My short experience with testing it
I kept hearing so much about the Windows 8 and the Developer Preview, so I decided to download and install it. It turned out that the file was just a wee bit to big to fit on a normal DVD so I finally broke down and bought a 20 pack of the 8.5 GB Dual Layer DVDs (that was the smallest pack available at the store).
Burning the Disk
Using Nero 9 Burning Rom and checking the settings from the burn tab; Determine maximum Speed, Write, Finalize Disc, Verify Written Data, and Buffer Underrun Protection. It took a little longer than a normal disk to burn but the disk worked fine on the first try. I Used Memorex DVD+R 8X 8.5 GB disk (burned at 4x , Nero determined the speed).
The install of this one was started out like the Windows 7 install only slower. The installers seem to be getting worse on giving you feedback so you know if it is hung or working. Remember this is a pre beta version. Instead of the regular spinning circle you get used to with Vista and Windows 7, now you have some kind of goofy dots that slip around in a circle. The first part of the install is normal, selecting the partition (makes you wonder for a minute what it was doing while you were waiting so long), and the language page. After you get past that, it takes a turn for the worse. It wants you to log in with a Passport account or if you look close you can just do the semi normal desktop, and that’s the route I took. Then you get all of these sliders to check for different security and update settings and for the user experience settings. After all of that, it drops you not into a familiar desktop but into something that looks like the new Windows Live media player.
Attempting to Use
If you have used a Windows 7 phone, then you can probably navigate better than I did.
Having never seen a windows 7 phone nor do I even know of anyone that actually owns one, I had no clue how to get around this new version. There were no start, stop or close buttons anywhere. I was able to hit Ctrl +Esc to locate the desktop. Imagine my surprise though when I hit the now very familiar start button and returned right back to that same place where I started from. I tried a few games and couldn’t figure out how to kill them. Stumbled on VS 2011, seen it was for WPF developers and killed that app. Worked my way around and found the new version of task manager, oooh boy.
As frustration grew attempting to navigate around, I tried to find a way to exit this nightmare of an operating system. I finally gave up trying after about 10 minuets and hit the reset button on the box. Restarted the system and the first screen I saw was the Developer Preview screen. About here, I was thinking it killed my other 2 OS’s boot ability and set itself as default with no way to get back to the others. If you wait a few minutes, then it finally gets to the screen to select the OS you want to start with, using the new Windows 8 style.
After I finally got back to Vista, I surfed the web for videos of how to use this thing. I found some that showed using a touch screen to navigate around like you would a new high tech phone or tablet PC using a finger to flip the pages or drag stuff around to get to different apps. I also set Vista back to the default startup OS.
If you are a Windows 7 Phone Developer or WPF Developer, you may find this version familiar and or useful. But for a Old Fashioned Windows Guy like myself, you are going to hate this new version.
Microsoft seems to be stuck in the clouds and the web, they seem to be trying to push everyone into mobile device mode of working. They also seem to be turning their back on where they came from (just plain Windows) and introducing more layers and code compounded. It also seems like the Windows Media people have taken over the OS UI Building now.
If they market Widows 8 as is for the desktop/laptop, it will be a bigger disaster than Windows ME.
Users that have trouble with their hands will not be able to navigate the screens very well when having to use touch screens. The screens are not very intuitive, so those not familiar with that type of set up will just be ticked off trying to figure out what you are supposed to do. There defiantly needs to be more video tutorials on how to use this new version, or it will fall flat. (After seeing a few more videos while writing this, the options for apps are usually brought up by right clicking if you are not using touch.)
My point of view mainly comes from a System Builder and Repair Tech background more than as a programmer. The programs I write are out of a need to find information from a system to help do a repair task of some kind. This new version will be a repair Tech’s worst nightmare, trying to troubleshoot all of the apps that are just suspended rather than terminated properly. If someone doesn’t look in task manager, then they will never know that the app is still opened but suspended. There are also the layers of new technology and APIs you will have to wade through to fix these systems.
There were screenshots on one web page that showed a lot of the normal Windows 7 style interface, but I couldn’t figure out how to get there while I was testing.
Well, that’s my take on the Windows 8 Developer Preview.
I hope the troubles I had will help others to be able to avoid the same problems and perhaps have a better first time experience than what I did.
This will be either a Love it or Hate it OS.
Filed under: CodeProject
, Programming Tools
, Windows 8 Developer Preview