Windows Developer Preview (Win8 demo) - Did you try it?

Sarge

Active Member
#1
Hello to all, have anyone tried the developer preview of next version of windows yet?

I did, I'm on it right now, and I am surprised how come it's so stable even at this stage. I mean, sure, they had to make it a bit stable to give it to people, but this is insane, I haven't had a single problem yet. At least that's my experience.

Loving the new features, usage of RAM is even better than than Windows 7, it now kinda works like on mobile OS', when you close down an app, it doesn't shut it down, it keeps it in the RAM as long as there is room for it. Metro style UI is going to be really good for touch enabled devices, but its not bad at all even for everyday usage on all other types of computers. New start menu is better, but I'm not sure does it have something to do with me liking things that are new and fresh or it is really that good. I like the feeling that finally I can have clean desktop (without 97 shortcuts on it); now they are available just a click away with no mess all over the place (desktop).

Maintenance of the system is way better than in windows 7, it's more, again, like mobile device type. There's a Refresh System and Reset System, for bringing Windows to its factory settings without losing your files and complete system reset. All that without the need to reinstall whole system.

In everyday use my Windows Developer Preview was completely stable but what kind of tech geek would I bee if I didn't try to bring it down and crash it. Thanks to multiple hard resets during the short boot time (about 8 seconds!) I did manage to stop it from working correctly. Windows tried and succeeded in fixing the problems I made, but after I did it again and again, it no longer wanted to fix itself without a proper System Repair from installation disc. I let it try fixing itself whole night, the HDD was busy all the time but it just couldn't do it.

Viruses and other danger little animals who crawl the internet swamp mainly wasn't the problem. I had no such problems. It looks like Windows Defender now works like Microsoft Security Essentials and does the job decently for average user. Windows Action Center does not recommend you to install additional antivirus/internet security software so I'm guessing they did the job even they are happy with this time.

System takes less of RAM than Windows 7. It's faster than Windows 7 on a netboot - where speed matters because the processors aren't exactly built to deliver maximum speed (Intel Atom, AMD C-50 and such). It will also be possible to get Windows running under ARM processors, so they had to make sure it's not that intended to torture processor core(s) to the death.

One thing: I don't think I'm going back to Windows 7, I will probably just using this build and next ones that come until I have problems with it. So far, I am happy.

I'm Sarge, and you just heard the news. This article was sponsored by me and can be used only for information-purposes :tongueout: Also copyright and stuff like that nobody cares about... or in other words: God bless America. :smile: [joke]

So, did you try Windows Developer Preview and how did you like it?
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#2
All the mods have had it installed since day 1 (It's replaced Ubuntu on my PC as the 4th OS).
So far the score is 1-3
Mak loves it, the rest of us hate the metro screen for a desktop and have taken steps to hack it back to a seven-like experience.
I want all my shortcuts available on the desktop and accessible even when 3 or 4 windows are already open. I don't like the enforced full-screen experience. I'm not a mobile-device user and I don't want the GUI designed for such on my desktop monitor.
So far it's been stable, but switching back and forth between 7 and 8 does seem to throw a lot of chkdsk auto checks at boot, so something about its disk handling seems a bit iffy.
I tried viewing a W7 MC TV recording on W8 and it was sound only, so there are a few backward compatibility problems.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#3
I haven't given Windows 8 a go, but have been following its progress. Its about time MS put some cloud connectivity+sync of settings into Windows. Only problem is its still a year away from release and they're playing catch up with Apple who well be launching iCloud soon.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#4
Sorry Jus ! my "all" was rather remiss.
I overlooked that you hadn't contributed in the mod thread on W8.
The "boot redesign" link that Mak gave has a comments section which degenerated into a pro v anti metro argument, much like the one in our own thread, with a number of voices expressing the same concern as me about the appropriateness of having a phone GUI as the entry point to a desktop environment.
Let's hope the RTM has an intelligent detection of the environment, or at the very least, a simple option switch.
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#5
I personally like it. I have found several programs that give issues with the DP at this point. But nothing that a quick reboot into Win7 wont fix. Some burning programs dont work that well. created at least 3 coasters cause of it. But no big deal. All part of trying to use a DP as a main OS.

