Is Windows 8 finally ready for prime time? Release date almost due!

Posted: October 9, 2012 in Uncategorized
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The world counts the days as well known, rock solid company Microsoft releases its new rebuilt, rethought and “reimagined” operating system, “Windows 8” on October 26. The worldwide launch will be held at “The Capitol of the World” New York City and millions around the world can’t wait for the launch of the final build while others are very disappointed at Microsoft for the brutal changes they have made to the windows legacy interface and some others are very skeptical or, well, unaware of this revolutionary product.


On September, 2011 Microsoft released their first compiled build “Windows 8 Developer Preview” for developers and enthusiast to try the OS and give their feedback and add their coding to construct together the later builds. I personally was one of those enthusiasts who downloaded Developer Preview to a spare computer, particularly a convertible, hybrid that could test its usage with the mouse and keyboard combo or touch screen interface. First thing noticed, since I had no clue how it was going to look or what it was about rather than acknowledging that it was Windows’s next OS, was the new “Start” screen called Metro interface. A full screen filled with tiles that would display live activity of the user like chat messages, weather, social media, e-mail, etc. and another tile called “Desktop” that would take you to the legacy interface which we have been familiar since the launch of Windows 95. It used to crash a lot and it was a very primitive build compared to what was promised and being intended for the final build. Neither the name of Windows 8 or its release date were confirmed or at least known by that time. It was a relief for my Dell Inspiron Duo that cried out loud FAILURE from the combination of its low end hardware and OEM installed Windows 7, yet there was a lot to be done.

Time passed by and the usability of Developer preview was close to none due to many crashes, lack of support/compatibility and the metro interface that certainly takes time to get used to. That’s when hardcore veterans of Windows OS’s started bashing Microsoft’s idea to integrate two UI’s totally different in a single one for the sake of reaching the touch screen interface users and keep the legacy desktop users as well. A very risky tactic that could lead to the lose of millions of users, and a very ambitious one at the same time.

On February 29, Microsoft released the next build of Windows 8 targeted to the end users as well called “Consumer Preview” which added lots of new features, fixed bugs and brought a ton of new apps like Music, Video, Camera, etc. It was also announced that there would be no flash support for either of the IE10, desktop or metro browsers in an effort of diminishing the loading time of the browsers using the new HTML5 technology, which was another risky step due to HTML5 format not being widely used in the majority of websites. New colors for metro UI, better looking less crashing OS, lots of great things and apps but the most noticeable and well announced change would be the farewell to the iconic Microsoft’s “start menu” button. It certainly got lots of windows veterans mad, calling Microsoft “sold out” and “not true” to their all time users. To me, Microsoft’s explanation of the start menu button omission sounded very understandable, claiming that the button was gone for good, but the start menu was there, reimagined and restructured in a screen full of the apps and programs you used the most.Old CRT TVs and monitors are now replaced with flat screens, horses and animals were eventually ditched for motorized vehicles as a transportation method, nothing lasts forever!

I certainly enjoyed Consumer Preview so much as my main operating system in my tablet convertible while still using W7 in another computer and playing here and there with some Linux distros, including Ubuntu and Mac OSX Lion. It was my favorite among them all since, besides the new improved interface, it could also get along with old low end hardware like an old Optiplex GX280 lying around not being used for a long time due to no support for a Windows 7 upgrade. It reached Windows Vista only, but guess what? Windows 8 had no installation issues and run smoother in a Pentium4 processor with 2GB of RAM than faulty Vista ever did. Yet, not solid enough to ever trust even a dual boot on my main computer, even if it surpasses any OS requirement, specially that I was enjoying it so much in a touch screen to care about basic configuration of mouse and keyboard like my main system has.

Along came “Release Preview” on May 31st to fix any other issues the last builds would ever had and improved stability and features greatly. It was slowly crawling its way up with new integrated solutions like mounting ISO files without the need of third party software, Disk management not hidden around for you to find or evoke in “Run” and the new ribbon full of features and options in File Explorer, former Windows Explorer. Little by Little I became more familiar with the Metro UI managed with mouse and keyboard, finding what I was looking for, specially for the fact that I needed to browse around and type more than what you can perform with a touch screen keyboard. Whenever I had to boot W7 I was always looking for the charm bar on the right side of the screen trying to access the Metro UI. That’s when for me, desktop became a very functional screen, where the core of the OS and its universal features were found, but not anymore the center of the universe and the transition to Metro-less W7 to the new W8 was almost complete.


Finally, Windows 8 RTM (release to manufacturer) was sent to companies like Dell, HP, Lenovo, etc. to start working on their hardware for the big launch scheduled for October 26. Several devices have been announced and demoed for the new Windows 8 from many manufacturers including Microsoft’s attempt to compete with Apple’s iPad called “Windows Surface” a new tablet computer with 2 different hardware configurations that could, according to Microsoft, impact heavily the iPad’s market. Windows 8 RTM was for obviously, manufacturers and developers that helped in the build process to try for 90 days. I got my copy of it with the 90 day trial while and did my respective upgrade. It was then when I realized that the time was due, and W7 was about to be history, at least for me. It was finally the mature version of that weak buggy OS I first installed almost a year before waiting curiously for the least build. I got another copy of it and went straight to my main computer and though I installed it in a different partition (duo to laziness of doing a back up of all my things) I was very sure it was finally ready for prime time, and indeed, it was! Mail app is absolutely convenient to manage all your accounts, as many ads you need, message app for FB and MSN, news, weather, compatibility, better drivers support than Windows 7 and a charming interface that I got so used to that makes me feel like home. Ready for the big launch on October 26, and definitely worth the wait.

Here’s a quick look of the final build, enjoy!

Store app

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Comments
  1. robiraheta says:

    Thank you! I find your blog very interesting as well 🙂

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