back to article Microsoft sets date for Windows 8 preview - at mobile shindig

Microsoft will unveil Windows 8 at Mobile World Congress, says an invitation sent out today. The invitation is for a Windows 8 Consumer Preview in Barcelona on 29 February, two days into the industry event. The choice of the world's biggest mobile show as the backdrop for the unveil makes it clear Microsoft is positioning its …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    Windows 8 is a total mess.

    There are some serious incompatibilities between the tablet and desktop versions, where all apps will work on the desktop, but only metro apps will work on the tablet, with no Win32 EXE, or even .NET compatibility on the tablet....

    For this, the tablet side of Windows 8 will fail as badly as Windows Phone has done.

    1. Jim Coleman

      @Barry Shitpeas:

      No I don't think that's right, you'll get the full desktop AND METRO on all x86 systems including tablets. I believe ARM-based tablets will be restricted to METRO but I'm not sure even that is set in stone yet.

      "Don't let the truth get in the way of your vitriol"

      1. Levente Szileszky

        RE: Jim Coleman

        This is SIMPLY NOT TRUE:

        "No I don't think that's right, you'll get the full desktop AND METRO on all x86 systems including tablets. I believe ARM-based tablets will be restricted to METRO but I'm not sure even that is set in stone yet."

        Anyone ever tried that crap called Windows Dveleoper Preview knows perfectly well how far this PoC is from any usable "full desktop" eg WIndows 7.

        Mark my words: Windows 8, without Start Menu, will be ANOTHER VISTA-LIKE DUD ON DESKTOPS.

        1. Jim Coleman

          You DO realise you can re-enable the original START menu with a single registry setting, right? Perhaps in the final version you can do so with a ticky box in Control Panel.

          "Don't let the truth get in the way of your vitriol"

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      RE: Meh

      You say "Windows 8 is a total mess". ALL Microsoft's products are bloated crashy messes!

      1. dogged

        You're full of shit, Barry.

        The dev kit for the Developer Preview (basically, an earlier beta than this release by _months_) includes a full .NET runtime. That's how you can develop for .NET with it.

        I love the way you're hating on a preview product that doesn't even exist yet. Anyone might think you felt a little.... threatened?

      2. Jim Coleman


        Windows 7 hasn't crashed on me hasn't.

        1. dogged

          Win7 has crashed on me twice, with one actual BSoD.

          I can't blame it, I was coding DirectX in C++. These things happen when you're tired.

          1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

            Re: I can't blame it, I was coding DirectX in C++

            Unless you were writing the driver, I rather think you *can* blame it. These things shouldn't happen simply because apps are buggy, no matter how tired you are.

            1. dogged

              @Ken Hagen

              No, it was my own fault. I tried to call a delegate to a memory cache call which is specifically called out as horrible practice on MSDN and pretty much everywhere else. Should have known better, wasn't thinking.

        2. frymaster

          win7 crashyness

          by contrast, I can make windows 7 bluescreen really easily.

          All I have to do is push the overclock past sensible levels... :P

      3. GitMeMyShootinIrons

        RE: RE: Meh

        My xbox works fine. My Win7 PC works fine.

        My old Ubuntu box, less so (but that was self inflicted...)

        Win8 under the hood is actually pretty good. It's the GUI that worries people.

    3. tekgun

      I know right, who would of thought a developer preview would be buggy.

    4. This post has been deleted by its author

    5. Dave's Jubblies

      Well done Barry...

      You did at least manage to discuss MS on a MS thread, as opposed to your usual aimless ranting...even if it is the usual unsubstantiated, baseless rubbish.

      Do you talk in your sleep?

      'Microsooo.....Sony.. love phone, nooooo..... oh.... android..., microso..... nooo.....please, nooo.... Windows phone, XBOX, MICROSOFT... NOOO! PLEASE NOO!!!'

      mummy? are you there?

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Win32 apps won't work on an ARM based tablet?

      Shocked, I'm shocked.

    7. dogged

      Just as a big FYI -

      You can take Barry Shitpeas' word for what Win8 on ARM™ will do, or you could always just read what Steven Sinofsky has to say here:

      Or you could look at both and decide for yourselves which has a better knowledge of the platform.

