Editorial – Back from Seattle – My comprehensive thoughts about Windows 8

I just got back from a fantastic conference in Seattle and I had an opportunity to finally collect my thoughts about Windows 8.

I’m a pretty heavy Twitter user so I’ve had a chance to read a lot of bloggers weighing in about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. I didn’t feel I was ready to weigh in on this topic until now.

Some subject background before I get started.

  • I’ve been blogging extensively about Windows 8 since November of 2009  so I have a really good idea about how this Operating System has evolved from the idea phase through the concept phase all the way up until today. With over 1500 blog posts dedicated to this topic, I can factually say I have probably covered this Operating System more comprehensively than ANY other source on the web. Not ego, just a fact.
  • I have tried to be as even tempered and responsible as possible when I discuss this Operating System. To be frank, I have probably spent too much time thinking about Windows 8 (my wife would agree).
  • I’m not a Microsoft Fan but I absolutely have nothing against the company. I am just a Tech enthusiast who gets excited whenever I see the potential for game changing technologies early. I have tried to be objective and to recognize the good, bad and the ugly about the OS and report accordingly.
  • I am not and have not been in anyway compensated for my views so I have no ulterior motives in my reporting.

Now that’s out of the way, let me begin.

Windows 8 is clearly the boldest move that Microsoft have made as a company in over a decade – they are in the process of radically redefining what an Operating System is and can do.

Since Microsoft has (by far) the broadest reach of any OS vendor, the results of this transformation will have a huge effect on IT hardware and software for the forseeable future. This is true whether the OS is successful or not.

I’ll start with –

What's good about Microsoft's Windows 8 Strategy

What’s good about Microsoft’s Windows 8 Strategy

The Good.

Brave

This is a brave move from a very large company. the truth is, honestly that’s really refreshing. Having worked for several large companies in the past, I can tell you that large scale change is the the exception not the norm. Microsoft need to be commended for recognizing the need for change and having the balls to go for it.

Strategic

In addition to proposing and going for a very large change, the company has obviously put a lot of thought into the course they are embarking on. The move to Metro, HTML 5, CSS and WinRT is a dynamic move.

They are also tighly integrating their platforms and moving towards a unified stack at the Server, Phone, Desktop, Laptop, Xbox, Bing and Tablet level. It really makes sense and can be justified on many levels.

It’s consistent with the present (their competitors are moving to that model) and consistent with the future (it provides flexibility going forward).

Original

A lot of credit should go to Microsoft simply because, say what you want about Windows 8, it isn’t an Apple knockoff. It must have been tempting to go the Android route and just copy the leader where it made sense.

It’s hard impossible to make the case that Microsoft chose the easier, less ethical path.

This is a Microsoft vision through and through and even though it will take some getting used to, it’s original.

Expansive – The rise of Tablets

Microsoft have (finally) chosen to make the move to Tablets.

The lack of a Windows Tablet was clearly an achilles heel at a time when the Tablet market was exploding. They identified that and have been responsive to that segment of the market.

While you can (and I will) argue that this is coming very late, It’s coming and that’s great.

Open, Responsive Public Development Cycle

Led by Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft have led us down a very public, open and arguably responsive software development cycle.

There was a Windows 8 Developer Preview, now there’s a Windows 8 Consumer Preview and there probably will be some form of pre-release preview before this comes to the market.

At each point, anyone in the world has been able to connect to the internet, download the software and form an opinion.

That’s great. It’s led to larger discussions (like this one) about features and strategy and has been great to be a part of.

The Windows 8 Development blog has (without question) set the standard for software development feedback.

I continue to believe that this model should be replicated by any company seeking to involve their customers in feedback and buy-in before the product is released.

Windows Server 8

Initial reviews and feedback about Windows Server 8 have been great. Admins are excited about some of the new features and I haven’t seen any major criticism of this new Server based OS.

Now, let’s move on to:

What's bad about Microsoft's Windows 8 Strategy

What’s bad about Microsoft’s Windows 8 Strategy

The Bad

Counter-intuitive with a less than ideal level of abstraction

Windows 8 is not the most intuitive OS that I’ve ever used. Even more alarming is the fact that this is not early in the development cycle anymore.

I just published a post that describes 30 different shortcuts for the OS.

30!… and I’m sure there are many more.

It’s really hard to see how this will get the regular consumer excited.

Adding to the point above, there seems to be a less than ideal level of user abstraction.

Several functions require 2 or 3 actions to get to.

  • To get to the start screen, you have to swipe right and then hit the start icon (versus a home button).
  • To get to the lock screen, you have to click on the user image on the top right (thanks for telling me) as opposed to the other power functions on the charms bar.
  • To unlock the tablet you swipe up but if you change your mind and want the pretty image back, you can’t simply swipe back down.
  • To get to the date and time you have to use the charm bar (as opposed to having it constantly available with Windows 7)

And on and on it goes.

Granted some of these are just my individual user preferences but I am sure that (based on my website feedback  and Windows 8 questions section), others have those and similar challenges as well.

