Windows 8 Reaches RTM Status, Almost Immediately LeakedThe first part is the introduction and "what's new" regarding getting it set up versus our guide for installing the Consumer Preview. The following sections are for showing off desktop applications and metro/Windows 8 Style UI apps. Finally, a short conclusion and general impressions section as well as some questions for you to answer should you want to join the discussion. Once again, I've gone with a more informal voice for the preview as there is a lot of opinion in here, this is by no means a full review!
Please note that unless otherwise stated, these opinions are my own, and not PC Perspective's. I am interested in hearing your opinions on the RTM build as well, and you can participate in the comments below without registration (though you get some nice benefits–like an avatar and ability to edit posts–if you decide to).
Windows 8 RTM has leaked to the Internet, here's what's new and what I think of itMicrosoft's upcoming Windows 8 operating system is well on its way for the final public release on October 26, 2012—in fact OEMs are starting to get their hands on the code, and it is officially in Release To Manufacturing (RTM) status. While Microsoft TechNet subscribers will be able to download the Windows 8 RTM build on August 15, 2012, it has already been leaked to the Internet as is available on various file-sharing websites.
bootable ISO version for clean installs where there is no existing OS on the machine as well as a zipped folder that can be used for upgrade installations.
Needless to say, the news that the RTM had leaked piqued my interest, so I set out to get my hands on it (and report my findings). I managed to find a non-bootable image that seemed to check out as being legitimate. I then took that 6.05 GB folder and used the files to do a clean install from a Windows 7 x64 virtual machine I had around for testing just this sort of thing.
Not exactly what I was hoping for, especially considering I was only able to find out how to actually close a
Still, it is a step in the right direction, and the tutorial at least points out one of the new mouse/touch navigation features. Here's hoping that MS adds more to that start-up tutorial by the time final code is out and it is for sale. Below is an animated .gif image of the brief tutorial. Note that the actual tutorial has some fading transitions between scenes. The last two images are two clips from a constantly changing background color as the OS loads the desktop and Windows 8 Start Screen for the first time. It cycles through all the colors available to choose from in the Personalize setting during account creation.
Windows 8 Enterprise N RTM build - Desktop ApplicationsOf course, the first thing that I did was head to the desktop to check out some standard Windows apps. The Task Manager is a big improvement aesthetically and functionality over the one in Windows 7. It provides a number of options for seeing which applications–Metro or otherwise–are using your hardware resources. One of the other tabs offers up a history of applications opened. The Windows 8 Metro style apps continue to stay resident in memory unless explicitly closed, which is the same behavior they exhibited in previous beta builds of Windows 8. I am a bit uneasy about that, as someone that likes to keep background apps and processes to the bare minimum but with enough RAM I'm sure it won't be much of an issue.
is a blue sky and two daisy flowers.
Ubuntu or Mint as my daily driver irks me (what can I say, I like shiny things), but I'm willing to give it a chance. I suppose I don't really need the Aero glass effects, but with GPU-acceleration becoming a bigger part of the Windows 8 OS it would be nice to see (and to give my GPU something to do heh).
The image below is of the new Internet Explorer, which looks like its Windows 7 predecessor.
Windows 8 Enterprise N RTM - Metro ApplicationsWith this release to manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8 Enterprise, it really gets interesting once we begin looking at metro Windows 8 UI Style apps. Pressing the Windows key (or the lower-left hot corner) brings up the Windows 8 Start Screen. The transition and opening of the Start Screen feel a lot more fluid than in previous builds. Personally, I'm still not sold on the idea of the Start Screen, but I think I've talked about that enough in previous postings. I am happy to see that the performance of going into the Start Screen and back to the desktop seems to be improved.
Search is fairly quick, but I will wait until I am using it on my main machine to make a final judgment there as the stock installation is pretty sparse, and there was no media. I'm interested to see how the metro search scales when searching through large amounts of data–and how it presents those results to me. I did not really like the Consumer Preview implementation, but I did not use it that much either. I'm hoping that using the RTM of Windows 8 on my main machine for a couple of weeks will let me dive into those kinds of issues and try to find answers to the usability questions that I–and likely you as well–have.
There is not a whole lot to search for in the stock install.Of the pre-installed metro apps, I took a look at the Search, Weather, People, SkyDrive, Games, Metro Internet Explorer, and Metro Store apps. I have to admit that the weather app is pretty cool The Mail application looks similar to the Outlook.com webmail client I looked at earlier this week. Performance is pretty good, and it automatically starts pulling down your Microsoft mail thanks to you logging in with your Microsoft account.
The last standalone metro app that I'll show off is the weather app. I have to say that it is pretty neat? Useful and productive? Maybe not, but it does look cool and since Microsoft is taking out Gadget support, I need something docked on the right side of the monitor to feel comfortable (heh). You can see the Windows 8 metro app's one-third mode in the images above, but the following image is what it looks like when in full screen mode.