Windows 8 Developer Preview: First Thoughts

As the Windows 8 beta draws close, I took some time yesterday and downloaded the 64 bit Windows 8 Developer Preview from Microsoft.  As far as a developer preview, the operating system seemed relatively stable and boot time was if anything, faster than Windows 7.  I also really like the new Bootloader to select OSes (it has mouse support, and is full resolution).

Now onto the OS itself.  Keep in mind that I was trying the OS on a computer without a touch screen or a multitouch trackpad When you first log onto the OS, the new lock screen with the time and date with the nice image background is very tasteful.  The problem is, if you’re a new user, where will you click to login?  To get to the login screen you have to Double Click on the lock screen which does a little sort of a multitouch animation that makes it look like you pulled the login screen up by dragging the lock screen away.  It is really clumsy when you are using it on a computer without a touch screen, but it would probably look good if you had one.  I think Microsoft needs to have a setting when installing the OS that lets you tell the OS whether you have a touch screen or not, so that the OS can optimize the experience to either desktop or tablet use.

Right now, the compromise is not great for either party.  This is something that I am really concerned about.  They have done away with the powerful start menu and replaced it with a touch screen interface, the new Metro that you have probably heard about, and possibly used (it is featured in Windows Phone 7 right now).

Dialogue boxes have been replaced by little notification bars that pop up from the bottom (sort of how like internet explorer now has notification bars rather than dialogue boxes too).

Overall, I am not really fond of the new UI, but I am interested to see what changes in the upcoming Beta.