Apologies if there is a previous thread on the release preview. The search engine here does not like the number 8.
So yesterday I made a Ghost image of my current install and decided to go for it and try the release preview of Windows 8. I had tried the earlier consumer preview and found myself uninstalling it after a day. However, that was an upgrade I did from within Windows 7 and it didn’t come out quite right because of some Win7 customizations I’ve done. So this time I thought I would start fresh.
The install is pretty fast. I used a USB drive for the install so that definitely helped. There are long stretches of the install where nothing obvious is happening but at least it doesn’t sit like that for an hour. I found that usually just after I started wondering if the machine was stuck it would do something. The install process itself is pretty streamlined, with minimal hassle as to which options to choose. Having installed every flavor of Windows since 3.1 many many times over I’d have to say this is the best installer of them yet.
However, once the desktop is up things change. And not for the better.
First of all, the type on the screen is ugly. One would suppose Microsoft would have a better handle on this by now. But no… open up an app preview and instead of a nice clean font, I got this squishy smudged garbage. Is MS still using bitmapped fonts when everyone else is using vector or something that actually scales to different resolutions? I don’t know what the problem is but the type looks like ass.
The app previews are far less functional than the programs they replace. I tried running some video to see how it looked. Again, it looked like crap (just compared to the Win7 install that preceded it) and as an added bonus there were no controls! There’s a pause button and playlist buttons. There’s no stop button! If you exit the app, the movie is still playing in the background.
I also like to keep certain things separate. So for example, I don’t want an aggregated feed of Facebook pictures, library pictures, Flickr pictures and etc. Each of these things exists in its own space for a reason. Maybe I’d like to show my girlfriend some cute puppy pictures without porn popping in there at random. Or vice versa. In any case, the integration of everything with everything else is a pain in the ass.
The controls for the system are all over the place. To do some things you have to go to the classic control panel (which you “discover” by searching for it from the start screen). For other things, you need the Metro control panel (which you “discover” by swiping to the right of the screen). Other control panels exist within the individual applications.
I know Microsoft really wants a piece of that tablet market. It must piss them off to no end whatsoever that Apple is taking away their market share at $500 a pop and giving people a superior UI experience (and I say this as one who does not like Apple at all!). But this dog of an operating system isn’t going to solve anyone’s problem. Who out there is buying an Ipad, bringing it home and then bitching because it won’t run Windows apps? And guess what? Windows on ARM will give you the idea that it will run classic Windows apps but it won’t! Want to put a spare copy of Office 2010 on there? Too bad, it’s coded for x86 and Windows on ARM will have nothing to do with it! So the consumer has to go out and buy yet another copy of Office to replace the one they already have.
I’m calling it now. Windows 8 will be one of Microsoft’s biggest failures, far surpassing Vista (which objectively wasn’t that bad of an OS). I understand and appreciate that Microsoft has gone to great lengths to make things better in this OS but as far as I’m concerned this one is a swing and a miss.
Anyone else out there dropped this turd on their machines? Anyone actually like it?