Attention to Graphic Detail (this may change)

I have a Windows 8 tablet and I have to say that some of the Metro Icons do not look finished and refined. Granted, I have no idea where Microsoft is in the development cycle but it is pretty jarring to look at:

  • The Windows Store icon
  • The People icon
  • The Xbox LIVE Games icon or
  • The Mail icon etc.

They seem incredibly simple and and are cognitively dissonant compared to the beauty of the tiles they are on. In (obvious) contrast, turn on an Ipad and look at the icons on the home screen.

Take a close look. Nuff said.

Once again, this may change – I acknowledge that.

Inconsistent User Experience

This is a big one.

I just came back from a conference where I was on a guest panel with another participant. He had a Samsung Series 7 with 4 gigs of ram and higher end specs and I have an ExoPC slate (from the Microsoft Store) with 2 gigs of RAM and lower end specs.

Surprise surprise, his experience was SUBSTANTIALLY different from mine. He was excited about the speed and responsiveness of his tablet and mine well, it could be better.

Going forward this will remain an issue because I believe the minimum requirements for Windows 8 are 1 gig of ram.

I believe that Microsoft need to put the hammer down on software vendors and OEM’s and require at least 4 gigs of ram and a certain level of performance from a processor in order to receive certification.

If that doesn’t happen, there will be a bunch of cheap OEM’s on day one that will be loaded with bloatware and 1 gig of RAM and the average consumer will say – Windows 8 is crap. Consumers won’t rationalize the fact that they paid $199 for the hardware, they just blame the OS.

Apple, the leader in the tablet space completely control both the software and hardware so an Ipad 2 experience is consistent between users. While Microsoft doesn’t control hardware, they do control minimum requirements and certification. Microsoft need to ensure that by the time this goes live either:

  • They require 4 gig and a better CPU across the board for a consistent Windows 8 experience or
  • They refine development so current tablets are fast as well

Tablet + Desktop need to be split

The more I use Metro, the more I get pissed off when I am sent to the desktop for ANYTHING. While I can see why it was tempting to add both experiences into one OS, I believe that the cons are starting to outweigh the pros.

An optimized, efficient and simplified Metro Windows 8 can take on the Ipad for sure. The addition of the traditional desktop to a tablet just muddies the waters.

Windows 7

Building on the point above, I love Windows 7. It is beautiful and doesn’t crash and is very intuitive. Guess what? – 500 + million people agree with me.

Now, while it may sound interesting – I dont want the touch experience on my Windows 7 screen right now. When I want touch, I go to my Ipad or my Android tablet.

I think the Windows 8 desktop experience with a touchscreen doesn’t really make much sense. I would like my desktop OS to stay similar to what it is right now in Windows 7 with refinements added to exisiting functionality.

I can see tons of people sticking with Windows 7 (just like XP) simply because they dont see the value of the addition of Metro on the desktop. If anything, it just confuses the message for desktop users.

The Logo

It’s bad. I’ve said enough about this here, here and here.

Now here comes:

What's ugly about Microsoft's Windows 8 Strategy

What’s ugly about Microsoft’s Windows 8 Strategy

The Ugly

The Messaging

This is HUGE.

This is the maddening problem that drives me crazy.

In 3 years of covering this, I have not read a concise explanation of why this upgrade is necessary.

To be clear I am not saying there is no need for this OS, I am just saying that Microsoft and multiple analysts have not provided one. Use the comments form below and explain in one simple sentence why I need Windows 8. Go ahead, I dare you.

If anything, acting with Mitt-Romney-like caution, Microsoft have gone out of their way to stress that you can have Windows 7 today and Windows 8 tomorrow. That’s great but why?

Here’s what I believe – I believe this is because Microsoft entered this space because they couldn’t afford not to. They also entered this space because it was strategically necessary. This puts the company in the unenviable position of having to double back to provide a REAL reason people should want this.

Here’s the problem – Consumers can tell.

They will always ask what does this do that my Ipad doesn’t? I don’t have the simple, concise answer -it’s not my job. Microsoft need to come up with this answer and fast.

The Messaging – Why the confusion about Windows on ARM (WOA)?

The messaging around Windows on ARM is turning into a daytime Soap Opera.

  • It will not be able to join domains, no it will, no it won’t.
  • It will be ready by this date, no it won’t, no it will.
  • It will have this version of Office, no it won’t, yes it will.
  • You’ll have access to the Desktop, no you won’t.

This is like watching roadkill – it’s awkward.

It’s awful to watch the drip, drip of misinformation about WOA and more importantly, business owners are absolutely appalled with this misinformation process.

This leads to my next point –

The Larger Strategy – Why all the (perceptions of) Confusion?

Steven Sinofsky seems to be doing a stellar job of leading development and development related communication with the larger Windows community. Whether or not you like what you see so far, you have to acknowledge that the effort is still pretty impressive.

The rest of it just seems like it’s being made up as we go along. Lack of a clear marketing strategy, the logo, the message to business, the narrative. It just doesn’t seem very focused and tight.

It’s like a political campaign where the candidate is great at giving speeches and public appearances but the campaign staff can’t organize voters, agree on a message or get TV or Radio airtime.

