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peter

Thoughts on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview?

I'm downloading it right now, planning on installing it later today when I have some time. Curious to see if anyone else has, and if so, what they're impressions are!

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60 replies
webpoet73

Installed using Parallels 7 on my iMac. Mouse clicks not recognized but keyboard is. Not sure the issue. The developer preview worked fine. I am not into the Metro interface on the desktop, though. But that is the direction MS is going. It's bold. It's either going to be a big win for them or a huge loss. Just doesn't "feel" like Windows to me. it's something foreign.
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gank41

I am having the exact same issue. I installed both the x86 and x64 versions in Parallels and first allowed it to do the "automatic" install. No Mouse, but Keyboard still works, although I wasn't having any luck with the arrow keys. I tried booting the x64 version that was already installed, from the ISO file, cleared the partition, and installed as brand new over the existing install, and before I installed the Parallels tools, everything worked fine. I installed the Parallels tools and then it stopped working again. Something's up, and I had no more time to look into it further..
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webpoet73

I uninstalled Parallels tools and the mouse works.
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kineticartist

on my PC using Virtual Box If I have their extention pack installed to support USB2.0 I ant get windows 8 to load up if I remove the extentions pack It works however I have issues with my logitech mouse being read as a USB 1,.0 device
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marc

Just finished installing under VirtualBox. Mixed on Metro so far. I think this kind of UI works well on a gaming console or touch display, but not sure if it's right for a computer. I'm going to install on a Windows tablet and will see how that goes.
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cass

I just installed it via VMWare fusion and it worked without a hitch. I've only played around with it for a few minutes, but I have to say I really like the UI and animations. If you love Windows Phone or the Zune HD, you're really going to dig Windows 8. I only gave the VM 1 gb of ram and it seems to run fairly smoothly. I'm not sure how I feel about the metro UI using a mouse and keyboard. It's definitely a finger friendly interface, so your mouse will have to travel further to click on things.

The only major problem I've been having so far is trying to figure out how to navigate the OS with a mouse and keyboard. Maybe with time it'll get easier, but I think Microsoft has a big challenge getting users up to speed with the new ways to interact with Windows 8.

Btw, here's the download link for the Windows 8 preview if you're having trouble finding it: windows.microsoft.com­/en­-US­/windows­-8­/consumer­-pre...
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timchoi89

I agree with how this is going to be a huge learning curve for many many people. Sadly, it took me about 10 minutes to figure how to shutdown since the start button is gone...
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sahaskatta

You are not alone. I couldn't find the shut down button either. No Start Menu, so it wasn't there. I tried accessing it from CTR+ALT+DEL and it wasn't there either. Tried typing Shut Down into the Metro Search UI and it wasn't there either. I ended up doing the shutdown command from the Command Prompt.

Eventually realized I could logout and the button would be on the login screen. Also available from settings menu for those wondering.
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timchoi89

LOL! Imagine how much longer it'll take the average non-techy joe to figure out how to shut down! >.<
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philnolan3d

Uh, Just got to Start > Settings > Shut Down.
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timchoi89

getting to the settings menu wasn't the most obvious thing using gestures.
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philnolan3d

I haven't been able to use it with a touch screen, just a mouse.
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timchoi89

same, that's why I didn't realize the top right + down gesture can bring up settings.
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WeaponII

The download just finished for me. I'm working on installing it as a virtual machine on my Macbook Pro.

EDIT: Install just finished at 15 minutes. That's not bad at all.

ANOTHER EDIT: I was able to install to install the VMWare Fusion tools without any troubles, too. Now it's time to play!
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martymankins

Installed it into a VMware Fusion VM. Gave it a 20gb partition and 2gb RAM. Clean install.

So far, it's very fast, opens quick, smooth in use. The interface takes a bit of getting used to. Took me a bit to figure out how to bring up the side slide menu (lower right hand corner has a tiny Start button). The interface is quick and easy to use, even for us long time iOS and Mac users. But knowing how things work, closing apps, moving between screens... it's all a new learning curve.

