back to article Windows 8 Release Preview open for download

After much speculation, Microsoft has opened its Windows 8 Release Preview for download, the last major update before the client code is released to manufacturers. "If the feedback and telemetry on Windows 8 and Windows RT match our expectations, then we will enter the final phases of the RTM process in about two months," said …


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  1. Muckminded

    Soon, a shitty Xmas will come preloaded

    Presumably for people on the "naughty" instead of "nice" shopping list.

  2. TonyHoyle

    Another thought.. as someone who's generally downloaded every MS OS at beta just to make sure the stuff I write is compatible with it (I even suffered Vista for 9 months) I really can't get any enthusiasm for Win8, or even get interested enough to download it. Must be getting cynical in my old age... Is it just me?

    1. Chad H.


      Win8 is just crap Tony. That's all there is to it.

    2. adnim


      generally comes with age. Perhaps that's it.

      I don't think it is just you either, I have no intention of using Win 8 ever.

      1. Captain Save-a-ho

        Re: Wisdom....

        Would generally agree, though Microsoft offers concrete proof that there's exceptions to every rule. Shouldn't they be smart enough now about Windows to not make egregious choices like making Metro the default start menu? Personally, I'm out. I have every intention of going straight Linux or BSD once they kill support for Win7.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "once they kill support for Win7"

          Why wait? Heck, start with running various variants in VMs to get your feet wet, should you haven't done that already. Since things will be different, not to mention the many, many things to try, you will need some time. Even if you decide to stick with macosx or even windows after all, it won't have been wasted time.

    3. h4rm0ny

      "I really can't get any enthusiasm for Win8, or even get interested enough to download it. Must be getting cynical in my old age... Is it just me?"

      I doubt it's just you but it's also not universal. I develop primarily on UNIX systems (I've done the odd bit of Windows work here and there), but I've been reading through the development blog for Windows 8. Apart from the suitability or not of Metro on the Desktop, which I've yet to make my mind up about, Win8 is actually reading like they've put a lot of thought into assisting developers. It is well worth the time to have a read through the articles on their blog where they explain a lot of their reasoning. For example this article on screen resolutions:

      Might seem a bit dry by topic, but things like native Vector support in applications so I can construct the whole application as vector graphics, the APIs for scaling, layout handling, automatically using selecting images based on the user's screen DPI, et al. are actually quite enthusing me. I particularly like the development tools that let me at a touch, switch between all the supported screen resolutions for testing. Similarly at the more techy end. I like how Chkdisk can now function on a mounted volume and can drop repair time down to <2secs. That's even faster than my ext4 partions. There's a lot of stuff like that.

      Also, I was initially concerned about Win8 being dumbed down. It's well worth reading this (again from their design blog) article on the Enterprise features for "Bring Your Own" PC.

      I'm still not 100% sure what to make of Win8. It looks like Fisher Price, but take the time to read through the design blogs first. It looks like it's going to actually be a dream to develop for.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Here we go!!!!

    This is it people the game changer. This is the modern OS that is the future of computing. Forget the outdated Start Menu people need to get with the times!

    Microsoft have a vision and Windows 8 is the first step on the road for the next 15 years of computing. Fast boot times, vastly improved security system, long overdue rethink of the Start Menu and more efficient code that uses less resources than Windows 7 and Vista.

    Once people see this thing out in the wild they'll soon realise the fantastic productivity savings and innovative features that this OS offers and they'll switch in their droves. I expect this to be the most popular Windows OS yet

    1. Quxy

      To avoid confusing the newbies...

      ...when you post something so obviously tongue-in-cheek as AC, the convention is to surround it with faux-HTML tags, i.e. <sarcasm> ... </sarcasm>

      1. 0_Flybert_0

        Re: To avoid confusing the newbies...

        nah .. that's so 1998 .. it's part of the fun to read n00bs not getting well done sarcasm

        how better for the children to learn than to experience their own lack of humor

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go!!!!

      So more efficient code = 4 times the space requirement of my full 64bit, 3 different GUI linux install?

      Yea, I'm real impressed by the efficiency ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go!!!!

      I think you're trolling, but I'm not sure.

      So, productivity then?

      How do you open two documents, the second based on the content of the fist? Because metro seems to hide the whole screen while you're deciding.

      Metro is a UI for a phone. I can't help but think that the Chinese have a ten year plan to destroy America by getting US designers to make all their software pointless.

    4. Graham Triggs

      Re: Here we go!!!!

      So "Anonymous Coward", how long have you been a Microsoft employee?

      Productivity? As someone that needs multiple windows open, copy pasting between applications, etc. Metro apps are biggest nail in the coffin of productivity the world has ever seen.

      1. dogged

        Re: Here we go!!!!

        Productivity? As someone that needs multiple windows open, copy pasting between applications, etc. Metro apps are biggest nail in the coffin of productivity the world has ever seen.

        I don't know where you got the idea that you can't do exactly this just as you can on Win7 (and rather better if you use multiple monitors) on Win8.

        Have you been accepting the word of trolls on the Register as fact or something?

        Because you can easily do that. Ignore the Metro launcher. It's just a launcher.

        1. Philip Lewis

          Re: Here we go!!!!

          but have they fixed rdpclip.exe which constantly barffs and makes cut & paste between Remote Desktop connections inoperative?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Here we go!!!!

      Hello fanboy.

