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  • yannigr - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    This is more of a funny post but.... do you hate AMD systems? Are AMD processors extinct? I mean 8 systems ALL with Intel cpus? Come on. Test an AMD system JUST FOR FUN..... We will not tell Intel. It will be a secret. :p Reply
  • Gothmoth - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link


    who is still using AMD?
    except some poor in third world countrys?

    no.. im just joking... AMD is great and makes intel cheaper.. if only they would be a real competition.

    but what about ARM?
    that would be more interesting.. but i guess we have to wait for that.
  • JarredWalton - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    In defense of Andrew's choice of CPU, you'll note that there's only one desktop system and the rest are laptops. Sorry to break it to you, but Intel has been the superior laptop choice ever since Pentium M came to market. Llano and Brazos are the first really viable AMD-based laptops, and both of those are less than a year old. AFAIK, Andrew actually purchased (or received from some other job) the laptops he used for testing, and they're all at least a year old. Obviously, the MacBook stuff doesn't use AMD CPUs, so that's three of the systems.

    As for the two laptops I tested, they're also Intel-based, but I only have one laptop with an AMD processor right now, and it's a bit of a weirdo (it's the Llano sample I received from AMD). I wouldn't want to test that with a beta OS, simply because it's likely to have driver issues and potentially other wonkiness. Rest assured we'll be looking at AMD systems and laptops when Win8 is final, but in the meantime the only thing likely to be different is performance, and that's a well-trod path.
  • DiscoWade - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Last year, I needed to buy a new laptop. I wanted a Blu-Ray drive and a video card. I thought I would have to settle for a $1000 computer with an Intel processor. I had narrowed my choices down to a few all with the Intel i-series CPU. When I went to test some out at Best Buy, because I wanted to play with the computer to see if I liked it, I saw a discontinued HP laptop on sale for $550. It was marked down from $700. It had the AMD A8 Fusion CPU and a video card and a Blu-Ray drive. So I got a quad-core CPU with 4 hour actual battery life that runs like a dream very cheap. I was a little apprehensive at first with buying the AMD CPU, but a few days of use allayed my fears.

    If you say Intel makes better laptop CPU's, you haven't used the AMD A series CPU. It has great battery life and it runs great. How often will I use my laptop for encoding video and music? The dual-AMD graphics is really nice. Whenever I run a new program, it prompts which graphic card to use, the discrete for power savings or the video card for maximum performance. I like that.

    Yes if I wanted more power, the Intel is the way to go. But my laptop isn't meant for that. And most people don't need the extra performance from an Intel CPU. Every AMD A8 and A6 I've used runs just as good for my customers and friends who don't need the extra performance of an Intel.

    However, I haven't yet been successful installing my TechNet copy of W8CP on this laptop. I'm going to try again this weekend while watching lots of college basketball. (I love March Madness!) If anybody can help, I would appreciate if you let me know at this link:
  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    You do realize that Jared explicitely excluded Llano and Brazos from his comment? A8, A6, A4 - they're all Llano. Reply
  • Samus - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I'm actually shocked he didn't use an AMD E-series laptop (HP DM1z, Lenovo x120/x130, etc) as they have sold hundreds of thousands in the last 12 months. I see a DM1z every time I'm in an airport, and x120's are very commonplace in education.

    Remembering the Sandybridge chipset recall last year, this really gave AMD a head start selling low power, long battery life laptops, and they have sold very well, and belong in this review when you consider the only laptops you can buy new for <$400 are AMD laptops, and that is a huge market.
  • silverblue - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    This isn't a review. Also, he didn't have one.

    Quite open to somebody benching a DM1z on W8CP, though. ;)
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    While Intel may have the better performance CPU in laptops, they have the *worst* (integrated) graphics possible in laptops, and have 0 presence in the sub-$500 CDN market.

    You'd be surprised how many people actually use AMD-based laptops, especially up here in Canada, mainly for three reasons:
    - CPU is "good enough"
    - good quality graphics are more important than uber-fast CPU
    - you can't beat the price (17" and 19" laptops with HD4000+ graphics for under $500 CDN, when the least expensive Intel-based laptop has crap graphics and starts at over $700 CDN)
  • frozentundra123456 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    A bit confused by your post. What is HD 4000 graphics? Granted Llano is superior to SB, but Llano is 66xx series isnt it? I though AMD 4000 series was a motherboard integrated graphics solution that is very weak. Intel SB graphics will be far superior to any integrated solution except Llano.

    I agree for my use, I would buy Llano in a laptop ( and only in a laptop) because I want to do some light gaming, but I dont understand your post. I would also not really call SB graphics "crap" unless you want to play games.
  • inighthawki - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    HD 4000 is referring to the intel integrated graphics on the new ivy bridge chips - nothing to do with AMD chips Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Wow, could you be anymore clueless? See post right above yours. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Ati Radeon HD 4000-series graphics are integrated into a lot of sub-$500 CDN laptops. For instance, my wife's Acer includes HD 4250 graphics along with a dual-core AMD AthlonII X2 CPU. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    It's less of a "hate" thing and more of a "no longer have access to AMD-based systems" thing. I noticed that too, but I didn't want to drop cash on a system JUST for this review. :-)

    My first-ever system build was an AMD system (socket 939 for life!) and I've used them in tons of budget builds in the last few years, but they were all for family members and as such are not available for me to break. If we do this again for the RTM review, I'll try to work an AMD-based system in here somewhere!
  • silverblue - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    You'd have to, if you wanted to test the improvements to Bulldozer from the Windows 7 patches to the native support in 8. Probably not a large difference, but still worth seeing. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    That's definitely on my wish-list for the RTM!

    Seriously, though? If I'd known the lack of an AMD test system was going to set off a riot I would never have published any specs. I honestly expect better out of you guys than that.
  • silverblue - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Oh I'm not riotous; I quite understand why you don't have one. It's entirely likely that the gains are minimal at best and really not worth the time investigating until the final product is ready to be run through its paces (by which time, Bulldozer won't matter).

    I'm sure pretty much everybody here is very happy with the article.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Haha, thanks for the kind words. :-) You wouldn't know it from some of these comments... Reply
  • jabber - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    To be honest with Windows 8 the lack of AMD coverage is the least of everyones worries really. Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    True, true.

    I may, if I get the time, install it on my home machine and have a play; it's only a PII X3 710/AM2+/2x2GB DDR800/HD4830/7200rpm 1TB setup but still way over the minimum requirements... could throw 3DMark06/Sandra/that sort of thing at it.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Wow, had to read that several times before "PII" parsed out as Phenom-II. :)

    Could not figure out why you were trying to jam a Pentium2 CPU into an AM2+ motherboard. :D

    There's gotta be a better way to shorten "Phenom-II" such that it doesn't clash with "Pentium2".

    Perhaps PhII?
  • Impulses - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I plan to start my own riot once I'm done reading if there isn't any multi-display discussion... :p Reply
  • MrSpadge - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    AMD fans can be quite thin-skinned.. Reply
  • Kristian Vättö - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    My system is not included in the table but don't worry, it's Intel based as well ;-) Z68 and i5-2500K to be exact. Reply
  • futurepastnow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I installed it and have been playing with it on an AMD-based system (laptop with a Turion II P540 processor, HD4250 graphics and 8GB of DDR3). It runs fine.

    I mean, actually using Win8 is like sticking a fork in my hand, but there are no performance issues whatsoever on what is now a basically low-end AMD system.
  • george1976 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    It is not a funny post. The answer I am sure you know it very well, it is all about the money, money makes the world go round etc. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    So, wait. Intel paid me money to use years-old CPUs of theirs in a review of a beta product that another company made?

    I like this story. Tell me more.
  • medi01 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    We shouldn't be telling you fairy tales.
    Having 8 systems with Intel and 0 with AMD you should have better argument than "oh, I've forgotten it in my pocket".type.

    Why is it that you " have no AMD test systems on hand at present" please?
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Because this is a review of Windows 8's new features, and it doesn't matter what hardware I run it on because an x86 processor is an x86 processor. Because I'm also an OS X writer and AMD doesn't come in Macs. Because Intel offered bang/buck and battery life last time I was in the market for a laptop. Because the business-class PCs that I usually buy lean heavily toward Intel.

    You wanna buy me an AMD system? Please do. Otherwise, I'm sorry I don't have anything in my arsenal, but not sorry enough to spend $400-600+ on computing equipment I won't otherwise use.
  • medi01 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    It doesn't matter what hardware eh?

    "This broad list of hardware, most of it at least a couple of years old, should be representative of most machines that people will actually be thinking about upgrading to Windows 8"

    And this, coming from a hardware reviewer, is insulting humanity:

    "Because Intel offered bang/buck and battery life last time I was in the market for a laptop"

    You can have good AMD notebooks (with good battery life AND performance, including GPU) at price points where there is NO Intel offering.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    "Insulting humanity?" Dude, perspective. I'm trying very hard to engage you in a rational conversation, so try to extend the same courtesy to me. They're just CPUs, and I don't understand why you're attacking me personally about them.

    I'm not sure what notebooks you're referring to - even a cursory glace at Newegg, Best Buy, and other retailers shows Intel offerings featuring Pentiums and Core i3s (both Nehalem and Sandy Bridge-based) competing in the sub-$500 (and sub-$400) market where AMD is offering Brazos and Llano chips - AMD's GPUs are going to be much better but Intel's CPUs are also much better, so what you buy depends on what your workload is. Some of the AMD laptops I'm seeing use single-core processors, which I wouldn't recommend to anyone in 2012 regardless of GPU.

    The difference becomes more apparent once you start looking at higher-end laptops - I've had a very hard time finding a 14" or 15" AMD laptop with anything other than a 1366x768 display, for example, and an equally hard time finding an AMD notebook with dedicated graphics. I've looked not just on Newegg and other retailers, but also on the websites of major OEMs like Dell, HP, and Lenovo - their AMD offerings are pretty sparse.

    This is AMD's problem right now, at least in notebooks - it's "good enough" at the low end, but get into the middle and high-end and (without even considering performance) you very rarely even have an AMD option.

    Also, for the record, the last time I was in the market for a laptop was about two years ago when I bought my E6410 - this was well before Brazos and Llano.
  • yannigr - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    May I say something here?
    Sorry for my English in advance.

    I don't know if your work at Anandtech is a full time job or more like an occasional work. When you see a site like Anandtech you think that this is more like a big company with full time employees not a site with people that come and go just to write an article, or a review, at their spare time with hardware that they buy or if they are lucky get from the big companies as a gift for a presentation/review.

    So when you are thinking Anandtech (and this is where maybe we misjudge you) as a big company you don't expect to read stuff that you read from a 16 years old kid in a small forum with 2-5-10 thousand members about his last review. I can not accept an excuse like this that you give. If you are in the BIGGEST and MORE RESPECTED hardware review site on the internet, and I don't think I am wrong here, you buy hardware that you also DO NOT LIKE or is not good enough for YOU. Why? Because that is your job or/and because you are writing for ANANDTECH not YannigrTech.

    When you have the time to fast-test 8 machines you try to find an AMD system and even if it exists a system with VIA hardware. I know I must be joking with the last one about VIA. Well, I am not. I do think that if there was a VIA system in there many would be posting about how they were surprised about that. Even if they where laughing at it's performance it would have been a plus for the review.

    Think a review many pages long about the next 3DMark only with AMD gpus because the reviewer don't find Nvidia gpus good enough. Many Nvidia fans would have been disappointed, to put it mildly.

    Anyway the first post was written just for fun, because I know that Intel don't only have the better hardware but also the biggest influence not only at hardware sites but in people's minds too. Between two equal systems most just choose Intel because it is an Intel.
    This post was whiten only because I was not expecting someone that writes for Anandtech to say that:
    I only have Intel, I am not buying AMD because it is just not good enough for me.

    Last. Thanks for the review. No joking here. It was interested and useful.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    First, thanks for reading! I'm glad you found the review useful. Second, I want to try to answer some of your questions as to how AnandTech (and most new outlets on the Internet) work.

    Most writers who get paid are not working full-time positions. This is true both of independently owned websites like AnandTech, corporate-owned sites like IGN, or even big-time traditional publications like the New York Times. Most sites will contract freelancers rather than full-time workers both because of cost (freelancers are almost universally paid less than salaried employees and get no benefits) and administrative reasons (full-time employees mean that you've got to start paying attention to things like benefits and payroll taxes, necessitating a larger administrative staff to handle things like accounting).

    Different outlets handle things in different ways - at AnandTech, the pay is OK for contractors, and most of us can bother Anand himself if we have questions about a story we're working on. On other sites (to cherry-pick an extreme example, let's call out the Huffington Post), freelancers are sometimes paid nothing, and are rather compensated with "exposure" and clips that they could in theory use to land a paying gig later on. I think what HuffPo (and, really, any profitable publication that doesn't pay its writers) does is a scam and I've got some strong feelings about it, but that's not my main point - my point is that much of what you read on the Internet is being written by people who don't write on the Internet full time. At AnandTech, even the senior editors are contracted freelancers rather than full-time employees.

    Different people write for different reasons, but my goal is to make a living at it - I'm doing it because I love it, sure, but I'm also doing it because there are bills to pay. To do that, I cannot and will not spend $500 on hardware to use in a review that will earn me quite a bit less than $500. As anyone can tell you, that math doesn't add up, and since this is a review of the beta version of an x86-compatible Windows product - a product that looks and acts the same on any hardware that meets the minimum requirements - it's frankly not as important as a few of you seem to think it is. And that's all I have to say about it.
  • yannigr - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I still believe that you should buy an AMD system. Not today or tomorrow but the next time you would need an extra machine. But that's me.
    Thanks for answering my post :-)
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 19, 2012 - link

    I'll look into it for sure. Trinity has my interest piqued. :-) Reply
  • TC2 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link


    This isn't the point! Andrew Cunningham here hasn't downside. I want to ask, what is the problem here? The recent Intel CPUs a far superior than the amd cpus! And, if you want to know the best sides of W8 ... the amd just isn't the first choice ... :)))
  • silverblue - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    At the time Andrew got those machines, the best option across the board likely would've been Intel. The Atom build is thoroughly outclassed by Brazos but it simply wasn't available at the time.

    It's only really the past twelve months to fifteen months where AMD has actually had a viable range of mobile processors for netbooks and larger.
  • medi01 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Name something "far superior" to AMD A8 3850 that has comparable cost. Reply
  • TC2 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Oops to daisies :) It would make a god to tears!
    You and all amd-fans, are very funny!
    When the conversation is about cores - "amd has twice than Intel" ?!
    When the conversation is about performance - "the cost isn't comparable" ?!
    When the conversation is about CPU - "amds APU is bla-bla..." ?!
    When the conversation is about benchmarks - "look look, the BD is almost like Nehalem (btw. 2 generations older)" ?!

    All those is UNTRUE!!! And remember well - I and many-many people doesn't give a shit about amds green presentations, cores and so ... We need fast CPU in ST as well as MT, and fast GPU! And believe me, esp. in professional segment amd got nothing significant :)))
  • chucky2 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'd like for you to do an article on feature support of DirectX 9 cards under say Windows XP SP3 vs Windows 8. I know AMD dropped support for their DirectX 9 based cards before their 10.2 (Feb 2010 driver set), and then later belatedly added 10.2 as the last supported driver. My interest is in if they've dropped proper support of their cards in Vista/7/and now 8 rather than putting in the (very likely minimal) work to properly support them.

    Thanks for the article!
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The 10.2 driver was only supported under Vista, but in my experience it works fine for Windows 7, which means it should work OK in Windows 8. One of the iMacs I tested on used a Radeon X1600 Mobility card - I installed the Vista-certified driver off of a Snow Leopard DVD and didn't see any crashes or instability, but your mileage may vary. Reply
  • Ryan Smith - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    The 10.2 driver "should" work fine with Win8. Obviously AMD isn't going to support it, but the basic graphics system requirement for Win8 is a WDDM 1.0 (Vista era) driver, which is what the 10.2 driver supports for AMD's DX9 cards. Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I installed 7 on an old desktop with a Radeon X1600 and it runs Aero fine. I think 8 has the same requirements, so in theory it should work. Reply
  • hadrons - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Secure boot implementation in ARM is different from X86 architecture in windows 8.

