't have a screen with a resolution below 1366x768 and I wouldn't buy any machine where I would run desktop apps below that resolution.

        Consequently, Windows 8 works perfectly for me and it's working perfectly for me on different types of hardware and on multi-monitor.

        I suspect I'm not alone. Only time will tell.

      2. Figgus
        Flame

        Re: @ShelLuser

        "The main difference though is that Win7 also increases where functionality is concerned."

        I was actually just ranting today that in our environment 7 is a step BACKWARDS from XP. Sure, it allows for >4GB of RAM and the use of SSD, but we don't use much of that. However, from my perspective it is harder to administer, everything from the more hidden "all users" desktop to the repeated erasing of the default gateway to the fact that you have to set up a printer first as admin before your users can install it to the default IPv6 to the crappy Bing addons needing to be disabled in every profile in the newer craptacular IE to the clunky sign-on screens you get in a domain.

        7 is GREAT for home use, but positively sucks compared to XP in our domain. Maybe I'll grow fonder of it in time or if we stopped being a mixed mode XP/7 2k3/2k8 shop or if they bother to send me for some training on it, but in the interim it's been nothing more than a (very pretty) pain in the arse that's inflicted on us my XP's retirement and clueless managerial users who swear that shinier is better (even after Office 2010 beat some of that out of them to the point that they were clamoring for 2003 back).

        I'm putting on my asbestos underwear for the incoming flames/downvotes/"yore dooin it RONG" posts.

        1. Chris Parsons

          Re: @ShelLuser

          No flame from me. In the corporate network I look after, XP works just fine. It runs all the programs we need and has proved to be extremely reliable and easy to administer. If I could still get it, I would. People moving on to Windows 7 generally complain about it.

          I have experimented with Windows 8 and can see nothing that would persuade me to migrate until I can no longer buy 7. In the meantime, I am looking more and more into the practicality of Linux on the desktop - in our simple environment, it might just work, although Exchange/Outlook is a hard act to follow.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Here is an equation for you math people out there

      Windows 8 = Windows 7 + Metro + secured boot for eventual vendor lockdown

    6. Bob Vistakin
      Unhappy

      This is to Windows 9 what Vista was to Windows 7

      With the unusablilty dial turned up a thousand times more. Every user is a sucker just beta testing it for the next one, this is so obvious its painful. Just like WP7 in fact.

  2. tirk
    FAIL

    Launch song?

    As Win 95 (which introduced the Start button) used "Start Me Up" by the Sones, should Win 8 (which removes it) use Kylie's "(Can't Start) Giving You Up" perhaps?

    1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

      Re: Launch song?

      Always look on the bright side of life?

      1. rhdunn

        Re: Launch song?

        Jack of all trades, master of none?

    2. Dave Pickles

      Re: Launch song?

      Use the same Rolling Stones song but start at the second line - "You make a grown man cry".

  3. Major Trouble

    If you can opt out of Metro for non-tablet use I'll give it a go but if not it rates as high as Vista for me which I never bought.

    1. Danny 14 Silver badge

      yes

      there is a GPO for it so yes you can. (actually in true beta style you utilise the dont use start menu option!)

  4. kevin biswas
    FAIL

    It's so clearly a turd

    that they couldnt even be bothered to TRY polishing it :-(

    1. whiteafrican

      Re: It's so clearly a turd

      Way to add value with an insightful comment there.

      Face facts: even if it is a fail of Vista-proportions it will still comfortably out-sell every iteration of OSX ever made, just like Vista did. And that's a huge "if". Try using Win8 on a tablet (EP121), and it's actually pretty good. It "fingerizes" most stuff allowing quick access on the go, but when I sit down at a desk, I can use a keyboard and mouse & the full versions of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Office, etc.

      1. blondie101
        FAIL

        Re: It's so clearly a turd

        I dare you to compare with iOS.... that's what it's aiming at and there it will fail. Windows will never have it's monopoly again: thank god

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: It's so clearly a turd

          OK, i'll bite. (and I do like iOS, our family have many idevices).