      It is a game changer if using a computer is all about prodding the screen with a fat finger or anything else that resembles a digit.

    6. Ian McNee

      Re: Here we go!!!!

      OHOHO! Is funny because he say is great when his brain know it not true!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

    ... uninstalled.

    What the hell are MS thinking.

    I'll get my coat, mine's a Mac...

    1. tirk

      Re: What the hell are MS thinking.

      Phones. Possibly tablets.

      Definately not PCs or notebooks.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

      Nothing like a thorough, considered, evaluation.

      Shamed you settled for ... nothing to say.

      1. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Downloaded it, picked a colour(!), got to the desktop...

        Nothing like a thorough, considered, evaluation.

        Sometimes though you don't need a thorough evaluation.

        When running windows desktop apps, it's quite likely win8 will end up pretty similar to win7 in use, however there's a rather obvious and jarring paradigm shift in the interaction with the computer as a whole that's immediately obvious.

        For some people, this is probably enough to move them away from windows, simply because if you're going to adapt to a new paradigm you might as well take the time to adapt to a different OS instead.

        Personally I've stuck with windows because it has become 'good enough', windows 7 is a nice little OS that makes an okay job of years of bloat and UI cruft; windows 8 is different enough that I'll consider giving Gnome 3 a try.

        In contract, I installed the win 7 CP in a VM and had a quick play, liked it enough to install it on my desktop, and am still using that same install several years later (upgraded to the release version of course.)

        Unless Windows 9 is a serious refocus on the desktop I can see more people making the switch once 7 gets long in the tooth.

  5. Alan W. Rateliff, II
    Paris Hilton

    Won't support me :`(

    I have the CP installed on a 2.66GHz P4, 2GB RAM, 160GB hard drive. Runs fine, though it needs an occasional restart when sleeping/waking repeatedly. The "Upgrade Adviser" says the machine doesn't meet the minimum requirements to run Windows 8. Even though it's already running it.

    Paris, best icon for FAIL. Now I'll have to decide if I'm going to install from the ISO -- if it requires reloading everything I'll just throw my Windows 7 drive back in and call it a lesson learned.

    1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
      Paris Hilton

      Re: Won't support me :`(

      I found the answer in the forums pretty quickly. As of this release, Windows 8 requires NX/XD (no execute/execute disable,) SSE2, and PAE. The CPU the on which the Windows 8 consumer preview lacks NX capability (at the very least, as I suspect the system itself does not support PAE.)

      It's a shame. Windows 8 runs very well on this architecture otherwise. Actually slightly better than Windows 7 in video playback performance. So I'll run this preview until it expires then swap back to Windows 7. (It's an old, crappy Dell connected to my TV, so it's not like it's critical.)

      Paris, not like she's critical.

  6. Anonymous Coward

    I'm gonna get it, but...

    I know I'm not going to enjoy it.

    Heck; even looking at the screenshot in the article shows the idiocy (my opinion) of Win8.

    You can see a live tile called 'pictures'. I also have that sitting on the main screen of my Windows Phone, I actually like it. Its a tile (using the full width of my phone's screen) which rotates between pictures which I marked as 'favorite'.

    So I use my phone and I often see parts (picture obviously doesn't fully fit so it scrolls) of the pictures I like to see. Given that I don't go over my picture collection on a daily basis its always a nice extra touch (IMO of course).

    But on Windows 8? Let me put it this way: Why would I want to have rotating screenshots visible on my start menu (also knowing this gobbles up hardware resources). In a *start* MENU.

    Even if you go with the "Metro doctrine" it makes no sense. The start screen (the official name!) is after all meant to /start/ stuff.

    If you like stuff such as that (I do to be honest) you'd have it on the location you use the most /AND? reside in the longest. Yes; I have a pictures gadget sitting on my Win7 desktop. It makes sense because I get to see that quite often.

    Why would you want this on a start screen only used to quickly start stuff ?

    To me Win8 is becoming more unappealing by the day it seems...

  7. Kev99 Silver badge

    Win 8 better? C'mon

    At work we're still using XP SP3 and have no intention of upgrading. Why? We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary. C'mon. Windows used to come on a few floppies. How much bloatware and trashware is in that bugger?

    1. bazza Silver badge

      Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

      I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP. I've even got it running reasonably well on a 7 year old Dell laptop (and certainly better than xp sp3 on the same machine).

      If you're ever going to have to upgrade OS you're probably want to get 7, not 8. I've no idea if MS are going to keep selling 7 once 8 is out...

      1. Alan W. Rateliff, II
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

        Seconded. I'm pretty certain we'll have downgrade rights for a certain amount of time, though I have no confirmation of this suspicion. I've now installed Windows 7 on a couple of really old Dell laptops (Inspiron 6300 and 8600) and even with the lack of Dell-provided drivers I've been able to spend a minor amount of time getting properly working drivers with surprising performance.

        I have a Core2Duo 1.66GHz Latitude which still runs XP x64. I gotta stay here until I get 802.1x over wireless working in 7.

        Paris, because why not?

      2. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

        Yup. My server at home is a 1GHz Athlon with 1GB of RAM. It manages to run Win7 Prof, a mail server, an FTP server, an audio media server and a video media server. The UI is a little sluggish sometimes but tolerable for a server. At work our test VM workstations all have 512MB assigned to them and they run just fine.