    I can't believe anandtech got it wrong.

    please read this before you write about secure boot.
  • Tuvok86 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    no reason to drift into the amd vs intel topic, I'm sure he had his reasons to test it only on Intel, but then I wouldn't call that "representative of most machines that people will actually be thinking about upgrading to Windows 8" Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    We're just talking about raw performance here - x86 is x86. Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Actually, it is. Most people even bothered with Windows 8 will have Intel systems, and I doubt we'll see a mass market penetration for the ARM version for a while. Reply
  • snoozemode - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    To me it's so obvious. Run Metro in "tablet mode", desktop in "PC mode". Reply
  • dubyadubya - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Windows 8 should be renamed Tiles 1 since it is no longer Windows at all! Flame me if you want but MS employees have lost their fucking minds. Sure Tiles 1 will be nice on portable devices with touch screens but Tiles 1 has no fucking business existing on desktop PC's. What a bunch of dumb asses! Fuck! Reply
  • freedom4556 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but Tiles 1 has no *redacted* business existing on desktop PC's."

    I would say that this is true for enterprise environments. While they point out that domain admins can deny access to the Windows Store and that's great, they'd be complete loons not to, most domain admins I know (and I am one, too) are going to want to disable Metro entirely because our user base is jittery and codependent already as it is and Windows 8 is going to give them all a heart attack. What were they thinking? Windows 8 enterprise better look like windows server
  • R3MF - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    1. How does the Windows8 scheduler improve performance on AMD bulldozer/piledriver architecture?
    2. Will Windows 7 get DirectX 11.1?

    many thanks
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    1) We'll probably do an analysis of that with an RTM version of the OS. I wouldn't expect it to change too drastically from a patched copy of Windows 7.
    2) Not guaranteed, but probably. When 7 was released, Vista got a Platform Update that added support for DX11, some WDDM 1.1 features, and a few other things:

    Windows 7 is still in its mainstream support phase, so I'd expect those updates to be available after Windows 8 RTM.
  • R3MF - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    many thanks Andrew. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Welcome! :-) Reply
  • valnar - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Isn't the fact that new Windows phone BOMBED in the marketplace enough reason not glorify this crappy GUI? The public has already spoken.

    And....what makes a good tablet or phone OS (touch screen) does not necessarily make a good desktop OS.
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    True, however everybody has differing tastes. I don't mind it, personally, and it's not as if the Windows 7 desktop has gone forever.

    As for Mango, it's not on many devices and hasn't been out long. I also firmly believe that it's the first flavour (sorry) of Windows Phone that Microsoft has truly taken seriously. Give it time. Had dozens of devices been launched with Mango yet sales been poor, I'd have been more inclined to agree with you.

    Touch screen technology has been around a while and it's about time that a mainstream OS had extensive functionality in this area.
  • Subzero0000 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    >Isn't the fact that new Windows phone BOMBED in the marketplace enough reason not glorify this crappy GUI? The public has already spoken.

    Well, that's exactly why they have to FORCE metro to their biggest userbase (Desktop PC). They want people to get used to metro, then hopefully people get attached to it and choose to buy tablet/phone with metro.
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link


    This is where I think Apple's methodical, very deliberate, well thought out approach is going to win over a lot of people after Windows 8 launches. Microsoft already tried this in reverse order and it was awful until they instantly became irrelevant when the original iPhone launched. They crammed a mouse and keyboard OS into a crappy touchscreen phone and called it a day. Here they are cramming a touchscreen phone/tablet OS pasted on top of a desktop OS and figured out the least amount of work to make it possible to maneuver between the (what feels like) two OS's. When the review consistently has "There are actually two versions of..." you know you have done something wrong as an OS engineer.

    I've given Win8 a fair shake, I've really tried to give it an honest everyday usage to give it a fair comparison. I have a Lumia 900 and have been running the consumer preview since it came out. I'm really going the extra mile to give the Metro UI a shot, but it just doesn't scale to a desktop (In the way windows 8 implements it) very well at all. I've used Win8 on a very nice prerelease tablet and it works wonderfully. Microsoft should really take a step back and survey the industry and learn from what has been successful and what has had problems. The iPad is crushing the tablet market because it benefits (like many Apple products) from a halo of the iPhone, iTunes, and iCloud. Google has realized their misstep in segmenting the phone & tablet OS's and I think Microsoft will come to realize that a touchscreen tablet has more in common with a touchscreen smartphone than it does with a keyboard and mouse desktop PC.

    The thing about Metro is that it is very simplistic and *could* scale easily. Look at a Windows Phone 7 next to a Windows 8 Tablet and it's ability to scale is obvious. I think the real problem here is Microsoft is taking a Bold, half hearted, All-in, keep some chips in reserve, Go for the gusto, partially move to Metro. They cram it down your throat but don't believe in it enough to completely re-think the OS an move to it. I would like Windows 8 a whole lot more if it was a unified experience with Metro at it's center. The half ***ed cramming of two OS's with different UI's into one cup of tea is what really pushes me away from Windows 8. If they left the core of windows 7 under the hood so any windows 7 app's would run, and provide a simple framework for developers to create "live tile" shortcuts that plugin to the new services that Windows 8 will bring this would be a much better OS. If this is the future, GO FOR IT!! There should not be a control panel for "desktop" and a settings for Metro. There should not be Metro IE 10 and IE 10 for Desktop. If they built API's and service frameworks for developers to bridge Metro UI to C++ code and let developers design their software the best way that suits their needs there would be far better support. The Metro UI as a launcher for native C++ app's and HTML5 Metro apps would be great. This would be especially true if developers could push notifications and information to the live tiles for their app's. Imagine a multiplayer game like Battlefield 3 on Windows 8. On the Metro UI "Start" screen the Live Tile for BF3 would be alive with info from battlelog. So you could easily see if some friends are playing the game, or if there is new content/updates, etc... It would be like having the community features of Steam, without ever having to "Launch" anything. A quick glance at your games area of your Live Tiles and you could see who is online playing what games and quickly join in. The same thing would be true for a more professional app like Photoshop. Imaging if Adobe, using these types of API's could build in collaboration features tied into the Live Tiles & using SkyDrive. You could save an image in your skydive and share it to your fellow team members, then if there are changes and edits all of those peoples Live Tiles for Photoshop would reflect that new information. They have so much potential and are at a solid time to make the leap, the real leap to Metro with less risk. They have a solid "traditional" OS in Windows 7 that they could continue to sell. They also have the ability to really bring a new level of integration that has been absent from Microsoft products. Tie in Xbox Live like they did on Windows Phone 7, and integrate voice chat, the friend list, messaging, etc as system wide services. The list goes on and on with the amount of potential they have to make a seamless experience across all of their platforms from phone, to xbox to tablet to PC. It's sad to see this is the best they can do.

    As mentioned above, I think Apples approach of using services like iCloud to bridge your data from a mobile platform to a desktop platform is a better strategy. Really looking at each element of a mobile OS and thinking how that will work on a desktop with a mouse and keyboard; working to merge what makes sense and leaving out what doesn't. I think Apple is also failing at this to some extent as well. They should be working on unifying their "Store's" so I could make an app that when loaded on an iPhone would have the iPhone UI, when loaded on the iPad would have the iPad UI and when loaded on a Mac would have a windowed UI, and the store would serve up the correct parts of the binary depending on if it's on a mobile device like iPhone/iPad or Mac.

    /END RANT.
  • jabber - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The feedback has been 100% negative. Really really bad. No question I haven't seen a normal PC user yet that likes it or wants to use it.

    The feedback for Windows 7 was 90% positive.

    Not looking good MS.
  • futurepastnow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The feedback from the two "normal" non-technical computer users I showed it to was very negative. I let them play with it with no instructions or advice, and they couldn't do anything. It's the least intuitive interface ever.

    Oddly (or not oddly), the most computer-literate person I showed it to figured he could get used to it, since he uses keyboard commands for everything and they still work. He thinks Microsoft are out of their minds, though.

    Perhaps that is Microsoft's problem, I wonder? All of their engineers, testers and QA people know all of the keyboard commands, which puts them in the 1% of computer users. Perhaps if they created a special version of Win8 for interface testing, which *required* mouse input for all actions, they'd seriously reconsider Metro.
  • Exodite - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I don't know, I'm a software engineer myself and I wouldn't touch W8 with a 10ft pole.

    I like the minor underlying enhancements to things like the Task Manager and File Transfer dialog, though nothing of that can even begin to make up for the UI clusterfuck.

    I run a multiple-display desktop system.

    I _like_ nestled folder structures and rely on it to organize.

    I prefer minimal clutter on the desktop, to the point the only application icons there are Chrome and MPC-HC, and half a dozen project folders. I also use minimal size icons.

    Huge icons in listings, and the enormous amount of whitespace they add, is wasteful and inefficient.

    I can't stand that good and intuitive UI elements like radiobuttons and checkboxes are giving way to touch-oriented dragbars, it just underlines wha ta gigantic step backwards the entire Metro experience represents.

    Perhaps you're right about technical and professional users being less impacted by the horrors of W8 due to being more comfortable with keyboard shortcuts than users in general, my personal experience isn't enough to say one way or another.

    On the other hand I'd argue that that particular group of people are least inclined to accept the changes because they very rarely have to. I don't have to use Windows as a development platform, I could quite trivially move to any *NIX platform of choice.

    And if Microsoft doesn't see the light before Windows 7 hits EOL I might as well migrate platform, at least I can set up the UI as I prefer that way.
  • Klimax - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    One person data doesn't make...

    (Point is,you are very incorrect. It's not even close to 50% and that's counting only those vocal about it)
  • tviceman - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    How will windows 8 work with programs like Steam? I always have steam running, and I chat through steam almost as often as I game from it. From how it sounds, I'll have to switch over to desktop view to access steam? And if someone sends me a message and I'm in metro, will I be notified? Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Depends on whether desktop apps can make use of the notifications in Windows 8 - I'm honestly not sure about that right now, since so few desktop apps are Windows 8-aware. How do you tell when Steam sends you messages in Windows 7 - do you rely on sound cues? Flashing taskbar icons? There are lots of potential answers to the question but a lot of it depends on (1) how Valve can/does change Steam for Windows 8, and (2) your particular usage patterns. Reply
  • beginner99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    ...crap for little children. I guess I will have ti buy a spare copy of win 7 as long as they are available for my next build...

    UI looks made for 6 year old kids, liek a toy-computer. Omg...if only games could run on linux.
  • dchinu - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Exactly my thought only for game Reply
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I think WIndows 7 will be available for a long time yet... I do like the storage spaces, and as a WHS ver 1 user, this looks like a nice upgrade to drive extender. Hopefully the next release of WHS will have this built-in. Reply
  • chromeshield - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Seriously disappointed .. not even one AMD system tested, here 50 people can talk whatever they want., who uses AMD and all I wont even bother to reply to them.

    Anand .. .. am not some idiot bystander, but very well positioned and educated person writing this... wake up....
    I expected some APU's, VIA, and few graphics combinations tested,

    I had heard a lot that this website is Intel biased but never believed anybody.. but today I had to bother to create an account... to write this comment..
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link


    1) Anand doesn't write every article on the site. Check the byline.

    2) If you want to subsidize some AMD-based equipment for me, please do so - I can take checks or PayPal. As a contractor the vast majority of the hardware I have to test with is my own, and I've gone out-of-pocket for it.

    3) Is running Windows 8 on AMD hardware going to change my opinions about how Metro works? About the raw CPU and GPU horsepower required to run Windows 7? About the new or changed features? If I hadn't published specs for systems I tested Windows 8 on, would it make my opinions more valid, or would you be complaining about the lack of information? What if I had lied and made up some AMD systems without actually doing any testing on them?

    The point of Windows is that it runs THE SAME WAY on ALL x86-compatible CPUs, on ALL GPUs with proper drivers and support for its graphics APIs.

    In closing, congratulations for getting a few hundred words into this massive article, not seeing the letters AMD in a single table meant to provide context and additional information to you, the reader, and proceeding to completely miss the point.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Windows 7 = Windows 8 in point 3, just in case you wanted to miss the point in favor of focusing on a perceived mistake again. /rant Reply
  • Malih - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    probably most wonder whether the W8CP in it's current state would run stable on AMD hardware, including me. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Yes it will. Reply
  • poisonsnak - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    As Andrew said it will run fine on AMD hardware. I've been running the Developer Preview since September on my Phenom II X6 1100T & Radeon 6970, which I then (side-graded?) to an FX-8150, and then upgraded to the Consumer Preview.

    The only BSOD or crash I've ever had was when I tried to install the AMD USB filter driver under the developer preview - it warned me the driver was unlikely to work, I gave it my usual "I know better than you" and promptly got to see the fancy new Win8 BSOD screen.
  • rickmoranisftw - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Haters gonna hate man. I'm sorry people have blown up on you for no reason. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    It's cool - mostly I'm just confused about it, but the constructive comments have far outnumbered the trollish ones at this point. :-)

    Either way, I'm working on getting an AMD system for future use.
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Don't worry about it. He tested enough systems, and you can make a guess as where AMD would stand in those systems. I agree that a lot of people use AMD - it's all I buy for friends and family as the Microcenter deals are too hard to pass up. I don't think it effects the review at all - Windows 8 won't look any different on an AMD system. Reply
  • rickmoranisftw - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I too just created an account today. Ive been reading anandtech for a while now but havent bothered to make an account. But today i had too.

    There is absolutely no reason for you or anyone else to blow up on Andrew for only using intel systems for this review, a review of a preview at that, when his reasoning was extremely simple. He just didnt have an AMD system on hand. Who are you to blame anyone of being biased when you know nothing about them.

    I'm disappointed that i didn't read these comments until today (monday) or i would have commented sooner. I was so pissed off after reading these comments i messed up two different captcha's when making my account just now. I hope you're just saying this to try to feel some sense of superiority over someone who actually has a job on a real tech site, and not because you actually think andrew is that biased toward intel. Because that's just stupid.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Thanks. :-) Reply
  • AeroRob - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I don't see how anyone who's spent so much as five minutes along with Windows 8 on a normal desktop computer--let alone hours--could say that the new start menu system is even remotely an improvement on the old system. It is unequivocally worse. It creates a jarring, disjointed experience, with an interface that is less versatile and consequently makes simple tasks more difficult.

    Why must I jump through hoops just to shut my computer down? Or if I'm not sure Windows considers what I'm looking for an app or a setting, why do I have to do multiple searches, when previous versions of Windows would show me all the possibilities?

    It would be so simple for Microsoft to solve all these numerous (yet minor) annoyances: give a legacy desktop option. Just one little checkbox to where a user can specify that they would rather boot into the desktop than the Metro BS, and to restore the start menu to a Windows 7 state. You can't tell me that would be difficult in the least, but MS would rather be obstinate jerks, trying to force users into a "new experience" that they don't want, don't like, and that actively works to make their workflow more inefficient.

    Change isn't a bad thing, but only when that change is an improvement. Going from the XP start menu to Vista's added functionality and made things easier. Going from 7 to 8, though, is a step backward, and users shouldn't have to suffer just because MS wants to push their little pet project.
  • jabber - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'm glad I'm not the only one. I find myself having to move left to right across the screen to do stuff that a simple rightclick/clcik would do previously.

    Having to use the keyboard for stuff that a mouse click did previously as I cant work out if there is a mouse equivalent or if it exists at all.

    No visual clues as to how to use it. Just clicking on all the empty space in the hope something useful happens.

    I see one thing makes the desktop bit shrink to a small size in the middle of the screen. I have no idea what that is for.

    I think Metro is fine for folks that have never used a computer for real day to day office work that brings home the bacon. You know the types.
  • AeroRob - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Assuming MS doesn't reverse course on their "Abandon the Start Menu" decision, hopefully by time the RTM version rolls out, they will include some sort of tutorial the first time you switch into desktop mode.

