Windows 8 Release Preview has been launched at the end of May 2012 and being an early technology adopter I’ve installed it the next day on my laptop.
Smooth METRO UI
Once you install Windows 8 you will be greeted with the smoothness of the METRO UI. It’s just amazing how nice it is to use and to work with.
Drivers – THE “traditional” problem
I have a rather new ThinkPad laptop (about one year old) and I’ve been used to installing drivers through a Lenovo software updater which automatically detected my system and installed all the necessary drivers and apps I needed. This is one of the things I love @Lenovo, the software and the services have been just great. But sadly – on Windows 8 – this can’t be used (yet). The ThinkVantage System Update software cannot be used on Windows 8. Trying to run the app in Windows 7 compatibility mode does not fix the issue. I had to install all the old Windows 7 drivers manually. But recently I’ve discovered a new driver source that contains beta drivers for Windows 8 Lenovo PCs.
Apps & Dev Stuff
Apps have been working just fine, except one or two of them. Developer apps like Visual Studio, Eclipse & so on are working perfectly. Some Windows Phone Tools need the compatibility switch to Windows 7, but all in all the development experience on Windows 8 is somehow the same as on Windows 7.
What I definitely like in Windows 8 is the new copy/move progress dialog and the revamped Tasks Manager.
The METRO styled apps are also pretty great. The UI on some of them is simply breathtaking. The store is nice,
although a search feature would be a nice to have and you can search through it via “Charms”. The funny thing is that I don’t use the METRO style UI as much as I first thought I would. I primarily work on the “classic” Windows Desktop and use the METRO UI just during breaks when I want to experience something different. Maybe it’s just me!
Small things that make my day!
I love the fact that I can use different wallpaper on different screens. I am a strong supporter of the use of multiple displays (I’m using two right now – two displays definitely boost my productivity). It’s a pity though that the great Bing Desktop app I’ve been used with does now work on Windows 8 yet, but it’ll be ready soon I guess.
Customizing the lock screen is another simple thing that puts a smile on my face each time I return to my PC. Yet another cool feature is the new Picture Password, which lets you choose a picture and set a visual password that you can use additional to the old-school type-in password.
I think the surface is a great device, I think that Microsoft’s move towards developing its own tabled is justified and the Surface is going to be a bigger game changer than the Google Nexus 7 is right now.