Windows 8 – The first week


So, after a solid week of seriously using Windows 8 Preview on my primary workstation, I can finally give an educated opinion on the product.

VPN
Epic. Fail. What was Microsoft thinking? What was wrong with the previous VPN dialog? Due to the way the new dialog is implemented, it is impossible to copy/paste credentials into the dialog because the dialog cancels out as soon as it loses focus. PPTP VPN is also broken in Win 8 Preview since I can no longer log into one of my VPN networks, Windows reports invalid credentials even though I have no problem logging into the VPN server from Windows 7. This is definitely a HUGE problem for me in the long run, I hope they fixed it in the RTM. For now using a VM to VPN into a client site.

Start Button
Ok, I got used to not having the start button pretty quickly. However, the implementation of the UI on multiple screens is completely broken. When I click on an icon on my right screen, why does it slide out on the center screen? The “start” menu is so full of crap that it’s impossible to find the software i’m looking for, fortunately i’m used to type-search the program I’m looking for so I don’t often have to hunt through that mess. Also, when running a windows VM in full screen, attempting to click the Start button in the VM causes the host to popup the Start menu, because it decides that it wants to popup on hover. It does this even on screens that have no taskbar!

vSphere Client
Works for the most part. Can’t connect to VM console. Can’t really blame Microsoft entirely on it, but it helps. I hope VMware steps up and releases an update to the vSphere client. This is kinda important, not critical since VMware Workstation 8 supports connecting the vSphere hosts and opening console through it works fine.

Devices
Here again most devices worked without a problem. The only problem I had was with Creative X-Fi Titanium card. I installed Windows 7 driver which was fine, until next reboot where all traces of the install disappeared. Attempting to re-install the driver was met with “You already installed the driver, must reboot before installing again”. Countless reboots later, registry tweaks, could not get rid of the error. Even after finding Windows 8 beta drivers for it. Same message. Gave up and installed Asus Xonar card with the hacked Unified drivers, since no Official/Beta drivers are available either.

There’s no doubt without addressing some of the UI quirks, Windows 8 is going to be the new Vista. I’m hoping Windows 9 is right around the corner.


One response to “Windows 8 – The first week”

  1. I installed Window 8 the week the Customer Preview was made available. After trying to run the new platform for about 2 weeks, I punted and went back to Windows 7.

    The deal breaker for me was not the Metro UI per say but rather the way Microsoft reworked how users interact with the System UI and open application windows. The core of my complaints was that the UI changes introduced in Windows 8 and the design of the new Windows 8 ‘apps’ had a negative impact multiple monitor usage, which in turn greatly diminished multitasking efficiency. I run (3)x 19” Monitors and heavily utilize all the screen real estate. Inefficiencies in that area were a show stopper.

    Windows 8 marked a major shift in philosophy for Microsoft. (I.E. – Creating a single common user interface for use across Smart Phones, Tablets, and PCs.) I think MS may have gotten too aggressive in what they tried to achieve. In short, my finding was that MS overlooked too many details or made too many compromises. At the release level of Windows 8 I used, Microsoft’s attempt to design a single OS UI that could be all things, to all people, across all hardware form factors; resulted in an epic fail for Windows 8.

    It will be interesting to watch the reactions from the popular as a whole and from the individual user segments. My belief is that the Windows 8’s changes may ultimately prove more unpopular than when Microsoft replaced the traditional windows menu system in Microsoft Office 2007 with ‘Ribbons’. Also if Microsoft is not careful, the release of Windows 8 could gain the same style negative stigma that was associated with the early iterations of Windows Vista. That as Microsoft proved with the “Windows Mojave” projects; some negative connotations can proved too big a hurdle to remedy in the arena of public opinion.

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