The W8 preview is now installed and I am enjoying it. I remember the learning curve of my first unix machine back in the eighties, this ain't that.
It is normal for me to do the first os install with a keyboard and low end monitor...you never know what you'll encounter out in the field. The OS took like a fish to water. I used a low end INTEL motherboard dp55w I gathered on the cheap, an 1157 i5 from the used bin a pair of 6 gig ddr3 sticks, a rosewell 550 watt power supply a cheap used twenty buck sub 200g wd sata drive, a half working dvd burner and an asus fanless nvidia vid card, not a great one but Sub 50.00 on newey eggey...I did have to hunt the ms forums for a key and of course to activate the thing, if dos would of needed this outmoded ritual, we would still be on cpm and osborne would be a household name, of course little do people know that this ritual was common as far back as the seventies on att unix installs....not, but it was possible, I used to joke about when I ran a bbs, what hell would of been wrought had dos 3.2 machines been required to dial into my bbs to send fido mail to ms and wait for an acknowledgement.
All in all the thing was pushing a seven on the ms richter scale, not including the vid card, sadly it came in at just a tad over three....I wanted to evaluate it for a possible replacement on critical machines that in the past went down due to a vid card fan failure....you have no idea what a customer thinks when you show them a failed vid card fan..."you mean that little plastic piece of junk caused all this!!??!!!"...yea man. Some production machines don't need any sort of vid, I will at least keep it on the maybe list for those, MTBF is a very important factor, some big box stores should put percentage of failure rate within 24 month estimates on the outside of the carton for sure. And a warning that the power supplies are already at their limit. Let's face it, today even 550w can be iffy.
A few neat eye candy improvements over the earlier windows is nice, the metro screen is nice, anyone who has used a newer phone recently will intuitively drag their fingers across the screen....lot of good that was with no mouse or touch screen though. Lucky me, I have been using windows since day one, I still have a copy of win 2.0 (and every other version) for no good reason. Still the old ix collection of disks is much larger, recompiling any kernal is another silly ritual, same machine, different day, same recompile...argh. Rh is my all time fav, mandrake was always missing something, like it rewrote the init file or something, novell is ok as long as you stay on the beaten path and of course ubuntu normally recompiles with the same errors consistantly....makes life easy that way....no errors on windows eight, just a screen that did not match the installed hardware, natuarally I alt tabbed right out of it, then hit the flag key to find the start menu....no start button. I miss the start button already. Keyboard cowboy funnin and I was browsing the harddrive, nothing stunning there, I like that, means I can find stuff. Only I can't find what I want, the start button....the start menu is that first screen for touch tablets. No biggie for useruser, that is where they will want to be, I can see that. Admins won't want to be there, it is easy enough to get the control panel a bazzilion other ways though, just not the start button. (see a pattern here?). Personally, from the keyboard I find it fun to hit the carets along the location bar at the top of the explorer screen with tabs and arrows and choose SHOW ALL CONTROL PANEL ITEMS, or thereabouts.
Bottom line, I love seven and I'll love eight even more!...very happy I did not have to follow the normal rule of thumb (a customer watching me build a system and asking questions said "oh I get it, so every piece you put in there is basically a hundred bucks, right?)...ok, sure, pretty much, more or less, well, ya dude. It will be WAY past october till I get a real touch screen but I did pick up a pair of cheap tatungs so I can try the NEW main start screen, I parse a lot of folders and have a vision of how a pair of touch screens will be easier than landing a rover on mars. Ok. fine, they are way smallish, and I don't expect multitouch to work but we are talking a few percent of a new 21 inch viewsonic touch screen.
Will this OS be a game changer? I don't know. Bottom line with all the pads and droids in the world, it is more of a catch up move at first glance. Not something ms is used to. An app store? I can see ms's motivation, the others have it. I gather there will not be gadgets there, go ahead and see what ms did to the once populated gadget page...go ahead, google gadgets and take a gander, used to hundreds of gadgets, they are already gone. They replaced gadgets? sort of, I'll drop that, it's a bit of a sore point for me. More of interest was what happened when I downloaded stuff off codeplex and some other normal programs that I like, like orbitron, top o' my list!!...cardware it is...anyways, click on the exe, get a screen, normal for windows, this one indicated that I was not running a normal windows program and had a button for exit the install, naw, I hit details, a hidden run program anyways came into view....great, my path to the normal windows has detected a program tha.....yea ok, acl is on, fine, moving along I got orbitron installed in record time and was tracking the iss on the newest Microsoft OS, beta of course, felt like the first time I setup bsd all those year ago...FUN!!...I suppose I gotta start to think about budgeting for the real os when it comes out in october, by then I should have a rasberry pi and be done with fedora remixed. Of course that sounds like fun too!! I would use this OS on a tablet or phone. I don't like the idea of being hearded to an app store, don't like that on anything, we are americans and want real choices not marketed hype, lest you are younger with opm (other peoples money). This os would be neat on a zune, but I suspect the zune is a gonner, I am rooting for microsoft, after all their default password is not admin anymore, nor alpine, it's blank. Others force a password, my first fawn password was so long I could not even log into it with the password in front of me, who the heck uses %$# anyways, and if I was writing a brute force attack what the heck kinda impasse is that anyways at .00001 microseconds of a code execution cycle (just a non qualified number, not a real clock speed)....AI is where it will be before too long, MS is on that path, perhaps soon someone will sit down and write an app for the kinect that watches your eyes while you scan the new main start screen, clicking on the big E icon when you blink.....boy is that going to be fun!!!! sure. Blink,dammit,blink,dammit...... OPM no doubt.
I like windows eight, we are moving forwards, better keep a close eye on ubuntu. The real clinch comes when open source becomes paid source......don't blink, I already see plenty of very expensive 'ix apps, some even in app stores already.
more to come.......