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Windows 8 Dev Preview - First Thoughts

    General discussion

    • I find the Metro interface fairly intuitive
    • It's difficult to close open apps - when going to desktop, not everything that's running appears
    • My Belkin wireless adapter and external hard drive are not connecting.  I have reinstalled the drivers, but Win 8 does not pick them up.
    • I see the devices in device manager, but the OS doesn't work with the drivers
    • Installation was very smooth with the exception of the wireless networking problem
    • Metro interface has potential, but the switching back and forth from Metro to Desktop is entirely annoying.  This needs to be smoother.  I suspect HTML5 apps will be developed that will make some of the transitions less painful.
    • There is no more start menu.  I can't see a list of installed apps easily.
    • Using a non-touch interface makes Metro cumbersome.  It's not straight forward for getting back to the home screen using the Windows logo key. I should be able to use the mouse for this.
    • Installed apps keep crashing (sudoku, notespace, etc...)  This is clearly a dev preview as there are more than a few bugs.
    • The sign-in screen is very nice.  I like it, but it's designed for touch only.  Using a mouse is weird.
    • Searching is great.  Just start typing in Metro and you get to a search interface.  It would be nice if there was an 'All' category for search results.  The results appear categorized which is a little annoying.
    • I find the color scheme pleasing, but why can't I change this in Metro?  I'm sure this is a dev preview function and will be in the final version.
    • Expressions 5 and Visual Studio 11 are fantastic.  MS has really brought some good stuff in both of these packages.
    • Live tiles has promise and I can see this being very useful.  Live tiles have the potential to provide a lot of good information, but this should be incorporated into the desktop and not a totally separate part of Windows.  I understand what they're trying to do, but it makes for a lot of movement between different panes.  
    • I love the new font choice.
    • I suspect in the final version, Metro will not be mandatory, but a choice the user can make.  Beyond Metro, this is basically a Windows 7 user experience.  Metro is a good summary of important information, but this looks more like an active desktop than a totally revolutionary change in UI.
    • When will they get rid of NTFS?
    • The ribbon-based Windows Explorer is actually kind of nice.  I found it convenient for seldom used commands.
    • For a tablet interface, they need to make it much easier to close apps, get to the file system, etc...  This is anything but easy and would be frustrating on a tablet.
    • In Metro, when I press the Windows logo key, I go to a blank screen.  What is the purpose of this?
    • Honestly, not even close to Mac.  Definitely was not a 'everything that works in Win 7 works in Win 8' experience.  Difficult to quickly move around.  Since it's designed for touch, I imagine the mouse will be accompanied by a track pad or touch screen monitors for desktop computers.  The problem is that I don't want to use a touch device on my desktop.  When I'm designing something new or programming, I want to keep my hands on the keyboard.  Apps like VS 11, Expression, etc... should be able to run full screen like IE 10 (which is very nice).  
    • MS is banking on developers creating Metro apps.  This is where I think this has great potential.  HTML5 is a great platform, and VS 11/Expression provides a pretty good toolset.  If the apps can be easily transfered from a dev PC to a tablet, this could be very beneficial for business customers.  One of the problems with the iPad is that it's difficult to write custom apps.  Combine this with a file system, and I can see this being a very good business platform.  
    Friday, September 16, 2011 5:44 AM

All replies

  • i also have the same problem with my belkin wireless adapter. a solution would be wonderful :/  
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011 11:29 PM
  • triple goes for me. I'm having to net bridge with a really old laptop and its awefull slow. hope MS will figure it out soon. I cant keep testing like this if nothing will work! I'm also having DirectX issues on some games.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 3:32 AM
  • yeah this is quite disappointing as far as the drivers go. 
    -masonbd
    Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:19 PM
  • Yea another Belkin wireless adapter user that will need to wait for an update before i can do any kind of connected work with this system.
    Thursday, November 10, 2011 2:14 AM
  • I was finally able to get the Belkin wireless adapter to work. Here is what I did.

    1. I went to their site and downloaded the latest driver and put it on a location I could get to it from my Windows 8 VHD.
    2. I rebooted to my Windows 8 VHD and ran the install of the driver and had to reboot.
    3. It still did not work right away. I had to update the driver and tell it to load it from the location I installed the driver to.
    4. After 1 more reboot I had network!

