Windows 8 Developer Preview

There is nothing like the smell of a brand new Operating System. Just recently Microsoft made Windows 8 Developer Preview available to any developer/user a chance to get a sneak peak at the latest and newest OS. Windows 8 Developer Preview can be downloaded HERE. Yes this is a legit Download so you will not get in trouble for trying out this new OS.

Windows 8 is somewhat different from we are used to seeing from Microsoft. Microsoft added the capability of installing and using of aps (like Table/smart phone aps) into Windows 8. We no longer have the traditional “Start up menu”, all of our programs we installed gets placed on the Metro Start menu (this is the first screen you are taken to upon a boot up). But Windows 8 does carry over a lot of Windows 7 functionality we all got used, but again it is somewhat different. I am going to show you some of the changes that Microsoft did with Windows 8, to kind of get an idea on what to expect from this New Operating System.

I will have to warn you that I made some tweaks to the main Windows 8 GUI to better suit my unique needs. I will be doing separate articles on how to better customize Windows 8 and gain access to the standard Start menu programs with out modifying Windows 8 look and feel. Time to give Windows 8 a quick look through.

All of these images are off of my 8560w Workstation from HP, review can be located HERE.

Opening Screen (Metro Start Up)


This is the first screen we get as soon as we boot up our computers with Windows 8. As you can see it totally different from what the previous OS’ looked like from Microsoft. I got rid of all of the “Installed Aps” As these stock Aps did not suit my personal needs. But if you noticed the programs I installed onto Windows 8 are showing up on the main Opening GUI screen, this screen is called the Metro Start up Screen. Now we still have a desktop, to gain access to the desktop, just click the desktop button.

Desktop


Other then missing the Start button we all gotten used to, the main desktop looks identical to the previous OS’. If you noticed there is no way for us to gain access to our Computer, such as the Storage Devices installed onto our computers.

Icon Guide

 A quick interrupt, I ended making some minor little tweaks to Windows 8. This is one of them Tweaks I had to make, showing the Icons on the desktop. To gain access to the Computer, Network, Control Panal, Personal folders in Windows 8, we will have to place these Icons on to the desktop. This is no different from how you do this on Windows Vista, and Windows 7.

Right click on an empty spot of the desktop Which is pretty much anywhere as we don’t have anything up on the desktop 😉 ). Then go to Personalize, and click it.

In the new window that pops up, locate Change Desktop Icons to the left side pane, and click that link.

This is where we can show the most common Icons and have them show up on the Desktop. Computer (access to our storage devices), User’s Files (Personal Folder), Network (self explanatory), Recycle Bin (this is already shown), and finally the Control Panel. Click/check the ones you want shown on the Desktop. I will show all of the Icons on the Desktop.


Click Apply and then Ok to save the settings. Like so, pretty simple. on with Windows 8.

Thank you, now back to my thoughts of Windows 8.

The Explorer Window(s).










As we can see the Explorer windows is not much different from previous Windows versions, other then Microsoft added some rather nice GUI tweaks to it. To name a few of these tweaks is we can Preview the files/images of our computer, Change the size of the Icons on the fly (Windows 7/Vista also could do this). We can unhide hidden folders on the fly, and with out having to go inside of the Folder and Search Options, unlike previous Window versions.

Task Manager







To gain access to the Task Manager, just hold the following buttons on your keyboard, CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. And, this is what you will be presented with. As we can see Microsoft even tweaked the over look of the Task Manager. I personally like the new look of the Task Manager myself. Now before any of you freak out about my “High Memory Usage of 50%+” I do not have any virus’ on my Workstation that is being caused from a rather uniquer program that uses a portion of your system memory as a drive for your various Windows/Program uses. That Program is called RAM Disk, I will get more into depth of this program on another article.

Control Panel

The Control Panel did not change at all. Good job Microsoft, for keeping one of the most confusing areas of the OS the same way.

Network


Other then adding a few new options to the top of the Networking window, it is not much different from what we are used to seeing in Windows 7. Minor Differences but not enough to confuse us completely on how to configure our Homegroup/Network(s).

Final Last Two Images

Since Microsoft did completely away with the “Traditional Start Up Menu”, I could not classify these last two images.
Now to gain acces back to Metro Start Up screen, just bring your Cursor to the far bottom lfet corner of the desktop and you will see a little menu pop up. If you click Start, it will bring up the Metro Start Up Screen, You will have other options like Search (Self Explanitory), Share files with other devices/network, Devices, and finally Settings. If you click on the Settings Option you will get this next Screen.
This one here, this is where we can restart Windows 8,  Turn off Windows 8, Hibernate Windows 8, adjust the Volume, and a few other things.

Final Thoughts

As I said earlier, this is just a quick introduction on what to expect from Windows 8. As we can see Microsoft did quite a bit of changes to this OS from what we are already used to seeing from previous OS’. I do not know what to think right at this moment and time. I do like the overall look and feel of Windows 8, but there are some things that made using Windows 8 a challenge. One of these challenges was there is no access to the Start up Menu Programs, so I had to go looking for where this Start Up menu was hiding within Windows 8 so i can make a Quick Launch out of it, so I can gain access to those programs that I installed. Granted, after you install a program it will be listed on the main Metro Screen, but I do not want to have to keep enter that screen to start up a program, also I like having access to my run command (which I had to go dig for as well). Turning off/restarting Windows 8 is rather awkward, you go from one side of the screen to the other so you can reboot/shut down the computer.

I am currently reserved about the usage of Windows 8 currently, I will have to admit the more I get use Windows 8, is the more I am starting to like it. But this was after I was able to make a few tweaks to it, otherwise Windows 8 would have came off my Workstation just as fast as I installed it (if not faster because it only takes a couple of minutes to format a drive.) As far as programs, I have not ran into major problems with getting most of the programs work in Windows 8, but I cannot vouch for them all. Drivers, I am using the ones that Hp has available on their website for the 8560w Workstation. I will have to say there were a couple of drivers I could not get to install on Windows 8, I do not use those devices so I am not missing anything, those drivers were the Finger Print validity, and one other minor thing.

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