          Tell me how to do this in iOS. For 1000 users I want to roll out 500 devices. The devices are all identical. However, 100 need to be set up to use printer A and a set of programs that live in "group A", 100 printer B and programs in A and B and the rest no printer and programs A, B, C.

          Oh and they all need various mapped drives. Next week I need to update acrobat reader on all 500 devices, the week after flash. The peons cannot be trusted so they cannot install software on their own machines. I also want to lock down their browser so they are forced throught the company firewall - transparent wont work as I also need to ID each person to allocate internet privs etc etc

          Windows does have its place and a windows tablet that works will be bought in droves for our company.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

            Short answer? You don't.

            Include one page on how to turn it on and off, which web page to start at and the users ID/password.

            Printers can be auto-discovered, just use the closest one.

            Drive mappings? Ditch the DOS 1.0 drive letter model and have the home dirs, etc auto mount when accessed LIKE THEY DO ON MODERN OS's. You're obviously not knowledgable enough to know that this is controlled on the server-side, not at the client.

            Software installation? Why? Move it to virtual server if you have to keep old-fashioned software on life-support.

            Windows, like COBOL, will be around for a while (too many vested interests) but you have to realize its "best before" date was the day they launched Vista.

            The "desktop" is dying, your job is changing. Learn how or move back to marketing.

            1. Renato

              Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

              > The "desktop" is dying, your job is changing. Learn how or move back to marketing.

              The cloud is very beautiful, is changing the game, etc. But they forgot the people who will make the actual software.

              I don't care if users can only use one 'app' a time, or the tablet interface. But I do care if I can't use a dual headed setup, overlapped windows, etc.

              Users might like it, but developers don't seem to like Windows 8's interface. See Visual Studio: still using toolbars, while all other MS software uses the ribbon.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

                Ehm, you're off in the wrong direction too.

                I'm not supporting Windows 8, just ditch Windows and move on. I did (10 years ago), Microsoft have to and so do you. Metro is MS acknowledging this fact but they're failing to replace the revenue streams from Office and the desktop tax (their only money-making product lines to date).

                NCR failed to solve the same issue in the early 80s when transitioning from mechanical cash registers, with high maintenance revenues, to reliable, almost disposible electronic tills.

            2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

              Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

              When you say "the desktop is dying", are you suggesting a global trend that people who previously had desk jobs are now tending to work standing up? Or are you merely accepting the vendors "unbiased, ho ho" opinion about how you ought to get your job done?

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

                Neither.

                First off, it has been largely forgotten that end-user businesses have no obligation to maintain the IT "industry" in its current state of bloat. The "desktop" is more of a high-margin business model for the IT supply chain and resource drain for the owner than a useful piece of equipment.

                Monitor + ARM-based computer + browser + RDP client for legacy apps. Cost? On the desk, running, $300. 90% less power, very green. No management, no data security issues, no (expensive) control freakery. If it breaks, chuck it.

                IT staff who know there job will be worth more but the Windows reboot/reinstall monkeys will be back on the dole.

            3. whiteafrican

              Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

              @AC - Facepalm. You clearly have no IT experience at all. Your responses place so much obligation on the users to take pro-active steps to achieve the desired ends that - in your model - you would basically have to spend your entire working day doing user support instead of, you know, actual useful stuff.

              Moreover, the desktop isn't dying in corporate IT. ipads look great in marketing, but when people want to sit down and work, there's nothing like a desktop, and the ipad doesn't come close. Nobody - including Apple - has abandoned their desktop market, because people still need real computers to do their work.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

                @whiteafrican

                Well, I may have picked up the odd snippet here and there during 30+ years in IT, unajua?

                I place NO obligation on the user, the obligation is on IT to provide usable tools they need. (The term is "consumerisation of IT". Users are not idiots, give them usable tools instead of the arcane crap we feed them now. Apple"got it" years ago, now they're cashing in.

                On a positive note, you are half right about the desktop, the FUNCTION is not going away but the current hard/software model is.

                Yeh, all you Windows reboot monkeys are gonna be on the dole BECAUSE YOU'RE NOT NEEDED ANY MORE. Your world is dying, move on.

                Now piss off and geeuz peace, eh?

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

              You can print in iOS?