  2. Big_Ted


    Move along........

    Nothing to see here

    This must be the most unanticipated lauch / preview of any OS since PCDos.

    We have an OS that will be split between systems that will either be fully working or if an arm based one restricted by the software.

    Whats the point ?

    Can't see it being any more welcome than Vista would be at a relaunch......

    1. Jim Coleman


      The point is, consumers will have the choice between an ARM-based tablet that'll run all the new METRO apps, or an x86-based PC, Laptop or Tablet (or combo) that'll run all the new METRO apps AND legacy Windows Desktop apps. The best of both worlds.

      Might not light your fire mate, but I'm looking forward to it.

      1. pear


        I reckon we are going to have something called "Windows 8 Tablet" which is windows 8 for arm, will be sold as a stripped down tablet oly version, whilst "premium"(pos?) x86 tablets with intel/amb cpus will just be windows on a tablet/ laptop hybrid kinda device. At a guess you might have thinner/lighter ARM tablets but not necessarily. I think they will be cheaper though.

        FWIW Windows tablet (if it is called that) will effectively sit somewhere between "windows 8" and "windows phone 8".

        1. Jim Coleman


          I don't think you're far off with that.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          > I think they will be cheaper though.

          It is almost certain that ARM tablets will be cheaper than x86 tablets with similar specs. But the Windows ARM tablets won't be 'cheap', they may even be more expensive than iPads or top Android models.

          The x86 tablets may well be much more. Current W7 tablets are around twice the price of iPads or more.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > that'll run all the new METRO apps AND legacy Windows Desktop apps ...

        ... for a very short time.

        Though the real problem with running desktop apps is that the tablet won't have a keyboard and mouse (else it would be a laptop).

        1. Jim Coleman

          I think x86 tablets will generally be either "TRANSFORMERS" with dockable/connectable keyboards/trackpads, or else laptops with a screen that can lie flat over the keyboard, like my HP Touchpad TM2 does.

          The ARM tablets will just be tablets but I guess even they will have the capability to attach a keyboard via blutooth.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Microsoft sets date for Windows 8 preview"

    Shouldn't that say "Microsoft sets date for Windows 8 crash preview"?

    1. Jim Coleman


      Windows is pretty stable nowadays, you need to update your "Windows Hatred Cribsheet"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        I know we've been trolled, but for the sake of discussion he does have a small point (as trolls always do) that first versions usually leave some issues open. Those will eventually get fixed by an update or worse (service pack).

        But apart from that I wholeheartedly agree with you with XP and Windows 7 in mind.

        And there's also the issue of people running rather peculiar applications and eventually blaming the OS for its failures. For example, running WinGPG on a localized version (Dutch) of Windows 7 is unfortunately not the best of ideas (if you use Office apps. such as Excel or use Windows' backup). Due to the incompatibility it tries to change locale settings, which can make Windows complaint when it gets a . where it expected a ,.

  4. JDX Gold badge


    Since when does Windows have Fanbois?

    1. dogged

      Good question.

      There may be some XBox fanboys out there, I suppose.

      Personally, I AM looking forward to Win8 because... well, I wasn't. I didn't care much about it at all until I got an Android tablet.

      Now, I'm certain that many people love their Android tablets and good for them, may they continue to enjoy their purchases, I wish them well. But I hate mine. It's tremendously limited and limiting. Using it for more than ten minutes makes me hate the imperfections and the missing functionality. And THEN, of course, I think "oh no problem, reach for the development environment... there isn't one". I'd have to go back to a PC to fix the holes (holes that I perceive and may not concern others for an instant, this is important) on the device that's supposed to make my life easier?

      No. It's too crippled as a platform. For me, that is.

      It's like being into SCUBA, I suppose. If you buy a splashproof watch, you're fine unless you're into SCUBA. Then you need something more fit for purpose.

      1. Jim Coleman


        Totally agree - it's W8's backward compatibility whilst still providing a proper tablet experience that will win it sales. It's the best of both worlds.