    Really, though, the whole ordeal reminds me of when Apple made the iPod Shuffle without any buttons on the physical device, and insisted on making users learn a sort of Morse code on the remote to accomplish anything. You could argue that a single button makes things "simplified," but that doesn't prevent it from being an inane, unproductive input method.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Totally agree with you about missing unified search, even if we don't quite see eye-to-eye on some of the other Metro stuff. Reply
  • AeroRob - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I just don't know what anyone can see good in this for desktop use. Instead of having a nice list of common programs, a unified search/cmd field, and the ability to browse and organize your programs, you're flung into a different UI, which is less versatile and has almost no means of organization. (Other than rearranging tiles. Call me crazy, but I actually like having the ability to group programs in folders according to function, and would rather not be bombarded with *every* executable on my machine at once.) Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    A friend at work has been playing about with Win8 and he was wondering about how to shut it down as well; only took a moment to find, and it's something you'd get used to rather quickly (you could always press the power button assuming you've set it up to shut the machine down via the Power Options control panel).

    I'm liking the Metro interface, but I suppose having a Lumia 800 has prepared me for it.
  • AeroRob - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I found the shutdown button without too much difficulty, but I imagine your average desktop user will have a much harder time. However, the point of that example is not merely that it's more difficult to find, but that you have to go through a number of undocumented steps in order to reach one of the most basic functions of a device, and one that was immensely easy to reach before.

    It's all a step backwards, at least for anyone not using a tablet.
  • dagamer34 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    How often do you turn off a device instead of putting it to sleep? Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Just about daily. Sleep/hibernate/resume doesn't always work on desktops. Laptops I tend to rarely reboot, though. Reply
  • silverblue - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    A simple tile for shutdown/restart/standby/hibernate would appease everybody. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I ALWAYS turn my system off, I never put it in any kind of "sleep" or standby mode.

    Back in the day, your computer would actually run better if you turned it off and let the memory allocations and whatever else that started clogging the works re-set. I don't know f that makes a difference now so much, but it seemed to at one time - that's why I got in a habit of turning off the computer completely.

    Really, the best way is to shut your system down and hit the switch on your UPS, so that no power is drawn at all. I mean, if you LIKE paying for a computer (don't forge the monitor) that is still drawing juice when you aren't using it, fine, but I'd rather not, myself. Power them both down - completely. If in doubt, use a Kill A Watt or some similar device to make sure your draw is zero.

  • p05esto - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I agree totally. I've been enabling the classic start menu since Xp and still want it. Win7 actually took a step back by not letting my put folders in the start menu with cascading apps. I've got about 50 apps installed I use often and usually 5-10 open at once. I want quick and fast access to all my apps so when I'm developing I can open and close them fast and often all at once. Hidden menus, search bars and some separate start screen is NOT going to work for me. No way, total deal killer!!! Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I think there are many people of both the techie and non-techie variety that will fall along this same line. The thing Microsoft is betting on is that they are so pervasive that people will just go along with it and deal with the cumbersome annoyances. People like you will likely run out Windows 7 while migrating to your favorite distro of *nix. However I think most average users will find this an even bigger push toward a Mac. There are tons of people out there that use a PC and have iDevices and this is one more reason to finally jump ship.

    I mentioned in length in a previous post that I'm not 100% opposed to the Metro UI and it could be useful with the Live Tile idea. The problem with Windows 8 is that it's basically 2 separate OS's stitched together like a crazy frankenstein OS with two heads.
  • aguilpa1 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I understand the use of multi-monitors where windows knows you have more than one monitor but how does it handle support when you have multiple monitors aka Nvidia Vision Surround or Eyefinity? In these situations you have multiple monitors being reported as a single for example 5760x1080 (3 monitors) or higher resolution screen? Will it be up to Nvidia and ATI to provide support to allow the manipulation of taskbar or icons on the monitor areas that you would like to have? Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Short answer: if the OS just sees one monitor, it will treat the system as it would any single monitor system, which I believe would mean Metro stretched across a 5760x1080 screen. :-) Reply
  • silverblue - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'm imagining multi-monitor touchscreen goodness right about now... Reply
  • mcnabney - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    It sticks Metro in one and the desktop in the other. It looks completely bizarre to me and essentially eliminates the cohesiveness until Metro is turned off.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    That's the behavior with a standard multi-monitor setup - is that also true of an Eyefinity setup where multiple monitors are combined to form one continuous display? I believe that's what the OP was asking. Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    No, As you suspected the graphics card basically "glues" the screens together in the driver, so to windows it's a single massively wide monitor. It results in a very wide bright colored stretched out backdrop with tiles on the far left hand side and a whole bunch of wasted space on the right. Reply
  • theangryintern - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I've currently got the Customer Preview running on a Dell D630 that was retired from my company (so I was able to take it home and keep for personal use) We got our D630s with the nVidia Quadro cards and 4GB of RAM. Seems to be running pretty good so far, but I really haven't had a chance to do any serious testing with it. Reply
  • mevensen - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    None of the test systems had SSD caching (that I noticed), is there any brave soul that's tried on their system with an SSD cache setup?

    I'm not foolhardy enough to convert my main system (with SSD caching) to the Win8 preview, but I'm curious how well they play together.

    On another note, I've put the Win8 preview on my MacBook Air using Parallels with some pretty decent results, making a nice hybrid with good (multi)touchpad functionality. Still playing with it, and have no idea of what higher performance needs will bring (i.e. gaming), but there are definitely some things to like.

    I hope they find a way to better integrate add-ons (in particular Flash) into the Metro version of IE, as it is particularly jarring to dump to the desktop just to access Flash content.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Not sure about SSD caching, but Metro IE does not and apparently will never support plug-ins: Reply
  • cjm14 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "There are basic categories for games, social apps, music apps, and a few others, but there doesn't appear to be any sort of search functionality"

    You can search the Store by bringing up the Search charm while the Store is up. In fact, all of the charms (except Start) are app-context sensitive though apps can choose not to implement some of them.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Good call. Will tweak. Reply
  • cserwin - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    With Apples iOS, I am constantly amazed at how good the applications are. The best of them have such a higher focus on doing a job well. There is little bloat, not much feature creep... it's been really revealing with the iPad at how pleasurable it is to use good, elegant applications that do their jobs well.

    So, while Windows 8 as an OS may merge the desktop and tablet space, the elephant in the room seems to be the level of bloat in windows applications. Yes, a Windows 8 table would be able to run Windows applicaitons, but as a tablet user, I cannot think of a single Windows application that I would actually like to run on a tablet.

    Until application develpers start developing applications that can deliver satisfactory experiences in both workstation and tablet usage models, the common OS doesn't do much.

    While windows 8 gets to a unified OS ahead of OSX and iOS, with apple there is the full iLife and iWork suite, not ot mention 3rd part apps (photoshop, sketchbookpro, etc.).

    It's going to be interesting to see these things play out. Microsoft seems to be banking on 'if you build it they will come'. But apple has the tablet user base, and that's where the developers are going to go.
  • cserwin - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'll follow up with a question -

    What is Microsoft doing to help developers improve their applications to provide value in both tablet and workstation usage models?

    I'd be interested in an article that addressed this.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Sure! I'm paying attention to the comments to shape the sort of things we look at in the RTM article, and we'll be able to say a bit more about Metro apps when we've actually got some ready-for-primetime products to evaluate.

    Off-hand, I'd suggest that one theoretical value-add is the ability to run the same app with the same features on both tablets and PCs - this can create more consistency and predictability for users, and frees developers from having to maintain an app for Metro and an app for the desktop.
  • futurepastnow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Here's something for your RTM article. Sit someone's non-techie mother* down in front of a Win8 desktop PC with no prompting or instructions except to use it like normal.

    Someone with no prior Metro experience, no Microsoft Account, no touchscreen. Someone who doesn't have any keyboard commands memorized. Someone just like the millions of normal folks who will be buying Win8 PCs cold and taking them home soon.

    *no insult towards mothers intended
  • jabber - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    This is exactly what I have been doing with folks and its been carnage.

    Apple must think its going to clean up when folks go to buy their next PC in 12 months time.

    The stink of Vista still hangs around with folks and MS cant afford another FU like that.

    Thats why W7 was so good as it looked like MS was listening to customers at last.

    Metro looks like it was designed by hipsters for hipsters.
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    Metro looks like it was designed by "people who think they are" hipsters for "people who think they are" hipsters.

    there, fixed that for ya.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Apple has the tablet userbase, but Microsoft has the desktop/laptop userbase, and one of it's goals with Win8/Metro/WinRT is to attracted devs with its desktop marketshare and then grow tablet marketshare from there.

    I completely agree that the Windows Store is one of the biggest wildcards in Windows 8 right now, and it's one we know the least about - we won't know if it's going to attract developers and succeed until it attracts developers and succeeds. :-)
  • medi01 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    iOS on Tablets will soon get what it deserves: about 15-20% of the market, so you better compare Windows to Android.

    "Higher focus", eh?
    And iTunes is a great program, I guess...
  • GotThumbs - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Who was the first to have a tablet out in the market? It was NOT Apple. I have a Motion Computing LS800 tablet in my office that's older than any tablet from Apple. Yes, Apples IPAD is the reason for sparking the tablet market to what it is today, but tablet PC's have been used in health care and education industries for more than 10 years before now. I'm not disputing Apples IPad has created tremendous growth/opportunity for other tablet makers, but lets not overlook the truth to feed Apples ego.

    Truth/accuracy in all media please.

    "In 1989, the GRiD GRiDPad was released. In 1991, there was the GO PenPoint. In 1992, Microsoft released Microsoft Windows for Pen Computing, which had an API that developers could use to create pen-enabled applications. In 1993, a smaller device that you are more likely to have seen or read about was released—the Apple Newton"

  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    ..."Apples IPAD is the reason for sparking the tablet market to what it is today..."

  • medi01 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    No bingo. Just price drop on major components. If not Apple it would have been someone else. Just less hyped. Netbook is a good instance of it.

    Oh, and for anyone who had intensively used pocket PCs, transition to "add a phone to it" was more then obivous too.
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Plain and simple - none of those tablets mattered. A co-worker of mine had a Toshiba "tablet" PC back in 2003, running Windows XP. It was just a laptop computer where you could flip the screen around and then you could use a stylus to jot down notes. However it was always easier just to type the notes in, so it was used as a normal laptop 99% of the time. There were very few apps that made use of the tablet capability. I just can't call this device a true tablet, like the iPad. The tablet market didn't really exists until APple put everything together into a package specifically designed for 100% tablet usage. Reply
  • ananduser - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Which unfortunately happened to be an enlarged smartphone. Reply
  • bji - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    What's unfortunate about it? People love the device and its precedent (iPhone) led the way. Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I might have missed it but I don't think anyone said Apple invented tablet computers. As you noted, Apple was certainly the only one who was able to create a tablet market. Those old convertible hinge laptops that Microsoft called Tablet PC's back in the day were garbage and nothing ever happened with them. I don't even remember them lasting on the market for more than a year. Because it was another example of Microsoft cramming a point & click interface into a hand held device. Microsoft can't seem to learn that different form factors and interaction methods won't all work ok with the same UI. Reply
  • kevith - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I really like Win 8.

    The Metro-thing is a very good replacement for the - apparently - beloved Start Menu. Fast and versatile, with the very nice writing-instantly-invokes-search feature. The app-drawer and the "charms", in combination with keystrokes make a very powerful and very fast UI.

    The desktop is almost the same, only a few things have changed, all for the better.

    I liked Win 7 immidiately, the same goes for 8.

    I´m excited to see the final result.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    It's interesting, because my initial reaction to Metro was much more negative, but after a week and a half of near-constant usage I took a liking to it. I definitely understand why people object to it, but I think too many people aren't making an honest effort to use the UI and evaluate it on its own merits/demerits. Reply
  • faizoff - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Yea very similar reaction for me as well. I didn't like it at first but now find that I'm using it a lot. Reply
  • emalamisura - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I have been using Windows 8 as my primary desktop since its release, I am a developer and I have a triple monitor setup at home and I have to say it has had the opposite effect for me. I was excited about it at first, and now I have grown to absolutely hate it and despise it. The main things for me are the primary things you mentioned, the little popup box where start menu use to be dissapears when I try to click it - gets me every time, just cant adjust to it. The charms bar is very difficult to hit, often going to other screen, when I do get it, I often scroll off of it by accident and it vanishes again. I have attempted to use the Windows key more often, but I feel like I am being forced into this situation.

    Most of the time I avoid using Metro as much as possible, its actually quite useless to me, I go into it and pin as many applications to my task bar as possible so I can avoid going into it at all to launch something. The wierd way that the Desktop shows on my left and right monitors and metro in my primary, and when I try to keep metro up and use a Desktop app it vanishes to an empty desktop is just very wierd to me and not helpful at all! I at least wish I could snap Metro apps onto my other monitors, make it more useful to me...

    Microsoft claims "Desktop is just another app", its a bold statement that falls short at every turn. You get dropped into Desktop for doing anything remotely technical, want to change monitor configuration Desktop, want to browse a drive Desktop...etc.

    Whats funny is I love Metro by itself, I love all the changes they have done to desktop as well. But when you combine these two things that have no business being together you get this Frankenstain amalgamation that just simply doesn't work, and I don't see how it will ever work! Maybe they can prove me wrong, I hope they do...
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Hopefully some of those multi-monitor and "four corners"-related issues get worked out in the release candidate. It would help a lot. Reply
  • Impulses - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I'm not holding my breath for that... It took them until Windows 8 to add basic taskbars for the extra screens, it'll probably fall to 3rd party developers to make the whole Metro/Desktop paradigm usable with multiple displays, just like we relied on them for multiple taskbars, better wallpaper support, etc. Reply
  • Exodite - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Well, I don't know if my 2c is worth much but the answer to that would - in my opinion - be 'why should we?'.

    I don't /have/ to use Windows, it's a personal choice.

    If the UI, or anything about the user experience in general really, ends up being a bother for me I can quite easily migrate to another platform.

    I suppose this is a good thing, if taking the long view. Microsoft might inadvertently encourage diversification of the desktop computer space by making W8 horrible to use for a notable minority.
  • B3an - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    @Andrew and everyone else who worked on this - great article :)

    It's nice to FINALLY see a very detailed article that shows all the improvements in Windows 8. Too many people are focused on just Metro. I'm sick of having to write long posts explaining to people how to use Win 8, and why it's faster and more powerful for most tasks if people would actually just learn new things, and then having to mention all the new features to the desktop. Now i can just refer people to this article ;)

    Great work.
  • jabber - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Don't have time to learn new stuff that's not putting money in the bosses wallet, just need to get the work I'm paid to do done ASAP. That's why Windows 7 worked so well.

    Companies don't pay folks to sit and learn learn new software or want to hear them bleating on about how they don't know what to do.

    Too much like hard work. Sorry but that's how it is. Business as usual is king.

    I too can see some great improvements in 8 its just that it (as in Metro) is NOT designed for a standard run of the mill PC environment.

    Windows tablets are not going anywhere. That ship sailed for MS years ago. It's the Zune all over again in that regard. So just keep it for phones and maybe adding a little fun to those desktop all in one monstrosities that HP etc. make.
  • B3an - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I'm so glad MS have not listened to people like you with Win 8. If they did then im sure we'd all still be using Windows 3.1.

    And your comment makes no sense. Win 8 is faster for work when you actually get used to it, so in the long run this will pay off as people will be more productive. And people have to learn new software all the time, like the Ribbon in MS Office.
  • Magnus101 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I am on a multi-monitor setup and I tried the dev version in Virtual Box last month.
    I had to turn off Windows 8(had to do a different setting for the virtual machine, I think).
    Couldn't find where to power off.

    Found out by a video that I had to hoover in the right hand corner, but that didn't work. I thought the version I used had dumped that ability (the youtube video was quite old).
    So I had to look up a shortcut to open up the start menu and finally get it to shut down.

    Of couse the problem was that I used multiple monitors (use 3) and that I coudln't "snap" to the point where the start menu was.
    This shows how extremely bad this is.

    Another idiotic thing with metro is that programs behaves like apps on a mobile phone. They don't really shut down unless you force them to.
    I tried one of the metro games where there was some music playing. There was no option to quit the game, so when I left it, the music was STILL playing in the background.

    I had to force close the damn thing to stop the music playing!

