Windows 8

That looks pretty good, a genuine innovation that nobody else is offering. I use Linux as a fileserver and wouldn't likely change, but I could see Storage Spaces making a Windows server much more compelling for many people.

Spaces will also be a part of the Server line going forward so my migration of WHS2003 will be to Svr2012. I am not even sure I'll migrate to whatever WHS3 is as I'll migrate to a SVR2012 product or Win8 box running as a server prior to that since I'm guessing WHS3 is at least 2 years away.

If you want Spaces now, you can just run Drive Bender. http://www.drivebender.com/

TheGameguru wrote:

Corporate for the most part aren't the target customer for Win 8 anyway...MS is still struggling with getting them to upgrade from XP to 7 Pro/Enterprise. But from what I've heard its finally starting to ramp up in a significant way and according to one of my friends at MS they have on tap a record number of OS migrations from Fortune 5000 for '12.

I work for a Fortune 500 company and much to my chagrin we still use XP (and Office 03!) company-wide. An upgrade to W7 is in the "exploratory" phase, which means "not any damn time soon". It's almost getting embarrassing when I talk to our software vendors and find out almost everyone else they deal with has moved to 7 or at least Vista.

I was also using UNIX for some applications up until one year ago...

Michael wrote:
TheGameguru wrote:

Corporate for the most part aren't the target customer for Win 8 anyway...MS is still struggling with getting them to upgrade from XP to 7 Pro/Enterprise. But from what I've heard its finally starting to ramp up in a significant way and according to one of my friends at MS they have on tap a record number of OS migrations from Fortune 5000 for '12.

I work for a Fortune 500 company and much to my chagrin we still use XP (and Office 03!) company-wide. An upgrade to W7 is in the "exploratory" phase, which means "not any damn time soon". It's almost getting embarrassing when I talk to our software vendors and find out almost everyone else they deal with has moved to 7 or at least Vista.

I was also using UNIX for some applications up until one year ago...

In my opinion, there's no excuse for still being on XP in a business unless your company just can't afford the upgrade. It's largely because of lazy IT departments who don't want to go through the process (which is a trying one I admit) or who want to come in under budget and don't want to request the funds for licensing. That's a broad generalisation of course but the places that I know who are still on XP are largely on it for that reason. The oldest laptops we still use in my office will runs Windows 7 like butter. Heck, a netbook can run it tolerably.

My girlfriend works for the Auditor General of Canada (the arms length organisation designed to keep our feds honest). She has a brand new Dell laptop with a Core i5 and 4GB of RAM that was purpose built to run Windows 7 and it's running XP with IE7 (at least it's not 6). Why? Because they have a time entry system that's I kid you not, DOS based and was introduced in 1990! And from what she's heard, they aren't upgrading because their IT department thinks it will be too big a hassle to train everyone on something new. They apparently have no roadmap to upgrade to Windows 7 which is going to come as quite a shock to them next year when Microsoft stops supporting it.

I've had the developer preview for months but finally got it into VirtualBox last night. I only played with it for about 15 minutes but I really don't like the Start Screen from the perspective of a desktop user. I think it would be great on tablets but my desktop isn't a tablet and I don't want it to be. I think not giving people the choice of a traditional Start Menu of combination of both (which I've read they are not doing) is a bad idea. I really haven't used it enough to judge properly though so we'll see. I do really like the idea of having the Start Screen live on its own monitor with the traditional desktop on another. I'll play with it more once I get back from my work's conference.

Parallax Abstraction wrote:

I've had the developer preview for months but finally got it into VirtualBox last night. I only played with it for about 15 minutes but I really don't like the Start Screen from the perspective of a desktop user. I think it would be great on tablets but my desktop isn't a tablet and I don't want it to be. I think not giving people the choice of a traditional Start Menu of combination of both (which I've read they are not doing) is a bad idea. I really haven't used it enough to judge properly though so we'll see. I do really like the idea of having the Start Screen live on its own monitor with the traditional desktop on another. I'll play with it more once I get back from my work's conference.

My impression of the developer preview is that it's aimed at getting metro app development going, and towards the attitude that there's going to be more than one input method. I don't think (hope) it's representative of the final product. The beta is out in February, so hopefully that is more representative.

