Bittersweet Taste of Windows 8 Pre-Beta

Windows 8 is still in development and Microsoft is yet to announce a shipment date but I can’t wait to share what I think about Windows 8 pre-beta. The new OS will run on laptops, desktops, netbooks, servers, media center PCs, and tablet PCs. The pre-beta version for developers is out and I was able to run it on my HP laptop built for Windows 7. So far, I have a bittersweet taste in my mouth about Windows 8. Although installation of Windows was smooth, the Metro user interface is quite confusing. The Metro UI seems like it would be best for Smartphones, not notebooks.

Let’s start with the good news. I was excited to work on a new operating system. It took about 10 seconds to boot. It has secured boot, superb Smart Screen, reset/refresh pc, and client hyper-v. Now, companies, for the first time, will be able to integrate their employees tablet PCs into their networks. I am sure that many network administrators welcome this news.

Next, there is definitely a good reason why enterprise users should not upgrade to Windows 8. That is simply because in Windows 7, the enterprise Desktop mode is Windows 7. This is a problem that Microsoft will have to deal with if they want people to migrate en mass.

On my laptop, now running on Windows 8, I was able to use the classic Start menu, like in Windows 7. I was able to do this the same way I could choose the Metro UI. So, if users upgrade and the don’t like the Metro UI, they can go back to a Windows 7 look and feel.

The bad news is that Windows 8, without the Metro interface, is very similar to Windows 7. Nothing has really changed.  In the past, people get excited when there is a launch of a new Microsoft operating system due to new features, look, and feel. That excitement and rush has effectively faded out. In fact, the technology World is more anxious for the next iPhone to hit the market than they are about Windows 8.

One more thing, Microsoft is also trying to keep older versions of Windows, Linux, and other operating systems off Windows 8 computers. That means users may not be able to dual boot their computers. By dual booting, as it is today, one could have both Windows 7 and Linux operating systems on a computer. This might not be the case in the future.

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