I have constantly talked about how Windows Beta products tend to be of the highest quality and often represent a very close image of what the finished product will look like.
When it came to Windows 7 Beta that meant that my system barely ever crashed and had no real fatal issues at all, the biggest problems amounted to nothing more than a few minor bugs.
I’ve said that Windows 8 Consumer Preview is fairly stable, but the truth is that I’m only partially telling the story. I’ve found the Consumer Preview to be fast, efficient, and work quite well with most of my programs, but it is far from flawless.
So what issues have I encountered? First is the random lock-up bug. So what’s this look like? About once or twice a week I will start up my laptop only to find that after a few minutes it totally crashes and has no way to come out of it.
I can push CTRL+ALT+DEL to my heart’s content, it won’t make a difference. The only solution when this happens is to restart, often several times in the hopes that the bug will simply go away.
Sometimes loading a “Restore Point” will solve the problem, sometimes it won’t. Every time the problem does eventually resolve itself, but really by no tangible action on my part.
The good news is that I finally seem to have nipped this problem in the bud for good, all thanks to Windows “Refresh” mode. For those that don’t know, this is a handy feature that essentially re-installs key Windows files but leaves most of your files and settings in tact.
Anything that must be reinstalled will be given to you in a handy list. Since doing this a few days ago I’ve yet to run into this particular problem again, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed.
Outside of this lock-up glitch, many 3D games have a draw issue where they have jagged edges or missing pixels.
It is only in really 3D-intensive games and something I didn’t notice at first since many of the games I play are dated enough that they don’t use full 3D (a lot of strategy games that use 2D isometric viewpoints).
Unfortunately, there is currently no resolution for this problem that I’m aware of.
So are these issues completely destroying my Windows 8 experience so far? Not really, though if the lock-up became more frequent it might have. Honestly though, do I have any right to be complaining?
Not at all, as this is still a very smooth and highly functional Beta test.
Yes, I’ve run into a little more trouble than I did with Windows 7 Beta, but honestly the changes from Windows Vista to 7 were mostly optimization for speed and the grouping of open programs into icons, so it probably wasn’t as difficult to get the Beta running smoothly.
In contrast, Windows 8 has further optimization and a whole new interface with Metro and Charm bars. More changes means more chances of bugs during the pre-release stages.
Should this stop you from installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview? No, though it might not be a bad idea to still have Windows 7 running in a second partition in case of emergencies or must-have programs that just don’t work right in Windows 8.
So now you have full disclosure. My Windows 8 Consumer Preview experience isn’t perfect, but it has been very good. Would I go back to Windows 7?
That’s a hard question, but probably no. The main reason for this is that I’ve fallen in love with the quick boot times that come with Windows 8, and I can pretty much guarantee anyone who tries this OS will be impressed by just how quickly it boots up.
I am also very confident that any and all issues will find themselves resolved by the time Windows 8 hits store shelves.
So what kind of experience have you had with Windows 8 Consumer Preview? Share your thoughts below.