              1. alan buxey

                Re: It's so clearly a turd - Windows for control freaks?

                yes. to certain devices. and its not very easy to do..i think they hid it away because it is so 'old fashioned' to print things out (and its limited to a small subset of printers...wouldnt want all those users to complain that they cant actually print even though the device says 'print' ) ;-)

  5. Travis Hayler
    Thumb Up

    Look forward

    Been waiting to upgrade for sometime in the offices, Win 8 shall be a welcome install for me. Can't see anything else worth installing any who!

    1. Ben Holmes
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Look forward

      Genuine question - not trolling; Why would you install Windows 8 over the eminently usable, and pretty damn good effort that is Windows 7? What features does Win8 give you as an office worker that Win7 doesn't?

      Interested, of Gloucester.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge

        Re: Look forward

        Whilst I'm not keen on the Metro at all costs and No Start button option. I have to admit (and be mature about this) that to be honest after a week or two it's not that bad and you do get used to it.

        I'm not darting bottom left automatically to shut down etc. I can get around now. You just have to stop moaning, man up and get on with it. It's not going to change because I don't like it so get on with it.

        I have two laptops sitting in the corner of the living room. One with Windows 7 and the other with Windows 8. When I want to look something up I find I'm grabbing the Windows 8 laptop to use if nothing else for the really fast boot up time. For me that trumps the negatives.

        MS really should have given the Start button option but set it to off as default. Then got rid of it in Windows 9 if they had to along with other modifications.

        I still however, have zero use for the Metro stuff. I have installed quite a few of the apps and they are either crap or don't really work.

        1. multipharious

          Re: Look forward

          @Jason,

          I am with you on the Apps. Weak. The core installed previews show so much promise, but they absolutely fail to bring the consolidation...in this version. Windows Phone 7.5 is better with core functionality like the photo hub, contacts + facebook, live tile integration, etc.

          There have been several things I didn't expect but I like very much:

          * Windows 8 supports multiple user accounts and profiles that go with it. iPad and Android? Without multiple user support any device with logged in credentials is tied to a single user. Completely unsuitable for a household. Users need their own profiles.

          * Using a touchscreen and a mouse. My touch enabled laptop has me occasionally touching the screen, and finding it more comfortable. I never expected I might like this since I hate a smudgy screen. I swipe the screen for obvious stuff, and touchpad/mouse and keyboard the rest. I know a huge number of keyboard shortcuts, and have mastered some of the gestures that are used regularly. In short I have adapted quickly. (it was a painful initial learning curve though)

          * Tablet and proper desktop. Everyone is moaning about this. Hell, set this shit up with a touch enabled monitor and open the desktop to the main monitor in a multiple monitor setup. I just wish the touch enabled monitors hadn't completely disappeared from stores.

          I recommend a side by side comparison versus Android or iOS tablets for the interface.

          1. Stuart Castle

            Re: Look forward

            "Tablet and proper desktop. Everyone is moaning about this. Hell, set this shit up with a touch enabled monitor and open the desktop to the main monitor in a multiple monitor setup. I just wish the touch enabled monitors hadn't completely disappeared from stores."

            Touch enabled monitors failed with very good reason. They require the user to hold their arms up for an extended period. Something which we humans apparently aren't designed to do, and as such, something that can be very uncomfortable.

      2. qwarty

        Re: Look forward

        @Ben Holmes. Upgrading a Windows 7 system to 8 doesn't really bring anything to a typical 'office worker' of 2012, and unlikely that changes next year and beyond. Not the primary target market for Microsoft. Most apps in this space will continue to be desktop and web-based.

        Home office, same goes, although if its doubling as a entertainment/consumer PC, likely be interesting apps in the Windows store that may make 8 a better proposition for some people.

      3. Figgus

        Re: Look forward

        "What features does Win8 give you as an office worker that Win7 doesn't?"

        For that matter, what features did 7 give me that XP did not?

        Since we have <4GB of RAM and no SSD in all our machines, the answer is "nothing but more headaches".

  6. CraigW

    CD

    I wish. I bet the bloated hog is on at least 2 DVDs.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CD

      System requirements are on a par with Windows 7 and a tonne of work has gone into making it run with reduced power so that it runs on system-on-chip including ARM family of processors.

