Windows 8 from every angle: A guided tour of the Release Preview

Windows 8 from every angle: A guided tour of the Release Preview

Summary: What can you expect from the Windows 8 Release Preview? The real surprises aren't on the desktop but in the new Metro style apps.

TOPICS: Windows

 |  Image 3 of 31

  • Thumbnail 1
  • Thumbnail 2
  • Thumbnail 3
  • Thumbnail 4
  • Thumbnail 5
  • Thumbnail 6
  • Thumbnail 7
  • Thumbnail 8
  • Thumbnail 9
  • Thumbnail 10
  • Thumbnail 11
  • Thumbnail 12
  • Thumbnail 13
  • Thumbnail 14
  • Thumbnail 15
  • Thumbnail 16
  • Thumbnail 17
  • Thumbnail 18
  • Thumbnail 19
  • Thumbnail 20
  • Thumbnail 21
  • Thumbnail 22
  • Thumbnail 23
  • Thumbnail 24
  • Thumbnail 25
  • Thumbnail 26
  • Thumbnail 27
  • Thumbnail 28
  • Thumbnail 29
  • Thumbnail 30
  • Thumbnail 31
  • In the Consumer Preview, big blocks of primary colors overwhelmed the default Start screen. In the Release Preview, connecting to a Microsoft (nee Windows Live) account quickly populates those tiles with up-to-date information.

  • You'll find a slew of cosmetic changes in the Release Preview code, including an expanded selection of colors for the Start screen and this new default Lock screen image.

  • What makes Windows 8 different from an iPad? For starters, it can display two apps at the same time. Most of the new Metro style apps in the Release preview support a snapped view, like the one used by the Music app on the right side of this screen.

Topic: Windows

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Windows 8 from every angle: A guided tour of the Release Preview

    I can't seem to get past the ugly UI! I guess I'll be skipping win 8! As Bill the Cat would say, "ACK!"
    I really think Microsoft screwed up on this one. Wow that's really ugly!
    • MORE Cutting-Edge than MicroSoft...

      If the new Windows 8 finds you disappointed, and you need a new cutting-edge OS that's solid, reliable, secure and has a proven history, then consider the new edition of Fedora; Linux Fedora 17. As always, it's a FREE download. Get it at
    • Amen! Metro is really Nasty Ugly

      It is absolutely hideous and whoever approved the whole Metro idea should be fired.
    • Why skip?

      I don't understand you people, this is the best version of windows to ever come along. It will be great on pc and tablet. You guys need to get a life.
  • Impressive progress!

    Thanks Ed Bott for the detailed review first up! We have come to expect that from you by now :)
    I am mighty impressed with what I see and it is going to get better as the army of Microsoft technology developers start building those apps. competition is always better.
  • Not much to it, is there.

    Looks like an electronic magazine with a few PIM apps. Great. Can someone tell me what I'm supposed to do with it? I do everything in the slide show now using just a few web sites and a browser, why would I need a new OS to duplicate what I do in a window under XP?
  • where I work

    The IT guidelines would effectively prohibit using anything but the calendar and maps apps. Maybe the news app, but tracking sports?

    Nice that calendar pulls in from other sources, but so do most calendar programs these days.

    Maybe Windows 8 will be a great home PC version, but its usefulness in the workplace is debatable. People at work at least appear to work, and that means displaying if not using programs, not looking at the start screen. In that sense, Metro as dashboard has little value.
  • Where's MS Office, or anything a real business user would need?

    Screenshots of a bunch of candy ass apps browsing photos, music, and sports scores. Useless. Show me how I'm going to access my basic MS Office apps on this new OS. Show me how I'm going to navigate files and folders. Show me how my employees' productivity is going to be improved without a Start button or a normal looking file explorer. I have over 100 applications installed on my PC. Am I going to have to page through a bunch of infantile "tiles" to launch my programs?
    • No big changes in desktop

      Office and other Win32 apps work just like they did in Windows 7, except faster.
      Ed Bott
      • Office apps etc

        Somehow I don't think you answered his question...
        costa k
      • No big changes in desktop

        Hi Ed,

        That's just the point, I think. Why upgrade to a whole new paradigm just to get what you can already have in Win7? I've been playing with these releases myself and as a desktop [power] user I simply can't yet see why I would cough up any cash or spend any time reconfiguring a system just to get the Metro "dashboard" and the distraction it engenders.

        I suppose I can see the value of it on a tablet but I, like many others, already have a new iPad. As "slick" as some may think the new Metro scheme is, there just doesn't seem to be anything there that screams "BUY ME" as yet. There's no doubt that I would spend 95% of my time shoving Metro into the background so what's the point?

        I'm installing the RC (oops ... I mean Release Preview, sorry!) right now in a VM. Will play with it awhile. Unless something major jumps out at me I expect my view won't change much. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised but I won't hold my breath. As for "speed" my heavy-duty applications (like Visual Studio) load in just a few seconds on my system (a dual-core Pentium with 4GB of main) ... a second faster is going to justfy a system rebuild?


        Max Peck
    • This is a review of Windows 8 RP "out of the box"

      The idea of the gallery is to show what to expect with the Win 8 RP.
      • RP?

        More like RiP. Nothing to see here.
    • Get off your duff; do your own homework!

      Dude, it's your responsibility to try it out. No one is here to convince your butt that you should use this. Get up off your lazy ass and go find out if the apps you want to use work. You "priviledged" IT addicts kill me expecting people to do your job for you. If you don't like it so be it, but eventually someone is going to ask you to help them with it, and you don't sound like the type that can or will say, "I don't know". So go do your own homework. The teacher always said no cheating. Asking someone else to do your homework is cheating. Get with it or change classes. LOL

      Just my humble opinion; agreement not required!
      • Incorrect

        MSFT wants to make a sale. It is always the seller's responsibility to convince the buyer why its in their best interest to buy. They are failing miserably to date.
  • It is new and interesting

    Screenshots look nice. I'd like to try win8 to see how Metro works.
    I find it funny that so many people are whining. Most of all I do not get people whining about start button. Isn't one already available on the keyboard?
  • Death Wish

    Agree with rsmith187 but would add that even home users have work to do, if only their own. From what I can see at this point MS has a death wish - they apparently are willing to alienate the core of their customer base (those that use computers to do work) on the off chance of picking up the tablet crowd. It looks like MS will follow their past history - with every other release a dog - case in point - Vista, ME, and 98. With Metro a mandatory interface I will be skipping this version and recommend they all my friends do the same. Just hope MS survives long enough to put out Win 9 - Apple needs competition.
    • you're right, it's misguided fruit envy

      MS underneath it all, actually agrees with the Mac Fanbois, and every few years they try to be Apple. It's wierd. And everytime they do that, Vista ME & 98, it usually sucks...just like Apple!!!
      • Huh?

        98 was successful and definitely better than 95 (though I don't recall any big UI changes). Vista had issues at launch, but from a UI perspective, it was closer to XP than 7 (though 7's UI is better than both, IMO). For the most part, Vista SP2 and 7 were the same. The biggest UI change was the task bar.

        I haven't used this preview, so I can't say if it's good or bad (it doesn't look great, but that's certainly not a Mac trait), but your argument doesn't ring true.
  • What if I don't like Bing, etc?

    Why should I give up XP and Chrome? What can I possibility gain from this release? All of my non-cloud apps are right there where I can find them and Chrome takes care of the rest. Even Win7 didn't seem to justify the change but, I guess when they cut off support for XP, I'll have to go to either Win7 or maybe something free but so far I see no advantage to Win8 and Metro. Tiles? Really?