First thing I seewhen trying to install Windows 8 Developer Preview in VMWare 7.1:
Guess I should use VMWare 8 instead. Let's try again...
...Oh, I should choose Windows 7 as the OS, not just the generic "Other", I guess... I thought "Other" would work for everything.As far as installation goes, this Developer Preview is much like what you'd expect from Windows NT 6.x.
Later on in the installation process, it'll get its Metro look.
Nice sense of humor, Microsoft.
Well that's... broken. Also, you now have the option to logon with your Live account.
This particular part hasn't changed since the Windows 3 days.
The first thing you'll see after finishing installation is the Start screen. The scrollbar below will show up only when you scroll (which is basically copying Lion without copying the part where you can disable it), and attempt to scroll it with the scroll wheel will make the whole scrolling stop working after a while, at least this is the case here in VMWare.
Clicking the Desktop, uh, App will make this show up. It's basically Windows minus the Start Menu (the Start icon will bring the Metro screen instead), which makes using the environment very difficult.
And you can't even set up the Start Menu anymore. Registry editing can restore the familiar menu, and let's hope Microsoft doesn't remove that as well.
As far as the UI goes, I'd say the Desktop part is nicely improved in some areas, but other parts are a disaster.
Some worry Windows 8 would be like Vista. And guess what? They have a point.
Developer Preview has mainly two themes, the default Windows theme and Windows Basic. Extended is basically for extending the desktip across monitors and is used for when you have multiple monitors of the same pixel height. Gone is the classic theme; maybe that will be unique to Server editions in future versions of Windows.
This is what the default theme looks like:
And this is Windows Basic:
The close button comes in two sizes:
And the opening/closing window animation now has a ever-so-slightly 3D effect:
The programs have seen some changes too. Windows Explorer has got the Ribbon, which is impratical in my opinion. The side of the Ribbon shows that the icons do not collapse like Paint / WordPad / Office / Windows Live do. (Paint and WordPad are not updated in this release and still use the old Ribbon.)
And, possibly the best improvement in this release - the new Task Manager:
And Metro? Disaster.
The logon screen has to be unveiled since it is covered by a screen. That can be done by dragging the screen upward or by double-clicking it. This is what it looks like:
Most panels in the Start screen can be switched between large and small versions, and come in a up-to-down, left-to-right order, and two of the small ones take up one large panel's size. It's basically this layout:
The panels can be dragged. They can be resized by right-clicking on it and choose the option at the bottom of the screen.
It has a small menu that can be launched by putting the cursor at the bottom-left corner. A mini-Start Menu, if you will. But it's nowhere as good.
Starting an app will bring in the splash screen for a while, and then the actual program loads. Since I have chosen for it not to access updated information, all I see in these apps is a black green screen. Clicking the background of these apps will bring you back to the Start screen. Not exactly what you'd call fast, and the antialiasing isn't very good at all - wait, isn't this supposed to be vector? Why those jags? (See the letter W)
The worst news: Metro has found a way to invade the desktop. Certain things, like the Network Connection mini dialog launched from the Taskbar and some balloon tips, have been Metro-ized:
Finally, take a peek into the new iExplore X. Even in the desktop environment, you can see the scrollbar and the HTML5 video controls are very Metro-like. Also, our suddenly oh-so-standard-loving Microsoft somehow managed to offend both proprietory format and open standard supporters by shoving HTML5 code in an XHTML1 document.
They also said the Metro version of IE won't support plugins like Flash Player, Shockwave Player, Reader, Java, Unity3D, QuickTime, whatever other media player is out there, and SILVERLIGHT
Conclusion? Metro is basiclally next to unusable on a desktop. The desktop side needs quite some changes too; mainly with the large Ribbon that should have been customizable instead.