    And I find absolutely nothing that makes my experience better with metro than the Windows 7 taskbar. Less clicks and more things in a smaller place is ideal for me. Not to mention that the horizontal scrolling is idiotic in metro.

    Look at how Unity in Ubuntu was received when it was released. People fled to Linux Mint, where there are options to use the "old style" desktop.

    One thing that was really good with Windows 8, though, was the new Explorer with many enhancements and actually more space (the bottom part is free compared to win 7).

    I just wish there would be a "Windows 8 desktop" version where the users like me who don't have a windows tablet, Xbox 360 or a windows phone could enjoy the other enhancements not letting metro totally destroy the experience!
    I guess 80-90% will still use older windows version even at the end of 2013 if nothing is done about this crap. Things like metro or unity just doesn't work on a normal Pc and aren't well received by users!
  • faizoff - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    You might want to try out the Consumer preview since you've tried the metro apps on the Dev preview. They mention in the article about closing out the apps. They aren't that difficult to close now. Though shutting down and restarting the computer is still a chore. Reply
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    Hovering the mouse over the left most 80 pixels to pop out the multi-tasking tray and then click-holding the app and dragging it down is a whole lot more work than clicking a little red x. Reply
  • faizoff - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I'll have to read this thoroughly when I get home. I find myself really liking Metro even on a PC. I don't see myself getting it when it comes out for the PC though. Only way I'm getting it is when Win 8 tablets come out.

    Skimming through the comments, I had mentioned about the restart and shutting down annoyance. I found a shortcut that allows to place a tile on the metro screen thereby clicking only once to shutdown or restart the computer.
  • phoenix_rizzen - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    God that Start Screen is ugly, disorganised, and hard to look at. Boxes are different sizes. Boxes are different colours with no apparent relationship between colours and program groups. Some have graphics, some have icons, some have multiple lines of text. There's no symmetry to anything. It's just like the default Control Panel layout in Windows 7 ... a disorganised mess.

    The fact that they had to add a search field, and implement "type to start searching" is a giant red flag that should have warned them they had failed. You should not need a search option for your program launcher.

    Granted, the default layout of the Start Menu in every previous version of Windows wasn't much better, as there was no enforced organisation (each vendor dropped whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted), but at least it was easy-to-navigate and easy-to-scan to find things.
  • Kiouerti - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I have to agree. The aesthetics of the Metro are just horrible. Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Aesthetic issues aside, almost all modern OSes have a search feature built into their launchers: the Windows 7 Start menu has one, OS X and iOS have Spotlight, Android has one... they're pretty much universal. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    They might be universal, but Metro Start Screen basically makes it required/mandatory.

    Search in KDE's Lancelot and whatever the default menu is called is optional. Everything is organised according to type of task and easily reachable in under 4 clicks (generally 2 clicks). But you can type-to-search if you aren't sure where to find something.

    Search in the Windows 7 Start Menu is optional. Things are still (sorta) organised, although by vendor instead of by task, and still easy enough to find things.

    Same with Windows Vista Start Menu.

    Search is optional. Metro Start Screen basically requires type-to-search to find anything. Otherwise, you have to spent minutes trying to read everything onscreen to find anything.
  • p05esto - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Right, why in the world is there a search box at all on a computer? lol. If you can't organize files and put applications int he right place then you need to go back to a pen and paper. A search box is not a navigation option, it's a last resort and a cumbersome at that for the unorganized. Reply
  • phoenix_rizzen - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    IOW, you agree with what I'm saying. ;) Reply
  • dan0512 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    If I can't change the name of the executable window to Programs, then I won't buy this product. I hate the noun "Apps". Reply
  • alpha754293 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link


    that's all I gotta say about that.

    (Surprised that given the specs of the systems, that people couldn't have deduced that he's testing with whatever hardware he had laying around....)

    bwahahahahaha...still that update is hilarious! (And the fact that he had to write the update...makes it that much the better...)
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Glad I'm not the only one seeing the humor in it. :-) Reply
  • Mathragh - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Just made this account to express my gratitude for the author(s) of this article.

    This has been the most complete, readable and (arguably) objective article about the consumer previes so far, so great job!

    I also think that most of the people really underestimate the time and effort that goes into writing something like this, so even more kudo's for not letting yourself brought down by some of the comments people make!

    Also, I have been using this version of windows 8 for some time now as main OS on my laptop, and it is indeed how you described it yourself aswell. The more time you spent using it, the more you start to like it. All the added functionality is really awesome. The only thing I dont really get the the fact that the desktop version of remote desktop has been hidden like this. If not for this article I wouldnt even have known it still existed.

    Keep up the writing! Loving every article on this site.
  • imaheadcase - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Its windows ME upgrade to win 7. Nothing but GUI changes that will effect anyone.

    Looks like win 8 is just a way to merge the OS to all devices besides Desktop. Seems more a dev helper OS than a consumer helper OS.
  • B3an - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    *face palm*

    You didn't even read the article did you.

    Just counting the desktop changes alone, Win 8 has far more changes than 7 did from Vista.
  • DrApop - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Well, I better go buy me a copy of windows 7 before the stop selling it. The last thing I want to do is slap this ugly windows 8 UI system on my computer!

    Everyone seems to be acting like this is such an innovation from microsoft, putting the same OS on phone, tablet, and now desk top. Does anyone remember Windows CE on a PDA?

    Anyway, some of you love the UI, while I and others do not. We shall see how it goes when it goes on the desktop. All I know is that Microsoft had better start training up a huge slew of CS personnel because they are going have a whole bunch of people calling their CS support line when the win 8 users are unable to find anything on their computer. It is going to be a really mess for about 6-12 months. But I'm sure MS will charge for CS so that will be another revenue stream for them.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Given the immense negative feedback there is simply no way Microsoft can afford to launch Windows 8. They have made a massive tactical error - by tying the Metro interface to the classic Windows desktop they have assured it's failure. Desktop users don't want it - and with all the negative feedback - tablet shoppers won't either. Why should they?

    I really expected more from Microsoft. They have done so many good things in Windows 7. How could they possibly want to mess with that success? Is the iPad so threatening? I don't understand how they could let this happen.
  • londiste - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    > Windows 8 adds new class drivers for things like USB 3.0 controllers, printers, motion sensors,
    wait... what - motion sensors?
    did you happen to try using kinect at any stage of playing around with w8?
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I don't have one, unfortunately. :-)

    The motion sensors the article refers to are things like accelerometers and gyrometers - mostly hardware you'll find in tablets.
  • Scali - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "Linux advocates act as though Microsoft has taken something away in disallowing third-party OSes on WOA devices, when in fact they’re disabling nothing that hasn’t already been disabled on most competing tablets."

    Nice to see someone telling it like it is for a change.
  • mcnabney - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    It looks like backup functionality is only supported for DVDs and local drives in Premium. If you want to backup your system across a home network it looks like you have to upgrade to Professional. I guess MS needs more cash from people who are clever enough to make sure backups aren't stored ON THE COMPUTER NEEDING THE BACKUP.

    Tried the preview. Hated Metro. My multimonitor setup looks retarded with Metro running. Also had some compatibility issues relating to Steam/games. I'm pretty happy with Win7 and am unlikely to spend a bunch of money upgrading my numerous computers for marginal at best gains.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Yeah, that's how it is in Windows 7, which seriously limits the feature's usefulness. We're still waiting to see how the Windows 8 product editions break down, and what features are present/excluded from each version. Reply
  • IlllI - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    windows 7 will be the last version they ever use. the learning curve to windows 8 is too steep and i can't keep trying to teach them, especially with their memory not being as good as it once was. Reply
  • WPLJ42 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The price was right on an HP AIO with an ULV CPU. Even with a 1.6 GHz CPU, the fan runs too much. About W8. Both the Developer and Consumer versions crashed and burned. After a few days, my PC went into a constant loop of rebooting. With the Consumer version, I was careful not to let Windows Update install any hardware drivers. I was using a dual boot with Windows 7. With both W8DP and W8CP, if I shut the computer down with Windows 8, it would boot itself in the dark of night. I am not an IT guy, just a run of the mill user. I had no issues with Windows 7 Beta, but it was running on an iMac with either VirtualBox or BootCamp, and it had to be the 32-bit version. I would like to know if my probably is an AMD thing, or HP, or if it is just me. Reply
  • Hulk - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    As the author posted the Windows XP OS was getting long in tooth for me as I wanted to upgrade to 64bit OS and apps. Now that I'm there with Windows 7 I have absolutely no reason to upgrade to Windows 8. Actually since I'm sure we'll still be using 64bit applications in Windows 9 it might be a VERY long time before I move from Windows 7. I stayed with XP 9 years and if we were still 32 bit I have a feeling I'd still be using it.

    Good luck MS. But I'm fairly confident you're going down the wrong path on this one. 99.9% of desktop PC's are not touch screens. It doesn't make sense to alienate those users to "future-proof" yourself.

    I bet they will reverse course on this in Windows 9.
  • hrmes09 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Having used Windows 8 preview has made me so angry that I registered to Anandtech just to post this!
    I can't believe that MS is trying to shove all this down our throat!
    Metro looks childish on a desktop computer and feels awkward. It's also the least intuitive gui that I have ever used!
    If they continue down that road Windows 8 is going to be Microsoft's Itanium.
  • glugglug - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The Storage Spaces feature is truly awesome for us. Reply
  • hechacker1 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I think that's probably my favorite Windows 8 feature.

    I just wonder how it compares to Intel raid, or other hardware raid. Frankly, Intel RAID is ok, but RAID5 write performance drops off a cliff.

    Benchmarks Anandtech?

    What I don't like is that it's probably impossible to access this from any other operating system if you happen to dual boot. At least Intel's and most other RAID5 implementations are accessible.

    Oh, and the NTFS deduplication sound interesting too. Although you don't get to use it on ReFS AFAIK.
  • rburnham - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Great article! My only disappointment was not seeing the new OS installed on a Windows tablet, like the Acer Iconia. Reply
  • Zaranthos - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Where's my regular start menu? Quick launch (yeah I hate pinned icons)? Regular desktop icons? I spent a couple hours using Windows hate (8), went to bed mad, got up mad, told some of my friends how much Windows 8 sucked, and haven't used it since. My keyboard and mouse serve a purpose and Metro made them seem nearly useless. Windows 8 might be my new Vista/ME. I'd throw all the other improvements into the garbage can if they're tied to Metro. Reply
  • dchinu - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Its so dmn dumb argument "In fact they’re not disabling anything that hasn’t already been disabled on most competing tablets."
    Its like saying I am not the only one look at him, he's too a bedwetter
  • fisherg - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I believe it takes 3 mouse clicks to shut down Win 8. How many for Win 7? My XP machine is 3 Reply
  • hrmes09 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    2 mouse clicks for Win 7. Also fewer miles moving the mouse around... Reply
  • freedom4556 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Two for me, but it's the default action for my button. With an SSD, why sleep when cold booting is as fast as coming out of hibernation? Reply
  • flexy - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    For me this sounds like Win 8 is as necessary as a bike is for a fish, assuming that the vast majority of Windows users has not even a remote interest in "touch" nonsense or will ever plan to use a Microsoft driven tablet PC.

    THOSE who will get a tablet will MUCH LIKELY get an Ipad, as does the rest of the people due to the "hip" and "coolness" factor of Apple.

    Again...what is the point of Win8?

    Or is it simply born coming from wishful thinking at Microsoft envisioning everyone with a Windows tablet in the future (as compared to the ipad)? Which, in all likelihood will fail, but that's only my opinion.

    It's just odd to me that MS obviously targets a niche market by supporting features and options which in reality no one uses.

    And "it’s quite usable on a laptop and desktop"...could be just another wording for that it's really a waste to even consider it because it's awful. many of us Windows users are "tablet users"? Like 0,01%?
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "The File menu is usually always present"

    How can something be "usually", which by definition means there are times when it is not, and "always", which means there are no times when what you are describing is absent?

    Sorry to pick on you here about your grammar, but I keep seeing this kind of phrase and it's not just bad grammar, it's a bad way of thinking. (Grammar often reflects the processes of the mind.) It's fuzzy communication with a mixed message.

  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link


    One of my co-workers says "averagely on average usually all the time" drives me insane!
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I work with applications like Maya, Photoshop etc. and find my productivity has not been effected at all in Windows 8. Most of the complaints about Windows 8 are grossly exaggerated, by users who cannot easily adapt to change. MS needed to do something big to insure relevance into the future, prepare for new hybrid devices, and entice a new generation of users, and for the most part every feature of the old start screen is still present. The desktop still exists, and explorer has more features than ever. Those "power" users would have probably been using the keyboard to activate and search through start menu, and now they still can, with same number of key presses (yes a context switch, but only for a second, or as quick as you can type and press enter).

    That said I'm hoping for a lot of tweaks that improve the features and direction MS are already going in - That's what I'm focusing on my attention on.
  • p05esto - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    $10 says you are a MS plant. Nothing you say jives with the reality of hell that is Win8. Reply
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    The only reason for hastily welding the Metro interface onto the Windows desktop is to leverage the massive Windows user base to attract developers to Microsoft's nascent tablet platform. It's a classic Microsoft cowardly move. One they always fall back on when they realize they are getting badly beaten. Fortunately this tactic hasn't worked very often, the last time being the bundling of Internet Explorer to shut out Netscape.

    Metro is only the tip of Microsoft's tablet iceberg. Microsoft's hardware partners will have a difficult time competing against Apple's venerable iPad. Key components like processors, flash memory, batteries, cameras, and displays are cheaper for Apple due to the economies of scale. Microsofts partners will all be competing against each other as well as Apple and sales will be much lower. Don't believe me - just ask Android Phone makers how much profit they make competing against the iPhone.
  • futurepastnow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Tablet sales are only a small part of it. Microsoft knows that the bulk will continue to be on x86 computers of various types.

    The new Windows app store is the real key to understanding Metro. MS sees the success of Apple's app stores and wants a piece of that action. To that end, they need people buying WinRT apps, which means forcing Metro on *everyone*.
  • jabber - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    WIndows 8 Tablet + Zune all over again.

    Its just too late.
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever"
    Actually you can in Windows 8. Go into Personalize>Click Desktop Background>Then you can right click pictures, and say set as monitor 1, or 2
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I work with applications like Maya, Photoshop etc. and find my productivity has not been effected at all in Windows 8. Most of the complaints about Windows 8 are grossly exaggerated, by users who cannot easily adapt to change. MS needed to do something big to insure relevance into the future, prepare for new hybrid devices, and entice a new generation of users, and for the most part every feature of the old start screen is still present. The desktop still exists, and explorer has more features than ever. Those "power" users would have probably been using the keyboard to activate and search through start menu, and now they still can, with same number of key presses (yes a context switch, but only for a second, or as quick as you can type and press enter).

    That said I'm hoping for a lot of tweaks that improve the features and direction MS are already going in - That's what I'm focusing on my attention on.
  • ananduser - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Fair review, impressed by Win8, don't care about GUI sensibilities, I never criticized any OS for subjective GUI peculiarities.

    Battery issues might also stem from lack of custom drivers that are the norm in laptop land. Anyway I might be wrong seeing as they should work in W8. Maybe they do but don't use W8's touted power saving features.

    Why always bring the subject of OSX price vs Win's price ? OSX is an upgrade, it has a requirement that you detain the previous version. Win is sold as a stand alone product(upgrade options exist as well). Now, ever thought about "you get what you pay for"(mac fans always love this phrase) ? W8 will bring out of the box built in hypervisor, storage spaces and incredibly huge hardware support(among many others). Also you can virtualize W8 in any VM. OSX lacks all that and has less hardware support, in fact has hardware restrictions. Bottom line Windows costs more because IT IS WORTH MORE.

