Webcast: What we know (and what we don't know) about Microsoft Windows 8

Webcast: What we know (and what we don't know) about Microsoft Windows 8

Summary: Microsoft's latest operating system is already generating controversy between those who like it and those who don't. Find out what you need to know during this recorded webcast with ZDNet Microsoft tracker Mary-Jo Foley.


There has been a great deal of debate on ZDNet over the past several weeks regarding the impending release of Microsoft's latest operating system, Windows 8.

In one corner stand those who believe it's an essential upgrade that will empower businesses to do even more in an age of increased collaboration and hyper-mobility.

In the other corner, those who believe that Windows 8 is a waste of time and money that hasn't shown any promise as a must-have upgrade, especially for business.

Until now, however, many of those opinions have been mostly based on limited knowledge of the OS, which is still in the later stages of development.

ZDNet's Mary-Jo Foley

On February 29, with the release of the so-called Consumer Preview, we're finally able to see what Windows 8 has to offer and who better to provide the highlights then ZDNet Microsoft tracker Mary-Jo Foley?

Check out this on-demand recording of the video webcast about what we know (and what we don't know) about Windows 8. Registration is free!

Topics: Software, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

Josh Gingold

About Josh Gingold

Josh Gingold is the Managing Editor of Business and Technology Research Libraries for CBS Interactive with primary responsibility for the presentation of key research and commentary through a combination of blogs, white papers, and Webcasts.

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  • Is there an "offline mode"

    Or is Windows 8 required to be in constant contact with the mothership? If online connections are required, then it would be a non-starter for many businesses.
    Jumpin Jack Flash
    • 'Offline Mode'

      I hope so. So far, I haven't been able to find one. I can't even get the machine to authenticate with the domain, unless I give the computer a straight thru connection to the Internet.

      There is no way that is gonna work for our business.
      • wow

        I hope you guys are not in IT. If you are then you should immediately tell your bosses you are unqualified to evaluate a new OS.
    • Signing in...

      Yeah I noticed that too. Ed Bott even mentioned that it would be nice to have some separation between one's own crap (pictures, music, video) and crap MS is trying to sell to me from the store.

      Other than that, I think Windows 8 is GREAT, really smooth interface for touch. Ok with the mouse it drives me nuts, but I don't mind to move to a nice tablet, I'm sure my employer will buy me one when moving to Win 8.

      I also like how easy it is to get down to the Desktop where everything is pretty much as it used to be. Though I don't like that the Start screen takes up the whole screen and isn't even transparent.

      Oh and I don't like any of the Metro apps. Wastes space like there's no tomorrow, and switching between them is a pain.

      So actually it was more painful overall than I expected. I was expecting the Start screen to just be a really big and fancy Start Menu, and Metro apps to be modern apps of the type you get on mobile devices. But it's just all, I don't know, too much in my face.
      Han CNX
  • Oh... get ready....

    About a million Mac and Linux fanboys are going to rush to the forums to post what a disaster Windows 8 is.

    in 3.... 2.... 1....

    (Ironically, these are people who wouldn't use it if it made life 1000x easier, or God himself endorsed it)
    • Points missed

      You're completely missing the point - well, several points actually. We Mac people prefer a secure, stable OS that doesn't control our lives. We also prefer not to suffer the side effects of having infected computers in our ecosystem.

      As for the possibility of anything from Redmond making "life 1000x easier", we all know that couldn't happen, in the same way we know it won't save us time or give us peace of mind. So that point is 1000% moot.

      And since there are no gods - other than in the fantasies of deluded people with low self esteem, suffering varying levels of obsessive compulsive behaviour and other issues...

      But the final point missed here is that Windows 8 is not NEEDED by Windows users - as many Windows experts have pointed out. It adds nothing to the mix. But Microsoft DO need Windows 8, as does the Windows PC market - which is languishing in a real terms negative growth slump right now, and has been for years. Ergo: Windows 8 is designed to create a revenue stream by stimulating PC sales, and please Microsoft investors who need to see something more than a flatlining stock price and a quarterly dividend.

      So, you see, we Mac users tend to think before we post, avoid simplistic partisan behaviour, look further than our beautifully designed screens, and bring intelligent arguments to the debate. This is not the product of our choice of computer. Rather, our choice of computer is the product of who we are: People with a nuanced picture of the world, who think for ourselves - instead of following the herd and throwing mindless insults.
      Graham Ellison
      • Points Missed

        My word, could you be any more full of yourself? First, you speak for "all Mac people"??? Second, you state that "Mac people" prefer a secure, stable OS that doesn't control your lives. Not that Windows 7 does that, but Mac users are shackled by hardware handcuffs, only being allowed to buy from a limited, expensive subset of hardware approved by the Apple mothership. At least Windows and Linux users have the luxury of building cost-effective systems themselves, balancing speed with affordability to build systems uniquely suited for the purpose.

