Windows 8: My First Impressions


 

The download took a while due to the high demand when I started the download but it was steady at a reasonable speed. Microsoft used Akami as their CDN, I wonder why not Azure? But then again, Akami is a proven product and Azure is still in its infancy.

 

Rather than go out and buy Double Sided DVD’s I used the older Microsoft USB tool to copy the files onto a flash drive, while this was running I freed up some space on my boot drive and created a partition ready for Windows 8.. It installed in about 15 minutes after several reboots.  Microsoft still believes that everyone is in the Pacific Time Zone and doesn’t ask you about your time zone on the install.  It should come right after you select your language, IMHO.  So after you get the chance to logon you can change your time zone and then change the clock to show the correct time.  I was glad I didn’t have to change the date back.. be wary if you install any Microsoft O/S after 9PM local if you are in the Eastern Time Zone.. If you are in another time zone adjust as necessary.

 

I had to switch the display as I have 2 displays (25” primary HD) and a 23” secondary switched them around and enabled the 2nd display then I was in business.  A few drivers were not found so I just used the drives from my windows 7 windows\system32\driverstore and it was back up and running with all devices enabled.  Glad to see that my USB 3.0 ports worked out of the box.. was a shock on my first install of this motherboard that my keyboard and mouse were in the USB 3.0 ports and non functional in Windows 7 without the proper drivers installed (which was a puzzler as I have no USB 3.0 devices so didn’t care where I had plugged in the devices.. But that is another story.

 

First off you have a Metro style boot screen with your operating system selections which was a surprise (to say the least). It boots relatively fast I’ll have to try it with a full install with all my apps running (going to try an upgrade install later on today) so I can compare the 2 operating systems and get a true impression of the “faster boot times” that are advertised and seen on the BUILD videos (which were impressive).

 

You now can have a task bar on each monitor you have and they are individually configurable and you can move the start button to whichever screen you want with a click on the start button holder.  The desktop now being your start menu takes a lot to get used to. This being a developer preview I am guessing they want the dev’s to make use of the new things and create Metro Style Apps. There is NO way out of the box to get the standard (older start menu) out of the box, will be testing an add-on later on to get this back..

I also found out there are 2 Internet explorers (a metro one) and Internet Explorer 10.. The Metro one is non tabbed (one display window only and takes a few clicks to switch windows).. I  had started the Windows 8 Server downloads in this window and found out to my chagrin that there is NO progress indicator I had to go into task manager and watch my download speeds to try and guess when the download was done.. No Ctrl-J to bring up the downloads screen.. This Metro IE does not support add-ons or plugins either.. The standard IE 10 does support plugins and add-ons and I tried to look in the downloads but they run in separate instances so I had no idea how long these downloads were going to take and the file transfer manager that I had paused previously and was going to restart later on didn’t work.. I was terrified to shut this system down for a reboot as required by Windows Update (Yes there are updates already) so told it to wait 4 hours, then another 4 hours. The downloads took about 5 hours (Windows Server 8 Developer Preview) and all I could do was wait.

 

I didn’t try all of the preinstalled apps but those I tried were OK, better with a touch screen but this is a desktop PC, mouse and keyboard only..

More to continue…

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