      3. Spoonsinger

        "I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP",

        Maybe, but they did cut out a lot of useful stuff to get the improvement. For instance, you can't say that Windows 7 file explorer is better the the one in XP - well you can but you'd be wrong. (Speaking who someone who does use lots of files rather than using than the 'puter as an interface to the TV).

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: "I generally found that Windows 7 works better on any given hardware than XP",

          Have to admit I wish that ruddy great file overwrite warning dialog would bugger off.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Win 8 better? C'mon

      I installed Win-7 64bit on my friends VERY inexpensive PC that was struggling to run 32bit XP and it runs much smoother now. I suspect the change from 32 to 64bit has a lot to do with that but nonetheless Win-7 is NOT a resource hog compared to XP.

    3. JDX Gold badge

      We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

      So you're working somewhere that hasn't bought a new PC for 5 years? Sounds like they really value their employees.

      1. hplasm

        Re: We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

        Perhaps they pay them more, rather than wasting money on overspecced hardware to run overpriced bloatware?

      2. This post has been deleted by its author

      3. AndrueC Silver badge
        Thumb Down

        Re: We can't afford the CPU, hard drive, video, etc upgrades MS thinks are necessary

        > So you're working somewhere that hasn't bought a new PC for 5 years? Sounds like they really value their employees.

        There's a recession on. Hadn't you heard?

        Some of us would prefer to keep all our colleagues rather than exchange them for a shiny new PC. YMMV.

  8. Khaptain Silver badge

    A game changer

    I don't see W8 failing like Vista failed, I see it failing because it will not serve it's purpose correctly, in fact it's purpose is still very vague and difficult to define.

    It is not a full blown Tablet OS and it is no longer a full blown desktop OS. They have bastardized W7, thrown in some Winphone and are praying that we will shout out "New Paradigm".

    But it is not a new paradigm, it is a mixture of several existing ones, "prior art" anyone.....

    I have the feeling that MS will alienate the office users and that is a very dangerous game to play.

    I downloaded the intial release but I am in no hurry to download the RTM. - I found that the Metro interface interfered with the workflow rather than improving it.

    1. DJV Silver badge

      new paradigm?

      Agreed, it will be about as popular as the New Parody Paradigm daleks!

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: new paradigm?

        At least there was a reason for trying to make the Darleks bigger.

        When they had two short arses in the cast the old Darleks looks OK (actually designed to be about the same height as B.Piper), but next to a guy who is a very tall lanky fellow and the red-head with the long legs they looked a bit titchy.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft Bob

    Windows 8 - What the fuck where they thinking.

    It's going to be fun watching this tank. Surely people are stupid enough to actually want something that turns their big monitors into useless squares of nothingness?

    At Microsoft Bob was a failed experiment, and Microsoft had the sense to can it. This is making it's way onto production systems. God help us.

    How long before Microsoft cut short Windows 7 and Vista support lifecycles to force people to this shit?

    1. Wensleydale Cheese

      Re: Microsoft Bob

      "How long before Microsoft cut short Windows 7 and Vista support lifecycles to force people to this shit?"

      It's not necessarily the official support deadlines. As I witnessed in early Windows 7 days, a whole bunch of free downloads from the MS site suddenly became unavailable unless you were running Windows 7, and in many cases that meant "Windows 7 Pro or greater".

  10. Wanda Lust

    Wanda about

    I believe the idea for Windows 8 is that you have something like an Acer Iconia W500 tablet or that outrageously expensive Samsung Series 7 touch & pen-tastic slate.

    Either drops easily onto a dock at one's desk or gets carried around, well, like an iThing.

    So it's a multifunction device - desk bound and pret-a-porter. I kinda like the idea but the lack of any software worth a poo is rather frustrating, I actually do like the Metro tile with active content idea. Sheeple don't like complex ideas though & this might just be perceived as neither one nor the other.

    I think the play will be for the new corporate mobile "paradigm". BYOD (Android or iPad) isn't going to work in so many places.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    CPU is incompatible

    When trying to run the setup I get an error saying that my CPU is incompatible with Windows 8 !!!

    System is

    Intel I5-2500

    16 GB memory

    25 Gb free on system disk.

    1. pixl97

      Re: CPU is incompatible

      I'd look at the manufactures site (of your computer or its motherboard) and see if there's a bios upgrade.

      1. Wensleydale Cheese

        Re: CPU is incompatible


        You might simply need to alter some settings in the existing BIOS, just as I had to do to get VirtualBox working on a now 2 year old AMD system.

        See this earlier comment for the items you probably want to look at.

        Smily icon, 'cos I've just realised I have enough posts to use HTML links.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: CPU is incompatible

      16 gig of memory? I5 processor? Sorry sir you need to upgrade your system to meet the minimum system requirements....

  12. Furbian

    Isn't it odd...

    Lots of down votes for the comments, that are all negative, but no one speaking in support of this, umm, abomination. Come on, let us know what's so great about it and how it improves productivity, and is a joy to use.

    No I cant' sit on the fence either, stupid giant sized tiles (SGST)? Unless that start button, orb, whatever, comes back, properly, this is one to avoid. Played with the last release, no intention of installing this one, I haven't got the time to waste on it.