This is after a couple hours of use (scattered in 10-15 min intervals). I will have to see how well this holds up over extended use.
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RAS1

I installed it to VMWare Workstation 8 and only had a small problem with the network adapter. Once I changed the VM type to Windows 7, removed and added the adapter, it seems to work fine now. I also gave it 2gb RAM.
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martymankins

Yes, I did the same thing - used Windows 7 as the type of machine and it seems to know the power settings, UI and other functions.
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marc

Installed under VirtualBox. If you upgrade to the latest version, it includes Windows 8 as an option. Installed very smoothly.
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kineticartist

IM grabbing the 32bit and 64 bit ISOS right now and plan to do a Virtual install on my main machine of the 64bit and install the 32 as the primary OS on an older laptop to see how it runs and to make sure that this OS worthwhile or not for recommendation to my PC build customers who will ask for it. Still not thrilled by the METRO UI thats been in evidence on the xBOx so I doubt the Win8 will alleviate what I believe to be serious mystery meat navigation lets all say it together Metro UI is NOt USER Friendly
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garen

I'm downloading the 32bit version. I will surely install it on my netbook which already has developer preview :D. it's already good enough for using on a netbook. But i will wait the release version for my main laptop.
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cjtylr

I downloaded it, but every time I try to do an upgrade (i.e. keeping all my settings and apps) the installation crashes with a "something happened" error. Unfortunately, it doesn't tell me what that something is, so I'm not sure how to fix it.

I guess the next step is to install it on a partition, but partitioning in Windows is a major pain and I'm not sure it's worth it.
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marc

Just do a virtual machine. As a number of commenters have mentioned, it seems to go pretty smoothly under most virtualization engines. I used VirtualBox, and it's running well.
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kineticartist

only upgrading from Windows 7 will allow you to keep all your settings and files
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cjtylr

Yup, I'm upgrading from W7 Ultimate, but the install keeps failing for some reason. I tried using just the standard "setup" file, and downloading the 64-bit ISO. Neither work.
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philnolan3d

Vista also gives the option, I just tried it.
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Insomniac

I installed to a fresh 20GB partition, but Win8 freaked me out by changing all my drive letters. I had one of those "of f##k, it's installed over my Windows 7 C Drive!!!!" but was relieved to see MS simply felt the need to reassign my Windows 7 partition to F: :)

Apart from that, its pretty nifty, but as I'm sure a billion other people have already noted, it feels kind of weird on a desktop with only a mouse and keyboard . I feel like I should be using this with a next generation track-pad at the very least (for gestures) and I keep feel like putting my finger out to touch my decidedly-non-touchscreen monitor :) .

Overall I think MS is heading in the right direction with scalability and simplified UIs. There's no question this is going to rock on tablets. However its going to take a lot of getting used to for us old mouse & keyboard shortcut navigators...
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sahaskatta

I have it running in VirtualBox and works quite well, but there's one big bug: full-screen mode doesn't work yet. Anyone know a solution?
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cass

Have you tried manually setting the resolution in Windows? I had to set the resolution to my monitor and then full screened my VM app (VMware fusion).
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sahaskatta

Yup, I tried. VirtualBox has this technology called "guest additions" which are essentially drivers for guest OS to recognize the VM environment. This usually does the trick, but I guess VirtualBox is not ready yet. I also tried manually increasing the resolution, but I am only seeing the standard VGA resolutions and none of them match my 1080p display.
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marc

I've got it running in VirtualBox's fullscreen mode. You're right, that it doesn't recognize my display; I've had to settle for the highest resolution that's available with the standard display driver.
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sahaskatta

I figured out how to get it working in full screen at your native resolution!

On your host OS, open up the terminal (CMD):
  1. cd C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox
  2. VBoxManage setextradata global GUI/MaxGuestResolution any
  3. VBoxManage setextradata “VM name” “CustomVideoMode1″ “WidthxHeightxDepth“
For step 3, replace "VM name" with the name of your Virtual Machine. For "WidthxHeightxDepth," I used "1920x1080x32" which is my native monitor resolution and you should type in your display's native resolution.

Once complete, just open up VirtualBox and run your Windows 8 VM. Head to the desktop and go to Screen Resolution settings and you should see the new resolution available in the standard Windows interface.
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JustinCarone

And on OS X for step 1 use:

cd /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOS

Works perfectly. Great find sahaskatta.
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kineticartist

thanks for the tip off of Virtual Box!
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Joeltime

It runs fairly smoothly but I'm having trouble with Microsoft account connecting Metro apps, and IE10 doesn't work for me at all. Not quite a daily driver yet...
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Sodacankitty

Installed and testing it now. So far I am not a fan of the App page and find myself using the standard desktop.
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Cam

Installing a dual-boot now. I'll report back with my findings.
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Zingerhill

