Windows 8 Test Drive Part 1

Windows 8 Test Drive

Brought to you by Niall Mulrine, Pc Clean.


Have Microsoft learned from carrying out major changes to their ever-changing operating systems? Maybe not? Remember Vista??? Well if you don’t, Microsoft surely does as it was one of their biggest nightmares in changes. It made that many mistakes people posted so many hate comments of it, that they allowed people to downgrade to Windows XP again as the optimum system even though it was more than 5 years old at that time. People who bought Windows Vista machines were complaining how slow and heavy the system was in comparison to earlier masterpieces. Along came Windows 7 in 2009, to the rescue. People wanted to grab their hands on it so much that sales exceeded higher rates than anticipated. At last, Microsoft was back on track with a great core system that gives the user what they wanted. Simplicity, speed, power and great features made Windows 7 a landslide winner of the new glossy Windows packages of the 2000 decade.

Windows 8 Metro Start Screen

New look Windows 8 Start Screen

Again, a new decade and a new Operating System since namely Windows 8 has landed on our desktops. The name Windows 8 would seem like an addition in numerical order to the previous edition, maybe I am wrong?!!! Windows 8 Consumer Preview (which means beta- prototype) released to the public a few weeks ago and people have now the opportunity to download and give it a test drive, whether it’s on a virtual machine or live machine it works the same. Go to to choose either 32 bit or 64 bit architecture to download. Most of us are all choosing 64 bit so we can maximise the power of our 4GB ram and upwards to give optimum speed. Approx 3.25GB in size, the download file will take a few hours on normal broadband packages. Once downloaded, the ISO needs to be either burned onto DVD or written to a USB Pen drive. Before we talk features, I would like to talk of the install. Installation begins as normal, choose language etc. When it gets tricky is the User account setup. So many questions if you want a standard user account or a Microsoft account. Anyone here without a Live or Hotmail account will need to skip this point to a later time. Network privacy settings and sharing files options are required the green light here.

Once we land at the desktop we discover the desktop is not here anymore!!! What we have arrived at is a tablet like interface called Metro UI. Where  the idea came from is how a user will interact on a tablet or touchscreen phone. Its smooth fluid motion of sliding a screen from one side to another is a challenge when an “old timer” like me is using my mouse and keyboard. Coming to terms with not having a touchscreen for this task causes head scratching for the first hour as its cumbersome to do the old tasks we are so used to doing, such as clicking on a Start button to show me a list of programs I can use. Start has actually finished!

Windows 8 Launch

Now it’s all squares with different Apps behind them that actually do not get closed down, but always stay open in the background, for quick access at later time. From the above picture, the reliable Internet Explorer is still here, but it’s the latest version 10 which was created for Touch. First reaction, without touch , IE is doing a pretty quick job of opening and loading web pages. It’s a plus for Microsoft, as the battle of the browser is still amongst the 3 kings of web; Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer. Ok, before I go online, what is the cardinal rule?? Safety always needs to be at the outset. I try to install the latest version of Kaspersky Internet Security 2012 to be told it will be compatible with this system. A moment or 2 spend on another protected pc, allows me to download a special edition of Kaspersky for Windows 8. After 20 minutes (far too long), the computer is secured with Russia’s answer to war against internet attacks. We can now surf safe!! Computer Sales & Training

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