How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

Summary: Screenshot gallery: A run through the installation process and some of the new features of the next-generation of Windows.

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Windows 8 is out in the wild -- at least in form of a developer preview.

After a day of using it, the one thing that has probably changed the most in my view, is not the replacement of the Start menu with a Start 'screen', but the process of setting up your new computer.

Normally, Windows setup can be strict and iron-maiden like, and offering little in terms of novice-focus. It was never designed for end-users in mind, at least from the Windows XP perspective and before.

But now, Windows setup tries to saddle up as if it is your new best friend, and throws in a little humour while it chugs along.

Gallery To see the screenshot gallery documenting how to install and get started with the Windows Developer Preview, along with some of the best features so far, head this way.

Jump ahead to find the new Blue Screen of Death, also roaming cloud profiles and the new 'Start menu'. You can search, see new notifications and see your new Control Panel. See what happens when you switch from Start to desktop, and see where Microsoft is pinching ideas from Apple.

All in all, the greatest change for me is the installation. It guides users through each step by step through the setup process, as though we are first-time users. The truth is, we need to be treated like idiots. I'm not saying for a second this is a bad thing.

Though many users will be accomplished, advanced users of Windows and software on the whole, the next version of Windows has to appeal to all markets. Even, I suspect,  first-time users.

The Windows Developer Preview is a hefty download, and chunky once it is installed. But I suspect some are still expecting to be beaten about as if they are still running Vista. The memories are difficult to shift.

We all but automatically see a huge download or a vast space taken up by Windows just from the installation process, and presume that it will be clunky, sluggish and wear down over time.

I can't speak for the latter just yet. But even on a slower machine like a netbook, it functions well enough and gets the point across, though still using up vast memory resources.

At this stage, however, it does not matter. We are only seeing a preview, and while it is unlikely that anything major will change in terms of aesthetic quality, performance will definitely increase and pack more in for your money.

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Topics: Operating Systems, Microsoft, Software, Windows

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9 comments
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  • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

    Zack, what does the first screen shot show? When do you "need" to go to "classic UI"? Can you spend all your time in Metro? Can you spend all your time in "classic UI"?

    In the demo the switching around in Metro seemed dizzying, is it that bad - or is this just because in the demo they flitted from program to program?

    Metro didn't look very intuitive - is it?
    Jeremy-UK
    • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

      @Jeremy-UK
      Can you spend all your time in Metro? Can you spend all your time in "classic UI"? The answer is no and no. Even if it is a preview it is the worst os I have used. I would use vista over this. I hate when you are in metro and it makes you back to the classic UI. If you are in settings it does not give you the full list and at the bottom it says more. When you click more it will take you to a windows 7 screen for control panel. I could go on and on. I don't even want in on the beta of this one. I will never use it.
      imsimsj
      • The answer is <i>not <b>yet</b></i>!

        @imsimsj <br>No you cannot spend all your time in Metro, yet! This is a preview and to be sure it punts to the classic desktop on a number of occasions.<br><br>However, expect that to be ironed out over the next -1 year. The foundations are in place and they seem pretty solid. I believe the goal is that Metro will *never* punt to classic desktop, but *you* will be able to switch to classic desktop.<br><br>The stuff that MS does with "charms" and contracts (search, share, devices and settings) is pretty deep is incredibly powerful. With a twitter app or afacebook app installed, they can advertise their ability to "share" images, videos, powerpoints, etc. <br><br>When you select objects in your application and hit "share", the apps which can share those objects appear for you to choose. If you choose "Flickr" you can directly publish images from *any* application without the applications even knowing about Flickr.<br><br>This is cool, innovative stuff.
        honeymonster
      • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

        @imsimsj
        You are forgetting one thing, this is developer's preview and if you are not intending to write something for Win8 using Metro, then you don't have anything to say, because this preview is for developers' feedback. Thanks for playing.
        Ram U
      • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

        @honeymonster The answer is no and will stay no! You better go talk to the people at microsft and tell them they are wrong. The tablets will stay in metro the pc will not.
        imsimsj
    • It is intuitive

      @Jeremy-UK

      I'm at the BUILD and I have received the Samsung tablet with the Win8 previre on.

      The task switching in Win8 is really intuitive. You immediately realize that you have a "deck" of apps and you just flip then into the screen from the left (with your thumb, typically, while holding the tablet in a firm grip).

      The "flip" process is controlled entirely by your finger. You can stop midway through and drag it back out again. If you hesitate Win8 responds by allocating a "side-by-side" slot on the screen for the app (you can have two apps on the screen at the same time). You can then just release it into the slot, drag it out again or proceed a little further to replace the current app entirely. It really feel intuitive.
      honeymonster
    • How is your Metro coding going so far?

      @Jeremy-UK
      How many Metro apps have you written? How many do you plan on writing?

      I only ask because I assume that you are intelligent enough to realize that this is a developer preview so that developers can start writing Metro apps for Windows 8. You are intelligent enough to realize that, right?
      toddybottom
  • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

    The version is for developers and not for people wearing nappies( from a tech perspective). In the final version, If you are using metro, classical view will not showup anywhere.
    owlnet
    • RE: How does the Windows 8 'out of box' experience fair up? (gallery)

      @owlnet
      This is just simply not true, running counter to statements already made by Microsoft.
      .DeusExMachina.