It never ends well.

I think that Steve Ballmer needs to get this narrative under control and start to lead some of these runaway discussions (WOA etc) in a forceful and definitive manner.

If there is no stronger leadership in this areas, we have to assume it’s because there is (relative) chaos and some of these decisions haven’t been made. If some of those decisions haven’t been made at this late stage in the game, this will not end well.

The Optics and Timing of being way behind

Apple may announce the release of the third generation Ipad. I won’t belabor the point. Microsoft are way behind. You know the story.

Summary

Having said all this, I still continue to remain fairly optimistic about Windows 8 as an Operating System.

There are lots of challenges ahead and this is one of the most challenging technology integration projects I have ever seen (Oracle Fusion is the other one that comes to mind).

Having said that, I remain hopeful. The strategy makes sense, now it’s down to execution.

This needs to be bulletproof when it ships and it has to ship soon. This cannot wait until 2013. It has to be deployed this year otherwise it’s over.

There are strategic, political and technological obstacles that currently stand between the genral public and the release of Windows 8.

Let’s hope and pray Microsoft is up to the challenge.

I’d love to get your feedback – do you agree or do you have a dissenting view?

Leave your comments below..

Please Leave Your Comments Below...

  • Daryl Kane

    they should take off metro ui all together like windows 7 but keep the 16 bit application support in it all people and home users want/need is to run older apps and games

  • Betterdaysjae

    I am not able to comment on Windows 8 as I have not had the chance to use it.

  • http://profiles.google.com/captainjack1991 Jack I

    The one thing I really, truly, LIKE about Windows 8 is its speed. It’s faster than Windows 7 – fast enough to notice a truly significant different on a machine that was built to run the resource-hog Vista. That being said, this seems to me like a very small upgrade, in truth. Almost like an operating-system addon.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      With the right specs, it’s very swift.

  • Frank M

    After spend time with 8 I am going to stick to 7. It is the best that I have seen from Microsoft as for a PC . I have been building system for over 12 years and I think 8 is going to be more of a vista  than a solid Win 7. 8 seems to be attempting to be an android type os and it is just not for the heavy user. I would not build a FAA flight sim with it  and I build alot of them as well as Home center systems. 

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Starting to hear the V word more often… not good.

      • Frank

        Dont get me wrong if they let you choose your interface and make it more  user free friendly . They will have something. My main system boots 7 in 45 sec and 8 in 42 so the speed difference is not all that big to hardcore system users. I just see me and vista nightmares if they keep it going into this path. I test OS from all systems. Ylmf os is one that you have control , its fast and runs both Linux and Microsoft software. If they get the bugs out and they are small bugs and add Apple to the list of software. Look out Microsoft and apple.

  • http://www.facebook.com/elmervallarta Elmer Osiris Hernandez Flores

    i have dowloaded recently the consumer preview and i hate it. i the tiles and the MESSAGING, PEOPLE, MARKET. i will not buy windows 8 soon. i like win 7 and i am stickiing to it.

  • Matthew Levesque

    i do not like windows simply bwcause microsoft is trying to make all devices look the same thats a big nono in my opinion i want my desktop laptop tablet and xbox to look different not the same os it just makes everything to plain i was expecting a crap os it was time for one anyways thats just my opinion on windows 8

  • Robert Rooks

    I have been trying it since the developer preview and agree can not make a strong statement of need for the change, Win 7 is the best of the run and will not be changing anytime soon.  Agree Win 8 boots like a rocket but it is not loaded down with much yet, will see how it does

  • DFZ

    I just wish you would learn that Microsoft is a singular company name, and use the proper grammar.  Microsoft NEEDS to do this.  Microsoft HAS done that.  When you say “Microsoft need to do this” and “Microsoft have done that: it’s just wrong.  Would you say “Apple need to do this” or Verizon need to do this?  NO!  So stop doing it with Microsoft.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Would you say “Apple need to do this” or Verizon need to do this?  NO! 
      Actually I would. My blog, my rules. LOL

  • tdwally

    I do not like it and my wife hates it. Win 7 so much better, change can be good but use the KISS method .

  • Mikkel Jarlund

    I like your post, and you make a clear point of view. I was in windows 8 from developer preview, as many other tech enthusiasts was.

    Back then I kind off liked the whole idea, of syncing accounts across platforms – but why did they have to ruin the windows desktop with metro? As it is right now, I will definitively not be using windows 8 as my main OS. I might even jump on the Apple train, although I’ve been a loyal windows user since Windows 98′. (God I miss those simple times, were you’r computer only needed simple functions to be cool :-))

    Well now I tried the consumers preview, and I must say – I am not impressed.. AT ALL! One of my co-writers on my blog did a walk through of the OS witch you can read here: 
    http://www.geekfp.com/windows-8/  (I do not think that you will learn anything new from that post) and he actually said to me “God I like windows 8” – so maybe I am just being afraid of change?

    A question for you, why should I choose windows 8 for my desktop? Or why would you, if you were to mention a good reason? (I am blank…)
    As I said above, Microsoft is not making things easy for themselves as I see it right now, with a new release of OSX coming soon – they have got to step it up.

