So the rumor mill has heated up about Windows 8 heading down the path to a manufacturing release (RTM) and I can’t help but wonder if we need to see more.
To recap, on September 13th of last year, we had a Windows 8 Developer Preview which was the first rough (public) pre-beta cut of Windows 8. That was understandably a very basic introduction to Windows 8 and of course since it was the first public version, there were a lot of things that didn’t work properly.
On February 29th of this year, we were graced with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview which was considered more of a Windows 8 Beta product. This was more refined and sophisticated than the developer preview but still had it’s share of idiosyncracies.
Finally on May 31st, Microsoft gave us the Windows 8 Releae Preview. The most advanced version of Windows 8 we have seen yet. This version of the software was even more refined and smooth but hardly ready for prime time.
Looking back, It seems to me that there were minimal (mostly performance) differences between all three previews.
If there is one thing that Microsoft have continued to hammer home, it’s the fact that the product is not finished. It’s not done and it’s not ready yet.
From all the unauthorized leaks and screenshots that have been released, it’s pretty clear that Microsoft has continued to refine the UI. They have removed the aero blemishes and Metro-fied (my word) the desktop user interface.
In addition, I suspect they have made substantial changes to the Metro interface. It would make sense that they continue to refine the look and feel of the “live tiles” and make things a little more intuitive. We also know there will be “learning tools” added to help educate newbies when this thing launches.
That’s all nice and cute but it begs the question “what was the point of all the previews if the final product may be substantially different?”.
It also seems to me that even though Microsoft have doubled down on this user interface, the lack of a preview before the RTM is a pretty big roll of the dice before unleashing this to the world.
Maybe it’s just me but I think both sides would benefit from one last kick at the tires but deep down, I suspect that Microsoft have had enough of the controversy.
Screw the pundits, enough discussion, Windows 8 RTM is coming.
I hope we’re all ready.