Windows 8 Release Preview Brings Better Performance, Prepping For the Final Release

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!

Miguel Leiva-Gomez Miguel Leiva-Gomez

Miguel has been a business growth and technology expert for more than a decade and has written software for even longer. From his little castle in Romania, he presents cold and analytical perspectives to things that affect the tech world.


  1. MS putting a tutorial in to explain the interface worries me.. For some reason when I read that in your review it brought to mind images of clippy desperately trying to help me in Office 2000 while I was desperately trying to make him disappear permanently..

    1. It sounds like something you’ll be able to turn off. Nobody should have any problems with that.

    2. To add to what I said, I just hope it doesn’t turn into something like Microsoft Bob. That was just an icky situation.

  2. Please stop with the crap that people are just need to get used to something. This looks like crap, and functionally gets rid of a lot of stuff Windows was good for. Look at all those completely useless icons I’m never going to use that I can’t get rid of. At most I would run Internet Explorer, which would get me to everything else on that screen (save for games). And, seeing as Internet Explorer has pretty much always sucked, chances are I won’t be using that either. So I have an entire screen’s worth of things that are useless to me and pretty much anyone who generally doesn’t like Microsoft’s software other than the OS.

    And, yes, I know the screen scrolls sideways. To a bunch of squares with really tiny icons, making it even harder to tell what application I’m trying to start. And I’m aware I can get back to the Desktop. But I shouldn’t have to put up with a stupid UI that I can’t change to do it. The entire point of computers is the ability to customize them to work for the individual. That’s why we haven’t bought Macs.

    And I’ve yet to see how this Start Screen is more useful than the Start Menu. The problem with the Start Menu is lack of organization, and this does nothing to fix that, just throwing a bunch of icons on one half of a scrolling screen.

    A UI that reduces the functionality of your computer is objectively bad, and not something we need to get used to. Chances are Microsoft’s going to be making some pretty big changes when sales for Windows 8 are closer to that of Vista.

Comments are closed.