    // Off topic: Is this your only blog? I really like your opinions, and I would love to talk with you regarding opinions about tech. I own http://www.geekfp.com/ myself, and I am struggling with making some contacts around the world – you would be the perfect man to start off with! Looking forward to a answer, keep up the good work! 🙂

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Nice blog. Thanks for the feedback. Use the contact form for any formal requests and stuff.

      🙂

    • CompUser

      Within about 30 minutes of using Windows 8 CP on his desktop, my son said, “God, I love this!” and asked when the final is coming out. He had his XBox Live stuff set up, he was installing free apps from the new Microsoft Store, his tiles were personalized, and he was buzzing around the start page, opening and closing apps like he’d been using Windows 8 for, like, ever. That’s who Microsoft is going after with Wndows 8, I think.

      • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

        Good to hear some positive feedback. Just for the record, how old is your son?

        • CompUser

          He will be 16 on Sunday.

      • Mikkel Jarlund

        Well I am turning 17 soon, so I cannot say I am much older than your son. But I do not think the development of Metro is a good thing. But again this is personal opinions, but as I read through the comments below I find that most people are sharing the same opinion about metro.

        But I am glad to hear that at least one person like it! 🙂

        / By the way did the windows 8 install remove windows 7? Because mine did, and I really found that annoying! 🙂 

      • CompUser

        No, I did a custom install, putting Windows 8 on a different HD partition, so the computer can be booted into either Windows 7 or 8.

        • CompUser

          Well I screwed that up. This was supposed to be in reply to Mikkel Jarlund’s comment below.  By the way, my son almost did the same thing, but I noticed what he was doing and saved him in before he clicked on that final install button. His computer is also set up as a dual-boot system.

  • Buds651

    I’ve always embraced any new Windows OS – yes, even Vista. When Windows 7 came out it was light years ahead and once you used it you could see immediate benefits. I don’t see this with Windows 8.

  • OldCabanaGuy

    I am one of the 1.3 billion active Windows users. For emphasis, 1.3 billion, with
    about 300 million more each year. What is (or will be) there to entice a Windows 7
    owner to send money to Redmond? Not much. Many of the improvements are in the class of neat updates. Where are the productivity gotta haves? I can’t find anything that has me dusting off my debit card. I’m sorry, but metro is a touchscreen OS. To claim
    otherwise is disingenuous. Touchscreen is cool. Many more tablets and such will
    be sold in the coming years. But 1.3 billion computers/keyboards/mice won’t be
    filling recycling centers for many, many years. If Microsoft has a secret
    agenda to also get into the touchscreen business, THEN it begins to make sense.
    Otherwise, how can their stockholders allow Mr. Sinofsky’s vision to persist
    exclusively?

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I wish I could argue with you but I have to agree…

  • ECM2

    Speed, stability, and customizability is everything to me. The rest is secondary.
    But I do agree that Desktop is for desktop only and Metro for touchscreen devices only.
    A simple solution would be to give users the option to disable Desktop or Metro.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Excellent point! That would be a middle of the road solution.

  • Hcsprakers

    My biggest promblem is finding the shut down button. The only way I’ve found to shut down is to use control + Alternate + delete and then click on the button on the right bottom corner.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      I hear a lot of that too…

    • ECM2

      I installed a program called Metro UI Tweaker. Then I pinned the Shutdown icon to the taskbar. It worked for me in Win8DP and it still works well in Win8CP.

    • Adrian

      Just bring up the charms bar, click Settings, then click Power, then Shut Down.  Or even easier, just press WinKey + I, then click Power, then Shut Down.

  • ECM2

    I have to add that Win8’s greatest value is in its ability to run on low spec PCs/hardware. In a way, it is behaving like the Linux distros.  Before, I was running Ubuntu on my old PCs and now I replaced the OS with Win8CP… and they are still very usable and amazingly stable. I heard the new Mac OS upgrade will cost $30.  If MS comes up with a reasonable pricing plan for Win8, especially for those who are planning to upgrade multiple PCs to Win8 then I will have to go with Win8; if not, I will reconsider switching back to Linux.

  • Revdavemapes

    I also bought the EXOPC and have mixed reviews concerning the device itself; limitations & slowness. It came with Windows 7 and used to flip screen as I rotated the device, but the touch screen stuff was on again & off again. You couldn’t really depend on being able to use it. For some applications it worked and for others it didn’t. Now with Windows 8 my display doesn’t rotate any longer. It did for a while on dev. prev., but not now with cust. prev. I can select how it displays and change it, but it doesn’t flip on its own. Did updates cause this?

    The Windows 8 experience that I have been enjoying is the nicest and slickest of the Microsoft OS experiences that I have yet had. Windows 7 was nice, but this is better, so far. I am concerned about when the updates come out, one at a time & then by the bunch; what will happen to the smooth operation? Will it be like the other OS’s; slowing down over time as the OS itself bloats?

