Windows has been a part of our lives since any of us will ever care to remember. In our constant longing for innovation and simplicity in the new Operating Systems that are coming up, Microsoft has been working on Windows 8 for some time now. They had recently given out the Consumer Preview for free, and just to see the whole buzz around Windows’ promise of ubiquity; I installed it on my computer. If you want to get your own Consumer Preview, visit the official site. But I would like to warn you to not replace it for your primary OS: it is still quite glitchy and you should have the option of switching back if you do not like the look and feel of it. For installing two Operating Systems at the same time i.e. Multiboot, do check out the “how to” on the same. (http://techwikasta.com/2012/07/multiboot-and-hard-disk-partitioning/)
My computer goes where I go!
No longer do u need to log in to your computer having a computer specific account, but rather you can log in to computer account using your mail and password. This will surely provide the pervasiveness needed in accessing your devices. Basically, your computer is now linked to your mail account which in turn is linked to your life!
Live tiles on my desktop?
Coming back to the new Operating System, I was extremely ecstatic about the live tiles feature. Like we’ve seen in the Windows phone 7.5 OS, the live tiles were an absolute hit with the users, and the user interface was by far much more innovative than most other UIs. The windows team has tried to replicate their success with the live tiles on the Desktop Version, but the question always was, how well would this interface work with a keyboard and mouse? It really needs some getting used to. I didn’t really see the absolute beauty of the metro UI when I had to scroll around with my mouse. Nevertheless, it is a very fluid interface to work with.
Where is my start button?
The start button is gone, so there’s another negative you should look out for before you think about upgrading. Instead there is a start screen with the live tiles and the start screen has various facets which show the general functionality of the whole interface. The start search bar is something that you will really miss because with this start screen, it does seem a longer process to get to the search bar for your computer.
Native Applications as Live tiles
Live tiles will pretty much cover all the basic applications such as mail, chat, weather, music, etc. and have built in applications with a similar interface to give you the feel of seamless integration you may have always desired. Although the apps are in the testing phase, they do work like a charm. Additionally, every app that you download will add itself as a live tile to the interface for further use.
Switching is so inconvenient!
If the start screen doesn’t really suit you, you would have to keep switching to the desktop version i.e. a Windows 7 minus the start button. This is something very painful because you may have to keep switching back and forth when performing certain tasks and hence probably not the most convenient thing.
Your old applications will work too, and with new improved ones in the same OS. You can even use them at the same time and with side by side windows for each. The Snap feature in the interface gives you so much more flexibility in multiple operations like watching a video and chatting with your friend at the same time. And even your windows are interchangeable and can be moved anywhere on your screen.
Corners with a purpose
Explore the corners to see features like never before. The left upper corner will show you all the running tasks you might want to access. The Left lower will re-direct you to the start screen. But the right side corners will show the basic functions you require, like search, power options, devices etc. It’s really got an amazing touch to the everyday features you would want to access.
That pretty much covers the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, and Windows have really been innovative in their approach and implementation of the Metro UI. It’s new and cool, but it shouldn’t have its beauty fade away with some really basic problems that Windows will probably address in the release and final versions. It is quite an adventurous move but I think in the long run, it might just pay off.