  5. Cave Dweller


    A bit cynical, no?

    I'd wager that a lot of users would be hard-pushed to find fault with Windows 7. Most of the crap I've encountered are from the PC manufacturers "optimising" Windows, and poor hardware drivers.

    That said, I notice a trend of Microsoft making a "new" OS (95, ME, Vista), and then releasing the "fixed" OS (98, XP, 7). Will 8 be the exception to prove the "every other Windows is good" rule?

    P.S Windows 2000 sorta doesn't fit the pattern.

    1. Anonymous Coward


      7 is great, only time it crashed was when i pissed it up by cooking it

      2000, i agree, it doesnt fit but Neither does XP, it was crap until SP2

      come to think about it, so was 98 until 98se was made

      oh an vista was actually ok at launch, bar being a bit taxing an slow but SP2 and all was good.

      however, i think i might beable to say something on a MS thread that perhaps, just maybe, everyone will agree on, ok thats asking a bit much from this site but here goes....

      ME, Was terrible :)

      the bastard love child of 9x and NT, it should have been aborted before release and flushed down the toilet.

      1. Greg J Preece

        I actually have an official Microsoft branded WinME coaster. It's a bit shiny, but it's big enough to take even the largest beer tankard.

    2. Levente Szileszky

      RE: Optimistic

      Well, 95 had 95 OSR2, so did 98 with 98SE but on the other hand we can say 98SE vs ME weren't much different at all so it kinda fits: XP was the one that worked, 2000 sucked, much like Vista and 7 etc. :)

      1. Dave's Jubblies

        Well Mr. Levente...

        There is where you shot your argument to crap...

        TO say Win 200 sucked, shows how little you actually know about the subject you are talking about...

        2000 was a landmark is stability and useability, in fact, many used 2000 in preference to 98 and Me. And XP Came AFTER 2000...

        Really... do some research... or at least have knowledge of what you are talking about...

        1. dogged

          That's true.

          I used 2K right up until XPSpack2 simply because I felt no need to upgrade.

        2. Not That Andrew

          Yup, after the crashy disappointment s of Win95 and 98 and horror of ME I rean across the wonderful Win 2k at work. What a revelation. A version of Windows that combined the rock solid basis (by Redmond standards) of NT with the familiar interface of 98.

          I was hooked, stooped my experiments with Linux for almost 5 years and immediately installed Win 2k Pro on my home computer. A pirated copy and the only pirated version of Windows I have run. No chance of snaffling one from work - IT were giving away WinME discs and keeping the nice stuff.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Mr Levente

        not wanting to put another hole in your post but i should point out that apart from the already pointed out errors, you also made a mistake in saying that 98SE and ME werent much different

        i dont think that could be further from the truth, the UI had a similar feeling i suppose but it wasnt the same, the underling system however was a big change, so much so that they cocked it up big time

        If i put my less critical hat on, id only go so far as saying that ME was a nessary step on the path to XP, which happened a year later, i thinkt the main issue was the removal of DOS without the nessarry compatibility that XP brought, there was bit of 9x and bits of NT and it never really gelled together

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Not much to discuss or see here...

    I have to admit that MS does one thing right; trying to pay as little attention to the desktop users as possible. Touch, move, display and all those buzzwords. For example; with the introduction of Windows 8 and the several demo's how many days into that presentation event did it take for them to finally mention the fact that the start menu was gone for desktop users ?

    So quite frankly I doubt critics like myself (who only have the desktop in mind) will get any wiser here. I've said it many times; would I get myself a tablet then I'd definitely be looking into Windows 8. The demo's look good, Metro makes fully sense within that context and from what I've seen so far the friendliness seems pretty slick.

    What does keep me wondering is if they'll extend their functionality in Windows phone 8. Considering how a tablet with Win8 can utilize networking (so I assume) and as such access other Windows computers across a network (wifi?) it will be interesting to see if they finally made that possible with Windows phone as well. At the very least it would bring some functionality back to the level which WM6 had.