      Sounds like your reaction is based on nothing but prejudice and you're stuck in the dark ages of making DVDs to install software.

      Never mind.

      1. Paul Anderson
        Facepalm

        Re: CD

        Well said! LOL!

        Had they used the Consumer Preview before criticising it they would realise the ISO download is actually only 2.5GB - 3.5GB.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: CD

          No, not well said.

          Microsoft have shown with all their existing 'upgrades' that install media has ballooned each and every time, so making an informed assumption that it would be so with 8 isn't too much of a stretch.

          The fact that Microsoft have managed to actually reduce it this time is brilliant news, and very much unexpected.

          How big is the actual install though - I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere?

          ie is it just a very compressed iso leading to a huge lump of your ssd being used by the OS?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Disaster

    This is going to make a lot of home users give up on Windows. Buy Apple shares while you can afford them and Macbooks while you can still find them.

    1. NB

      Re: Disaster

      Hell no, if I want to use a *nix type OS with lots of eyecandy and shitty support for gaming I'll just install Linux. At least Linux distros actually patch massive security holes as quickly as expediently possible instead of ignoring problems in the hope they'll just go away.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Disaster

        Can you substantiate that claim that Windows security problems are going unpatched and being ignored?

        1. Darryl

          Re: Disaster

          @AC 13:29 - I think they were referring to the recent OS-X/Java botnet fiasco, in reply to the poster who said that everyone was going to switch to Apple.

    2. Criminny Rickets
      Windows

      Re: Disaster

      I have been a Windows user for years. I think I have used every version of Windows starting at 3.1 (excluding NT). Yes, that includes ME and Vista. I think I am the only person in the world that DID NOT have any problems with ME.

      That being said, since the Windows 8 Beta came out (lets call a spade a spade) I have been very actively researching different versions of Linux. I had seen Linux systems in the past, as I had to set it up in a clients computer, so did not think there would be much of an issue. Unfortunately, Linux decided to go the way of Microsoft and make drastic changes just because they could. At one time, Linux would have been relatively easy for disenfranchised Windows 8 users. With the advent of Gnome3 and Unity, that is no longer the case. Luckily, Linux Mint, while still having it's problems, does feature Cinnamon and Mate, so can still have the classic look and feel that Windows users are used to, so is the alternative I am currently looking at.

      1. Miek
        Thumb Up

        Re: Disaster

        Criminny, I too had no problems running ME, to be fair I only played games on it.

        "Luckily, Linux Mint, while still having it's problems, does feature Cinnamon and Mate, so can still have the classic look and feel that Windows users are used to, so is the alternative I am currently looking at." -- Thumbs up! I'm quite fond of their Gnome 3 desktop.

      2. Atonnis
        Childcatcher

        Re: Disaster

        This would have been a 5* comment if you hadn't degenerated into dropping in names without giving any indication of what you are actually talking about in terms that anyone can understand.

        To many of us who don't install Linux distros but aren't completely opposed to the idea of looking into them, it would've been really useful if you'd said what the heck Mint, Cinnamon and Mate are - other than, perhaps, flavours of condom.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disaster

          @ Atonnis 16:09 This is an IT professionals site.

          It is normally assumed that readers have a modicum of intelligence: failing that, the ability to use Google.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Disaster

          @Atonnis

          Oft times, an informed user will not repeat information that is freely and easily available. The advent of the "search engine" on "The Internet" has made it easy to find information with only a tiny effort on your part.

          1. Type "google" into your web browser (AKA "The Internet") and press "enter" or "return" (on the right of the keyboard)

          2. Now type "Linux Mint" and hit "enter" or "return" again.

          I think you'll find that if you click on the first link you will be able to find out a great deal about "Linux Mint"

          Give it a go, it's really not that hard.

      3. bailey86

        Re: Disaster

        I'm also not happy with Unity or Gnome 3.

        My next OS will be Xubuntu - Ubuntu with the XFCE desktop as default. Due out in two days - it will be installed on my new laptop.

      4. Figgus

        @Criminny Rickets

        I'm with you. Luckily it seems Mint is a decent replacement for Windows on my non-gaming machines.

