The Collection

Super 8

Windows has released a consumer preview of Windows 8. Below we break down some of the key features as well as some of the most pestering bugs. If you're thinking about trying out the new OS read our preview first.

This is what you see while installing the new OS. Odd, but we like it.

This first thing anyone will notice about Windows 8 is the new User Interface. Hats off to the design team at Windows because they've done an excellent job at re-imaging the UI. The new OS introduces a 'Metro Interface,' a very sleek, quick way to navigate through your entire system. In short, the new UI is genius; the speed, ease of access, design are sure to become the new standard.

The new Metro Interface
The design update also stretches to the file windows. Now windows feature a sleek see-through design -- a welcome change. In addition to the Metro Interface users still have access to the traditional desktop.

Windows 8 boasts the new features 'Apps' & 'Charms.' Apps basically serve to replace desktop icons in the new Metro Interface, and Charms serve to make navigating apps and files extremely easy and intuitive. In fact the idea behind Windows 8 is making an OS that is completely intuitive and easy to use. Never has browsing your computer been so quick and easy - everything seems right at your fingertips.

Possibly the most drastic feature of Windows 8 is it dedication to touch-screen compatibility. The Metro Interface, Apps, and Charms are all specifically designed to be used with a touch-screen device. The OS still works beautiful with non-touch devices such as laptops and desktops. This dedication to touch-based use may initially alienate some users, but those users should quickly get a hang of navigating the system.

Being only a preview of the OS there are quite a few bugs. Most notably is that a few apps either don't work correctly or refuse to work at times. I've had the occasional issue with iTunes not working and once all the contents of my desktop completely disappeared. I found the remedy to be pulling up the desktop in a  folder, doing so returned everything to normal.

Bugs are to be expected when dealing with products in a BETA form. As well you can expects things to change from what they are now to the final product at launch.

The new OS looks really promising. I had a lot of fun toying around with the new UI and navigating the system was surprisingly easy. Windows is really redefining how we interact with our computers and there's a lot to look forward to with the new OS. It'll be interesting to see how competitors (namely Apple) react to what Windows is offering.

That said, the consumer preview is really only for those who enjoy getting their hands on new tech early. Casual consumers may find the OS confusing and the bugs too much too handle. It's very important to note that anyone downloading the preview should be aware that this is a commitment. You won't be able to switch back to your current OS without reformatting your hard drive - which means you lose all your data and files. If you do download, then be sure to back up everything that is important to you on an external hard drive.

If you consider yourself a pioneer and are brave enough then you can download the preview here.

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