    PS: Did you really need 2 imacs and a mba to test W8; one Apple PC wasn't enough ?
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever"
    Actually you can in Windows 8. Go into Personalize>Click Desktop Background>Then you can right click pictures, and say set as monitor 1, or 2
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever"
    Actually you can in Windows 8. Go into Personalize>Click Desktop Background>Then you can right click pictures, and say set as monitor 1, or 2
  • superPC - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I see that most of you complains about the new start screen. well my father asked me to installed windows 8 on his laptop and he's much happier than he ever was with that laptop (it use to be a vista machine). it loads up in less than 40 seconds (not using SSD old core 2 duo machine with just 1 GB of RAM), shuts down in less than 30. it's super responsive and just plain fast (eventhough i've already installed all of his regular software suite). and he loves the new metro browser and apps. full screen apps looked lovely he said. he even likes metro because "it's more informative and searchable than the old start menus". honestly, windows is not aim at people like us the power user, it's aim at the rest of them: casual users. and if my dad, a 25 year veteran casual user of windows can live with metro than most of us obviously can too. Reply
  • p05esto - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    That's great that it's dumbed down, but my question is WHY are you here on anaddtech? This is a site for real computer users who don't want it dumbed down.

    MS needs to allow advanced users to turn all the Metro crap off and use the OS just for launching their development apps. We don't want ANY of the crap found on the start screen or the hidden corners or whatever. I don't understand why MS is removing all customizability, it's been getting worse ever since Vista. Even in Office, why force the stupid ribbon, why not let power users use regular menus? I don't get why they force everybody to follow the same strict path. How hard can it be to allow people to bypass the metro start screen and put back the start menu with all their apps?

    Oh, and bring back the option to organize apps in the start menu into folders so I don't have to look through 50 apps to see all my graphic editing programs or video programs (I liked putting them into broad folders of apps). Win7 eliminated that possibility. And bring back the SMALL and condensed task menu of apps. In Win7/8 they use these large icons with too much space on the sides...why? I found a registry hack to make them smaller and compact, but why make the large and cumbersome task bar area thre default? It befuddles me.
  • smilingcrow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    p05esto: “My question is WHY are you here on anaddtech? This is a site for real computer users who don't want it dumbed down.
    Oh, and bring back the option to organize apps in the start menu into folders so I don't have to look through 50 apps to see all my graphic editing programs or video programs (I liked putting them into broad folders of apps). Win7 eliminated that possibility.”

    Win7 does allow you to organize your apps into folders on the start menu (after you click on All Programs) but it is not as simple as with previous versions. As you are a ‘real computer user’ I will allow you to find that info for yourself; which will be easy now that you know that it is possible which is the hardest info to get.
  • bigboxes - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Right-click task bar -> Properties -> Task bar tab -> check "Use small icons" Reply
  • freedom4556 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Most of the improvements your dad talked about could be attributable to simply clean re-installing an old Vista install and then running updates. The switch to seven would likely have had a similar effect on performance. Reply
  • Sabresiberian - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    An operating system, particularly one as ubiquitous as Windows, should appeal to ALL users, not just the lowest common denominator.

    There is a difference between making things easier to use for the non-technical person and dumbing down, and sometimes Microsoft loses sight of that.

    Reading this article, I don't think Win 8 is necessarily "dumbed down" in it's interface, but I'm not entirely convinced. I do know, I'm not going to live with an OS that requires me to interface with it through big squares on a solid-color background.

    I have a lot of trouble understanding why I would want to buy an "app" to begin with, since many of them seem to be nothing more than bookmarks. I seem to have been able to do without them for all the time I've used computers to now, I don't see why using a smart phone or tablet requires them, or even makes those devices better. I don't understand why we can't just have icons like the previous versions of Windows that we can touch to activate, if we want to activate them by touch and have the hardware capability.

    This article has allayed some of my fears, and there is clearly enough reason to update from Vista to Win 8 on my next build, providing I can get rid of the yugly (yugly: you'-glee, as in "so ugly it's beyond ugly, it's yugly") interface. My second computer uses Win 7, and I'll have to be very impressed with Win 8 to switch from it when I rebuild a second computer.

    Most people in the world that interface with computers are not technically inclined; many of them aren't all that capable in any case. It's good for these things to be easy enough to use that most everyone can use them, just please, please don't penalize ME in the process.

    It will take a lot for me to give up DirectX, but I would do it, if it becomes necessary.

  • Sabresiberian - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    This is the most complete analysis of Windows 8 I've seen so far. Thanks guys!

  • smilingcrow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    My thoughts exactly. I have a Dell Latitude XT3 in my box room which arrived last week and a copy of this preview on DVD arrived in the post today but until I read this review I didn’t feel a strong enough urge to install it due to the other reviews I’d read.
    Mid review I took it out of the box to install Win8 but unfortunately it uses a slimmer format HDD than I have spare so I will need to postpone; the XT3 is a convertible so having a touch screen made it the obvious choice. Maybe it will work via eSATA!

    This review underlines why Anandtech is my first choice reviews site; thanks people.
  • p05esto - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I am so dissapointed by this review, I actual wonder if Microsoft paid to have this review put in place. It seems like a big advertisement to me. There's NO way a power user or enthusiast can work fast and efficient with dozens of applications and open windows in Win8... it's just not possible. I am NOT going to go to some stupid search box to find and launch Photoshop and other programs, are you freaking kidding me, who uses the search box to open a program? That is just retarded.

    I refuse to even get into it any more. Win8 in my opinion after using it is total junk. It's a cumbersome interface that is 5 times as many clicks to do every little thing. That start screen has no use to me at all, the last thing I care about is the weather, twitter, facebook, rss feeds and all that other time-wasting crap. I'm a professional developer, get rid of that junk in my way of Visual Studio!!
  • karocage - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link


    "There's NO way a power user or enthusiast can work fast and efficient with dozens of applications and open windows in Win8... it's just not possible."

    I take it you haven't found the "desktop" tile yet. Click that and then go to the same exact desktop you always had. Alt-tab still works. The taskbar still works. I really don't know what you're complaining about.

    "I am NOT going to go to some stupid search box to find and launch Photoshop and other programs, are you freaking kidding me, who uses the search box to open a program?"

    Well, plenty of people do use the search box. It's quite fast. Or they use the taskbar. Or they use desktop shortcuts. Or they click items pinned to the start menu (which is different from clicking items pinned to the start screen how?). Again, you appear to just be complaining because you want to, not because there's any rational basis for it.

    And, frankly, a ton of the complaints seem to be in this vein. The problem's apparently people's inability to think straight just because MS changed the size and layout of the start menu. Let go of your rage over a single full screen menu and see the things like the new task manager, the new right click menu where the start button used to be, the enhanced multimonitor support and all the other improvements Andrew outlined here.
  • Braden99 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever"
    Actually you can in Windows 8. Go into Personalize>Click Desktop Background>Then you can right click pictures, and say set as monitor 1, or 2
  • smilingcrow - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I hope Win8 removes all the OS bugs (not driver or application bugs) that have annoyed me in Win7. I have used NT since 3.51 and bypassed Win 95/98/ME/XP (pre SP2) and Win7 has given me more hassle at the base OS level than all other versions combined. If I didn’t like its strengths so much I would be majorly pissed by its shortcomings. Fingers crossed for Win8. Reply
  • InsaneScientist - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Your comment would carry a little more weight (and people might be able to point out something that you've missed) if you would actually detail what you're complaining about... Reply
  • bigboxes - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I thought Windows 7 was going to be the last x86 OS from Microsoft. I see that you used Windows 8 x86 on the Dell Latitude D620. With all the changes being made why isn't the elimination of x86 one of them? Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    MS wants to maintain compatibility with all systems that could run Windows 7, which means one more generation of 32-bit Windows. This seems like it could be the last one, but we won't know until we start hearing about Windows 9. Reply
  • Braden999 - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    "but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever"
    Actually you can in Windows 8. Go into Personalize>Click Desktop Background>Then you can right click pictures, and say set as monitor 1, or 2
  • phexac - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    I most definitely plan on skipping Win8, even though I upgraded to Vista and Win7 the day they came out.

    To know how bad this new disjointed Metro-Desktop environment will be, all you have to do is look at the POSITIVE feedback Win8 is receiving. Apparently, the best that can be said about Metro is that you can be fine with it and it will not create significant problems for that you cannot get around. Where is the feedback of all the great new improvements Metro will bring to your Windows experience? There is none. The best possible scenario for Metro is that, with some practice and adjustment, it will not completely fuck up your computing experience. No thanks. I will opt to stay in full desktop environment that does not force me to deal with a screen filled with ugly tiles that lead to gimped mail and other apps designed for a phone. When I am on a desktop, I want to use a desktop interface and those things called "applications." Hint--they are like apps, except with more functionality to take advantage of greater flexibility of the PC.

    Metro seems to be a product of semi-competent management under pressure to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING at all to justify its job in the face of competition that is putting out meaningful well-received innovation. This situation is all too common at Microsoft it seems.

    I foresee Win8 being an even bigger flop than Vista. The fact that Metro interface failed miserably in the phone market (devices it's supposed to be best on) is a pretty good indicator that it fucking blows and has no traction with consumers. The logical conclusion from that is certainly not trying to pawn it off on your desktop users.

    I hope this product leads to MS losing a shitton of money so that they hopefully learn to listen to feedback of their customer base. Do you guys remember the extensive consumer input and feedback that MS used to design Windows 7? That led to a great product. None of that seems to be happening with Win8, where MS is back to its internal ideas. We all know how good that tends to work for them as of late.

    I can see the commercials now: "Hi, I'm a Mac, and I have a User Interface that is not fucking retarded."
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    I love this analysis. You are truly inspired. :) Reply
  • antef - Friday, March 09, 2012 - link

    Did I read this right? If you use File History you can't also create system images using Windows Backup? So in Windows 7 they give me an awesome, easy, built-in system imaging tool, but crap file backup so I have to find my own utilities for that, then in Win 8 they give me awesome file backup but take away system imaging? Why in the world could that not be integrated with the new feature? Reply
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    You can still make images and backups with the "Windows 7 File Transfer" control panel, which is identical to the Windows Backup tool. You just can't schedule both W7 File Transfer backups AND File History backups. Reply
  • antef - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Thanks for the reply (didn't expect one this many pages deep!). That is still a shame, I like my weekly scheduled system image backups so that if something goes wrong with the system it's easy to get back to how things were. And I would be very interested in keeping File History enabled too. It seems like an unnecessary limitation and keeps it from still being competitive with Time Machine. Let's say I do enable the system image backups. Can I still get to Win7-like "previous versions" of files at all, or would that all be shut off? Reply
  • Malih - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I don't understand why some people don't like or even hate the Metro interface. It's a beautiful, and depends on how you're using it, can be your source of quick info (with the widgets and all that) without having to open many apps at the same time.

    I do think it would work better on desktop or laptop if there's a device like the Magic Trackpad for PC.

    I like Metro, and even contemplated on buying the Nokia Lumia 800, if only its price (the Int'l version) is a bit lower.
  • SunLord - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    It's not that hard to understand metro sucks with a mouse on my desktop and is rather disjointed but It's actually not that bad with a touch pad on my laptop where you can do swipes and other gestures so it's probably pretty sweet with a tablet/slate or a all-in-one with a touchscreen that takes advantage of the touch based interface that metro is. Reply
  • B3an - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Complete BS.

    Metro is faster and more configurable than the Start menu ever was, as this article also points out. Getting stuff done on Win 8 is faster than it ever was in 7. People need to stop trying to use Win 8 like 7 and use it for how it's intended. It's an improvement. Not that people like you will ever give it a chance. Too scared of change. Go back to DOS.
  • TEAMSWITCHER - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    You're wrong. The first time I did a search for "Settings" in Metro I was presented with a ugly grid of small icons and text. Many of the icons were duplicates and some I swear haven't changed since Windows XP. I thought to myself - "Wow, Metro just vomited on my 27" display."

    If you honestly think that Metro is going to compete visually against the iPad you must be partially blind. Just take a look at the blocky green slider buttons in Metro and compare them to the awesome round and shaded slider buttons of iOS. Metro looks like crap!

    Stop saying good things about it - it's the worst OS Microsoft ever created!
  • stephenbrooks - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    1. It would be nice if there was a special "maximise" button that turned a window from your desktop into a Metro "app" that showed up on the list of running apps. What I like about Metro is that Microsoft are embracing the fact that some things are better fullscreen, so there's a selection between screens and then overlapped windows on a desktop within one of those.

    2. It would also be nice if they had skinned the desktop to look Metro-ish, instead of the utterly different look and feel of the two at the moment. Just needs everything to have square non-bevelled borders + black background really and use solid shading rather than gradients or fancy stuff.

    The big reason why I think #1 isn't happening, and the problem with Metro generally, is that it only works with apps written against Microsoft's very specific Metro system. I don't know if they intend to keep this dichotomy forever. They can't migrate entirely to Metro because then developers would have to put all their half-made and experimental programs through the microsoft app approval system! Plus there are things that don't lend themselves to going in the Windows Store, like programs written internally in a company, various sorts of scripts, bespoke simulations used in R&D, etc.

    In fact all the *clever* stuff people do with PCs doesn't work in the consumerised app store/tablet model as it stands.
  • PopinFRESH007 - Sunday, April 15, 2012 - link

    So you are saying Microsoft should have made OSX Lion, but without all the smooth animation nice looking graphics.

    #1 Full Screen Apps, and they do work great. Also mission control is very fast to switch between programs. When you make a program full screen, it creates it own virtual desktop space so you can fluidly move from your windowed programs and those you like to focus on with the full screen.

    #2 I don't know why you would want to force users to change what they like about customizing their desktop just to push a separate disjointed UI.

    And the rest of what you said, Apple has managed to do exactly what you described. You can test your programs extensively in Xcode (just like you can in Visual Studio) before submitting them to the AppStore. Apple also thought of the internal software developed by companies and they have an enterprise program that allows you to distribute your private software internally for iOS devices. This isn't needed with OSX yet because it's not a completely walled garden. Watch the video, and compare what you were describing to the information on the OSX Lion page.
  • Wardrop - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    On the page with the "Working with a mouse" section, you probably mention the inefficiencies of the "action bar" that appears at the bottom of the screen when you right-click some things, which replaces a traditional context menu. The biggest problem is that you need to move your mouse a lot further than you otherwise would need to with a context menu. If this remains, I know for sure that this will annoy the crap out of me, especially on a larger screen - it's just one of many examples where a touch-optimised interface has come at a sacrifice to pointer-based devices.

    Touch optimisation should be complementary to a traditional pointer-optimised interface. I don't understand why microsoft have been so careless with their implementation of a unified touch/pointer interface.
  • beginner99 - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link that at least for home use I think it could live and at work we are still using xp and will be upgraded to win 7 sometime this year. Its a safe guess win 7 will be around at least as long as XP. Reply
  • akse - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    "Start screen serves as a much more configurable and useful application launcher than the tiny Start menu ever was."

    I disagree. I don't need a fullscreen splash search feature for the software parser to parse through the stuff I type to the search field.

    I probably wouldn't need that start menu either, just a field to type in by pressing win-button and then some list of stuff it finds.

    Start menu as an application shortcut as of now in win7 is pretty ok too. It's not too messy and you can easily hide some extra stuff you don't use much under some folders (tools, software etc.). Sometimes i just browse it with mouse if I don't remember what I had installed.

    Also you can pin your favourites there or quick bar.
  • B3an - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    You can pin anything the Win 8's Start screen.

    And searching is far better, you can see way more results. On my 30" monitors i get up to 150 results, with large easy to recognise icons. Compare that to a handful in the tiny cluttered Start menu.

    You're just another dinosaur who cant deal with change.
  • Zaranthos - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    If Microsoft has the same attitude as you, insulting their long time customers who don't like change they don't even need, then they'll lose those customers and their money.

