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Win 8 February Non-Surprise

On Monday I reported rumors that a Win 8 beta would be out in the next few months. The rumor mongers were correct. Microsoft now says the beta will be out before shortest month of the year ends.

Microsoft made the disclosure when hyping its new Windows Store, where you'll be able to buy your fill of Metro apps.

Win 8, which is generally expected to be released late next year, still needs work according to one tester who posted on The reader called Metro "a UI only a mother could love. 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."

The tester also blasted the classic look: "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 more than the working foundation of an OS that will be out in a year."

What is your experience with the Win 8 preview? Share at

Posted by Doug Barney on 12/09/2011 at 1:18 PM

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Reader Comments:

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 Bruce DeLand, FL

One other thing ... I agree about the blog engine. I even tried inserting some HTML tags into my text to split up the paragraphs and it strips 'em all out. Need to update this thing!

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 Bruce DeLand, FL

I'll echo what was said about the classic desktop interaction with Metro. It does feel "Patched" in. I hope that's not the way the released version is intended to work. I played with the preview for awhile. It does seem to work well but I'd much rather run Metro as a subsystem to the classic desktop rather than having Metro presented first. Metro should be an application layer under classic, IMHO. Why not have 2 start-up options when it runs? Allow it to run as a "classic" desktop with Metro as an application or have it start up in Metro?

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 80s Rocket

Hey Barney, you should quite wrong negative articles about others products until you can get an updated blog engine. It really sucks that what you enter its not how it is displayed (linefeeds removed, etc). Makes responses hard to read and discourages people to post. Really sad for technical site like Redmond Magazine.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 80s Rocker

Tester sounds like someone who doesn't like the Metro UI no matter what device its on (phone, tablet, desktop). Also, like others have pointed out, it is not even in beta yet. Also, if you are going to rant about a preview/beta don't generalize (be specific) about what is wrong. Also give options on how you would make the specific user experience better. Otherwise, how can MS improve it before final release. I wouldn't let this get beta test it. MS needs testers who will do an honest evaluation & give good suggestions on ways to improve areas tester finds lacking. Ranting about what is so bad is waste of everyones time. Wish I had gotten one of the dev devices from BUILD. I'd use it everyday and make as many suggestions on how to improve Win8, not just rag on it. Some people don't appreciate the opportunity they have to make Win8 the best it can be before release.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011

People the traditional desktop interface (which looks like Win7) is there if you don't want to use the Metro UI - it's your choice.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 dale mi

DOA for businesses if they keep that default. Kiosks for kids and gamers perhaps. Otherwise a pure failure of an interface.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011 Jer

Microsoft, you've got to be kidding. Yes, your metro screen does support the iPad's ease of access for masses, but for real computer users - give us all an option to disable the metro-thing and go with a standard Start menu. Kudos for attempting to unify all Microsoft's OS's with 8, but don't ruin my real-computer experience. Enhance Windows 7, don't hamstring it. Jer

Fri, Dec 9, 2011

Total failure of an article. THe developer preview doesn't even include features demoed at the build conference. Wait till you use the beta yourself.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011

That first poster is right - how about a positive post from you once in while, Doug??

Fri, Dec 9, 2011

"Still needs work" - what a genius that guy is!! Of course it still needs work, it's not even in Beta yet.

Fri, Dec 9, 2011

What part of "Developer Preview" does your one tester not understand?? The Windows 8 build that is out there is designed to incent developers to build Metro-style applications. We already know how to write desktop apps, so are you suprised that not much effort was put into making that a good experience in so early of a build?? Doug, you seem like quite the Microsoft hater for a guy that runs a magazine focusing on Microsoft technologies. Why don't you balance off your complainer with someone who thinks the Metro interface provides a fresh approach to the user experience?

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