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Windows 8 First Impressions and What is ‘With Apps’?

I am downloading Windows 8 Consumer Preview right now and will be installing it much later today so I was looking for details on options and features.  What I found were two items:

  1. If you have a TechNet subscription you can get the “Windows 8 Consumer Preview WITH APPS” version.  And there must be a pile of apps because the public Windows 8 ISO is 2GB in size but the TechNet WITH APPS version is 3.3GB.
  2. I found some interesting reviews from people with a version that was provided to a select group last week.  Below are some of the comments I thought were useful:

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“…This is definitely not the flaky, feature-light version of Windows 8 released for developers last year. It’s dramatically smoother and more responsive… …Everything is big, bright, smooth, and beautiful. I confined myself to a bluetooth keyboard and mouse for awhile, and the experience is definitely diminished. …It’s usually a good feeling, because when I figure out how Windows 8 does something differently (like display all installed programs), I’m usually impressed by its speed and elegance. Let me say that again: I’m impressed by the speed and elegance of a Microsoft interface. Really!

…Unfortunately, I think it’s going to get rough welcome. People often don’t like change at first. Just look at the way every little tweak to the Facebook interface is received. It takes a little time, and a little trial and error, to discover where everything is, how it works, and how to get around. Then it takes a little more poking around to get really fast at it. …The good news is: there’s a payoff for sticking with it. It doesn’t take long, and before you know it you’re using new shortcuts and flying around the OS like an old pro.”

______________

“… the device melts away, and you’re left with a canvas that responds to your interactions. Gestures make sense, whatever your input preference: I slid effortlessly between dragging my finger across the screen, clicking around with the mouse, and tapping at the keyboard, depending on whatever made sense at the moment. This versatility is going to be key for users trying to make sense of the bold new interface.

…It looks like Windows 8 is certainly going to take some getting used to. But underneath that daunting new interface are a wealth of smart decisions that go a long way towards dragging the behemoth that is Windows into the future. Perhaps most promising is the stuff we haven’t looke at yet: the apps, and the way multiple Windows 8 PCs and tablets sync together. What we see here has us excited, but it doesn’t have the level of polish that makes us think it’s just aobut ready to go. Judging by the quality here, it looks likely to release this fall, though Microsoft has made no official announcement.”

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“…The new user interface is extremely polished — and modern. Suddenly Apple’s OS X is outdated. Metro looks even better now than in any previous Microsoft demo or screenshot. To make the point — from visual and user experience perspectives — Windows 8 includes a plethora of homegrown apps. These include:

  • Bing Maps
  • Bing Weather
  • Calendar
  • Mail
  • Messaging
  • Music
  • People
  • SkyDrive

The new apps extend the “glance-and-go” approach Microsoft uses for Windows Phone and similar delivery mechanism — tile-like user interface. Related: Settings roam with users across devices when signed in with their Microsoft account ID. So these new apps are live, connected via Microsoft cloud services.

“I can start a project on one Windows 8 PC and finish it on another”, Microsoft’s Kent Walter explains. Settings and themes also roam via the cloud. “If you share your Windows 8 PC, anyone else can have their own personalized, cloud-connected experience by signing in with their Microsoft account”….

 

Read the full reviews at:
www.pcworld.com/article/250887/windows_8_consumer_preview_initial_impressions.html
betanews.com/2012/02/29/microsoft-releases-windows-8-consumer-preview/

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