I got to test out the Windows 8 consumer preview and I just wanted to share my thoughts on it. At a glance, Windows 8 seems to be more media, gaming and social network oriented. The lavish start screen makes it easy to access mail and other social media, but it complicates getting around the Windows system. More than that, the start screen seems to have taken the place of the traditional start menu with a spiffed up user interface which offers a new way to add and access applications.
Windows 8’s Risky Changes
I think Microsoft took a big risk here departing from what most users are used to with Windows 8. The new user interface totally changes how users get around Windows, which can be “un-user-friendly” for lack of a better term. But then again, since the functionality of Windows 8’s user interface is based on the current gaming, entertainment media and social networking trends – that might not be a big issue. My guess is the younger generation will be the biggest consumers for Windows 8.
Beyond the different start screen in Windows 8, everything is quite similar to Windows 7, excluding the start menu. If you don’t like Windows 8’s start screen, you can set your system to the traditional desktop. So, the biggest question becomes, is it worth upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 8? Well, that is up to you – the consumer. If you are willing to learn your way around Windows 8 and like to have a sliding panel of applications at your fingertips, you might enjoy Windows 8. Since I did not see much in the Windows 8 consumer preview that would make it fit for a business setting, Windows 8 might be more popular with the home user.
For advanced users who want to see whether or not Windows 8 is for them, I would recommend that you download and try out the Windows 8 consumer preview. Download Windows 8 consumer preview from Microsoft, and run it on a virtual machine like Virtual Box or create a new partition on an existing hard drive. You could also run it from a separate hard drive, which I prefer to do. It might take a while to download if you have a slow internet connection. So be prepared for the long, slow download.