    Managed to live with XP until Windows 7 quite well, and avoided Vista. I can do the same again. If it's a rip roaring success and MS change the way we use machines over the years, then it will be time to switch. If not, then their next 'fixed' OS will probably be worth the wait. But that's me, others may decide that an Apple Mac or some flavour of Linux is a better change, though watch out, Unity on Ubuntu appears to follow the Win 8 paradigm, and that attracted so much hostility that certain discussion boards were shut down over it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Isn't it odd...

      That's probably because of two things:

      1) Most people who like MS software have given up commenting on articles like this where the comments are just a rant fest. Look at the amount of "removed by moderator" comments and ask if that's normal when discussing an OS?

      2) Many people who like MS software (myself included) haven't actually used Win8 yet, so can't really comment. This isn't stopping the MS haters from doing the same.

      1. MysteryGuy

        Re: Isn't it odd...

        > This isn't stopping the MS haters from doing the same.

        Well, for what it's worth, I don't hate MS (at least not for a living ). I have tried Windows 8 (for Desktop use), and still think it's an absolutely dreadful idea.

        When Windows 7 came out I said to myself 'This is really nicer than XP', and bought several copies to upgrade my 3 systems.

        I absolutely despise the WIndows 8 cartoony/blocky/flat/peculiar Metro interface (at least for Desktop use)...

        And it's funny to see them make additional changes to prevent (some) users from trying to revert to the interface they actually liked...

    2. squilookle

      Re: Isn't it odd...

      "or some flavour of Linux is a better change, though watch out, Unity on Ubuntu appears to follow the Win 8 paradigm, and that attracted so much hostility that certain discussion boards were shut down over it."

      Key differences with Unity are that you get a new Ubuntu every 6 months, so we probably got Unity before it was really ready (those who think this is a negative should stick to LTS releases or other distributions with different release schedules as some users would want to get the software as soon as possible, so this is not necessarily a bad thing depending on who you are and what you want). Also, there have always been alternatives to Unity: other distros with Gnome Shell, other distros that still support Gnome 2 and KDE, XFCE and the like on the Ubuntu base and on other distros.

      I'm willing to wait and see where MS are taking this before forming an opinion on it. I'm not too keen on Metro on my XBox, I preferred the layout of the dash before. My biggest gripes with the XBox are that the dash is laggy, you can't turn the adverts off, and typing in some situations in cumbersome because the letters are just lined up side by side scross the screen rather than being arranged as a virtual keyboard (but sometimes you get the virtual keyboard, so we have bad design AND inconsistency). Either way, I probably won't be making the jump to Windows 8, but I won't be avoiding it either unless, after I have tried it, I really don't like it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    wait 20GB? Does it come with a couple of years worth of patches?

    My bloat detector is going off.

    1. pixl97

      My current W7 'windows' directory is just over 20GB, so all you can really say is W8 is just a patched Windows 7 install, so I wouldn't really say it's bloated at all. Now if it were significantly larger that would be bloat.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      20Gigs for a fully featured modern OS - including swap file - is bloat?

      Your system is seriously underspec if that's the case, my 5 year old HP desktop is good enough to run it.

    3. DJV Silver badge


      It was released yesterday. I downloaded and installed it in VirtualBox yesterday - for a laugh I went to Windows Update and found 2 updates needed to be installed already!

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Patches?

        Hardly a surprise to anyone who works in software development. Creating the install isos will be a substantial process, have to go through testing, then lined up on the web-servers ready to be hit by millions of downloads the moment it goes up, etc. The CP was probably finished at least a week ago. A week during which developers have had time to do more work, which only needs to go straight from them to testing and then up as a patch.

  14. Dana W

    Holy bloat!

    My full install copy of OSX Lion is sitting on a 8 gig key. its half empty. 20 gig? That is just sad.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Holy bloat!

      And the full install of the Win8 preview is 3.5GB which would also fit on your usb stick so what's your point? How big is it when extracted and installed?

      1. Dana W

        Re: Holy bloat!

        A full install of Lion is seven gig installed. Less than half of an install of Win 8. Thanks for asking.

        Bloat I said, and bloat I meant. 8=bloat. But what else is new?

  15. Tristan Young

    I hate Metro. It's the ugliest interface I've ever used.

    Microsoft has truly lost the innovation spirit. Rather than create exciting, compelling interfaces that permit easy use of more than two programs on-screen at once, they've gone to an interface that looks it was designed by someone who hates users, is totally not interesting and has no redeeming qualities.

    I won't use an OS/Interface that makes me feel dumb.

    Very ugly.

    Windows 8 - it's Vista 2.0!

    1. Michael Habel

      Vista may not have been perfect, but after having actually used it for a while, till after Win7 came out.

      I have to say that Vista was hardly as bad as some of you made it out to be. There were several things in Vista (e.g. Ultimate Edition) , that make Windows 7 seem... Well bassackwords. Like the Live Wallpapers for example. I think the thing that made me jump on the Vista Hate Wagon, at the time was that the changes to the Start Menu were just to much to take at the time, till I just basically let it be and learned to live with it. Windows 7 is hardly revolutionary from this perspective.

      But, a Touchscreen / Phone UI has lost NOTHING on a Desktop / Notebook / Laptop / Netbook et-al...

      This time (unlike then with Vista), these opinions are more justified.

      Microsoft has already caused me to move my HTPC to Linux;

      1) Cause they do not support DVB-C (For Cable)

      2) Their Software in a word sucks as a HTPC - TV STB System.