    I haven’t had the time to do all I would like to do in evaluating the functions, bells and whistles of the new OS, but so far it looks promising. I don’t own an i-pad or android tablet, so in that sense I have nothing to go by. My android phone runs nice and I’d like to see the Windows 8 on a tablet run that good. I hope it will.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Great point! The flip screen does not work anymore on the ExoPC slate. It worked on Windows 7.

  • Atousignant

    if they impose this METRO  interface il will not buy windows8 ,i will stick to seven,and many
    peoples are going my way

  • Sunday 8156

    windows 8 takes us into the future this is the real deal no windows is better!!!

  • CarlosMobile

    Wow, so many people here that just don’t get it, it amazes me! You want to know why I will want Windows 8 on day one? Simple, it’s one PC to rule them all. There’s your one liner. Why would I want a desktop and tablet separately when I can have both for one price? Not only that but Windows 8 has great cloud implementation with Skydrive and the Microsoft Account so it’s really appealing. Lastly, features like Metro Apps, OS Refresh, and its speed improvements make this a must upgrade for me.

    And you say, yes but I don’t want that on my desktop, sure if they had not put it on the desktop then you would be asking for a hack to bring all does sexy Metro apps to the desktop. Isn’t that why people are flocking to BlueStacks to use Android apps on Windows? People always want what they can’t have but then when you have it from the get-go you take it for granted.

    My only worry is that the experience would be sluggish after some time, as Windows tends to be. So far trying it on my lenovo x200 tablet is a dream, just hope they start releasing more awesome Metro apps.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Valid concerns…

  • CompUser

    So far, I like Windows 8, but there are three changes I believe Microsoft MUST make for the final release or a lot of people won’t buy it.

    1 – Make the tiles in Metro customizable. They’re ugly.
    2 – Allow users to create tile folders so every applicatiion in Office, for example, doesn’t have to be spread out over the start page all the time. I’d like to be able to consolidate them into a folder.
    3 – Add the option of using the Windows 7 desktop, with it’s Windows 7 start menu, as a full time option. “Metro” can be added to the Windows 7 start menu as an icon, just as My Computer, Control Panel, Recent Items, etc., are now, to launch the Metro start page when desired. This would give us the ability to keep using Windows 7 appearance wise, but have the new features of Windows 8, and gradually work ourselves into full fledged Windows 8 Metro mode.

    By the way, I have a Samsung Series 7 Slate equipped with an Intel i5 dual-core processor, 4 GB of DDR3 RAM, a 128 GB SSD, and Windows 7 x64 Professional. It’s awesome, but I agree the touch screen just doesn’t feel right with Windows 7 or Office. But if I use the Microsoft Signature (I think that’s what it’s called) overlay, I love the touch screen and the apps that it includes. My only dissapointment is that it doesn’t include an ebook reader. This will be a rediculously nice Tablet with Windows 8 CP, which I’m planning to install onto an installed 64GB microSD card, to make the tablet dual bootable.

    • http://www.windows8update.com/ Onuora Amobi

      Excellent Feedback. You should write for this blog. 🙂

      • CompUser

        Thanks, Onoura. That’s quite a compliment.

  • MAX Inyikaev

    in my opinion logo is horrible 
    graphic design disgusting 
    there is no compatibility to handle both windows 7 and 8 in same system
    there is no way to repair it when it damaged
    over security means same problem with win7
    some1 like me wants to install unsign driver or run program to customize its own boot screen in win7 but its impossible to do it in win7 x64
    boot screen of both win7 and win8 dsgusting
    am looking for that meanless designer to kill
    compatibility to set for windows XP or Vista or 32 bit application is just a bullshit
    not working in most of the time

    sorry but in my opinion the miracle windows are windows 98 and respectively windows XP 2002 edition
    even the next windows XP are bad horrible disgusting and buggy
    just 2002 edition version was awesome

    Regards, MAX.

    • http://twitter.com/ballofhair ball of hair

      Sorry bud but ALL of your claims are invalid.  If you didn’t even like windows 7 you’ve got problems bud.

  • Armand Robert

    I only can agree with you that windows 8 is for all the portable machines, and not really improving on windows 7 , desktop, mouse and standard keyboard, which is what I use. If windows 8 final release can improve my windows 7 desktop, adding functions and continuing to make it more robust and secure, then I would gladly buy it. I have so far purchased all the windows operating systems since windows 95, and I can hope that windows 8 will accommodate users like me who are dedicated to a desktop computer with standard mouse and keyboard! 

  • http://twitter.com/ballofhair ball of hair

    WHY IS NOBODY MENTIONING THIS?! Because most people haven’t had windows 7 tablets for years like I have!
    GOOD & BAD

    1) WINDOWS TOUCH ACTIONS have been altered, the use of a second finger does not initiate a right click as does in windows 7!

    2) The REAL START BUTTON IS ABSENT, I use this for everything

    3)how do I get to control panel? I have to pin it to taskbar!

    4) The logo isn’t actually bad styled in the manner it is, so people need to stop bringing that up as it is clearly more attractive in the charms menu

    5) I have to run shutdown /s in run to shut down, or run a batch file. Otherwise I have to waste time signing out, then shutting down. ANNOYING when you’re using a tablet.