It has sparked such an interest in me that I have turned my Android phone into a WP7 clone and am looking into getting a full blown WP7 device that I can update to Mango to see how Win8 operates with it.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#6
It has sparked such an interest in me that I have turned my Android phone into a WP7 clone and am looking into getting a full blown WP7 device that I can update to Mango to see how Win8 operates with it.
I also personally like it and, in my opinion, W8 is a good step forward for Microsoft.
Phone OS and Desktop OS will become the same thing, its just a matter of time, in my opinion at least.

Mak, I like connecting the phone and TV via HDMI and playing games or surfing the web on the TV, a phone replaces so many devices these days, no? :smile:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#7
"Phone OS and Desktop OS will become the same thing"
That's the whole point Sarge, the devices are not the same thing.
One has 6 sq" and the other has 200. a GUI designed for one just isn't right for the other.
There's no reason not to converge the OS code, but it should interface with each device in an appropriate manner.
One size does not fit all, in clothes or in GUIs.

 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#8
I agree with Terry. I'm rather underwhelmed by it at the moment, but to be fair it is early days yet.

When all is said and done, right now it is Windows 7 re-labelled.....under the hood once you are past that Metro screen.

I'm one of those wierdos who thinks Vista is the best thing since sliced bread and to me 7 is a watered down version of it, 8 being no different.
 
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Sarge

Active Member
#9
When all is said and done, right now it is Windows 7 re-labelled.....under the hood once you are past that Metro screen.

I'm one of those wierdos who thinks Vista is the best thing since sliced bread and to me 7 is a watered down version of it, 8 being no different.
In my experience, Windows Developer Preview is the most optimized Windows OS yet. I read about it often on Softpedia where, a few days ago, I saw they managed to run Win8 on 128MB of RAM (in virtual machine).

Mr. Peter, I thought of a question for you, outside of context: How does the real Windows revolution look like, or, how Windows 8 should look like and behave in your opinion? :smile:

And anyone else is welcome in answering this question, I'm curious about your answer(s). :smile:
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#10
I'm not sure I can answer that question Sarge as I'm a traditionalist. All I want is a system that works, does all the things I want and looks good and Vista Ultimate fills all those requirements for me. I guess 8 is good if it can be installed on a pinhead but really I don't care.

Now if someone would make a computer that never needs the use of a keyboard or touch screen ever, I'd go for that innovation. In other words - one like you see in the Star Trek movies.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#11
Yeah, a device that would let people type using their mind would be awesome. Something like this: A Device That Lets You Type With Your Mind

While instead of a mouse, touchpad or touchscreen, I would rather use pointing fingers trough the air, like xbox kinnect can recognize the movement. Moving windows, maximizing, minimizing, scrolling etc, with minor movement of fingers would be much better.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#12
Yes, that's the idea :wink:
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#13
We've all seen CSI and similar where people wave their arms in front of glass screens and move pictures around. (all available in W7 with the right hardware) and I can see a theoretical point to it in a conference, multi-user environment.
However I can see absolutely no point for a home PC.
Just sit at your monitor and use your imagination, reach out your arms and wave them around making gestures in front of the glass, and look at all the movement and effort you expend.
Then repeat the exercise with your mouse and see how much more efficient it is.
In my case, my wrist is on a gel pad, my thumb and pinky grip the mouse and movements of less than an inch in any direction cover the whole screen real-estate in a fraction of the time that arm-waving achieves and with virtually no effort.
My maxthon mouse-gestures cause little more than a twitch of the little finger, and I'm skipping around between tabs, and pages within tabs, and all so effortlessly.
The point of new technology, if it has any, is to improve on what went before.
If it makes it slower and harder, it's worse than pointless.
Doesn't matter how pretty you think metro is, nothing it does is faster or easier than you can do on the desktop with a twitch of your multi-button mouse, quite the opposite. Everything needs more interaction to achieve the same result as the earlier tech.
The only point I can see for an arm-wavy UI is to help reduce the western world obesity epidemic by giving the end-user a physical work-out at his PC.
 