    I could make a full page list of improvements that could be made to Windows 7 and almost none of them will be in Windows 8 or probably Windows 9 for that matter. Trying to shove a new UI down peoples throats won't work out well for Microsoft.
  • JohnUSA - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I am not a pessimist, but I hate Windows 8 with mouse and keyboard experience.
    I really believe that Microsoft should have released 2 versions, one for tablet/touch screen users and the second for current desktop/laptop users. The desktop experience is not acceptable to me, so I will never buy Windows 8. Microsoft should go back to the drawing board and re-write Windows 8 just for mouse and keyboard use for users like me, which we are in the millions and the majority of users. I do not want Metro as it makes my life hell.
    My demand is simple, I want a good and efficient OS experience, and so far Windows 8 is not providing it.
    My prediction is that stupid and stubborn Microsoft is going to be a big loser as many users like me will not touch this abysmal and irritating OS.
  • dduncan - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    in reply to hardware the acer w500 runs the 32bit W8 very good. Message: I am writing this hoping it will find its way to someone that will listen. I use my 7 year old granddaughter as my main ginipig for this experiment but I also took windows to work on a tablet and a small pc for people to try and I tested my wife and neighbor. Here are my results. For myself I use an Iphone (work supplied) a gaming pc at home along with a ThinkPad and a MacBook pro also I have a ipad 2, an Acer a500 and w500 (with windows 8). My experience is windows needs much better track pad support that's the only place a mac beets the window laptop machines. This on a laptop is 80% of my input. Windows 8 tablet is great much better than an ipad and android just sucks. On windows 8 I implore you to do three things. Easily let people chose what desktop to log into. Put the start button back. Make a new start button next to it to get into metro start menu. My reasons are as follows. First my neighbor he is retired, wealthy and smart. Loves the tablet and will buy one. He will not switch to a metro desktop. Can't figure out the business move behind you decision. This is coming from a successful railroad man. My wife uses the windows phone 7 so the windows 8 tablet was very natural for her she liked it very much but prefers her ipad because of weight which I'm sure will change buy the release date and she will probably switch to windows 8 tablet with the right hardware. On the desktop she will not use the metro u.i. even though she knows it. She is a secretary and very fast on a pc but the metro u.i. slows her down to do work. At work everyone loved the tablet with windows 8 so much so that our office manager which is a tech junkie like me ordered the Acer w500 and will have me put windows 8 on it next week. However everyone said no to a windows pc with metro u.i. and no start button. I can't emphasize enough no start button is a deal breaker. Our office always upgrades to the newest operating system. The ribbon in office was enough for them to all learn and there not about to learn a new interface. The big experiment my granddaughter. I let her use whatever she wants and never influence her on her choice. This can be nerve racking when a 7 year old is walking around without a care in the world and a five hundred tablet. She uses any phone android (her mom's) windows 7 (her grandmas) and my Iphone. She is proficient on all and shows us some tricks. It seems a phone is very much a tool for her so she doesn't care what type it is. On laptops she only likes the ThinkPad. I don't know why but she doesn't like to use a cheap Toshiba laptop I got her and she doesn't like the MacBook. On the tablet is what's most interesting. She loves the Ipad, hates android, and jumped right on the windows 8 tablet. In the few days she's got to use it. It seems as though it's her favorite by far. However on the desktop she won't use the metro u.i. and asked why they (you) would take away the way she gets to her stuff. In closing it is my beliefs that if you let internal politics and not consumers decide what the customer wants you will have windows 7 for ten + years like xp and a great tablet os. Very few upgrades and if people have to learn an operating system from scratch mac sales will go up and pc sales down. Very few offices will upgrade. Please just do three things to get a truly NO COMPROMISE (your new slogan) experience. LET PEOPLE CHOSE WHICH DESKTOP TO START ON. PUT THE START BUTTON BACK. MAKE ANOTHER START BUTTON NEXT TO IT TO GO TO THE METRO U.I.
    SINCERELY: David Duncan
  • Jyrkz - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    first of all id like to point out that I'm a AMD-ATI fan boy, but im not one of does AMD boys that have anger management issues:D i do realize that intel is pwning amd in CPU VS CPU. Sad but true.
    But AMD has its own GPU(+APU if you know what i mean ), thats where intel will be blown away.
    This year ARM will arrive as well. I really hope AMD will beat ARM cause it would really suck if AMD was 3rd in CPU ;).

    Anyway, the review was nice! keep up the good work and you all be seeing me around here :D
  • Pantsu - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    "For multi-monitor users, Microsoft provides some extra-wide wallpapers that can stretch across multiple screens, but there’s still no way to use a different wallpaper for each desktop, something that OS X has supported forever."

    Actually I think it can, at least my W8 desktop has 3 different wallpapers on my monitors.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I've seen that from a couple of other people... Not sure how I missed it. It's on a list of small updates I need to make to the article that I hope I can get to tomorrow. Reply
  • Cardio - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    I am running Win 8 CP on a new build Asus Z68, SB @4.7, a Mushkin Chronos SSD and a GTX 580.
    First I think this is an exceptionally well done review. It is an OS review not hardware. There is no reason to think that the OS will work differently on an AMD or an Intel anymore than win 7 did. I am pretty sure that MS knows there are AMD systems out there and is not going to release an OS that will not run properly on them, seems like that would be the best business plan. I, for one, see nothing wrong with Windows 8. It is faster than 7 and has been completely stable for me and compatible with everything I have tried with the sole exception of CPUZ and ASUS's multiple driver install program that sees it as an unknown OS. The drivers still install normally if done separately.
    It is different. Most of the complaints I hear are based just on that. Personally, I wouldn't want it if it wasn't different. If you don't want it don't buy it. If you don't want to do things in a different way you sure don't have to... Windows 7 is and will still be around. All this predictable ranting is the same as happened when DOS went away and every other OS change since. I have used Win 8 enough that the changes in use are now normal and you don't have to think about it. I'm sure before RTM and there after there will be more changes. Thanks for the very nice review. I can imagine what a job it was.
  • taltamir - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    "Metro is here, and if you use Windows 8 you’ll have to come to terms with it."

    Then I wont be using windows 8.
  • eezip - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Am I the only one that has trouble with this? I can sign in at and have no problems at all, so I figured that was the login info to use.

    I installed the Dev Preview when it was released and used a local account. But after recalling the Win8 blog post about Win Live ID syncing, I figured I'd try it before moving to the CP. So I went into the settings and selected "Switch to a Microsoft Account". Seems logical. But I was unable to log in again to the Dev Preview install. Arrrrgh!

    So, I clean installed the CP and tried using the Windows Live ID login info from the beginning. I got to the desktop, but the first time I restarted the computer, I couldn't log in. I had entered my phone number and hint info, but I never saw how to enter it. And the CP certainly didn't offer to help me when I was clearly struggling. Since I didn't have a local account, I reinstalled the CP using a local account, which brings me to today.

    Is my login at the same login that I *should* be able to use for Win8? I can only assume that I'm doing something wrong, but I sure don't know what it might be.
  • InsaneScientist - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    How long is your password?

    Try just the first 16 characters if it's longer than that.
    For whatever (REALLY STUPID) reason, it'll let you enter a password longer than that, but it only uses the first 16 as the actual password.
    (See my comment two below yours, and poke around on google. It's a known issue)

    If it's not longer than 16 characters... I have no idea.
  • b_wallach - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Well what is a in depth when there is nothing very in depth at all. With all the systems tested here it's really a drag that you can't dig up a AMD system and the one everyone wants to see is the BD line.
    Most people have seen enough to say if you wanted to do a run with the new OS it would be with this cpu because of all the guesses and some beta tests that showed a marked improvement with these cpu's.
    Running a bunch of lame Intel systems really makes it kind of a joke. If you did not have a good selection of different brands then why not delay it until you have enough systems to call it a in depth review instead of a who cares review. I'm sure most would say the intel's would do good and so nothing worth noting was done that would add to a lot of how much better will a radical cpu design work on it as everything points to this being a top of the list things people want to know about the new OS.
    With some win8 beta tests showing a 5-10% increase I'm sure everyone that has the new BD's has been waiting to see this one over any of the no real supprise Intel lines.
    As always it leaves a fairly large question mark about just what can expect from a site that has been less than honest about AMD for many years.
    It's only lately I've even come back here after what went on with bad reviews and very few when AMD first put out their first FX line that was better but trying to avoid the Intel inside ads all over and great praise for Intels horrible egg cooker cpu made me stop comming here for many years. I can't understand why anyone would not put AMD's new cpus right up front with Window's 8 so we can get a good amount of data over this hugely argued point all over the web.
    So no this was anything but a in depth review. It was a candy coated and/or we need to run a filler story to help the hit counter stay busy right???
    Before that Pentium 4 fiasco I came here a lot.
    After that I started looking at a lot of other sites where the useful data WAS useful. Intel knew what sites to throw a lot of money or inflence as they hit the top sites of the day, Tom's hardware was also doing the same line of crap and like this site I took a few years leave until they could earn back what little trust in them.
    I'm sure some other sites will get the AMD BD / Win 8 test done. I can't wait to see if all the flack about AMD and windows had merrit. If not I'll stick with Win 7.
    Sorry about being so glib, this IS a good site now, I just hate it when they don't pay much mind about what has been the top interest about windows 8 because AMD has a lot riding on how well their new cpu's will do with it. If it follows the beta tests it would move the AMD right up into the level of being a competitor as they are very close with current Intel cpus in some areas, even pass intel in quite a few other tests and if they see a 5 to 10% it would def. make AMD's cpu a contender. Not a top of the line one but it would put it where AMD wanted to see it run.
    Now that would alone make it a in depth review..
    It would even be a huge news item to run if AMD can do as well as the WIn8 beta reviews people might not bash it so much. AMD built this design for what could be a very sound call because a huge portion of computer users may or may not know is software is putting more demands, a lot of people run programs that can work very well in the multi-threaded apps as I have seen quite a few new ones use it and it will probably get more demanding use running 2-5 or more progs at the same time. AMD's new cpu does this part very very well.
    Oh well, it seems like me most wanted AMD scores because it is very important towards AMD's future if they can pull the scores that the beta revew saw.
    It can be compared to buying a upgraded cpu because new cpu's usually give this kind of increase from old cpu's scores and their new cpu's can do.
    Still, it's got a lot of potential once people start coding prog's to work well with new cpu designs. Intel hsa had to face this when a lot of their products acted even worse than the current AMD performance numbers.
    Even if I'm totally wrong about a details it's funny to read bad stuff about these cpu's. They do have some issues but for the most part they are still a very fast cpu and will run all software pretty darn fast.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    This was a feature review/preview, not so much a performance review/preview. We'll be measuring performance more thoroughly when we have the RTM build in a few months. Reply
  • InsaneScientist - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Maybe because it's an indepth article on the OS itself and not so much a re-review of every piece of hardware released in the last 5 years to see how it'll run Win 8? Sound reasonable?

    And no, how bulldozer improves (or doesn't) ISN'T what everyone wants... what everyone wants is to know if they'll be able to use the new interface. Talk to anyone who has any experience with Win8 - Metro WILL come up (fast), bulldozer? - not so much.

    Oh, and as a side note, I can't speak for the initial release of the A64 vs P4 days, but I started coming here around the time the A64X2 and Pentium D came out, and I rather remember Anandtech calling it like it was... the performance was not too dissimilar, with the A64X2 having an advantage (sometimes a large one - occasionally a disadvantage), but the Pentium D needing and ungodly amount of power and heat to be competitive with it. They've always done a good job of calling it like it is! I've never understood where the claim that they're Intel biased comes from.

    Don't get me wrong, I also want to know if it's going to help (and I really hope it does), but it's just not that important. Mostly because CPUs - both Intel's and AMD's - are generally fast enough.
    To quote you: "[Bullzoder CPUs] do have some issues but for the most part they are still a very fast cpu and will run all software pretty darn fast."
    Yes! That's it exactly! They're fast enough that it's no longer critical to be looking at hardware performance with a new operating system. Instead, when we look at a new operating system, we want to see... well... that operating system.

    Furthermore, this isn't a final release. Software development develops features and then the feature set is locked and the codebase is optimized. So performance WILL change between now and RTM (and it would not be fair to AMD to test it now). Features, on the other hand are pretty close to final, so talking about those is fair game.

    On the issues that everyone is talking about (Metro, UI, and feature changes), Andrew et al. did an excellent job, and I applaud them for that.
  • InsaneScientist - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    Have they done anything in the CP about that blasted 16 character limit on (live account linked) passwords?

    This is (in my opinion) by FAR the most egregious step backwards on Windows 8. Why on earth is there a limit on this? It's 2012 for crying out loud!

    And the need for an "All" option (which should be the default) in search from the start screen. I'm seriously considering skipping Win8 just because of this.
    I don't mind Metro much, it's not my favorite, but I can work with it... but why oh why did the search functionality have to take a step backwards after they got me hooked on it in Win7. :(
    I may be able to use it with the keyboard search shortcuts you mentioned, but that's not exactly a ringing endorsement.
  • MamiyaOtaru - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    " In 2009, Windows 7 brought WDDM 1.1, which focused on reducing system memory usage by removing redundant data, and support for heterogeneous GPU configurations, a change that precluded modern iGPU + dGPU technologies such as NVIDIA’s Optimus."

    I don't think "preclude" means what you think it means
  • jardows2 - Saturday, March 10, 2012 - link

    This "new" Metro interface seems quite reminiscant of the Windows 3.1 Program manager. I actually prefer the program manager to the start menu, it seemed better organized and more efficient to me. I'll have to give this a try! Reply
  • Beenthere - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    ...before I use Win 8. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Ever try uTorrent? Reply
  • androticus - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Please stop aping the Microsoft Marketing Machine (MMM) use of the term du jour, "fluid"--it is annoyingly littered throughout all their Win 8 materials, both promotional and technical. No one ever used this term to describe UI's before this new fetish introduce by MS. Please stop embarrassing yourselves by so slavishly following their lead. Thank you! Reply
  • jabber - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I wouldn't call anything that involves me having to move far left and right across the screen to do stuff 'fluid'.

    Bloody stupid maybe.

    Fluid as in a full fishtank in the back seat of car maybe.
  • samgab - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I tried Win8CP for a day before I gave up on it and rolled back to Win7.
    Allow me to attempt to review it in three words:
    I hate it.
  • noname3 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Nice article, but I disagree with some of the conclusions. Any program that goes full screen on my 30” monitor has to be either a game or a program that has some bugs in it. The whole premise of Windows is that you can control the size of the…Windows. This is a tablet oriented operating system pretending to be useful on the desktop.

    After >20 years of using and programming in Windows, I am seriously considering switching to a Unix variant. Enough of the Microsoft marketing bs, they have no respect for their legacy and they have completely alienated their strongest user base.

    The Windows 8 kernel is a gem, but any benefits are obliterated by the brainless UI. Good luck to them trying to sell this crap. Experienced users will want proper Windows, business are just upgrading to Windows 7, Apple and Android selling like hot cakes, they will only have some dedicated funs upgrading to this abomination, the future looks not very promising for them. This is the worst time to piss off their dedicated followers.

    The funniest thing is that they have applied the same brainless UI in the Windows Server 8 too. Using the UI over remote desktop does not activate the corner controls consistently and you end up using the console commands to achieve anything. If this is what I have to do why should I not use a Unix OS? If I have to learn how to use computers from scratch and basically keep searching for everything and memorizing shortcuts, I may as well move to Linux, there is no difference.

    I installed Vista since the “beta” days and I found it more functional than XP (maybe I am the only one) but I likes it a lot (even though I found a lot of the controls scattered all over the place). Then Windows 7 came out and it was what Vista should be and so far I think it is the best OS, unfortunately it is the last one too. I am not going to wait until 2015 or 2020 for Microsoft to get their act together, I have a career to maintain.

    Microsoft has turned the UI over to a bunch of marketing clowns chasing Apple and Google. I do not like this circus-type company anymore, Sinofsky and Ballmer need to get fired soon and get some serious and creative people at the top, enough we those “me too” mappets.
  • thebeastie - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I say you will be able to download a dodgey complete release in late July more likely August.
    But I dont think you will see a Tablet in a store with Windows 8 on it until December, part of my gauge for that is that MS stock price has gone up %25 in the last 3 months and its ALWAYS about the money when it comes to MS releasing important new revenue generating software, sorry to you naive tech heads.
    Just match the release dates in the past to their stock chart when its flat to dropping, it fits great, its that simple.
  • Robo2k - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    ...and Microsoft tells you: "Your future computer experience: keyboard shortcuts"


    I mean they did so many things right with Win 7, now they're talking a huge step backwards in time. With defacto nonexistent multitasking, keyboard shortcuts and a terrible waste of screen real estate.