    6) If not using a local account, you are REQUIRED to have either a picture password or a regular password. I prefer to be just automatically signed in. The Picture password is too unreliable! I replicate the same movements 3 times and almost always the third time is when it works.

    • Adrian

      1) I’ve never used a touch screen, so I can’t comment.

      2) I only used the Start button for navigating libraries, since I had all my programs pinned on the taskbar, so now just click the Explorer icon instead.  It took a little while to get used to.  I kept clicking the hidden start button that is still there and went to the start screen by mistake.  Now, I’m used to clicking the Explorer icon and I use the WinKey to go to the Start Screen, which is very easy.

      3) Just press WinKey, start typing “control panel”, then when the icon appears, right-click to show the app bar, then click “Pin to Start”.  You’ve now got the control panel icon on your start screen.

      4) Agree

      5) You don’t need to sign out to shut down.  Just bring up the charms bar, click Settings, then click Power, then Shut Down.  Or even easier, just press WinKey + I, then click Power, then Shut Down.

      6) I’ve found the picture password to be very reliable, even when I’m off by a few pixels.  I’m using just three taps though, not lines or circles, since they are hard to draw with a trackpad.

      • http://twitter.com/ballofhair ball of hair

        2) I do have explorer/mobility center/control panel all pinned to taskbar, though it still feels annoying, I really enjoyed clicking start button and right clicking computer and selecting properties, I don’t know why.  But with the absent windows touch action it would now be too slow anyway.

        5) I appreciate that, maybe I just didn’t notice it because I dont think the developer preview had it.  I surely need to explore this consumer preview more.

         6) I didn’t realize taps worked, thank you.  It’s working great now, I was using circles and lines previously.

        Seriously though, WHO IS THE FOOL, that THOUGHT it was a good idea to hold down your finger in order to right click? and WHO was the intelligent person that thought of having an additional touch with a second finger while the first finger was still down to initiate a right click?

      • http://profiles.google.com/vhaakmat Vincent Haakmat

        I think most of your explorer/taskbar functions can be solved by:
        1. just type the first letters of the app (e.g. “Word”)
        2. right click the icon and select “Pin to Start”
        Bam!!…You just created your taskbar quick-launch button
        As a developer i replaced most of those non-essential start icons with t he ones I really use… I rarely go to explorer anymore. 

        On the other hand, I think they made a mess out of IE10, because even though most pages don’t require plug-ins… a lot do. So i have to keep on switching between the 2 IEs. This should’ve been automatic. I’ll post more comments as I get along, but I agree with the blogger, the Good far outweighs the Bad and Ugly in the long run..

  • Adrian

    I’m using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and now that I’m used to it, I like it.

    Regarding having to bring up the charms bar to click the Windows button, you seem to be forgetting that Windows 8 tablets will have a hardware Windows button on them similar to the Home button on the iPad.  And on laptops, you can just press the Windows Key on the keyboard, or Ctrl + Esc.

    It isn’t difficult to come up with a short sentence for why you should upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8.  I’d say just “It’s faster and easier” because it boots up much faster, displays how many emails and social updates you have and your next calender appointment on the lock screen, so you can start up the laptop, see you have no emails, then put it back to sleep in seconds.

    If there are emails to read, you can quickly log in using picture password, which makes it much easier to have a secure password that is easy to remember.  Then, you can quickly check up on your social updates like Facebook on the Start screen and write comments without even opening up Facebook in a browser.

    Finally, if you need to write a Word document, the desktop is still there and lets you get your work done in the same way you did in Windows 7.

    I don’t understand why there’s so much hate for Windows 8.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading through the B8 blog, so I understand the reasoning behind the changes.  Even if you hate Metro, there are still many new features added to the Windows 8 desktop like system-wide spellcheck, improved task manager, file copy and conflict resolution, ISO/VHD mounting and storage spaces that automatically duplicates all data to a second hard drive and keeps everything running if one fails.

    With all these new features, how could not upgrade?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_FEHHELL3LGWV3IVZ5QLQUSGSUU GUARDIANANGEL

    I am far from being a programmer or a software developer, but I have been with Windows from it’s early DOS stage thru 95. 98, up until the newest consumers 8 version, and besides the search to find some basic functions which were visual in windows 7, this consumers addition still excites me and it is Faster, more stable and handles performance. The only CPU demand is from Monzilla Firefox which continues on it’s degrading path with the excessive add on, but Explorer 10 is drastically improved in it’s performance and is well integrated to Windows 8 platform. Yes, you must do some searching for specific functions and you will find most by accident like placing your mouse pointer on either edges of your monitor to bring up certain menus, but other than that, you get the feel of a improved XP / W7 action. The Metro apps are now functional, that were a pain to open in the development version as most required touch screens and you still may need to upgrade your video card, especially if your video processor is an integrated version on your Motherboard, but purchasing a PCI video card will solve that issue, especially with Dell models video functions which are void of acceleration. Furthermore, I thank Mr. Gates for providing it to the public for FREE. The one negative part of Windows 8 Development preview was the ability not to upgrade, and the consumers version offers the choice of doing a clean install or maintaining your personal files and it gives you the ” Windows old ” folder to recapture your programs, but sadly enough, even this feature, without doing a backup or using the windows transfer program before installing the consumer OS, leaves you frustrated when you try to migrate your existing program due to a mismatch in registry values. I can’t wait for the RC version to be released, as it should cure most of these problems. By the way, I am still running a fully functional Windows 7, 7100 build on my laptop, and I can only say I have the secret of altering the build number to keep it functional without the two hour shutdown, but that’s another story for a different day.