Sarge

Active Member
#14
Terry is right. It's true... It's going to be difficult to say "keyboard and mouse are past" for a while. I tried controlling the whole PC via voice commands in Windows 7, while the system works, and you can't say they didn't do a good job, still, it can't be faster than mouse and keyboard, no matter how hard you tried.
I don't like the idea of waving my arms around, maybe fingers at the most.
 

JustinW

Super Moderator
Staff member
#15
I like the mind control concept, but our mobile devices overtaking PCs all together is something I could see more realistically becoming reality before we get to that point. Mobile is nice, but too simple though. Compensating though, I would like to see a phone transform to a fully usable desktop OS when hooked up to a big screen (ie You've got the mobile version of Windows and the desktop version of Windows on your phone, and it adapts depending on the display(s) available to it). This would eliminate the need for laptops.
 
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Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#16
Let me propose something that is a few years off. What happens when touch based monitors are common? I mean if you think about how PC's have evolved over the years this is not something that is difficult to imagine. I mean CRT monitors seem like a thing of the past, but for what a decade they were the main output source for all PC's. Then came LCD monitors. Most people didnt adopt them right away and as such OS's like XP had issues with those early adopters which lead to the invention of ClearType. Allowing text to be read better on LCD screens.

Now we have LED as well as a few touch monitors. But how long before a touch monitor becomes common place in the home? 3 years? 5 years? So if Microsoft were to sit back and let these devices not be utilized what would be said? It would be the ClearType issue all over again where people are not able to use their newly purchased toy as expected. Dont get me wrong, there are touch monitors out there now. But using XP, Vista and Win7 they are not utilized as best as they can. Having to pinpoint the start button on the screen and make sure you hit that instead of one of our pinned icons can be tricky. I can tell you from personal experience using demo touch monitors. I cant tell you how many times I missed the mark cause the calibration was off on the monitor so where I thought I was touching was not where I truly was touching.

So really Microsoft is preparing for the future. How long after touch monitors become common will you see *NIX and OS X both adopt the same type of interface? Something that Microsoft is already preparing for but the others are neglecting. So for all of us that are sitting here now saying that having an interface that is touch based is ill conceived are actually denying the fact that with the advancements made to touch technology are only going to be for mobile devices. How long before we see a touch screen HDTV? Where a person can touch their TV to bring up their Netflix, Hulu, Pay per view, TV Station or other items they wish to view.

IMHO Microsoft is doing the right thing here. They are preparing for a future where touch devices are common and making it easier for manufacturers and developers to use this new technology to the best of its ability. To sit back and say that they are only doing this for the mobile device is going against everything we know about how technology advances.

I will not deny that as of right now, the attempt seems a bit premature. But the truth is the sooner people can get onto this interface and get used to how it operates, will only make the transition much easier when the time comes for touch devices to make it into homes everywhere. How much harder would it be to try and migrate from a mouse pointer to a touch device if such steps werent taken? If a person, such as myself, use the smallest icons available to get the most out of their screen, how much harder would it be for us to hit the right icon every time?

So I can see where everyone is coming from, to a certain degree. But at the same time I see more potential coming from the change other than what it represents right now.
 

Terry60

Knows where his towel is.
Staff member
#17
No argument about MS covering all bases Alex, and touch-screen tech is perfect for a mobile device and for a domestic TV where you don't want to plug in a keyboard or fiddle with a remote control for complex interactions (though that begs the question, how many people interact with their TV directly anyway ? Do you know anyone that gets up to change the channel ? but that's another issue)
The concern is that they don't force an inappropriate interface into all environments. My desktop, my shortcuts, my favourites, my browsers, my mouse gestures, my choice of gadgets are a tour de force of honed perfection to my way of working.
I will happily adopt any new technology or technique that improves things for me (my 5 button mouse and 3 stacked mouse drivers for example that allow me to customize my mouse action in ways the OS doesn't allow), and if the touch screen tech ever allows me to improve any aspect of what I do, I'll willingly adopt it when funds allow.
At the moment though, I can't see any aspect of touchtech or the Metro UI that does anything but slow me down and make everything less efficient on a home PC.
 

Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#18
Then we open the 'fingermarks on the screen' can of worms. Screens can be as 'oleophobic' as the manufacturers can make them but they still end up looking like someone ate a burger and fries on them after a while. That's why I've sacrificed most gestures on my iPad and am now using a stylus. Of course we are told that we can't use this and that to clean them, which adds to the equation.

I was looking at the state of a friend's iPhone the other day and it dawned on me that it was a health hazard...!

In my next life I hope we've progressed beyond all that and just speak to machines as if they were people and get the right answer, hopefully. :wink:
 

Mak 2.0

Mod...WAFFLES!?!?
Staff member
#19
No argument about MS covering all bases Alex, and touch-screen tech is perfect for a mobile device and for a domestic TV where you don't want to plug in a keyboard or fiddle with a remote control for complex interactions (though that begs the question, how many people interact with their TV directly anyway ? Do you know anyone that gets up to change the channel ? but that's another issue)
The concern is that they don't force an inappropriate interface into all environments. My desktop, my shortcuts, my favourites, my browsers, my mouse gestures, my choice of gadgets are a tour de force of honed perfection to my way of working.
I will happily adopt any new technology or technique that improves things for me (my 5 button mouse and 3 stacked mouse drivers for example that allow me to customize my mouse action in ways the OS doesn't allow), and if the touch screen tech ever allows me to improve any aspect of what I do, I'll willingly adopt it when funds allow.
At the moment though, I can't see any aspect of touchtech or the Metro UI that does anything but slow me down and make everything less efficient on a home PC.
I actually still interact with my TV. All the time. I dont use my remotes to control my set. So Yeah I can tell you the last time someone did that, cause it was me no less than an hour ago.

But the main point here is exactly what you said. Your mouse, your drivers, your desktop. Microsoft is not designing this for you. They are designing it for the billions of people who use it world wide. So because 1 person finds it less efficient they should stop? Is Win8 the best for what I do? By no means. But I worked with it to find a way to make it work better for me instead of expecting the company to drop the advancements for me. Just the same way I worked with Win7 to find a way to make it work for me as well as Vista and XP before that and Win98 before that. That is the whole fun of the PC experience. Adopting to the changes instead of bitching about them and expecting the world to change to what I want.

It sounds like you gave up long before you even tried. Not to mention Microsoft themselves said in their Building Windows 8 Blogs that they are changing many aspects but they were not in the Preview. They are changing the grouping and so much more. It isnt even in Beta yet and already you have dismissed the OS before you give it a shot. Did you do the same thing when you say Vista? Since you had XP up and running the way you wanted did you up and dismiss Vista before it was even released? How long after Vista's release before you finally adopted it? That is the question.

I was running Vista solely on my PC before it even went final. Even against Microsoft's wishes. Cant adopt to the technology if you refuse to work with it.
Then we open the 'fingermarks on the screen' can of worms. Screens can be as 'oleophobic' as the manufacturers can make them but they still end up looking like someone ate a burger and fries on them after a while. That's why I've sacrificed most gestures on my iPad and am now using a stylus. Of course we are told that we can't use this and that to clean them, which adds to the equation.

I was looking at the state of a friend's iPhone the other day and it dawned on me that it was a health hazard...!

In my next life I hope we've progressed beyond all that and just speak to machines as if they were people and get the right answer, hopefully. :wink:
Screen protectors. I have them on every device in my house. All 3 of my phones, both my Tablets and everything else that gets touched like my Nintendo DS. They are quick to install, clean in seconds and it doesnt matter if you scratch them cause you can still have a flawless screen underneath. I get them online in 5 packs for every device for about $3. So having fingerprints on the screen is nothing. I just take a paper towel and wipe it clean. No need for a stylus.
 
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Ex_Brit

If you're going through hell, keep going.
Staff member
#20
Why is the thread closed?

I've tried screen protectors - little improvement, look and feel weird especially after a bit of wear and tear, and they do scratch, despite what Zagg or whomever 'guarantees'.