        Now if only (almost) all games weren't dependent on DirectX I could do away with Windows in my house completely.

        Note: Windows in a vm or wine is still windows and still counts as such, in my opinion.

  8. Fihart

    What is the point ?

    Nobody I know has upgraded to Win7 (though doubtless many have received it on new machines) because it's just too big and, though the inbuilt drivers are good, drivers for many old video cards, wireless adapters etc are non-existent.

    Most people and companies are still on XP for the same sort of reasons.

    When Microsoft issues a version of Windows which is smaller than XP, I'll be the first in line to buy it.

    But Microsoft isn't about making good software, it's about regularly paying its shareholders.

    1. Irongut

      Re: What is the point ?

      Don't know what planet you're on but here on planet earth I know plenty of people who have upgraded to Win7 which is actually a major improvement over XP and Vista. I've upgraded several old, slow Vista laptops for friends and given them back much faster, easier to use mahines. Anyone who has seen them has asked me to do the same for them. And I upgraded my old Win2k desktop with no compatibility issues for my old hardware.

      I think you've been drinking too much Apple/Linux FUD-juice.

      That said Win8 is an abortion and I will be skipping it.

      1. jason 7 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: What is the point ?

        Exactly, it's total BS from folks that know jack about what they are talking about.

        Windows 7 has been the smoothest OS to upgrade to ever. They ditched a load of legacy junk (thank god) which was a good thing.

        It's not up to MS to provide driver support for every piece of hardware made since 1995. That responsibility rests with the manufacturer of said hardware. If there isn't a driver for your 8 bit Soundblaster then complain to Creative or stop being a tight-wad and buy a new one that they do support.

        Some people just want to go through life having their arses wiped for them I guess.

      2. Fihart

        Re: What is the point ?

        Yes, my point exactly. You have upgraded Vista machines -- a version much worse than XP.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the point ?

      Too big? What on earth does that mean? Storage space? System requirements? Both are very reasonable.

      Also, one of our main clients upgraded to Windows 7 last year - program compatibility is fine No drivers for old video cards and adapters? Windows 7 was out in 2009, with driver support probably beginning from 2008 (beta, companies preparing for it). If you're using hardware from pre-2008, it's probably time to upgrade to a new PC anyway.

      Suspect your either a) incredibly stupid or b) a troll

      1. DAN*tastik

        @AC 24th April 2012 12:39 GMT

        "If you're using hardware from pre-2008, it's probably time to upgrade to a new PC anyway."

        Why's that?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: @AC 24th April 2012 12:39 GMT

          Because it's the IT industry. If you can't accept that memory, processors, graphics cards and disks have changed dramatically in the past 4 years then maybe you should be in agriculture.

          1. Danny 14 Silver badge
            Stop

            Re: @AC 24th April 2012 12:39 GMT

            Absolute tripe! We have W7 running quite happily on Dell GX520 machines. They are all 2Gb RAM and P4 2.8. They run office 2010 and a web browser quite happily. I would say they are easily on par with the XP machines that are still left dotted about.

            I had ZERO issues updating them all once I had created the correct "image" (I say image as the sysprep is different to XP). Getting the first W7 image sorted was fun, that was mainly because I was still thinking the "old way". They new way is pretty much a scripted install. Once that is out of the way then you are good to go.

    3. Greg D
      WTF?

      Re: What is the point ?

      I have to agree with Irongut... I actually know less people who use XP these days. Near enough everyone is on 7 now.

      It's a MUCH better OS, regardless of it's size. And on that point, when you CAN'T buy a brand new laptop with a HDD smaller than 250gb, does a 10gb OS really matter? I think not. Besides, with updates and drivers on, XP isnt much better anyway, and it is a LOT slower with all the updates installed.

      Also 64bit and >3GB RAM support is better.

      Seriously what planet are you on?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: What is the point ?

        I'm clearly on a different planet from you. As part of my job I regularly switch between XP and 7 on the same hardware, both being patched up to date. On low-end hardware, XP is still palpably faster than 7. For millions of people, XP is sufficient and they have better things to spend their money on at the moment, thanks. Some of those millions are my customers.

