|The Start Menu|
Almost everything is different and the OS seems more fit for a phone or tablet, a field Windows 8 is trying to occupy. But it's also a fit for being a Desktop OS. While Android is slowly closing the gap between microOS and Desktop Computing just through its evolution, Windows 8 tries to do both at the same time
And it works, mostly. (Or TL;DR I like it)
The process of installation was verbatim to installing Windows 7, so if you've done that, you can do this with your eyes closed. I'm unsure of how long the whole process took, but it felt similar to the time I've taken to install Windows countless times. I was really hopping for a live installation like one might find in a Ubuntu or Fedora, but maybe we'll see that later this year. This is a Developer Preview, afterall.
|The Metro Style Splash Screen|
From the onset you'll stare at the new and completely different Star Menu (see the header for this post). The Start Menu is riddled with widgets, live feeds and prettiness.
|Non-metro apps are pretty ugly, but some modification could change that|
It looks and feels very odd at first, but give it some time and it will grow on you. At first it seems like the Start Menu just isn't meant for a desktop, but it does alright. It's obviously optimized for a touch screen, but that doesn't feel in the way. I loved what Microsoft did with the Taskbar in Windows 7, and this new Start Menu feels like an extension of that. I feel like with some tweaking, and a heavy ability to customize, this menu will find its way into the hearts of many.
The instant search that made the Start Menu more powerful in Win7 is still very much present, and stronger than ever. Making the Start Menu full screen sounds a little silly at first, but in all honesty it gives it a lot of room to grow. In Vista and 7, Microsoft minimized the space it took up. In 8, it's made larger than life, honestly matching its importance in the OS. While some may think it looks silly, especially for a desktop, I've found it to be quite powerful.
|I wasn't sure where to put this Screen Shot|
I remember seeing a feature where metro-apps and desktop-apps can be used and switched side-by-side, but I haven't figured out how to use it, if it's still around. Plenty of features got cut from Vista that were in Longhorn, so I'd be unsurprised if it's no longer around.
|Ribbon, in my explorer? More likely than you think.|
|This is my total experience with IE|
Once I installed Firefox, I discovered that Windows 8 didn't like that at all, but at least I can use it. Installing Chrome resulted in a BSoD, which has been replaced by a frownie face and a user friendly message. BSoDs aren't that scary anymore. It's more like Frownie Face of Death now. Also, some websites just don't load. Websites that are there for sure, just don't load at all. Firefox just tells me it doesn't exist. I don't know if this is an issue with me, Firefox or Windows 8, but I want to blame Windows because they worked before.
|A Twitter App That Doesn't Display a Timeline|
Windows 8 isn't ready for consumer consumption yet, but the preview gives a pretty good idea of what it will be. Microsoft will be announcing a public Beta later this month, on February 29 at the Mobile World Congress. It will hopefully work better. I must say, though, I really do enjoy Windows 8. I'm not sure how it would do on a phone or tablet, I'm strictly coming from a Desktop standpoint, but I'm sure the experience would be fluid on a Tablet for sure, and I'm sure the experience is similar to Windows Phone 7.
I have to say, though, I really like Android and what Google and Modders have done to it. I want to say that it fits very perfectly with the capabilities and evolution of tablets and phones. It's powerful and capable. It's been built from the ground up for tablets and phones. I'm not sure if Microsoft will be able to occupy the space with the effectiveness of Android, but I know there is an audience for a Windows Tablet. I'm just unsure of the breadth of that audience.
I want Windows 8 to do well. I'm excited.