  • Cang

    Wow ya know, that really is interesting. I’m still running The dev Preview by the way and The way they made it like a tablet gets annoying. Gotta do this to get here, and go here to get this. I like the idea, but I wish they had that ONLY for the tablet. It’ll be nice if they can somehow merge 7 and 8 together. I like the lock screen though, but it would be nice if it took me to the desktop just like 7 does instead of going to the apps screen xP.

  • Sbates1712

    im in agrement with mikkel it my be a jump to far for microsoft using the metro interface as im getting on and have been using ms since windows 3.1 but having said that although im strugling with the metro interface again what compuser as said is true i know several youngsters who are whipping around the metro interface like it a was childs play and a lot of this as come from using smartphones so all i can say is yes im gonna have to get used to some of this myself to keep up with kids, but also to maintain the original by going in and out of the old and new

  • Indra Nawawi Daeng Parani

    Dear Onuora,

    Welcome back from the fantastic Seattle Conference (MVPNation 2012). The words “Optimist and Challenge,” on your summary makes me happy after reading your post about good, bad and ugly on the new Windows release.  I know it’s hard for Microsoft to compete, since there are still competitors who own a wide range of shares in the market. The strategy by releasing Tablet PC hopefuly increases the sales figures. 
    I thought the dream installing Windows Consumer Preview was over, yes it was over on my Dell Inspiron 8600 machine but I have other challanging secret weapon, I install it on a desktop using an Amptron Main Board that has a Processor Mobile Intel.(R) Pentium(R)4 CPU 2.66GHz 1.60 GHz and a system type 32-bit Operating system and an installed memory (RAM): 1.00GB, just to see the new Windows Product. Luckily the owner would like to see the new Windows 8 Consumer Preview, so I started the installation on March 4, 2012. The both Windows Developer Preview and Windows 8 Consumer Preview are tested to run freely on the machine and finally he chooses Windows 8 Consumer Preview and don’t want his Windows 7 back. The testing was fine without any resistence and it shows Windows 8 consumer Preview Evaluation Copy Build 8250 on watermark and a 2.0 Base Score on the Windows Experience Index.
    The quick conclusions in what I got generaly, It has an attractive peaceful, colorful look with the absence of the Windows logo. The speed is fast and better, on the setting The Self Repair System is there, Refresh the PC without effecting the files, Reset the PC and start over, and an Advanced startup and tools, it even hide some essencial buttons such as the Shut Down Power to prevent immediate stop and many more. Windows now looks good and I hope we’re proud to use it. Thank you.  

  • Fedriu74

     please adjust the graphics driver work.For ATI and NVIDIA.

    that those who are for WindowsXP and Windows7 do not function well in windows8
    Well this via updates

  • Rob Delany

    My laptop is 5 years old with a high spec and a solid state intel drive. Windows 8 runs like lightening on it. The metro UI needs some work but I am using this preview as my production OS and rarely need or see the metro UI unless I want to. The point of running 8 is the that it is built on 7 and has the latest performance and stability and security updates with a new kernel.

    It’s only a second public release build guys so lets not all start gnashing teeth and fretting about the final release. Sinofsky seems to be listening to the vast voice of testers and early adopters of the releases so lets wait and see. Microsoft will NOT repeat a mistake like vista and 8 will definitely be in my tool bag.

    That being said I am long standing tech and still struggle with some of the UI downfalls. It’s far from finished or perfect and I know it’s being touted as feature complete but if enough of the more than one million down loaders voice their concerns and opinions Microsoft will have to yield.

    This is why the build in feedback systems to betas. Please use them.

    • Junkfilter

      >>It’s only a second public release build guys so lets not all start gnashing teeth and fretting about the final release. Sinofsky seems to be listening to the vast voice of testers and early adopters of the releases so lets wait and see. Microsoft will NOT repeat a mistake like vista and 8 will definitely be in my tool bag. <<

      You're kidding, right?

  • wedan77

    I don’t like having to sign into microsoft every move you make on the computer with windows 8

    • Pfarn

      You can log on locally, you just won’t have acces to the cloud and some other stuff, like the store,

  • Crazy_pete

    Installed win8cp 32bit this saturday on my main system. I used the dual boot option and installed win8 on a vhd. 

    I use wpi to install all my programs in one go, because i install many computers. Almost all programs installed fine. Only problems were Total Commander and I had to enable 16bit programs.
    I installed all 11 printers I have with no problems. One printer was installed automatically. This was my main printer too 😉 It’s a multifunction connected to the network, so I was surprised it installed automatically, but everything works fine, I’m not complaining.
    All three monitors worked perfect in contrast to win7 where I had to install the video drivers manually.
    I disabled the multimonitor taskbar because I like to have my taskbar vertically on the left side of the right monitor.
    What I liked though was that I can set my center monitor as main and my left (smaller) monitor as start/metro monitor. I was afraid that metro was going to be locked on the main monitor, so that is a big plus.