Installed as an upgrade to a Lenovo x61 (Core 2 Duo, 2GB RAM, no touchscreen) running Windows 7. The Metro UI feels very sluggish to me. You can move through stuff pretty quickly, but loading the apps take a long time. It should be instantaneous to load up a weather app! A lot of the app installs initially fail. The performance in the desktop mode seems the same. I'll keep using it, but so far it's a bit underwhelming.
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Ellis

I installed this on an SSD in my desktop earlier (4.5GHz quad core i5, 8GB RAM, 24" 1080p display) and I'm really not a fan. It feels like Microsoft just decided to have the Metro UI run on top of a slightly reskinned version of Windows 7 - the whole thing is disjointed and not quite right. I really like the Metro UI on WP7 and I can see this being great on a tablet, but on a desktop PC, as a power user, I can't see myself upgrading from Windows 7.

I'm not sure entirely what Microsoft expects power users to do here. I can't imagine that many people who use their PC for photo and video editing, gaming, or anything that isn't just web browsing, IM, and e-mail, are going to want to upgrade to Windows 8, so I guess we'll just have to use Windows 7 for 5 years.

EDIT: As you'd expect, Windows 8 runs really quickly for me - it starts up very fast, programs open quickly and there wasn't ever a trace of lag, but that's not really my issue with it.
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Zingerhill

Agree. It's very disjointed to go from desktop to Metro. Maybe it will get better when there are more Metro apps. I also have a WP7 and think the interface works great there.
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philnolan3d

I got it installed on my laptop last night. Very fast and speedy as expected. I notice the new left side list of open apps, looks an awful lot like the same thing on Android Honeycomb / ICS.
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JustinCarone

I have it installed on a virtual machine through Virtual Box and on a secondary PC at the office. Both intalls went smoothly and run pretty well. I am a fan of the Metro look and feel, but getting used to the interaction methods with a mouse and keyboard takes some time. I don't see a lot of current windows users getting into it very quickly or at all. It would be a shame for people to have access to a much improved UI and instead just always switch back to the classic desktop. Hopefully it catches on though.

I really want to give it a try on tablet hardware, but don't have access to any at the moment. It would seem that the gestures are much easier to pick up and start using than the mouse and keyboard techniques. I think Microsoft will have a decent shot at overtaking Android pretty quickly if they can get this running well on some nice tablet hardware.

In the meantime I am trying to figure out how to get a full screen resolution working in Virtual Box; the same issue a couple of people have posted about already.
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sahaskatta

I posted a solution for getting native resolution working above! It really makes Metro a lot more usable since the hot corners are a lot easier to access.
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JustinCarone

Thanks, looks good. My host OS is OS X though so I'm going to try to adapt it for my purposes. Hopefully I can get it to work.
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sahaskatta

I think the commands should be pretty much identical aside from where your application is installed of course. Here is the documentation: www.virtualbox.org­/manual­/ch09.html­#idp13645936
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JustinCarone

You're absolutely right. Seems like the correct path is "cd /Applications/VirtualBox.app/Contents/MacOS" for a regular install on OS X.
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kineticartist

Installed the 64bit flava using VirtualBox (Im over VM Fusion) set up a 60GB HDD an gave it 4GB of my ram.

It installed and had issues on first boot then finally booted after stopping the machine and restarting VirtualBox. Got to the so called desktop couldnt click anything now its going thru and attempting repairs... Think Im gonna have to scratch this install and start over
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johnandjulie13

Not sure yet. Installed this evening on my Sony AIO touchscreen. Unfortunately, the touchscreen driver is not working so I cannot get a good flavor for the system. Using mouse and keyboard, the metro style acts more like a cosmetic "layer" over the operating system. In the meantime, I continue to try to get the touchscreen to work...
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timchoi89

I finally got it running properly (for the most part) today.

At first, I thought switching between two different completely different UIs would be disorientating, but, after finding a good use for the Metro desktop, Metro UI is starting to grow on me.

Since I don't have a touchscreen on my laptop, I essentially use the Metro desktop for live tiles such as for the weather and forex info. Similar to Dashboard to for OS X.

I love the left hand side gesture of switching between apps but I wish that method can be used to switch between windows in the traditional desktop UI.
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pulse

I have read a number of articles reviews about it and personally, I am downloading Ubuntu 11.10 right now. For what seems to be the first impressions of the new OS from Microsoft, I am disappointed. I think this is insane to buy a new, touch-screen monitor to the best of a new OS.
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