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Welcome the New Year with Win 8

I know a number of folks who are using the developer preview of Windows 8 successfully. I even sat in a full-day meeting with a Microsoft execs pounding away on a Win 8 tablet without a hitch. I can't always say that about my Win 7 laptop!

That's why I'm not surprised over reports that a full beta may be out this coming January or February. And that could fit in nicely with a late-year release (hopefully my current Dell will be fully amortized by then!).

The evidence is compelling. According to Redmond reporter Kurt Mackie, Win 7 beta came out in January of 2009 with the final release gracing us that October. Does that math mean we could have a Halloween release of Win 8?

Rumors also have it that a new version of Office will also hit beta early next year, though that I can surely wait for.

These reports all revolve around the Intel version of Win 8. The port to ARM should be later -- maybe quite a bit later.

Do you care about Win 8? Why or why the heck not? Let your thoughts fly at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/05/2011 at 1:18 PM


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Reader Comments:

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 Bruce DeLand, FL

Do I care? No, not really. I used the DEV preview for awhile. Yeah, it works but as was mentioned above the desktop seems like an afterthought. I'm going to sit this one out for awhile. It's going to be one hell of a long time (if ever) before I won't find an audience for Windows desktop code. I still write stuff that will run on XP forward and so does the company I work for. Besides, to me, Metro is pretty butt ugly.

Tue, Dec 6, 2011

I'm running Win 7 on several machines, Win 8 preview on an Acer W500 tablet. Barney, I know you're having Win 7 problems but Win 7 is rock solid for me. Win 8 is stable considering it's pre-beta but I have noticed some UI quirks and might have restarted it once or twice. That said, Win 8's real problem isn't stability, it's a UI only a mother could love - and I'm not part of the anti-MS crowd. The gestures and navigation need to be far more natural and intuitive. Aesthetically, the GUI's style gets worse as you scale up in screen dimensions. The UI looks flat, loud and a bit fat on a tablet. Can't imagine it on my 26" PC monitor! Metro as the main interface is really bad when I hitch a keyboard to my Acer to use as a netbook. But even in tablet mode I use chromed IE rather than the crippled Metro IE (same engine less Flash, ActiveX, tabs, many config options, in-private browsing, etc). Face it, the web itself isn't very finger friendly so why screw up IE Metro for some superficial finger treatments that limit overall usability? The classic desktop is an afterthought that is so crippled I have to continually flip back and forth between it and Metro to get just about anything done with it, a frustration that gets old very quickly. Basic functions like file management aren't Metro friendly and shell you off to the desktop which feels wrong. Win 8 preview feels like some prototype proof-of-concept (like a concept car at an auto show) more than the working foundation of an OS that will be out in a year. If Apple's iOS and the me-too Android wasn't out MS could be forgiven but with so many good ideas to draw from and build upon Win 8's Metro is a real puzzler regarding it's immaturity as a concept. Ironic I was pondering WP7 (or WP8) on my next smartphone (using Android 2.3 right now).

Tue, Dec 6, 2011 ChrisL

Do I care about Win8? Nope. It doesn't bring any additional value. My current OS, Win7, is there to support the apps I run. I will get excited when I see a new "must have" app that will only run on Windows 8.

Mon, Dec 5, 2011 John L Detroit

I keep hearing the rumur about Dell coming out with a Windows 8 tablet in Jan or Feb, starting to look better and better!

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