Not too long ago, we’ve reviewed Windows 8 Consumer Preview, a view of what’s to come in Windows 8 when Microsoft will finally release it. We’ve made some points on how the design was elegant, yet there were a few things that might disappoint some users. This time, Microsoft released the Windows 8 Release Preview to give you a final peek at what you’re going to expect when Windows 8 comes out. The release preview might give us some insight after all on what Microsoft intends for this new operating system and how we’ll be able to work with it in the future.
Note that nothing in Windows 8′s Release Preview is final. However, Microsoft might just do a couple of minor adjustments after this. What you see is very close to the final product.
You can download Microsoft’s Windows 8 Release Preview here, if you’d like. Do not install this on a partition as an upgrade to your current primary installation. Install it on either a new drive, new partition, an unused computer, or a virtual machine (like I do). You’ll get a key that you need to write down once you start the installation.
Well, the introductory screen is rather cute and similar to the one we’ve seen in Windows 8 CP:
There seem to be more colors to choose from, empowering you to personalize your computer more. The next steps are just a bunch of configuration mumbo jumbo we’ve already covered in our review of Windows 8 CP, so let’s move on.
The next step was to sign in to your Microsoft account. You can use any Windows Live account to be able to store app data and other configurations particular to your Windows installation. The setup also allows you to enter a phone number with which to receive an SMS when you want to recover the account in case you lose your password.
After the setup’s complete, I see the usual Metro screen, only slightly different:
The Start screen’s background has changed, but nothing much overall is different. The task manager and other features we had a look at are the same. Now here’s what’s different in the Release Preview:
- Metro interface is much smoother operating from a mouse and keyboard. Others who have installed the update on tablets have tested it and found it to be very smooth as well.
- Response time is excellent even on a virtualization environment.
- It’s easier to navigate the charms and open apps bars through the mouse.
This kind of improvement in performance might make the actual release of Windows 8 something to look forward to.
Although there are a lot of users who are understandably upset at the interface changes, it’s just because you have something to get used to. Some people weren’t terribly excited when Microsoft made the transition from MS-DOS 4.0 to a fully-functional desktop GUI.
Because of the difficulties some people might encounter while trying to get used to the Metro/Desktop interfaces, Microsoft has promised that it will integrate a tutorial interface that will come packaged with Windows 8′s release, allowing people to learn how to use the interface without having to figure out the ropes on their own.
Any comments? Questions? Insights? Leave them below in the comments section!