A Review: Windows 8 Consumer Preview
In case you didn't already know it, another preview of the upcoming Windows 8 operating system landed this week. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the next iteration of Windows, and unlike the early Developer Preview released last year, this version promises to be closer to the final product rumored to ship in the third quarter of 2012.
The system requirements have stayed the same since the last release, allowing even the most minimal of hardware platforms to run the OS. Official requirements from Microsoft:
Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher
To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
Being an IT guy and an avid gamer, I had the benefit of evaluating this latest windows release from two perspectives. As the IT guy I'm looking at the user interface, program compatibility and networking functionality. As a gamer I'm concerned with the 3D performance of the graphics subsystem and of course if my games will work.
I've been working with Windows 8 Consumer Preview over the last 24 hours, and initial impressions are good. Unlike the Developer Preview, this version has more polish. The Metro interface remains, and you are still required to have or create a Live account credential (a Hotmail account will do) to log in.
Once you've logged in and set up some basic settings like your screen colors and time zone you'll be presented with the Metro tile interface. There are fewer applets than the developer preview, but the basics are there including messaging, weather, finance and Internet Explorer 10.
If you have multiple displays the first will contain the metro tiles with succeeding interfaces containing a familiar Windows desktop sans start button. The primary display will flip between Metro and desktop views as you use applications. Currently there are few Metro apps, although new program installations on the desktop can generate a tile on the Metro UI.Continued on the next page