      So I already have a few good years of having set up Linux-VDR under several distributions from Mandrake to Gentoo, as well as Redhat and of course Ubuntu. Given that I game on a Xbox or PS3. Abut the only thing that keeps me on this crappy platform is of course M$ Office.

      And that's cause... Well no matter how good (Insert name here: ) Office is it is still not M$ Office and sadly is incompatible 99.990% most of the time.

  16. RIBrsiq


    I have to say, I *can* live with Metro and the new Start Screen thingy. I certainly will not love them, though that may come later -- Stockholm Syndrome, maybe...? -- but I can live and operate with them.

    Let me first make clear that this is preliminary based on a few hours worth of testdriving the Consumer Preview with emphasis on UI usability and might change once I sink my teeth into this Release Preview, but:

    The command line is largely the same, and there still is type-to-search functionality when one presses the Windows key and starts banging away on a keyboard. And I honestly cannot remember the last time I opened a Windows 7 Start Menu and clicked on it with a mouse. So Windows 8's user interface is, for the most part, compatible with the way I work day-to-day.

    What will decide things for me is (as usual, I think) the technical stuff: how will it perform? Will it be stable enough? What new features will work how well? Etc.

    Speaking of new features, Server 2012 looks rather sexy, I must say...

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro

      I agree with you Rib. I'm not loving the metro interface.

      However the underlying operating system is actually the best Windows I've used yet.

      Metro I just ignore it. A few well placed task bar icons, and I'm a way.

      It's definitely faster than 7, and there's a number of underlying every day 'explorer' features that have improved as well. The hybrid boot system is working really nicely as well.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro

      "I honestly cannot remember the last time I opened a Windows 7 Start Menu and clicked on it with a mouse"

      And I may be utterly wrong, but I honestly suspect you are a paid MS advertroll - either that, or a Mac user... WTF?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Metro

        Same for me on my laptop! ;)

        To avoid the stampede, I moved to OSX already.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I *REALLY* want to try this on my 10 inch netbook. I figured the love child OS of a desktop and smartphone would be perfect for a netbook with a small screen but apparently my resolution isn't high enough to run it...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What has happened to Microsoft?

    Put it on my box yesterday to evaluate.

    More of the same crap. It's all UI problems.

    Remember when clicking the clock in Windows 7 brought the clock up, but then made it disappear if you clicked anythig else? So you couldn't time anything?

    Remember when you click the start menu, and "all programs" overwrites the start menu so you can't see both at the same time.

    Remember how explorer closes one folder when you look at another so you can't do side by side comparisons on folders?

    It's all the same basic flaw. The basic flaw is that someone wants it to look good, for people who do Powerpoint presentations, and they just have no comprehension that other people use it for other stuff. Same with the Ribbon, useful if you do word all day, but if you code all day and write one document a week, then you forget everything.

    I haven't yet worked out out to switch off all those stupid square buttons yet. I don't want pictures randomly moving about, showing me news clippets while I'm trying to work. When I select a new App, I want to be able to see what I've already got running. I don't want big boxes to start my "social network", or "Sport", or "Calendar" or all the other stupid shit that makes it look like a glorified tool to help my employees spend their whole day organising their social life.

    IMO the entire Microsoft design team should have been sacked long ago.

    I've been full on MS for a decade and a half, but what they've done. Well, I'm just a fag paper away from going to Ubuntu. It's only Linq, and SQL Server that keeps me hanging on. What has happened to Microsoft? What's happened?

    Whatever happened to functional UI analysis? I feel like going down to TVP and slapping people.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

      User lack of understanding more like:

      Clock - why would you use the system clock to time something? You need a stopwatch for that, the right tool for the right job

      Start menu - no problem there. The most commonly used programs appear 1st and then if you need anything else you open all programs which also contains those programs that appeared when you clicked the button. Why would you need to see both at the same time?

      Explorer - I quite often have multiple explorer windows open to view different folders, don't know what your doing

      Totally with you on the new tiles - I don't want live previews of things while I am working.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

        Why would use a system clock to time something?

        Because I would. Because I would. HCI is about what people would do, not anyone's arbitrary perverse view of how they do things.

        Why would I want an up button? Because I do dev, and up to the parent folder is something I have to do, a hundred times a day.

        Why would I want two folders open in the _same_ explorer window? So I can copy files from the debug folder to server/bin/assembly. OR for a hundred different reasons.

        It's all BECAUSE I DO. This is what is wrong with Microsoft, it used to be full of techies who were really clever, and they thought "I know, we do this a hundred times a day, let's fix it."

        But then Microsoft became the world's richest company, and it could afford to employ technical illiterates who want lots of money, so they flooded in. Before long, it was like a game of the weakest link, where at the top, anyone who was clever was a threat to the idiots so they get comments like "Well he's really technical but he doesn't understand the business" and "Too many notes Mozart"

        So then you end up with morons who can't do anything, sitting in the company wine bar, and functionally useless things like the Ribbon get invented "Because they're creative."

    2. dogged

      Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

      I don't want pictures randomly moving about, showing me news clippets while I'm trying to work

      If you're looking at the launcher then by definition you aren't doing any work. You're just looking at the launcher.

      I don't believe you tried it at all. Installed, maybe. Looked at, possibly. Read the comments of a million retards on the Register, definitely. Used it? No.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

      You have a point about the recent Microsoft obsession with social networks.