    I really think that feature could be a winner here.... "Too big to mail you say? Oh, I don't have a memory stick with me right now... Nah, you don't want to put that stuff onto Skydrive, who knows WHAT MS might do with it. I know; put it into your shared docs, I'll grab it with my phone instead...".

    No fun intended here but I know I'd be /seriously/ looking into a Windows phone upgrade when that would be possible!

    1. Jim Coleman


      "...Nah, you don't want to put that stuff onto Skydrive, who knows WHAT MS might do with it."

      Try reading the end user agreement? Skydrive not only works very well as a transfer medium for files between PCs and WP7, your data is just as safe there as it is anywhere else.

      1. dogged

        just as safe there as it is anywhere else

        Not true, sadly.

        The USA PATRIOT act means that ANY data held by any company registered in the USA can be seized by at any time. If you work on secure sites (as I often do), that is unacceptable. Whereas an internal network share would be perfectly fine (given the usual AD lockdown) as it bypasses Microsoft (and the phone carrier) entirely.

        None of the current crop of Windows Phones is acceptable on a secure site anyway though - they've all got cameras.

  7. Ilsa Loving

    Not looking forward to it

    Why does Microsoft think they need to continually rebuild the interface? I remember when Vista first came out... A friend of mine came over with his shiny new vista laptop. It took us 10 minutes to figure out how to change the desktop background because everything had been completely rearranged. The new file explorer in vista/win7 is such a hideous and confusing waste of screen space that I gave up on it entirely and started using explorer++.

    And don't get me started on that abomination of an interface Microsoft slapped onto their most recent versions of office.

    The technology improvements in Windows 8 are probably great, but I'm still not looking forward to it because I know I'm going to have to learn some new convoluted set of steps to get to the exact same option I used before.

    Microsoft would do well to take some pages from the Apple playbook. The OS does it's best to stay out of your way so you can get your job done. While the underlying OS has undergone several radical and fundamental changes over it's history, the interface has remained largely the same. You can take someone who has used OS1.0, drop them in front of a 10.7 box, and they will be able to get to work with very little retraining.

    1. N2

      Ah but

      Microsofts mission seems to be to bugger up the user interface as much as possible, that way they perpetuate the training market for their gold certified partners, whilst the fanbois dont mind if they have to spend eternity sussing stuff out, its their mantra.

      No doubt it will be plugged as the next great thing but quite frankly, Microsoft is irrelevant to me.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > bugger up the user interface as much as possible,

        Another view is why would you pay to have the same as you already have ? They have to build a new shiny UI just so they can sell something.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This year's fantasy

    That most people want a Windows tablet (or even care) I am not talking about the techno geeks here but the average consumer. You know, the ones that have been buying IPads in the millions.

    Those millions (tens of millions) do not want to run their desktop on a tablet, they do not share in Microsoft's vision of Window everywhere and, based on current sales numbers forWP7, are not very impressed with UI.

    And please do not start with how the business world is dying to buy millions of them.

    - Most business have zero money to spend rolling out Win 8 anything (times are hard)

    - Most (real) business have a multi year cycle to roll out a new platform

    - Those business that need a tablet are working with IPad

    I suspect that MS knows they have lost the tablet race, but their real fear is losing the next race. That race is for ARM based servers and today the only OS that runs on those boxes is Linux.

    If MS loses that race then game over for the Windows World Domination Plan.

    I know - Reality sucks.

  9. Mikel

    Keep your eye on the dove

    It's a magician's trick to keep you from looking at the other hand. Of course they're going to use MWC to launch this. Can't have people talking about the amazing progress of Windows Phone now, can we?

  10. Levente Szileszky

    Huge mistake by that angry, bald fat clown and his clueless ilks... ignore desktop users - you can do so at your own peril.

    We are the cash-cow: we buy all the OS licenses which in turn also trigger Windows Server and MS Office license purchases too, together providing the lion share of all revenues, around 75% of all money MS makes (entertainment/XBox/whatnot all included.)

    Centralized/integrated storage systems are being commoditized at an accelerating rate so while MS is trying to push Windows Server down into home environment it's getting squeezed in the server rooms, similarly to Office which is being replaced by online/free alternatives almost everywhere except business/corporate use (and online Office is almost as bad as MS' Office 365 when it's compared to Google's online offering, free or premium.)