Generally I see it like ported video games, you have to have it suited to the environment it's being used on, and for desktop computing that means windows. There's certain aspects of the start screen that I like as ideas that compare with the pre-vista/classic start menu that would sprawl over your entire screen, or the modality that only it is active (you can't multitask between the start menu and another program). I'd like to see them give the desktop UI some thought for advancement and clean up some of the bad legacy crap, so maybe metro is a step on that road.

Consumer Preview (a.k.a. the beta) is available now

Anyone going to download it? Someone has to do it!

Downloading now! Hey, I have to test it for work anyway.

This doesnt sound that promising right now.. the confusion between a Tablet OS and a Desktop OS seems to be its biggest downfall.. Maybe MS can tweak it so it switches between the two better than it does now without breaking its core functionality.

TheGameguru wrote:

This doesnt sound that promising right now.. the confusion between a Tablet OS and a Desktop OS seems to be its biggest downfall.. Maybe MS can tweak it so it switches between the two better than it does now without breaking its core functionality.

Yes, right now (just preparing to install the CP) it does seem like a Vista, the first attempt at some major changes, and I think they have to try things out on the wider public at some point. I think there is room to improve/change the desktop experience, and W8 has interesting ideas, but at the same time they have to keep certain parts of the desktop 'experience' (mouse/keys, no touch screen, a pointer that has travel time) that 8 seems to override.

For example, I'd love to see a replacement to the start menu that isn't a linear list/lists, and what I've seen of their start screen and grouping looks better to use, but if they could make it not full screen and clustered around the start button still, I'd want to try that.

edit: This comment from the shack kind of sums up a lot of my feelings:

This is kind of hilarious. They are showing off features which, for windows, are boring and ancient history, but for tablets, are way more advanced than anything anyone else has. The verge is making comments as though having two apps on screen at once with seamless video is f*cking incredible. Like its 1993 or something.

edit2: The key you'll need to install the damn thing is NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8. Nice of them to hide that in the FAQ and a different key in a little bit non-attention-getting text below the iso link, and not integrate it in the image.

I'll install on my old PC by the end of the weekend. Then decide whether our not to put it on the HTPC.

Hmmm, from a desktop point of view the CP isn't fundamentally different from the DP. Assuming it's representative, people are going to get bent out of shape by their new direction and I can see a good few people will be staying with win7 like they stuck with xp, although for different reasons. Technically it's probably fine, but then so is win7.

As noted above this is made for touch as a first class passenger, mouse as second class. Mouse is workable, and admittedly I've been playing for a few minutes rather than days, but it just comes across as inefficient and a little uncomfortable to use it with the mouse. It's the things they need to do to maximise screen real estate for metro that seems to get in the way, because that means hiding things and then edge tracking and waiting for a delay for things to pop up. I guess on one hand it's going against windows conventions that have been around for decades, but it just seems to go against mouse reflexes to not have a target to aim for for a lot of things.

edit: I also love the "xbox live games" app. Launch it, I'm not signed in apparently (despite my windows account being a signed in MS account that I use for live), I click the try again option and I'm given an error that "sign-in isn't supported in my region at this time" and an error code, click more info and it sends me to zune online help... Microsoft

Microsoft: Theres a world outside the US?

Video of the Xbox Live integration in the consumer preview.


http://www.viddler.com/v/e19fcd7d

Scratched wrote:

Hmmm, from a desktop point of view the CP isn't fundamentally different from the DP. Assuming it's representative, people are going to get bent out of shape by their new direction and I can see a good few people will be staying with win7 like they stuck with xp, although for different reasons. Technically it's probably fine, but then so is win7.

I'm usually a bleeding edge early adopter, and start living in new OSs once there's driver support. My first 5 minute impression is that I might be one of the Win7 lingerers you mention. Right now Windows 8 is really in my way. I had to go round about just to enable remote desktop. I don't want a 10' UI on my desktop and they've stripped away or hidden core tools.

[Edit] Well on the upside you can still attach a Live ID account to a domain user, so that you benefit from the new system sync stuff. Maybe this means they'll do a better job of not having such a hard differentiation between domain machines and typical home user machines.

Just installed it in VirtualBox. Pretty fast install. Definitely a different way of doing things, but not bad so far. We'll see how I feel in 5 minutes.

EDIT: To go to a more familiar desktop, just hit the Windows key.

Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

EDIT: To go to a more familiar desktop, just hit the Windows key.

Yeah, but you don't get the usual Start Menu from there. For example, open up Control Panel now. At least Win+R still brings up the Run dialog so you all are saved from my raging on that.

