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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview was annoucned this morning and is available for download (more here).

Now we all know that Dev Previews have been out much longer, so the question stands: As a developer are you looking forward to integrated your applications in with the Metro-UI, or if you have done so, what are your thoughts?

I haven't been able to program anything for Windows 8 yet, however I have had the opportunity to play around with Metro a bit. Its pretty sleek and fast. I think that this is going to be one of the best Tablet operating systems to date. As for the desktop though I have observed something interesting. For older consumers, and by that I mean anyone over 18, they seem to be worried about the metro interface. If they are not worried, they are skeptical or disdain it because it just runs off of the traditional desktop UI. I get change is hard for some people, but its just like Facebook changing interfaces. Everyone says they are going to dislike it, the change happens, people get used to it, then people start reaping the benefits of the change (better organization, faster code, etc...). Even if you don't like it, you can always change your settings to stay in desktop mode. No doubt companies will be doing that for quite some time.

But there is also another group of users, the younger users that are not so ingrained in using traditional interfaces, and those who have grown up in the age of the Smart Phone. These users are going to be powerhouses of Windows 8. The Metro UI is closer to cellphone interfaces than Windows XP. Therefore these users already know how to navigate it, and most likely logically organize and think in a way that will make the Metro UI quite easy to use. These users seem generally more excited for Windows 8, probably because its not that big of a change.

Like the new UI or not, thats a personal choice, and Microsoft is at least letting you make that one for now by letting you use the traditional UI. However thats not all that Windows 8 offers. Its packed full of more features including better performance, more support for cloud storage and syncing, and fast app switching.

While I much prefer Chrome to IE, there is an Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview packed in as well, and I'm looking forward to seeing what upgrades are in store for IE.

12 Comments On This Entry

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29 February 2012 - 11:42 AM
I am a developer and I am use to change. Heck I often push change in what I code. I just like change to be more incremental because why should I have to relearn something every other year when they could strengthen the current designs and evolve it through time?

I think people are more against the changes which are more like overhauls and overhauls that happen regularly. Both Microsoft and Facebook are great examples of companies who just scrap whole designs and redo it all for the next iteration. This windows move to Metro is another one of those. Sure there is the old style behind but this whole new way of using tiles and such is stupid for the desktop.

Now Google is a bit better. They come out with something like Gmail and then evolve it into having themes and then into a new layout but one that is much more similar to the old style of where things are placed. Not like facebook which will not only completely relocate a feature on the page but even change its name. Example... changing from photostream to the term "views and apps" in the new facebook pages launch coming up.

Don't scrap everything and rebuild, work with what you have going and introduce regularly small changes that make sense and make the product better. That is all I think anyone is ever asking for.


29 February 2012 - 11:57 AM
I have to agree with Martyr2 you should enhance what you have.

Windows should not try to make a desktop a tablet. They are two totally different platforms. I don't feel metro is really adding anything to windows.


29 February 2012 - 12:31 PM
While metro itself may not be the best thing for Mouse and Keyboard. What I think Microsoft is going for is cross-device compatibility. Lets take an application you develop for your phone. wouldn't it be great if it also worked on your tablet and PC without any extra code? Not to mention you could have the data stored in cloud storage so you could use your application on all three devices interchangeably?

That is the strength of Metro, in my opinion. Its also what MS has been working towards for a while now. They have been trying to combine MSDN, live, Hotmail, etc.. to one account, associate software with that account, and then have things like Office 365 and Azure.

While desktop and tablets are two different platforms, I think technology is going to the way of cloud computing and storage. In that scenario, eventually the client machine will just be an I/O device. A screen for display, and input. All the work will be done server side, so how much "different" will they be?

However I do not disagree with you on design change. Slow gradual design upgrades has it pros: doesn't ruffle as many feathers, allows for consumer to see constant updates, more agile and less waterfall approach to feature changes. But once and a while, you need to say "working off old stuff isnt working (or working well enough)" and a couple major changes can help improve your application, and stir up some press coverage.

The Architect 2.0 

29 February 2012 - 01:23 PM
still don't see the problem.

Microsoft honestly hasn't changed any major UI elements, except for the start button(it will be missed :( ).

you see how I'm ignoring the Metro interface because it is 'ignorable'?

The Architect 2.0 

29 February 2012 - 01:24 PM
just don't use metro if you don't want to? why are so many people against having options? it's like we're turning into OS X people :P

I believe the desktop view is still perfectly capable of running like windows 7(minus the start button).


29 February 2012 - 05:06 PM
what I like about the new Windows 8 is the copying information. There is a lot that have been better then Windows XP. But one thing I miss is the ease you can share a fold on the network. But what I am curious is A. What will Windows 8 cost? and B. how many version of Windows 8?


02 March 2012 - 12:52 PM
I don't understand the Metro hate. AFAIK you can use windows 8 just like 7 (desktop, explorer.exe, etc.)


02 March 2012 - 09:35 PM
To be honest I am not that much against Metro, its just multitasking on a screen with no touch support requires extra effort and I am a heavy multi-tasker.

A small change that will help make it easier for me personally would be to make the task bar(where all current / pinned) visible even when running Metro apps on desktops / laptops. I understand not having one for phones / tablets but having downloaded the preview, I've hated the extra time it takes for me to switch between apps.

I know about keyboard shortcuts but i still prefer using a mouse even when using my laptop at home. Included the visibility of the task bar in Metro Apps as optional would be a good enough comprimise.


04 March 2012 - 03:58 AM
I'm too lazy to install the preview version but as the post above by 37Liion, I understand that there is this thing in the metro icon to let you return to windows 7...if I'm not wrong the only down side is when you switch to windows 7 "look", the "windows start" button don't work like the actual start button (or is there even a start button?)

I'm not that sure..the last I saw any vids on Win 8 was few months back.

Anyway if Win7 is anything like Win XP, then I expect Microsoft to support it for the next 10 years so I won't worry too much about Windows 8


05 March 2012 - 01:17 PM
Been using it for a while now, it's gorgeous. Multitasking is made easier from that switcher bar (I use Remote Desktop + the main "Desktop" a lot, along with Messenging and Music apps).

Haven't had any issues so far, it's very fast and Visual Studio 11, is gorgeous. Helps focus more on code than anything, absolutely love it.


07 March 2012 - 12:47 PM

RudiVisser, on 05 March 2012 - 03:17 PM, said:

Been using it for a while now, it's gorgeous. Multitasking is made easier from that switcher bar (I use Remote Desktop + the main "Desktop" a lot, along with Messenging and Music apps).

Haven't had any issues so far, it's very fast and Visual Studio 11, is gorgeous. Helps focus more on code than anything, absolutely love it.

Yeah we had a tech-preview at work of Visual Studio 11. Can't wait to get that at work and at home.
on a side note, sorry if you have commented and it didn't show up, apparently not everyone's comment got auto approved for this post


08 March 2012 - 01:59 PM
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