    You are playing with fire, dear chair-throwing beancounter.

    I can tell you that if you take away our Start Menu (it's not so much about the button, it's the menu) just because some idiot with no taste at MS dreamed up some junk like the Metro UI on a coke-infused night (Can I place a bet on the disastrous VP Belfiore, running that 'wildly successful' Windows Phone project, who drove more project into the ground than anyone else, only to be promoted every time?)...

    ...well, then you will lose all of our upgrades, period.

    By all means you are more than free to go off and chase stupid tablet users with that fugly Metro and whatnot etc but I am warning you, Mr Ballmer: DO NOT PLAY WITH OUR DESKTOPS THAT WE USE FOR WORK. Seriously, BACK OFF. NOW.

    1. dogged

      What is this, Occupy Redmond?

      If you don't like it, use win7. If you don't like the way it works on ARM then you can use the current Windows on ARM... oh wait, no you can't. Basically, this is a push to a new market. If you're not in that market, it's not your problem.

      1. Levente Szileszky

        RE: Occupy

        In case you have missed it I was referring to the decision of removing our Start button/Start Menu, on X64, mind you - most likely to push everybody into this PoS called Metro.

  11. Lord Midas

    My Windows 7 never crashed. It used to 'freeze' all the time. But that was because of a dodgy HDD. Swapped it out for a shiny 2TB jobbie and Win 7 performs like a slick mofo.

    All those whinging about the Start button being replaced.. STFU. Stick with whatever OS flavour you like and quit with the trolling. For all you know it'll be the best thing since, er, the Start button.

  12. mittfh

    Hot corner etc.

    It sounds as though rather than clicking a start button, just moving your mouse / pointer into the general vicinity of where it would normally be will cause a full screen Metro-style launcher to pop up. I guess MS think the extra effort of actually clicking the button down in that corner is somehow counter-intuitive, and by expanding the menu to cover even more screen space than the XP-7 versions will make it even easier to find your applications. It wouldn't surprise me if they've seen GNOME 3 and like it (icons for every application you've got installed arranged in a grid, so you don't have to hunt through any menus whatsoever).

    Now in the tablet market, people have been mentioning the iPad and Android tablets - it'll be interesting to see if in a year or so's time people are producing tablets running full versions of Linux - after all, the RasPi runs a full version of Linux (I believe it'll be Fedora) on an ARM-11 700MHz with a measly 256MB memory.

  13. Harmless

    Luke warm corners

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

    IMHO it's pure FAIL to have something that you're simply expected to know, and are unlikely to find out yourself. I can't speak for most people but I prefer to figure things out for myself rather than have to be trained.

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

  14. JDX Gold badge

    Windwos always tries to show a demo video on new PCs doesn't it... maybe if you RTFM you wouldn't have to 'discover' these things.

    Don't worry, I never watched it either :)

  15. zanto

    could be interesting

    I'm not particularly fond of windows. but this could be interesting.

    This is also a big deal for microsoft. Blurring the line between the desktop/laptop and touch screen interface could in the long run provide a toehold for linux to catch up on the desktop, or could push microsoft back to the top.

    Make no mistake about it, microsoft still rule the desktop. Rising tablet sales does not necessarily sound the death knell of the desktop or microsoft. It just means that hardware wise, the desktop has reached a level of maturity that makes upgrading less urgent. This is not true with smart phones and tablets.

    I would wager that only a handful of people if at all would chuck out their windows computer because they bought a ipad/iphone/android.

    I use my android for mostly reading my email when I am in bed or away from my laptop. I actually type a reply or compose a new email on my phone maybe one a month on average. So the main uses of a touch screen device are:

    1) surfing the net while visiting the gov.

    2) email

    3) music / movies (depending on the screen size, cpu and battery)

    4) reading ebooks

    5) games

    6) skype / video calling

    The minute you feel like actually working, You will need a keyboard. at least until we have a new method of transcribing our thoughts and opinions into the digital realm.

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