Last night I installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview in a virtual machine so I could play around with the new interface and see what all the hubbub is about.
My initial reactions really aren’t positive. With the new Metro interface, I really got the impression that it probably works well on a tablet, but it’s a big hindrance on a workstation. Everything jumps to full screen mode. There’s no obvious way to close programs. Solitaire doesn’t work in a remote desktop session. How the hell do you break Solitaire??
The interface seems to randomly jump back to the old style now and then, depending on what program you run, but it’s still missing any sort of traditional start menu to run other programs.
I found that there was a general lack of tool tips on icons so I had no idea what they did, and right-clicking stuff never seemed to do anything of value. I guess you can’t right-click with your finger on a touchscreen, so they just didn’t bother with it.
Overall, I’m really quite disappointed. I understand the convergence of operating systems between phones and tablets. Apple did it, and Google did it, and it makes sense.
Converging the desktop interface just doesn’t make any sense at all though. I mean… why do I need to keep hitting the Windows key to get out of programs? Why can’t I just click on the other window to go do something there… besides the fact that there seems to be no other windows.
I know this is just a preview and there could be major changes coming. I HOPE there are major changes coming. Otherwise I suppose it’ll be Windows 7 for the next generation for me. Why not? I’m still running Windows XP at work.