      "I haven't worked out..." - Right mouse click on a program tile on the start screen to unpin it or make it smaller or wider.

      In reality, working in Windows 8 I find little change with most of my time in the desktop, business as usual. Multi-monitor support is improved over 7.

    4. undeadMonkey93

      Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

      "Remember how explorer closes one folder when you look at another so you can't do side by side comparisons on folders?"

      CTRL + Click on a folder to open it in a new explorer window.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: What has happened to Microsoft?

        In what way does that have two folders open in the same window?

  19. John Burton

    I tried hard to like it.

    I installed the previous version. I tried so hard to like it, but after a few weeks I just just didn't. I found it made everything harder to do and was ugly and incomprehsible.

    Eventually I installed the new Mint Linux instead and it felt like such a relief to go back to a decent user interface. I still use windows 7 on my "main" pc but after using mint linux for a while now I'm increasingly findint I can just do everything in that. And yes, it was this new interface that drove me to try it. and yes I did give it a try, but frankly it's just awful.

    Come on microsoft, fix it before release... The rest of the os is good, but metro makes it such a pain to work with.

  20. JDX Gold badge


    If we could get away from copy-pasting how crap W8 in general is, would anyone be able to comment if they made any noticeable changes since the last beta?

    1. Yet Another Commentard

      Re: Changes?

      Much as I hate to reference other sites, there is a site, which is formed of the word "win" and then the Latin for "above" and then "site" where the owner has done just that - or at least a series of pages of changes. I cannot vouch for their "noticableness" or otherwise, and the owner is often described as being no more than a shill.

      I'm not trying to defend MS here, but all the ranting seems to be about the replacement for the "start" menu, which is the tiled Metro screen. On that run "apps" which are the full screen only things. These are not the applications you know such as Excel, or Word or whatever.

      If you ignore all that guff then windows is still there, you can run "applications" such as excel next to word next to access on several monitors, just like you used to. Sadly MS has pushed the rather crappy Metro bit as being Windows, or people have not really read what MS has said.

      It's a bit like saying MacOS X Lion has no start button. I've got to go into this crappy launch pad over several screens of icons to find the one for the app I want to launch, and it will only show me one on the screen at a time once I load it. (don't use Linux, no idea what that looks like) Nobody seems to be moaning there - it's all perception, and there MS has screwed up really big time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Changes?

        Sorry, I can't find winsuprasite anywhere.

    2. qwarty

      Re: Changes?

      Updating the CP in place took a little less than half an hour.

      Not new, but I'll mention that on my 1080p laptop, the start screen shows 5 rows of tiles, not the three rows shown in that graphic in the article which must have been snapshotted on a low res display. Makes a significant difference. Hopefully this will encourage OEMs to ditch those ancient 768 panels.

      First thing I noticed yesterday was faster boot time, then improvement in dual monitor support, hot corners work better now (found them annoying in CP version), can drag metro apps from screen to screen.

      UI for Visual Studio 2012 RC is more usable (colour icons etc.) good enough to go apart from the ALL CAPS MENU. Felt more comfortable immediately than the Beta.

      Generally not much obvious change really apart from the fine detail though in sum this feels closer to a real product that that CP.

      I mainly work with desktop apps, apart from cosmetics its pretty much same as Win 7 (though we are told the Aero chrome is to go by RC so more change to come before can really voice an opinion, no problems so far though).

      Still no compelling Metro style apps as far as I've seen - Kindle app works but needs more options such as double page mode on widescreen display. Will be handy to have the option of Metro style apps that will work the same on laptop, desktop and tablet can imagine some will prove useful but examples so far seem lightweight. Even basics like standard camera and Photo apps still missing what I'd consider essential features.

  21. David Harris 1

    Just trying to get this clear in my mind

    Under the new Metro regime, you go into Metro to start anything - there's no Start menu in the desktop. You can go into Desktop from Metro, but it's just another Metro app. But can run things, as you can now, if they're "on" the desktop.

    So there's nothing to stop somebody writing a "Start Menu" app that lives on the desktop and does the job of a Start menu, preventing the need for any contact with metro?

    1. jonathanb Silver badge

      Re: Just trying to get this clear in my mind

      There already is such an application. I can't remember what it is called, but it is relatively easy to find with a good search engine.

    2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

      Re: Just trying to get this clear in my mind

      Classic Shell does it. Huzzah.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Just trying to get this clear in my mind

      Brilliant comment.

      Instead, though, what they should have done is have a desktop, and Metro was just a shell. Then everyone could have XP back, or Win 7, or Ubuntu.

      Too obvious though for the marketing types. They won't be able to find another job if they don't bet the house on it.

      These things happen in business. The UK used to be fairly well off, well enough off to afford to have Gordon Brown as a chancellor. Microsoft is the same. It can still afford to have HCI Consultants employed there.

      Roll on Windows 9.

  22. Feldagast

    Its an even number, remember MS and even numbers don't work well together. Vista would of been 6.

  23. Risky

    Not sure

    I'm normally up for a new release. Even Vista had UI improvements over XP which made it a wrench going back, though I only ever installed it on a laptop. Hoever I'm really unclear where they are going with the Metro UI in the desktop world.