If I remember correctly from the dev preview, there is a reg hack to bring back the Win7 start menu.

Ah yes! Here it is.

It was a little kludgy, but it's worth a try.

Just finishing the install on my mac mini. We'll see how it goes.

It is kind of interesting looking at the fundamental differences between a touch UI and a mouse UI. A mouse UI needs chrome (graphics that represent things, a button, a scrollbar, textbox, etc. and empty space is wasted space (assuming it's not at the expense of a clear UI). With touch you need clear space for fingers to grab onto to scroll with, and because that blank space is needed you can't cram your UI, control elements need to be bigger for fat fingers and correspond closer to a real world control. They're almost opposites.

LiquidMantis wrote:
Bonus_Eruptus wrote:

EDIT: To go to a more familiar desktop, just hit the Windows key.

Yeah, but you don't get the usual Start Menu from there. For example, open up Control Panel now. At least Win+R still brings up the Run dialog so you all are saved from my raging on that.

Looks like the default screen is essentially the Start Menu. Found it sort of difficult to get to the user settings to switch from a local to Live account, but right-clicking the desktop, then going from Personalize to Control Panel Home got me there.

It'll definitely take some getting used to.

Try Win+C, then going to Settings while in the Desktop mode, this is the same as going to one of the right-hand corners. There's a link to Control Panel there, but only in Desktop mode.

One thing I'd like is a quicker way to get into 'all apps' mode in the start screen. I know they want to push metro and the tiles, but the all apps view is a bit of a compromise towards the old start menu and folders.

Since moving to Win 7,I only rarely ever use the Start menu to browse, anyway. I just start typing the program name. Win 8 seems to make that even easier, so the loss of the traditional Start doesn't really sound that bad to me.

Looking at screenshots, I wish they updated the desktop UI to match Metro's look.

EDIT: To go to a more familiar desktop, just hit the Windows key.

That would be rather awkward on this Model M keyboard.

MannishBoy wrote:

Since moving to Win 7,I only rarely ever use the Start menu to browse, anyway. I just start typing the program name. Win 8 seems to make that even easier, so the loss of the traditional Start doesn't really sound that bad to me.

I do, but then I use a mix of ways to get at my programmes.

One thing I think the start screen does is offer a clean break, it lets them get away from the folder hierarchy scheme and how various developers abuse it. There's guidelines to keep it simple and consistent, and less of a mess, but they're rarely followed. That doesn't really require what the metro start screen is, I think it needs to make it easier for the user to sort and organise it themselvse, or something like what is more common in *nix desktop launchers, to sort by categories (internet, office, games, system, etc).

BNice wrote:

Looking at screenshots, I wish they updated the desktop UI to match Metro's look.

It goes part-way, but I agree. I think they've got to be careful with shading windows so that graphics have a purpose rather than just to look good. Although a screen is only 2D, lots of graphical hints are useful. Something in-between win7 and just solid rectangles.

Malor wrote:
EDIT: To go to a more familiar desktop, just hit the Windows key.

That would be rather awkward on this Model M keyboard.

Ctrl-Esc is the same as the Windows key. There's also a button on the Metro UI to switch to Explorer.

Windows key + C Open Charms bar
Windows key + I Open Settings pane
Windows key + Q Search Apps
Windows key + F Search Files
Windows key + W Search Settings
Windows key + period Snap current app to right side
Windows key + Shift + period Snap current app to left side
Windows key + comma Peek at the Windows desktop
Windows key + Z Display app bar for Metro style app

Almost every key on the keyboard + WinKey is used for a shortcut in Win8.

Edit: the Windows Server 8 Beta bits are also available. I'm more interested in this actually, Disk Extender from WHS 2003 becoming a mainstream Windows Feature called Spaces? Yes please.

Edit again: Also today while downloading various bits Technet/MSDN Pro subscriptions will be dropping to 3 license keys per Windows Client/Office product vs 5 as is it currently in mid-March (it used to be 10 each but that was dropped to 5 about 2 years ago).

Technet Message wrote:

Beginning in mid-March 2012, subscribers to TechNet Subscriptions (excluding TechNet Standard which are entitled to 2 keys per product) may access a maximum allocation of three (3) product keys for Microsoft Office and Windows Client products in connection with their subscription. The allotted keys may only be used for software evaluation purposes. Once the maximum keys have been activated, no more keys will be made available. Additional product keys may be acquired through the purchase of an additional subscription.