        Oh, and if you can't buy a brand new laptop with less than 250GB you aren't looking hard enough. At the very least, you aren't considering ones with an SSD instead of an HDD.

        1. DAN*tastik
          Pint

          @Ken Hagan

          I am about to buy some land and start growing stuff... I am thinking capers and origano cause I like them on my pizzas. And strawberries. And hop.

          What is your agricultural plan? :)

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What is the point ?

      MS has sold 400 million Windows 7 licenses. If you call this "nobody" then it's to be hoped you're not in a sales job.

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: 400 million Win7 licences (What is the point?)

        MS actually had to withdraw XP from sale to stop people buying it in preference to 7.

        Your 400 million therefore includes people for whom 7 was demonstrably a second choice.

        It also includes vast numbers of people who just accept whatever their beige box shifter gives them.

  9. Tom 38 Silver badge
    Joke

    Really looking forward to Windows 8

    Finally, something that makes Linux look polished.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    look forward to it

    what people want is something new looking every couple of years that runs all the software they like and is not just a comedy phone os for browsing and divulging info on social networks.

    It scores on those fronts.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: look forward to it

      "what people want is something new looking every couple of years..."

      Really? Have you asked them? Maybe it's an age thing and Microsoft just aren't targetting the over-30s, but Really Rather Large numbers of people just want something that works the way they've learned to use it. Quite A Lot of those people also happen to be older people with larger disposable incomes, but perhaps salesmen no longer target that type of customer.

      And if buggering about with computers is not the be-all and end-all of your social life, why would you NOT want something that just got the job done and didn't require you to relearn everything every couple of years? Is your car like that? Is your kitchen? Is your life?

  11. jason 7 Silver badge
    Happy

    How I feel about Vista

    Vista isnt actually a bad OS now. If you have a old 2006 vintage Vista laptop that's still got it's original OS install on it then it will be crap. Tha'ts because it didn't play well with all the bloatware that HP/Compaq/Dell etc. installed at the time.

    If you install a clean fresh version of Vista on that machine it will run really smoothly without any of the hassles. I've rebuilt many old Vista machines and they all work great afterwards. I'm talking Win7 levels of smooth. Vista is fine.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: How I feel about Vista

      100% agree, after the SP updates its near on identical to 7

      its issue was that it was a little too late to the game and on the heels on the win 7 launch

  12. Sid_the_Kid
    Meh

    I've been using it...

    ...on my #2 machine and it's fine. The whole Metro thing is a bit of a nonsense but as a launcher it works okay. I have got rid of all of the "shortcuts" to the Metro apps and just have useful stuff on there - every one of which opens in the desktop environment. Other than that it is basically Windows 7 with a modded UI so if I was to buy a new machine with it pre-installed, I'd keep it. Can't see me rushing out to buy it though.

    My only gripe? Having to log and then go to the log in screen to shut down - something I've noticed an increasing number of the Linux distros I've come across recently seem to have. My main work machine is a Mac and that very rarely gets shut down but at least I can shut it down without logging out first.

    Overall? I'm pretty much entirely neutral about W8 although I don't approve of change for change sake. A new UI with more-or-less identical functionality is pointless and W8 strikes me as that, as do most recent releases of Office, OS X and that godawful GNOME 3.

    1. Darryl

      Re: I've been using it...

      Logging in to shut down does sound like a pain... Did they take away the ability to initiate a shutdown by punching the power button too?

  13. Adam Trickett
    Meh

    We're still on XP

    Like many large companies were still mostly XP based. The Windows 7 migration is in full swing at the moment and I expect my desktop PC at work to be migrated to Windows 7 before the launch of Windows 8, but only just. Unless Windows 8 is a massive improvement on 7 I can't see it gaining much traction in corporates for a year or so. Most mid-sized to large companies have become so so slow to refresh because it's so damn expensive and complicated to do.

    Most Linux users complain that Debian has a slow release cycle but by corporate standards it's actually quick. I can see Microsoft having a difficult time pushing this into companies at tough times, especially as many will have only just migrated onto Windows 7.