    Certainly I can't see it being rolled out in any large office environment, though I thing most larger corporates are currently going through the XP to Win 7 deployment so won't be looking to upgrade for another five years or so. By then they should have worked out where they are going with the classic desktop which I think will be aroud for a good while yet.

    for myself I think it could work well as a mediacentre OS and I might try it out on my old dell netbook this weekend.

  24. Richard Cartledge

    I am still downloading, but it looks as though they have moved away from the 1890-1970 physical paper-based office parody that has served the personal computer 'Desktop' from 30 years. As all the old people who knew these old offices with their files, folders, wastebaskets and paperclips are now retired or dead, I think it's good that the way has been cleared for young folk to take the UI to the next level, as Apple have done somewhat with iOS and Mountain Lion. They are still just the first step in a transition, so will be a botch, but we should now see a purer UI without shuffling around office idioms and parodies on a 'desktop' in the years to come.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @Richard Cartledge. First step yes, botch I don't think so though most commentators here seem to feel otherwise. The next step I hope will be to tackle the desktop space (Metro full screen apps don't address all usage scenarios and multiple visual spaces remain essential on large screens). Agree totally its time to get away from those tired metaphores - although you might be surprised at the age of some of us working towards inventive new UI paradigms on netx gen systems! Not everyone 50+ or even 60+ is totally jaded, unimaginative or brain dead although given the quality of comments here you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise.

  25. Tony Paulazzo

    >So there's nothing to stop somebody writing a "Start Menu" app that lives on the desktop and does the job of a Start menu, preventing the need for any contact with metro?<

    Stardock offer a free download that gives you a start menu button. I've been using Win8 for ages now and find it fine. Admittedly the UI is horrible but I rarely see it and multitasking (more than two things at once), works fine, especially across two screens (just don't use the metro apps), and ensure your programs are at the front of the tiles fest or festooned over your desktop.

    I haven't bothered downloading the release preview yet, but I do notice there is still no start button in the article pic, which pisses me off somewhat, it proves Microsoft aren't listening to their customers. I doubt I'm going to upgrade to Win8 over my Win7.

  26. pear


    I tried it out for a few days as an os update. It wasn't awful but it was frustrating. It would be better when all the inbuilt metro apps work properly.

    The apps and people page look awful, and not customisable in any way.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Upgrade?

      It only came out yesterday, how did you get hold of a copy early?

  27. ColonelClaw

    It's the standard Windows cycle

    98: good

    ME: crap

    XP: good

    Vista: crap

    Win7: good

    Win8: what were you expecting?

    1. dogged

      Re: It's the standard Windows cycle

      Win2K. You fail.

      Back to the Old Jokes Home with you.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: It's the standard Windows cycle

      Not this tired old cack again:

      3.x/95/98/ME are not the same series of OSes as NT3/NT4/2000/XP.

      Also, 95 was excellent as was 3.X, so your own example doesn't work.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: It's the standard Windows cycle

        My experience of 95 and derivatives was far from "excellent". The pick of the bunch was 98SE but this doesn't say a lot.

  28. Qdos

    Your CPU is not compatible with Windows Eight...

    "The most important thing Microsoft is watching for is hardware compatibility, Sinofsky said..."

    So WTF is...

    "Your computers processor is not compatible with Windows 8..."

    Tried it on a Thinkpad i5 2.4Ghz and a desktop with an older, but more powerful, Q9650 CPU... same results in both instances with the W8 installer... eh, pants or what!

    Apart from the terrible interface, I'm not bloody well upgrading perfectly good CPU's to suit the whims of Micro$oft....

    Sheesh... it should be renamed White Elephant...

    1. Richard Cartledge

      Re: Your CPU is not compatible with Windows Eight...

      THis happened to me on my Macbook with the 32 bit version, but not the 64 bit, maybe they force you to use 64bit if your computer is suitable?

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Your CPU is not compatible with Windows Eight...

        I couldn't get either version installed in Windows Virtual PC, with this very error message, and only x86 would install in VirtualBox. Buggered if I know why.

  29. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

    Ask the consumer what they are expecting...

    Speaking to some "Joe Average" consumers/users, those who have actually heard about the upcoming Windows8, and a significant proportion seem to think that they will be able to install it on their existing PC or buy a new PC pre-installed, and it will all work by touching the screen, just like their phone does now.

    I suspect a lot of consumers/users are going to be a bit surprised/miffed when they find out that software does not turn a standard screen into a touch screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ask the consumer what they are expecting...

      Were these people under fives, or actually in your head?

      I don't believe you, I think you're just saying things on the Internet to make you look smart.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Ask the consumer what they are expecting...

        Sounds about right for the average man in the street.

        I regularly see people trying to touch non-touchscreens and being surprised when it doesn't work.

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Ask the consumer what they are expecting...

        Maybe you need to get out more and meet real people instead of deskbound office drones.

  30. Jaymax

    Register deoing puff peices now?

    Nice shot of W8 on a tablet there vultures, back in the real world, how about a photo of some dude (not necessarily balding or penified) sitting at a desk with a keyboard, couple of monitors, METRO nonsense, and a very frustrated/perplexed-with-a-side-order-of-angry expression as ?he pushes mouse towards non-existent programs menu, &c.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Simultaneous METRO and DESKTOP

    If I were MS, I'd allow different monitors to be assigned to be METRO or oldschool. I could really see the point of switching my third screen to METRO, and it could be a really useful usage for that 11" touchscreen I've got sitting on the shelf waiting for a purpose...

