Microsoft released their second public preview of Windows 8 today which they are referring to as the “Consumer Preview Edition”. A more realistic title for this release might be “Consumer Panic Edition”. I was shocked to see that the new user interface hasn’t progressed since the developers preview edition was released last year.
If you’re feeling risky download one of the ISO files and take a look for yourself.
I installed the beta OS on a virtual machine using Virtual Box. The latest release of Virtual Box has full support for Windows 8.
Overall there doesn’t seem to be much that’s changed other than minor cosmetic tweaks.
The first difference I noticed during the installation of the beta fish to the loading screen. I guess Microsoft was trying to be clever about the fact that it’s a beta release.
The personalize page of the setup process received a minor tweak. In addition to assigning a PC name users can now select a background color from a pallet of predefined colors.
The Metro user interface received some minor tweaks. Some of the items are now smaller to make room for a few new things. Personally I still find the Metro interface to be very awkward and difficult to navigate. There doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the placement of icons, everything is just thrown together.
As far as I can tell nothings changed with the desktop, besides the new wallpaper of course. With the start menu gone I feel trapped whenever I’m on the desktop. To get back to the Metro screen you have to drag the mouse cursor to the lower left corner. There is a noticeable delay before the menu appears which seems unnecessary to me.
I haven’t seen any noticeable improvements in this release of Windows 8 which makes me wonder what Microsoft has been doing. It looks like all they’ve done is made a few minor changes to the interface and then gave it a new title. I keep hoping that Windows 8 will mature into a usable operating system by the time it’s released but at this point I’m not so sure that will ever happen.
Maybe the developers just don’t know what to do with the new interface, I know I sure don’t!