    Never an OS has looked so damn stupid.

    Hopefully the many issues will be corrected util it goes gold.
  • jabber - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I must admit I never ever got into using shortcuts. Should I have done? I started using a mouse when I was 16 when I got a Mac 512k and thought I was supposed to use that for getting around. I found it far more useful than using the keyboard.

    Today I still only use the keyboard for entering text like I am now. The rest of the time its trackpad or mouse. I don't know any of my customers that use them either.

    Now I'm having to learn Windows 8 (well I'm going to have to support my customers aren't I going forward) and having to learn all the keyboard shortcuts.

    Just feels like going backwards.

    I guess my training/install costs will have to rise as it's going to take more than the usual 5 minutes explaining Libraries and Shutdown in Windows 7 migration.

    Plus at the end of the day...who wants to buy a Windows Tablet?
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I downloaded and installed Win 8 CP last night (on a second partition, for dual boot). I must say, my fears about how hideous Win 8 would be are gone. There are no changes that are insurmountable, or even really difficult to understand, though it takes a bit of getting used to at first - as anything new does.

    As far as looks - I was surprised to find the big squares on a solid background weren't as hideous as I thought they would be, but it hardly matters because you can pretty much live in the desktop environment, in which you can install whatever background you like, just as has always been the case with Windows. There are things you will want to do that will bring Metro up, but it was no problem for me once I monkeyed around a bit and found out what to do.

    There is a nice guide on MaximumPC for creating and installing Win 8 either dual boot or using Virtualization, if you are interested. Note: if you are installing on a RAID, you can't resize your partitions and create a new one from Vista (not sure about Win 7), you will need to use a third party app. I'll get back with the one I used, which worked nicely.

    MaximumPC has several other excellent articles about Win 8, and I recommend reading them. One article had a method for starting Win 8 in the desktop mode, not Metro, so it has less impact on your sense of beauty. (I haven't tried it.)

    Do yourself a huge favor and approach Win 8 with an open mind, and the knowledge that you WILL have to do some things differently - but it really will make sense in the end. Don't insist that things should work the old way, that just leads to frustration and deciding Win 8 is broken somehow; it is not.

    There are a couple of things I don't like, such as not being able to make the rectangles smaller (2 sizes only). It's a minor quibble though since I will hardly ever have Metro up. There's no changing the Metro background beyond some solid color changes with different textural artwork, but the shades chosen by Microsoft for background colors actually displayed nicely on my screen. I wasn't fond of some of the tile colors and didn't see a way to change them in my poking around, yet anyway. (I actually like the tile that you click - or touch, if you have the hardware - to bring up the desktop, which looks like a miniature version of the desktop complete with whatever cool background you have installed.) As I said though, the desktop can be prettied up just as Win 7 could, and that's what I'll have up when I'm doing something that isn't fullscreen (such as posting in this thread).

    Remember, too, that what we see in the Preview isn't set in stone and final; with enough constructive input, Microsoft could well change some things before release. I want to underline the "constructive" part of that, no one listens to flaming.

    Give it a shot yourself! If you have any room on your hard drive, it's not hard at all to set up dual boot.

  • jabber - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Oh no doubt those of us that dont like will persevere because our jobs/careers depend on being able to support it going forward.

    However, I still feel that using Metro should be a choice.

    All it needs is an option for those that want to use Metro or have a touch enabled desktop PC (yes thats you Jeff in Florida, nice to see you) to enable it and those of us that just dont have the time, inclination or need to do real work to earn a living to carry on as we were.

    It's not like 8 is a total ground up clean sheet OS. Its just Windows 7 with this dog show assault course called Metro shoehorned into it.

    If it was all new then I'd be more inclined to embrace it as it wasn't going to be able to change.

    I'll change if I really have to due to real compelling reasons or benefits, that's life but not because some bum-fluffed faced developer at MS that's main daily IT work is typing tweets tells me to, simply on the justification that "it's cool"..
  • Sabresiberian - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    The program I used to resize the existing partition (because I have 2 hard drives set up in a RAID 0 configuration and Vista's "Shrink" will only work properly with a single disk. It appears to work at first, but does not.) and create one for Win 8 is called "Partition Wizard 7" Very nice, and the Home Edition is completely free. Nice little video tutorials on the site if you need help.

    I've never done dual boot before, so I thought I'd add a note for others new to the system. Once Win 8 was installed, my computer didn't give me an option to start on the different logical drives like I thought it would when I pressed "F8" (may be "F12" or something else on your hardware); it booted normally, I saw the Win 8 stylized fish, and then a screen popped up to allow me to select which OS I wanted to boot. Selecting "Vista" instead got me a restart into Vista.

    Your computer might do something different, my mainboard is an Asus Rampage II Extreme, with Vista 64 Ultimate and now the Win 8 CP installed.

  • klmccaughey - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Well I have had it installed for a few days now, and as a power user, multimonitor, DESKTOP user, I find it is all but unusable.

    The reason for having multiple monitors and desktops is to make use of that space.... SPATIALLY and not have all this crap getting in the way. It takes ages to find things you need to use, it is ANTI-productivity and a total DISASTER for business and power users.

    It's basically a very smooth running piece of shit (POS).

    Surely they could create a business version where we can continue to have a desktop and easy ways to jump from one activity to another.

    As it is you have a tablet interface that gets RIGHT IN THE WAY of trying to do what you want.

    How much money were Anand given not to give it a bad review is what I am wondering. You cannot seriously tell me people in business, programmers etc are going to be able to use this POS?
  • B3an - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Just STFU and go back to Windows 95 then.

    And oh no you have to learn new things with a new OS? Who would have thought!! Thats just shocking.

    It takes about an hour at most to learn the new stuff, then maybe a week to get used to it. After that... you dont have to learn it again! And you'll find that most things are actually FASTER to do if you use the new OS the way it's intended.
  • jabber - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Yeah you've never worked for a company with 10000+ staff have you? Ranging from Brandi in HR to Steve in Accounts etc.

    Corporations dont have that amount of time and productivity to lose to an OS designed to run fart apps and Angry Birds.

    It's a grown up world out there. It's not just about catering to skinny jeaned hipsters who only use Twitter and Facebook while sitting in Starbucks.

    Business as usual rules.
  • noname3 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Nobody has problems learning new things; the only person with learning difficulties seems to be you, based on your language.

    Learning new OSes is something some of us do for a living, but to do so we need to be rewarded with increased productivity. Metro UI kills productivity and it sucks, you want to learn something useful, go learn foresting or something.
  • klmccaughey - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    At a guess I would say I am able to learn substantially more than you would be able to. It is not a matter of learning something new, it is a matter of the interface, as is, getting in the way of productivity.

    I can see how it would be great on a tablet, but for me working it is a nightmare. Judging by the reaction worldwide it seems that other professionals are seeing the same iceberg.

    I like the spanglies, and I am delighted for MS that they have caught up in this respect. But someone has dropped the design ball when it comes to productivity and any vision of workflow for the average person.

    Hopefully there will be a bit of a rethink on the interface so that I can continue to program in Windows (tm) using "Windows", with easy access using mouse and screens. I want to upgrade, and I have spent hours enjoying Windows 8 on my tablet, but it isn't even close to usable for my day job. That is a real shame in my opinion.
  • Valahano - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Judging from your other posts on this article, I take it that you are some kind of a big Metro zealot. It's very hip, congratulations.

    However, this does not change the fact that this new interface is a major step back in usability on a desktop for anything beyond viewing lolcat pictures.

    But don't worry, Win 8 is really great OS in at least one aspect - the Up button is back (Ctrl + Up still doesn't work though).
  • BehindEnemyLines - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    I think it's still the same Windows with all the desktop. In a multimonitor environment, you can have all your screens to be the desktop. The Start Screen is nothing more than a fullscreen start menu, and I actually find it more useful. The primary monitor will always be the screen with the Start Screen, so you can just click on the Desktop tile and use the desktop as it has always been. You can also access all of the power user resources by right-clicking on the bottom-left corner hot spot.

    And for a multimonitor setup, I suggest that you offset your left & right monitors slightly away from the bottom-left and top-right corners. That solved most of my problems.

    I understand that businesses don't want to retrain employees, which is why all businesses should have an upgrade cycle and plan. Most businesses are NOT going to touch a new operating system at initial release. There's a ton of testing before deployment.

    I had initially the same reaction with Windows 7 superbar. I thought MS was insane to remove the names from the taskbar and replace with just icons. And yet, I was amazed how much BETTER it's once I've learned it. I am just saying most things in life require some learning.
  • rs2 - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Seriously? I do not want either of those things.

    Please tell me that these are artifacts of running Windows 8 on a system with an underpowered graphics card, or at least that the rounded corners and "glass" effects simply have not been built in to the preview version.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Square windows here to stay, not a big deal. Windows borders can get more or less opaque depending on your settings, just like in 7. Reply
  • rs2 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Maybe not a big deal, objectively speaking, but it feels like a step backwards to me. Between that and Metro I'm seriously considering just sticking with Windows 7. It does everything I need in a way that I like, with no trade-offs being made to support touch-based devices (which my desktop isn't).

    I'm starting to get the feeling that Microsoft could have another "XP vs. Vista" debacle on its hands, no? Back then I switched to Vista but never really felt that it was a significant improvement until Windows 7 came around. I didn't hate Vista or think that it was worse than XP the way a lot of people seemed to, but I wasn't really thrilled with it either. Windows 7 was an unquestionable improvement over both Vista and XP, however.

    Perhaps this time I'll stick with "legacy" Windows 7 until Windows 9 comes out.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Totally possible! Especially so in businesses, which move more slowly and are only now rolling 7 out over XP.

    The rounded vs. square corners thing is a matter of taste, I guess. It does seem to be showing up everywhere - Lion killed rounded buttons in favor of squared ones too. It's not important to me, but I suppose it is a little "old-school." :-)
  • AnnonymousCoward - Sunday, March 11, 2012 - link

    Every new OS simply needs an option to use the old UI. That would take away the fundamental reason why users don't want newer OS's.

    I refuse to use anything beyond XP. Vista's and 7's Explorer is less functional, and other various UI functionality is different for the worse. Likewise, IE7/8/9 have a topbar that lacks real functionality and can't be customized, unlike IE6.
  • DanaGoyette - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Here are a couple of oddities I've noticed:
    * Start screen... If you try scrolling horizontally with a touchpad, absolutely nothing happens. In the developer preview, I had to read online to find out why the danged thing wouldn't scroll.

    * Split-up search sucks.
    Try this in Windows 7: Windows key -> "featu". So long as you don't have, say, "bluetooth feature pack" installed, you can just press enter to get to "Programs and Features".
    Try it in Windows 8: Windows key -> Featu. Down, down, enter, enter. 4 key presses required to replace the original 'enter'.

    * Start screen, another thing to try: Windows 7: search for something, then press the "context menu" key on the keyboard. You should get the right-click menu of the highlighted item. Windows 8: you get the right-click menu for the textbox you're typing in!

    * The boot process seems weird on my Intel 320 SSD. After the initial disk activity, it sits there doing apparently nothing (no disk activity) for over 30 seconds. Effective boot time is around 60 seconds, not including POST. For comparison, resuming from hibernate to the login screen takes only about 4 seconds.

    * You ever try it on a pen-only (Wacom) Tablet PC? It's worse than a mouse, because it seems to actively disable the screen corner gestures -- they don't work with the pen OR the touchpad on that system.

    Now, for a nifty thing to try: right-click in the lower-left corner of the screen.
  • mbf - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Fixed that error on page 3 for you:

    "..Microsoft insists that the PC is just another kind of tablet..."
  • vivekgarg79 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I have x86 (32 bit) m/c. I want to develop metro UI app, using VS2011 for windows 8. Will VS 2011 (x86) work on top of Windows 8 consumer preview (x86)?? Reply
  • haplo602 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I read the first 3 pages, then skipped to the conclusion. I realised I don't give a damn about any new Windows/Tiles version. Happy Linux camper since Windows XP.

    The UI change will be a big jump. It will be interesting to see the outcome.
  • iwod - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I couldn't believe how positive this review was, from a technical user prospective.

    And it surely prove M$ has little to no understanding of how UI should be designed. There is now Metro, and a half baked Desktop environment. I can see more user jumping on to Mac platform when Windows 8 comes out.

    I think the root of all wrong doings; Tablet is just another PC. Which is where it all goes wrong.

    P.S - I have been forcing Metro on myself for week now. I can definitely say it "could" be a great Tablet OS. Desktop? I will pass.
  • hampuras - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Will the desktop UI be color managed? Can we now use it properly on a wide gamut display? Reply
  • moto47 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I dont understand this constant love of Intel, and disrespect to AMD. Does Intel make better cpu's? Depends on what you consider "better". If by better, you mean it can perform faster on high-level programs that 98% of the worlds population will never use, yup its better. For the vast majority of people that use their computers to surf the internet, maybe use an office-type program, or something of that nature, no, AMD is just as good, especially when you factor in the MASSIVE price difference.

    This is an old analogy, but a good one. If the automobile industry was like the CPU industry: Intel is Ferrari, AMD is Honda...they both get you to work or the store, the Ferrari will get you there much faster, the Honda saved you enough money that you can actually do some shopping.

    Or maybe it could just be said like this: Intel is for the rich folks, AMD is for the rest of us.
  • richough3 - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I still miss the close button, but I guess grabbing the top of the application and dragging it to the bottom is okay enough for closing it. But some of the full programs running full screen look more primative. Here's a Windows 8 Start button you can use.
  • 86waterpumper - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    "This is an old analogy, but a good one. If the automobile industry was like the CPU industry: Intel is Ferrari, AMD is Honda..."

    No it's certainly not a good analogy. Why? If AMD was like Honda in the respect that it saved energy then it would be a winner in my book. However, not only are they slower than intel in alot of cases but they suck at efficiency.
    This will continue to hurt amd especially in the laptop arena until they can get a handle on it. A perfect example of this is the total and complete lack of smaller laptops using the Llano chip. I hope they do figure it out and get back in the game. I like having amd as a option, their older designs are probably still a good option for someone who is really funds limited.
  • medi01 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Typical Liano system eats 35-40 watts. (a bit more @ Anand tech, where they for some "misterious reason" use 1000W PSU with it).
    Try to beat that with anything Intel has to offer.
  • myhipsi - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    There are many features like the new task manager, refresh and reset and storage spaces, faster boot times, and, of course, the under-the-hood changes that are great improvements/additions over Windows 7. However, with respect to desktop usage, I have one major problem with Windows 8, and it's a big one; the Metro UI.

    Based on feedback (and my own experience), it seems that the majority of desktop users dislike the Metro GUI, and my intuition tells me that in the future, most tablet/phone (touch based) users are really going to dislike being bounced from the Metro UI into the "desktop" style UI when performing certain tasks like changing settings, etc.

    Instead of compromising the product to a one size fits all "solution", I think Microsoft should really consider marketing two different versions of Windows 8: "Windows 8 Touch" and "Windows 8 Desktop", for example. Or, simply allow the user to choose which version they want upon installation.

    The idea that I will be forced into the Metro UI with Windows 8 is a deal breaker for me. Lets hope that MS gets enough negative feedback on this that they reconsider and allow people the choice.
  • Silma - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    A uselful complement to this otherwise great preview would be to have feedback on professional use in a few different jobs:
    - power user office worker ( working mostly with Office Suite + sap/salesforce/whatever)
    - power user media / content producer (working mostly with Adobe Creative Suite)
    - power developer (working mostly with Visual Studio + sql )
    - probably using 1 or 2 monitors.
    and see in what ways Windows 8 is better or worse than Windows 7.
    Perhaps you could ask for your reader's input in those scenarii. Personally I won't have time to setup a fully working computer with all additional software so this would be of great interest to me.
  • Burticus - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    MS better grow a clue... I don't want a tablet OS on my PC. There better be a way to permanently turn off all that stupid big icon crap and give me a regular desktop. If not... looks like I'll be on 7 until the next thing comes along. Hey I rode XP for 10 years and skipped Vista entirely.