    I don’t see the metro start screen at all, only when I need it, I have a script that opens three programs at boot. From left to right monitor: Total Commander, Google Chrome and Thunderbird. All full screen and it works better than in win7. In win7 Thunderbird wasn’t allways full screen at boot, but that could be my fault in creating the script, just haven’t found the problem yet.

    Personally I find the search of metro better than win7. I see more results on the screen and the letters are larger so its easier to read.

    Only problem I have so far is that I have to share my homegroup folders again after reboot. It will not share read/write, only read.

    Overall win8 works a lot faster so far. 

  • Anthony

    I love your post, but I have to admit, the haunting question that microsoft has to admit is , Why do I need Windows 8? I have windows 7 and it works perfectly fine. I cannot see why I need to upgrade to Windows 8. Can anyone tell me why do I need to fix something that was not broke?

    • Daryl Kane

      all we need is older apps to work from xp,2000, and NT that’s all nothing else @91e94a28ce4f1a2755c68091b103dc50:disqus 

    • Pfarn

      Why does Apple keep improving their operating systems? Why do cars get upgraded every year? So you’ll spend some money to get the new stuff.

  • Jbturpin

    you see it the same as i do the bad is really bad designed for the younger generation.

  • Timiteh

    Well, i should admit that the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is better than i thought and offer some quite nice features.
    I particuliary, like the way you can switch between remote desktop sessions and the split screen option.
    I also like the speed and the small but interesting improvements brought to the desktop.
    However, this is clearly way more an O.S for tablet and tablet PC than for traditionnal laptops and desktops.
    Moreover, this is not what i expected for the future of PC U.I wise.
    Assuming that our PC are getting monstruously powerful, i really expect a more powerful more evolved desktop U.I with native support for virtual desktops and more 3D/Holographic look. And i find Metro a bit too flat for my tastes. Fast and fluid but definitevily too flat. Though Metro U.I seems to be great for tablets. Too bad i hate tablets, at least until there is one with the Nokia E7 design :).

  • R Rousell

    i disagree windows 7 does crash and often but my short use of windows 8 and it has not crashed once so that is why we need windows 8 ?????

    • Pfarn

      If Windows 7 is crashing you have a hardware or software problem. Windows 7 hasn’t crashed on me in well over a year, and that was a hardware problem I had.

  • robert01947

    I am running windows 8 from a dual boot. Reason being some of my pc games won`t run on Windows 8. I can keep Widows 7

  • robert01947

    I am very impressed so far. Boots up very quick. Nice clean install. Running very well

  • Kevin Legrande

    I installed Windows 8 on a hard drive in an outboard SATA dock without disturbing Windows 7  so both OS are on separate drives. Windows 8 treats it like a dual boot giving the option to boot into 7 or 8. Cool.

    Windows 8 is fast. It boots very quickly. As I get more used to the system there are things to like and dislike. The mouse experience can best be described as clunky. If you need a mouse and a desktop you will find things not intuitive and some features insist upon being full screen all the time when you might like them to share that space. Maybe there’s a way but it’s certainly not obvious.

    The start menu just doesn’t give you easy access to the whole computer. Once you’re there you’ll have to make a couple of jumps to find an app that may not be listed and I can see the start menu becoming huge and unwieldy. Not a very smooth desktop experience.

    But thus puppy is fast! I like the idea behind 8 but many people will not have a 24″ touchscreen so more effort needs to go into the more traditional desktop experience with the ordinary mouse. Since I’m into high end graphics I can’t consider any tablet as a serious tool at this time. Windows 8 is interesting with great potential but so far I’ve seen little to make me want to abandon 7. Give me a great desktop and I’ll be using 8.

  • Fedriu74

     what should we do? The graphics drivers for Windows 7 NVIDIA and ATI do not work well in Windows8.

  • Kristen C

    These are my impressions, of Windows 8, so far… I really hate the
    Windows 8 Start Menu. I do not like disorganization and clutter. For
    those icons/programs I really want/use on my Windows 7 desktop, I use
    Fences to hide them. As far as I know, there is no way to corral all of
    the apps/icons on the Windows 8 Start Menu. It will get unwieldy, VERY
    SOON. I also don’t like that when a program is installed, all of the
    icons are put on the Start Menu. I know they do the same thing in
    Windows 7 but at least they go into their own folder and I am able to
    organize them even further with custom folders for like programs under
    the Windows 7 Start Menu.

    I also really dislike how many
    steps it takes to restart my computer. REALLY? Stupid… I created a
    shortcut for it instead and put it on my Start Menu. Shouldn’t have had
    to though.

    I would like to be able to change the background of the Start Menu to a picture of my choice.

    What it feels like, so far, is that I have to do more steps for
    everything I used to do while having less freedom to organize my
    computer the way I want it. To be continued…