    Imagine flicking a METRO app up from your keyboardside touchscreen onto your main desktop monitor., etc etc, loads of awesome possibilities, all dependent on NOT trying to put this fucking metro crap all over my main monitor where it's about as usefull as my cat walking across my keyboard: it's cute for about 13 seconds, max.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Simultaneous METRO and DESKTOP

      "If I were MS, I'd allow different monitors to be assigned to be METRO or oldschool."

      You can. In fact, that is the default. Metro will appear on one screen, whilst the other(s) will remain Desktop. You can easily move it from one to the other as well and have all monitors show Desktop with Metro only appearing on one as a slighly ugly Start menu when you summon it up. There's a pretty extensive blog post about multi-monitors on the MS site. Let me see if I can find the link...

      Yep, got it: Multi-monitors on Win8

  32. Spoonsinger

    Not going to touch this with yours,

    regardless of how clean yours is. (and that's from someone who earns their dosh from windows stuff).

  33. Nick Ryan Silver badge

    Release Preview

    Got the thing working earlier ("upgraded inplace" haha) from the previous version...

    The backgrounds help to pretty it up, but it's still ugly as sin. I know that this is subjective, but the design i disgusting and the use of colour and space appalling and as for the unintellible icon things that are now all white blobs... they're a masterpiece of dumb. Moving on from the subjective visuals...

    It's still unbelievably stunningly unintuitive, operating on the most stupid "mystery meat" navigation scheme which if you used a mouse you'd hope that a hover window would show to indicate what the blob or region your point at actually does, but no. I hadn't used it for a few weeks and could not for the life of me remember how the hell to switch between apps using the mouse, couldn't remember how to unlock the dumb lock screen and as for getting to a real environment where you could do some work, well it took a while to remember to poke "desktop". There are still all of the inane "move mouse over this arbitary and unmarked spot on the screen to do something important" interfaces *everywhere* and that just compounds the frustration. All the while you're discovering new, unintuitive things that pop up on arbitrary clicks on arbitrary spots of the screen.

    The mouse is still a "also have" interface device, along with the keyboard. The mouse wheel may scroll the menu quite nicely now but as soon as it hits a list, the list is scrolled instead. Why could I not click on the background and flick the screen in a very similar way to a finger swipe? They've taken a largely analogue operated interface and bodged the digital operation of a scroll wheel onto it.

    Ignoring most of the junk applications, moving onto something vaguely useful: Internet Explorer in metro mode... just how the **** do I get to my favourites again? Then give the damn thing a few seconds, the next question is... how the **** do I get back to the ****ing address bar? (randomly open a new link and click *very* quickly on the address to allow you to type and change it). Eventually you'll get a couple of "tabs" open, which leads to the next stupidity... how the **** do I switch between them? I gave up and used IE in desktop mode and at least it was vaguely usable there.

    Back in desktop mode it now feels harder to get back to the metro ugliness, the hit target for the "start" menu seems to have been shrunk by a few more pixels.

    If there was a way to never, ever have the blight of metro on the system ever again then it would be quite a good upgrade to Win 7. However with this blight in place it's ugly, disfunctional, disjointed and exceedingly annoying to use. There are a few improvements and nice little tweaks here and there but nowhere near enough to get over the gobsmacking uselessness of the metro interface.

  34. Thorfkin

    Metro Limitations

    Can anyone confirm for me either that Metro apps run from the start screen are able to run in classic desktop mode by default or that Microsoft has enable the ability to run them at resolutions below 1024x768? I want to use this on my netbook but arbitrary limitations placed on the Metro interface made it impossible to use Windows 8 on my 1024x600 pixel screen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Metro Limitations

      Metro apps mandate a minimum of 1024x768 and 1366 x 768 is the minimum for split screen.

      Given that 1024x768 displays have been the preferred Windows resolution for 20 years its beyond time this is enforced (speaking as developer), I'd been hoping for this with Windows 7.

      Those 600p displays have been widely criticised as a backward step ever since they were introduced to the market a few years back and advice has always been to avoid if at all possible.

      Unfortunate of course if you are stuck with one.

  35. Anonymous Coward


    Sell, sell, sell....

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, I have avoided the Win8 thing up until now. But ... judging from the picture in this article, 25% of thescreen space seems to be allocated to informing me that there are even more "glaringly aggressive tiles" to the right. Is this the correct understanding?

    Somehow I like the discrete "dot" of iOS better, if only for the fact that it does not assault my senses and my sense of symmetry.

    Also, I could recommend a few text books on colour perception, but I doubt there is anyone in the MS design department capable of reading them ...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 25%

      That first picture is a bit misleading for desktop/laptop discussion. On 1080p/15" 16:9 there are five rows of tiles, 10 columns so far more tiles on a screen in that 3 rows/7 column example (which must be meant to suggest the look on a low end 10" tablet). At 1200p 16:10 (as I write this), the start screen has 7 rows and 13 columns of tiles visible without swiping.

      Drag and dropping tiles into my personal configuration, its a lot easier to use the start screen on a desktop than you might get as an impression from just reading this kind of article and seeing that picture.

      Personally speaking, I do think the tiles are a little bigger than necessary or comfortable and I'm no great fan of the example colour scheme (although it is up to the app developer what their tile looks like and hopefully we'll see some better thought out tiles).

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