     

     

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011 2:48 AM
  • I couldn't get any of the cool little apps to work either but it is insanely fast some things need improving but its a great idea the apps make the footprint smaller and faster 
    Saturday, December 24, 2011 10:33 PM
    • Metro interface has potential, but the switching back and forth from Metro to Desktop is entirely annoying.  This needs to be smoother.

    Do you envision a way that replacing the desktop for the duration of selecting a new app to run could be smoother?  I'm just not able to imagine such a thing.  Are you imagining the Metro envvironment being limited to part of the screen or something?

    I agree with your assessment - blitzing the desktop out of existence to go start something else is just mind jarring.  An option needs to be provided to not do that unless one really WANTS to go into Metro.  That says what - that we need a complete duality of desktop / metro functions?

    If Metro is kept as a requirement, I just don't see how to get there from here.  I fear we're all going to have to get used to Metro slamming us in the face every time we click the Start button from now on.

    -Noel

    Sunday, December 25, 2011 2:52 PM
    • When will they get rid of NTFS?

    I'm curious, why would you say this?  Is your motivation in making such a statement that it's too complex, geeky, too encumbered with security, what?

    From my (technical) perspective NTFS is one of the things Microsoft has got right.  Really right.

    -Noel

    Sunday, December 25, 2011 2:54 PM
  • I'm not in the least bit interested in interacting with you, Ed.  Take it elsewhere.

    -Noel

    Sunday, December 25, 2011 9:24 PM
    • Using a non-touch interface makes Metro cumbersome.  It's not straight forward for getting back to the home screen using the Windows logo key. I should be able to use the mouse for this.   
    It's just a toggle.   Ctrl-Esc works too.   Using a mouse would be just a matter of seeing the STart Screen button somehow.  That would depend on how many screens you were using, what you had started on them, etc.   If there is a specific scenario you have to discuss that could be useful for showing the possible workarounds there can be for mouse-only users.
    • Installed apps keep crashing (sudoku, notespace, etc...)

    Sounds like you may have an environmental issue of some kind.   FWIW I recently discovered that  shutdown.exe /s /full  actually results in a rewrite of the TileCache which might be a first step in a minimal repair.

    C.f.:

    http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/windowsdeveloperpreviewgeneral/thread/348737de-29c3-4d7d-a2a3-6cd0ab011415

    • The sign-in screen is very nice. I like it, but it's designed for touch only. 

    Try pressing Tab?

    • Searching is great. Just start typing in Metro and you get to a search interface. It would be nice if there was an 'All' category for search results. The results appear categorized which is a little annoying.


    On the contrary W7 provides the same functionality without being clear about the categories and I think it is more confusing that way.

     

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    Monday, December 26, 2011 6:41 AM
  • Click start, type a word, get an app or a control panel applet or information.  Very simple, very direct in Windows 7.  With Windows 8, click Start, type a word, get some categories, choose one, then get an app or applet or information. 

    I find that the extra step of stopping and having to think flushes my mind of what I'm working on.

    Try this with both Windows 7 and Windows 8:

    1.  Click Start.

    2.  Type view event.

    How much more is necessary before you can get into the Event Viewer and see the contents of your event logs?  Hint:  It's just one keystroke more with Windows 7, and your fingers are already on the keyboard.

    And this business of having to switch over to a Metro screen and THEN to yet another different Search screen to type in a search string helps what, exactly?  Maybe I'm looking at the screen to see what to type into the Start Menu Search box.  Does Microsoft think practicing using our short term memories to remember things from screen to screen will improve our brain function?

    -Noel

    Monday, December 26, 2011 8:17 PM
  • Maybe I'm looking at the screen to see what to type into the Start Menu Search box.


    It helps to have two screens.   Before W8 my Tablet was mostly black.   Now that I see the possibilities of having two screens I'm also using it on W7.   But in W7 only one of them has the Taskbar which does seem odd and sometimes awkward.   In W8 I can use the Taskbar on either.   But the STart button can only be on one.   In both my Tablet has to be the primary monitor (otherwise Touch is not as usable) so the total functionality is very similar.   E.g. my Tablet is either a second Desktop monitor or where I use the STart menu--or where I play games while waiting for something else to finish on my main monitor.   ; )

     

    Robert
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    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 12:00 AM
  • Thanks for those thoughts.  I already use two monitors.  I suppose your point is that a touch panel could be added to my existing setup, yielding the wonder of Metro and keeping all the Desktop real estate I already use.  I'll have to think for a while about whether that would actually be an improvement.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, December 27, 2011 6:10 AM