    If I were a Microsoft exec I'd be worried about Apple though, their iPads and iPhones are pushing out everything else amounts the managers. For years getting anything other than standard Windows at work was nigh on impossible, now the CIO talks about bring your own device to work (which he means iPad).

    Yes there is a conflict between the two idea of fast/new and slow/old here and I know Microsoft wants to catch the fast/new wave but I can't see this helping.

  14. Richy Freeway

    What does the internet think?

    http://www.whatdoestheinternetthink.net/?s=windows%208

    I tend to agree from the Feb release...

  15. Skizz
    Headmaster

    Aarrrgghhhhh

    It's bad enough verbing the noun, now they're nouning the verb: "here's the announce from..."

    1. Darryl

      Re: Aarrrgghhhhh

      Standard Twitter Twaddle - those extra 4 letters might mean you can't get in the 5 or 10 hash tags at the end of each post

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Aarrrgghhhhh

        It's still illiterate. What's wrong with "Announcement here from...", which is actually fewer characters.

  16. WylieCoyoteUK
    FAIL

    Another Vista

    Yes, if properly patched and with suitable hardware Vista is OK. Thing is that 7 works better, on a wider variety of hardware, and requires less resources than Vista.

    Many corporates skipped Vista, in fact, I rarely see it. Most of my customers are still on XP, and they will be skipping Vista for 7.

    Most of those who actually installed Vista were less tech-savvy, or had no choice at the time.

    Out of a couple of thousand businesses, I have only seen one total Vista rollout. In fact I have seen more all-Mac rollouts than all-Vista.

    Most are now running a mixture of 2003, 2008, XP and 7.

    Some I have talked to (including my own company) are planning to update to 7 in the next few months just so that they can avoid 8.

    8 isn't actually that bad for those among us who use 3 or 4 programs. For techs like me who have to install and use over a hundred, it is just rubbish. Which is a shame, because underneath the metro interface, it is a nice fast OS.

  17. mrd
    FAIL

    Windows 8 + Classic Shell = better

    Honestly I can't get over how MS have managed to mangle useability in the KB+Mouse (or worse, trackpad) world for the sake of the touch world.

    It's not even as if they have come up with a brilliant touch interface because to do anything serious you still get stuck onto the decidedly non touch friendly desktop. It's the exact same mistakes they were making back in Windows Mobile 6 era back on my iMate Jam.

    If - and right now it's a big one - I move to Win8 for my main machine it will be if the "Classic Shell" (http://classicshell.sourceforge.net/) does actually work on it. It's fine on the CP release and actually restores usability significantly as far as I'm concerned but I'd need to check before jumping.

    And honestly, hand on heart this has made me strongly consider an iMac for my next PC. I've always been tempted by them but never owned an Apple desktop/laptop product and this could push me that way. Freaky... what an incredibly dropped ball from Microsoft.

  18. Corborg

    Don't get me start-ed

    I'll give the next preview a go as I did the last. Windows 8 has me torn because it's heading in a great direction, far removed from Vista, of reducing the OS into manageable components, and removing switching off unneeded code by default. I'd love to see it continue to a place where only x64 code can run natively, and any legacy code is run with an x86 module enabled, or in a VM (ala rosetta).

    It points to a lighter, quicker, more responsive user experience with that well established desktop metaphor that we know and love.

    Oh wait. no, they have taken that 40 year of steady evolution in the WIMP/GUI and stitched into it Metro. A hideous and cumbersome interface that doesn't even replace the metaphor, it kind of sits on top of it, teasing you with glimpses of the old way of doing things but not letting you.

    Let me turn Metro off and enjoy the streamlined goodness of Windows 8 without participating in your user interaction experiment. It’s not a case of being a luddite, it’s a case of being able to use your computer. An optional touch interface is all that’s needed.

  19. Alan Welk
    Coat

    Touchy Screen Interface

    Great for cash tills (registers) / information points / quiz machines, I'm not sold on touch interfaces at all in the office, I have had a go of many touch screens Android, iPad and going all the way back to the Compaq Ipaq, my main gripe is speed and accuracy, the keyboard and mouse simply has no equal, but if businesses want to follow fads / byod and slow down the workers that's up to them.