    I installed it on a VM and played with it. So far, meh. If I had a tablet it might be more interesting.
  • Geofram - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I've got one real question about Metro that doesn't seem to ever get specifically addressed.

    How does it do at multi-tasking?

    The biggest problem I see with it, is that the full-screen everything approach is not a good one when you're running multiple applications. In fact, I don't even know how you could do that using it. I haven't tried it extensively, but if you're looking for things to review, that's my biggest question.

    I don't care about launching a single app. I care about how it will fare when I have a game running on one monitor, a web page on another, and music playing in the background. How do you switch between them easily in Metro? How do you start them and put them on the correct monitors? I don't see any discussion about that, and yet, it's the core issue to me.
  • Andrew.a.cunningham - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    All Metro apps run on one monitor, even if you have a multiple-monitor setup. Metro Snap provides the only multitasking available in Metro. App switching is handled similarly to Android and iOS, and is done via the app drawer on the left side of the screen. Switching the screen Metro appears on can be done in a few ways, and is covered in the review.

    Multitasking on the desktop is the same as it was in Windows 7. In a multi-monitor setup, the desktop will always be running on the second (or third, or whatever) monitor, and you can leave desktop applications running on it at the same time as you use Metro apps (thus allowing you to keep a web page open on your second monitor while you play a game either on the desktop and in Metro). Music can play in the background in both desktop and Metro apps. I think all of this was covered in the review, most of it on the first three pages.

    As with most things, what you think about how all of this works is largely dictated by what you think about Metro.
  • RavnosCC - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    Very annoying till I went through Microsoft Help and discovered I will not be able to "snap" apps with my standard 4:3, 1280x1024 screen. boo Reply
  • fRESHOiL - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    This time around they added a great setting "Make Everything on my Screen Bigger".

    I didn't have to mess with loading my custom fonts, sizes, DPI, etc. to make my system visible from my couch on my 56" DLP. It did seem to make Metro Apps bigger but not desktop apps or the desktop experience.

    Also, I've gone through a ton of small media keyboards and none are as easy as my remote. Since Metro, and all tablet/phone OSes are more geared towards consuming media/data rather than creating it... not saying they can't, but they do better at consuming, I thought for sure they would have accepted windows remote control commands in all the Metro Apps, to my surprise not one does. Of course the arrow keys and OK/Enter key work, but Info, Back, etc have no function in Metro Apps. Just a few changes and Metro becomes the best 10' full OS ever, mainly that it needs to work with remotes. Also, Media Center hasn't changed at all... I think it could use a little Metro and hope it does get it in the final product.
  • lilmoe - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I wonder how your video playback batter test would perform with well encoded HD videos with hardware-accelerated playback...

    I'm sure most of you guys know all about video encoding and decoding... GPU video decoding (my personal experience) consumes a LOT less power than software decoding done on the CPU. Yes, GPUs generally consume more power than the CPU, but it's a lot easier for the GPU to decode Full-HD videos than it is for the CPU (by an order of magnitude), also arguably more efficient.

    We all know that hardware-accelerated video players (MPC-HC and Windows Media Player included) support that feature. But you never mentioned if it was enabled in your setup. So I'm assuming you didn't use any sort of HW Acceleration, and therefore, you had 2 or more cores of your test setups running in each test for decoding the video while playing the videos.

    On my HP DV6 Core2Due T6400 laptop, properly encoded MP4 videos run with almost 0% of CPU utilization, and with the right codec (I use the FFDShow with DirectX Video Acceleration) even high profile MKV files run with 5-15% cpu utilization (otherwise 50-100% of CPU utilization. I use Windows Media Player since it doesn't utilize as much CPU power as MPC-HC.

    My laptop stays 2-2.5 hours on battery if i'm using software decoding, but lasts well above 3.5 hours with HW-Acceleration enabled... I wonder how that will affect your setup?
  • mutatio - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    I'm glad the reviewers found some redeeming qualities to the OS. All I can say is that I was not impressed with MS' mobile OS. It's strong in concept but just tacky in appearance, like some city traffic symbol maker was in charge of the design. Windows 8 does no better IMHO and this honestly looks like a crap sandwich waiting to blow up in MS' face. Serious? "It's very useful once you learn all of the 50+ new keyboard commands!" You have to be kidding me. I know you all are hardcore nerds here working at Anandtech but there is a reason W8 is getting slapped silly in the consumer oriented reviews. I saw a review the other day that quite literally said, "I enjoyed the review of Windows 8 so much I order a 21" iMac." Tempered indeed. Reply
  • FuzzDad - Monday, March 12, 2012 - link

    No issues with SLI, my watercooling configs for gaming...the install went solid. I have a mouse locking problem with Logitech keyboards but there's a work-around until they fix it. I didn't like the interface at first (it isn't intuitive) but once you get to the point where you accept Metro=Start Button it all kinda makes sense. I think the GUI is snappy and smooth and it grows on you. I also think they're probably writing off Windows 8 for the desktop/business use...unless they throw the start button on there...and only after that would there be any talk of it going widespread on desktops that have not yet moved to Win7.

    I think their strategy is simply get back to a three-year release schedule and into the tablet space as quickly as they can. TBH...this OS is as good as Win7 w/new interface...if they had offered the start button as a hard-core option I think all the howling winds we hear now would have been a soft sea breeze.
  • jabber - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    ...who exactly is going to buy a Windows based Tablet?

    It's way too late surely? It's the Zune all over again.

    The Corp bosses will all have iPads so will be pushing to use them in their work surely? The iPhone through this method is now becoming the standard corp phone of choice at the cost of BB.

    MS isnt going to get a look in on this one.

    I am a Zune Mk1 owner, just in case.
  • lilmoe - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    you'll be surprised how many people there are who didn't go with the hype and rejected iPads and Android tablets just because they're not "Windows"....

    What's amazing about this release is the first impression i heard from lots of people who saw it on my laptop. Lots of them said the very same thing: "Wow, Windows now has *windows*! Everything is in front of me an I don't have to look for anything!"... i haven't noticed that myself, but surely, what they said was true.
  • jabber - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    "you'll be surprised how many people there are who didn't go with the hype and rejected iPads and Android tablets just because they're not "Windows"...."

    Well good luck to the three of you I say.
  • somedude1234 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - link

    Great article, the efforts of the whole team come through in the depth and quality of the report and I'm looking forward to reading the follow-up articles.

    I use Windows 7 every day to get real work done.

    I'd appreciate any feedback from the team (or other AT readers) on the following question: Will the UI enhancements in Windows 8 offer any benefit to me? Specifically, is there anything in Win8 that will help me be more productive in my daily use cases?

    On my multi-monitor primary workstation I have the Win7 start menu running vertically on the side of one of my monitors. I often have 3 "pages" on my taskbar of windows open between: outlook, word, excel, powerpoint, firefox, PDF files, text files, explorer windows, putty sessions, and skype or MSN chat windows.

    In other words, I am doing a lot of multi-tasking and waste a lot of time doing context switches as needed. Even with 2 or more monitors available, I never have enough screen real estate to have all of the various applications and windows open without ever needing to re-arrange all of the windows.

    Win7 provided marginal improvements over XP, I especially like the ability to quickly snap a window to the left or right half of a given monitor. I wish MS would have expanded on this to allow me to snap to the top and bottom halves as well.

    I've used a number of 3rd party applications over the years to enhance window management, but invariably they end up either being clunky, unstable or requiring so much additional effort to negate the goal of improving productivity.

    Does Windows 8 actually add anything to make window management better/easier/faster/more powerful for those of us that are really multi-tasking all day? Metro seems to be completely consumer focused, what about the professional users?
  • Th-z - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    I've tested it, I don't think you'll find improvement for your usage scenario. In fact it can actually slow you down because they remove Start button. If you want to launch normal desktop apps quickly, you basically have to pin them to taskbar from Metro UI, or use the same enabling-Quick Launch bar trick that people use when they went from XP/Vista to Win 7. There are also third party programs such as Start8 that can bring the Start button back.

    I find it ironic that people have to use third party program for basic functions to circumvent Microsoft's devolution in UI scheme or stubbornness. I have to use a third party program to enable hovering scrolling in different panes in Windows Explorer (it's still not there in Windows 8).

    There are so many ways they can improve desktop UI that I can list that would put OS X to shame, and you even suggest the horizontal snap that can improve desktop usage that many people would probably use. Unfortunately, they're too busy toying with Metro UI. I've always thought Microsoft is a company good at software engineering, but bad at user interface.
  • skanskan - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    The task manager should also include a GPU resource monitor.
    It's been a long time since GPUs were introduced and we still need third party tools.
  • Oravendi - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    Linux has allowed for different GUI managers for a long time. Why would Microsoft not offer Metro as a desktop option? Metro is probably better for tablets and cell phones, however if Microsoft were to produce software with the ability to turn Metro off then Metro might have slow or no adoption. Microsoft sees the money. It doesn't want the problems of software like Linux. Answer, force us to Metro and claim the old windows users don't want to change. Reply
  • Origin32 - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    The problem I have with Metro is not that it's different.
    It's that its different while not adding anything for me as a desktop user. Yes, I'm sure this new interface is much easier to navigate on a tablet, but with M/K I have to click more rather than less to open the more advanced menus, I have to use two user interfaces simultaneously and I have to start to unlearn 10 years of keyboard shortcuts, options locations and all the kinds of things you do automatically in win7. Using Windows 8 will be a whole lot of effort for me, and Microsoft isn't really giving me anything in return for that effort. If they'd added something actually useful like support for multiple user logons on a SAMBA share in one session, a sandbox mode to try out new programs in or really any functionality at all, then I'd have to live with Metro.

    Now all I get is a new GUI I sure didn't ask for.
  • jabber - Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - link

    This is it for me too. I just don't get what it is they are trying to sell me here with regards to Metro.

    I don't get it MS, Sorry.

    I've always upgraded my Windows versions due to improvements in performance, load times, functionality with new hardware and tech standards. Sure there are always a few UI changes but nothing that needs 5 minutes to get used to and on the whole they have been positive.

    But with Metro there just isn't enough in the deal to make me want to bother using it.

    I can get by fine without it. It isn't essential for those of us using desktops/laptops.
  • perpetualdark - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Quite simply, the home market and the professional market are no longer driven off of each other, and need to diverge. In the past, the professional market drove the PC industry, and the OS was a reflection of that.

    Home use has grown to be a viable entity on it's own however, and the proof of that is Apple's success in the PC market. People at home want a computer that is media based, and focused around entertainment. Movies, Music, Social Media, and Home Integration are the keys there. They want their media, and they want it everywhere (at the computer, the tv, the laptop, the phone, in bed, in the bathroom, and in the kitchen). They want to be connected to their social media all the time, and have everything integrated into that.

    Businesses don't need any of it, and it is all counterproductive to business. If anything, they want everything listed above to be GONE from the picture. Remove the games, the media, and the social aspects. Sharing needs to be tightly controlled, and the "cloud" is a fancy way of saying "security risk". Your boss doesn't want you listening to music, sharing it with others, or getting on facebook or skype to socialize, he wants you productive. Secure sharing of files, remote application use, tying together the office and the mobile workspace, communicating within the company and with the customers, and productive applications. It requires a COMPLETELY different interface because it has a completely different workflow.

    Windows 8 is, on the surface anyway, a HOME version of the software. It is MS's attempt to slow Apple down on the home front. But aside from desktop publishing and education, Apple is not even in the business place, and although I couldn't give you numbers, I am willing to bet that the business market is still at least half of the revenues that MS sees in a year.

    One more note: Look at Office. Millions of people knew all the ins and outs of Excel and Word, and then MS goes and changes the interface 100%. With NO way of going back. I resisted until recently, and after almost a year on office 2010, I hate it to this day. The ribbons suck, I can never find the things I am looking for, and they don't even have a basic paste function, they made it more complicated. Yeah, I can ctrl-v, but sometimes I want to right click and paste, not right click and hunt for the paste icon I am looking for. I hate icons. I want words. I speak english. If I want to paste special and choose to paste values, I want to right click, paste special, values, ok. I don't want right click and look for the icon that represents pasting values. I am literate, give me words, not icons that represent words. It is a disaster, and as a result, most companies still have Windows XP and Office 2003 installed. If it werent for so many viruses and malware targeting the weak security of XP, I would still have all my machines running on XP. I still run programs like Live Messenger in Vista mode so the icon goes in the tray and not on the bar. I don't understand why MS wants me to change so bad.. I don't want to change, I am more efficient the way I use it, so bugger off and leave me alone! I want my "up directory" button back, and I want the window button in excel back, so when I have 250 spreadsheets open (or even 2), I can switch without having to go to the right hand monitor and click on the excel icon and choose the window from there.. I just want to do it in excel. Come on, quit changing stuff just for the sake of changing..
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    no... just no. Stop talking about stuff you know very little about. It just makes you look bad. Reply
  • Valahano - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    Care to elaborate? Reply
  • slickr - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    Good job Andrew. After years of reading this website you with this obvious piece of propaganda have forced me from this moment on to stop visiting this website.

    This shameless advertising for this Microsoft crap of a operating system that they call windows 8 is sickening. How much did they pay you?

    You people make me sick, at least be honest about it and write that you have been paid to write about their product in a positive way, I guarantee you people won't be too judgmental and will accept the fact that this website with its obvious bias for some time now has been loosing all its visitors and is forced to write propaganda articles for money!
  • Shinya - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    So basically because he likes something that you don't (even though he heavily criticized it) your limited brain capacity calculated that he was paid?

    Please stick with apple products iTard. Your lord n savior is waiting over at engadget.
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    actually no hes right... if you look at what MS did with win8 its designed for tablets and they are violently forcing pc users to adapt the same gui that will be basically worthless to us and what does the author of this article say?

    "Yes, Metro is very different from what came before, and yes, Metro was clearly designed with touch in mind, but once you learn its tricks (and especially once you’ve got the new keyboard shortcuts dedicated to memory) it acquits itself as a flexible and powerful user interface."

    Sucking up much?
  • DOOA - Thursday, March 15, 2012 - link

    "Where Metro actually shines pretty brightly on the desktop is with a keyboard, though there’s one major caveat: if you want to make the most of Metro, you’re going to have to learn your keyboard shortcuts."

    So Metro actually shines as a command line OS?
    Well done Microsoft! Bill Gates never wanted us to leave DOS.

    Correct me if I am wrong (or if you just want to troll), but an OS is supposed to be as fast and obvious as possible so you can get what you have to do done and get on to things you want to do? i.e. would you rather be sorting your movies or watching them?
  • shin0bi272 - Friday, March 16, 2012 - link

    If I wanted my desktop to look like a tablet I might get this OS but since I want my desktop to look like a desktop I'll stick with windows 7. Win 8 is pointless unless you have a touchscreen monitor. Reply
  • casca - Sunday, March 25, 2012 - link

    If I wanted a freakin phone on my desk I woulda put one there.

    I see a lot of features I think will be nice but this interface to me if fugly and clumsy.
  • UrQuan3 - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - link

    "This will be slightly different for Windows on ARM—WOA systems will also support UEFI and thus the Secure Boot feature, but users won’t be allowed to add certificates or disable the feature, and OEMs will be disallowed from shipping updates or tools that unlock the bootloader"

    Damn, the only reason I was looking forward to Windows on ARM was so that some of the ARM the market would standardize enough for people like me to get pre-compiled Linux distros. The current market fragmentation for ARM systems is painful. What's the goal of disallowing this on purpose?
  • sundansx - Monday, May 14, 2012 - link

    In the article, there are a good number of references to "...but works great with keyboard shortcuts". This is a review of a graphical UI - if that is the case, powershell works good with keyboard shortcuts. If that is the verdict from this article, then as a graphical user interface, I would say it is a failure for this review. Granted, I have not used it yet, but just read this article closely. Reply
  • Anonymous1a - Wednesday, November 07, 2012 - link

    Anand, I also have an Asus K53E and am having problems with the trackpad. For example, the touchpad supports multi-touch gesture but on Windows 8, they don't work. Also, I am supposed to be able to bring up the charms menu right from the touchpad but even that functionality is not working. So, where do I get the relevant drivers? (I checked the Asus website and I can't find the right ones.) Reply

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