Windows 8

I installed Windows 8 preview on my tablet PC yesterday; so far so good as the install went smoothly enough once I cleared the 16GB of disk space it needs for the install process – I was left with 9GB after the install so its quite hefty.

The new Start screen is the same layout as the one on my Windows Phone 7.5; It will take a bit of getting used to it. The desktop and Taskbar are still there but you get to them from a button / shortcut (not sure what to call them yet) on the Start screen. As you can see the buttons come in two sizes; the double sized one with the picture of a fire is my desktop. A number of the buttons are animated; i.e. the Photo’s button cycles through your Picture libraries.

Out of the box there are a number of Apps such as Mail, Calendar and People (Contacts); much the same as previous versions although you can link up and synchronise these with your online accounts such as Hotmail and Google as well as domain(work) Exchange accounts.

I’m still trying to get to grips with the new Internet Explorer 10 though; there does not appear to be a favourites feature and it always goes to the last page browsed instead of the home page; for that mater there isn’t a home page button either which is rather annoying. Hopefully it is just a case of me not having found these bits yet.

You’ll notice that the address bar is down at the bottom of the page and there are no other toolbars; the address bar slides away when not in use to free up that area as well. Personally I like this as it allows the use of the whole screen for the page you are on and I often put IE (previous versions) into full screen mode by pressing F11, particularly when I am demonstrating products to my clients on a projector. Now for the bad bit (again this is a preview so hopefully it will get fixed before release) when you hide the Windows task bar or put IE into full screen mode, the taskbar/toolbars slide out when you push your mouse to the side of the screen they are on; this is not happening with IE10.

There are some nice bits for the people who like to get behind the scenes; i.e. the new task manager is much more useful with improvements on the process tree and the performance graphs.

So; first impressions? I have only had it a day and I’m still debating it; when I first installed each of the preview (beta) of previous versions of Windows I was always very enthusiastic having immediately liked what I saw; this time I am not so sure. Don’t get me wrong, I like the concept of the sliding screen and the new start screen on my Windows Phone 7.5; I’m just not sure I like it on my laptop or desktop.

More to follow as I discover new bits – you never know it might grow on me.

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