  20. jason 7 Silver badge
    Meh

    The issue I have...with touching

    ...is that for the past 40 years of my life touching your TV/PC screen is akin to something disgusting.

    Like licking your CDs or cleaning your glasses with your dirty hankie.

    It's just not done. Fine for a tablet (though I actually hate using someone's tablet as they all look grubby and greasy) I guess as its designed for that. But touch screens for desktop PCs, just seems wrong and a OCD sufferers nightmare.

  21. Atonnis
    Stop

    Release Preview is an RTM?

    I read 'Release Preview' as 'Release Candidate'...

    At the moment the Consumer Preview is barely a beta release. It has so much unusability it feels like the next Vista. Clunky and unusable...

    ....and I'm the type to be really eager to get the new versions of software and tout their wonders - but so far every time I use Windows 8 I find everything so difficult to do, and it takes so long to get around...and the Start window is so damn messy...it's not yet fit for purpose - unless they make some MAJOR changes to tighten it all up.

  22. exanime

    What's the point??

    I'm still on XP!

  23. Ed Uncle
    Flame

    Maybe I am missing something with WINDOWS 8.

    With all previous versions of WINDOWS, I could have lots and lots of WINDOWS on screen at once, it helped me get stuff done. In metroland, I can have a maximum of two WINDOWS open simultaneously, one taking 80% of the screen and the other 20% and no, I can't change that split. If I want any more WINDOWS, I have to go back to the the old interface.

    Also, don't make me gesture with my mouse, its stupid, and dont make me buy a touchscreen monitor just so I can smear my greasy fingers all over it.

    Someone should round up the metro-monkeys currently running M$ and get them back in their mobile / tablet box.

    Windows without windows.... Twats.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      your missing the point

      Your not going BACK to old windows, your not stuck on metro. Metro isn't taking over the UI, its extending it

      your desktop is still your desktop, designed to do all things desktops have always been able to do, it is in no way shape or form a backwards step, side thought, or legacy support function, it is and always has/will be your desktop

      Metro apps will be easy to deploy single function apps, ideal for the workplace where you may have in house tools which can me easily managed via the app hubs. your right, its not multi window capable, but its not supposed to be.

      Perhaps consider this. Metro is a fancy start menu, that can (if setup) provide you with a lot of information in the blink of an eye, it allows you to start your programs and apps, apps developed for metro will be more likely to be single use UIs or basic versions of programs that you could run from the desktop,

      Take IE as a good example, there are two versions, Metro and desktop, both are connected but one is a more limited version designed primarily for touch use with less baggage, the other has all the features you'd expect from IE. it takes no longer to load one than the other. The Mail app however is different, I use outlook and the Mail app, but having the Mail app on metro with all my other live tiles means I don't need to load up any full blown mail program unless I need to do something other than read reply and delete.

      All im saying is, try think outside the box, metro isn't and wont kill desktop, its just another tool folks, a tool I will freely admit takes quite a bit of getting used too though, but is a very handy tool once you get there.

    2. qwarty

      re:Windows without windows

      The 'Windows without windows' message gets me too. All the same its neat to have a single 'Metro app' that runs on tablet, laptop, and desktop, so long as its one of those applications that suit full screen working, e.g. games, organizers.

      Some people get confused by reference to desktop (windowed) apps as legacy, as if Metro is meant to replace these apps. In their enthusiasm to promote Metro, Microsoft themselves are guilty of reinforcing this misconception.

      Been tracking Microsoft for a long time and I'd be very surprised if work is not already well underway in Redmond to extend the WinRT framework to add a new class of desktop applications (slogan 'reimagining the desktop') as a headline feature for Windows 9 and a service pack addition to Win8. Understandable that the Win8 development timeframe didn't allow space for this. My guess is we'll start to hear details next year alongside tools in a CP of Visual Studio 12.

  24. Slackness
    WTF?

    Umm

    Here I am, with full MSDN access which includes all MS stuff. I, sitting here am questioning the pain and benefit moving from one free to me OS to another. I don't see any value in upgrading any of my windows 7 PC's & VM's to windows 8. I have less of a quandary over migrating suse linux migrations.

    What has gone wrong in my consideration?

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