        Seriously, I'd respond to the rest of your post, but I lost interest after the first paragraph...
      • What a complete load of Elitist Apple B.S. "Nuanced". Get over yourself.

        Computers are tools. Doesn't matter whether they're running Linux, MS, or OS X - use 'em however you see fit.
      • Your time is coming

        The base of Mac computers is getting a bit larger and there is money to be made now writing malware for Mac. You people think your OS is inherently immune to virus and malware attacks and you could not be further from the truth. The only and I stress only reason you have not had to deal with what you call "suffering the side effects of having infected computers in our ecosystem" is that it has not been worth the time for the bad guys to attack your Macs. You have already seen a couple of bad infections, that Apple denied for weeks, then finally admitted, and fixed. One piece of malware you got protection for. There are more to come, a lot more. You guys are going to have to ditch your naive attitudes and protect your networks and your computers just like the Windows base. It is coming.
      • Apple Stinks

        I hate the new Windows 8 3.1 looking interface but Apple is way too controlling! The I-Phone is a NIGHTMARE: you can't add memory or have a backup battery! Apple has an elitist attitude that I can't stomach! I wouldn't use an apple product if you gave it to me.

        As to "no God"...I PITY YOU
      • It's not only the lack of market share ....

        It's also that Macs are consumer level machines with very little of importance being done on them.

        I'm at a university with numerous Mac users who keep trying to get me to buy a Mac, I ask why, They say its the best for music and videos and ... entertainment.

        Please excuse me, I have work to do.
    • really?

      So that was what you considered a well thought out post, void of partisanship?

      Do you have a clue about what the term "need" means? Nothing in this technological life is filling a "NEED." It's a want, or desire to better our technological experience. A drive forward. Perhaps you need to stuff your MAC back in your hole and go pick up the operating system it came from (BEOS). There was no real "NEED" for the upgrade, anyhow.

      "And since there are no gods - other than in the fantasies of deluded people with low self esteem, suffering varying levels of obsessive compulsive behaviour and other issues..."

      My, how we think so highly of ourselves, but is any less expected from a Mac fanatic?

      See, the difference between a Mac and a PC when it comes to upgrades, is that when you call ours unnecessary for the operating system, you don't know what the hell you're talking about, but when we call yours unnecessary, we are actually spot on.

      Tell me, oh great and wise individual: What exactly do you gain with every upgrade? A few more whoopity forking doo transitions? Maybe some more eye candy and a promise that Apple will own your non-existent soul for the next decade as you spend your life writing pew posts on Microsoft related articles, of which you have so little knowledge, you might as well be writing in response to astrophysics as a burger flipper?? Maybe it's the promise that even when they do get flooded by viruses (e.g. the last one), Apple will lie to you and tell you it's all in your head to protect their image until the media forces them to come clean (true story)? And you say you step outside the herd? You are the mindless herd.

      What do we get? A new DirectX version that changes the entire realm of 3D and it's capabilities? New security updates to further protect the average user from themselves? A re-envisioned platform for gaming and productivity, as well as serving the needs of the entertainment sector? Perhaps an operating system that further simplifies I.T. management? One that includes virtualization, and is capable of running every piece of software from every aspect of home use?
    • Fools

      Those fools who ignore LoseDoze 8 will lose out on all of the INNOVATION and INTELLECTUAL property that gives the power to the users. What other O/S can install the internet and browse the web and point and click and cut and paste and multitask? Ios? Linux? Hardly - come talk to me when either of these stone-age O/S can anything required of a modern computer.
      • I'll come talk to you when...

        I get interested in playing DOS based games in Wine, running a free office that has 60% compatibility with what everyone's running, and has an interface akin to Windows NT.

        Until then, I'll move forward...

        (don't hold your breath)
  • pfffttt

    let's see if this can be as much of a 'non-event' as the last two OS's :-)
    • Uh?

      Windows 7 is rather popular..

      In less than 2 weeks after its launch, Windows 7 overtook OS X for number of users on the web. It overtook Windows XP's usage in 20011. You know, 2 years after it overtook Mac? Linux isn't even on the radar. If you look in the super populated parts of the world (Asia), Windows is even more widely used.

      Next time, try that "thinking" before you post. I'd appreciate it.
      • Linux not on radar?

        I thought there were 300 million android devices out there, all running the Linux kernel. Are you sure Linux isn't even on the radar? Check out ubuntu.com they've got a thing where you can get a full Linux desktop on your monitor/keyboard that runs off your android phone.
      • @robwilkens - Desktop

        He is talking about Desktop OS's ... stick to the topic here.
      • @ItsTheBottomLine

        I heard some toasters run Linux, and some Hello Kitty speak-and-spells.
      • I heard some toasters run Linux, and some Hello Kitty speak-and-spells

        That must be the voices inside your head.