Windows 8 (Dev Preview)
I’m in the middle of moving house, we just finally got into our apartment properly last night. For my test of Internet connectivity, I decided to download the Windows 8 Developer Preview. This morning, while waiting for the carpet guy to come collect his ozone machine (they cleaned the carpets but that didn’t remove the dog-pee stains or the smells of smoke, weed or dog), I gave it a very quick spin.
I really like Microsoft’s Metro that’s used for Windows 7 Phone and which is the basis of the Windows 8 UI. Not sure how I’m going to like it on a desktop PC tho.
It’s clearly early days for Windows 8 – I couldn’t figure out how to close down apps, other than Alt-F4, since I was seeing no UI chrome. I did discover that if you hover the mouse over a certain point at the left edge of the window, you get a thumbnail of the previous app … No idea what that is about tho.
Under Windows 8, after logging in, you are presented with a screen full of Metro tiles. This is the new start menu, and on login it is automatically opened. If you’ve used Windows Media Center or Zune for PC, you’re probably already familiar with the way it works, with one exception: it has a scroll bar, instead of allowing you to “drag” it side-to-side with the mouse. I’m really hoping that will change.
There is a tile that takes you to the familiar desktop – albeit one that is just eerily slightly less familiar. Took me a few times to realize that clicking the Start Menu was not what I wanted to do :)
Windows Explorer … Now uses a ribbon. I’ve yet to find a ribbon interface I don’t dislike. Especially in contrast to the Metro interface that Windows 8 is largely about. It’s too crowded, too crazy, too … unpleasant.
They were trying to make it easier to do common/routine stuff, and they may have succeeded there, once people get over their overwhelmed “wtf?” experience on opening it the first time.
But there is so much clutter that people are just going to be blinded by options. The human brain is really good at masking out noise – we block out sounds and smells pretty darn fast.
The Windows 8 Explorer UI is going to be a pain because you’re just not ever going to be able to find the stuff you don’t use all the time.
I’m looking forward to seeing updates, and I’m probably going to get a Windows 8 tablet.
Right now: my hunch is that Windows 8 is going to be the next Vista. It might be fun to drive a desktop Win8 with a Kinect; it might make a killing in the tablet market; but I really don’t know if the desktop market is ready make such a big leap without actually going all the way.