I’ve done it. I now have a working Windows 8 Consumer Preview running on my MacBook Air. The installation was as quick as Windows 7. Hence, it didn’t surprise me since I have installed Windows 7 numerous time. I just don’t like the fish logo which replaces the Windows logo when booting up. During setup, I just chose the express settings and then logged in using my hotmail account. That reminded me that I haven’t checked my hotmail account for months. I kind of just forgot that I still have a hotmail account!
As expected, I was greeted by the so called Metro UI style screen. I wasn’t quite sure what to do at first and it certainly didn’t look as user friendly as it could be. However, a few minutes of navigating around, Windows 8 is actually very fun to use. It’s colorful and everything is laid out totally in front of me. It does look like using a giant 13.3″ mobile phone but I like it though. Whether or not it will bore me in the future is another story but I am quite sure I will be playing with it quite often. I am even playing with the thought of installing it on my netbook.
There is the Live Tile where you can see up-to-date weather forecast as well as latest emails. I hope that when Windows 8 is officially launched, it will allows users to customize their own Live Tile such as pointing to Facebook or any RSS feeds.
On the other hand, I just wish that Microsoft gets rid of the desktop totally. It’s pointless in having a stylish UI yet keeping the rubbish desktop. Well, if you haven’t seen Windows 8, let me give you some idea of it. You get the windows desktop but without the Start button, or shall I say invisible Start button. If you hover your mouse to the bottom left corner, a little start windows will appear. Click on it and it will bring you the Metro UI screen. So, the Metro UI screen is giving you list of boxes of pinned apps and by right clicking on it, you have the option to see all apps. Essentially, it’s a fancy way of viewing all your apps or pinned apps in a restyled yet effective screen.
Some apps like calendar, email, settings, photos and etc have a totally revamped interface while some stuffs like control panel, device manager and the likes still have the same old windows standard box UI. Maybe some will disagree, but I certainly would like to see the final version of Windows 8 to be freed from desktop.
As I am using Parallel 7 for Mac to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview as a virtual copy, it didn’t work as smooth as I thought it will be. The touchpad was sluggish and scrolling was a bit of a nightmare at times. However, it’s fair to say that my version of Parallel 7 doesn’t actually support Windows 8. There’s a new update but I haven’t got around to download and install it. The whole installation costs around 9GB of disk space which in my opinion is a lot. In addition, my copy of virtual Windows 8 Consumer Preview couldn’t shut down properly.
As one of the tech blogs mentioned, the search is your friend, and it really is. Forget about the search in previous versions of windows though Windows 7 search is an improvement but it’s nothing like Windows 8 search. Some things you have to try it to believe it.
In a sense, Windows 8 takes its ideas from Mac OSX. The Metro UI screen is like Mac OSX Launchpad except that it does more things; more like how Android home page compared to iOS home page. Mac OSX still keeps its “desktop” except that Mac’s “desktop” is more useful compared to Windows 8’s “desktop”. The search in Windows 8 works as good as if not better than Mac OSX. Better yet, most of Windows 8 settings and apps are now being shown in full screen and everything is clear and easy to use.
Now, I can’t wait for it to be launched. I might even be thinking of getting a Windows Phone!