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February 2012-Windows 8 Preview


Jan Fagerholm demonstrated the developer preview version of Windows 8. Windows 8 is designed as a tablet interface. Microsoft is trying to catch up with the tablet market. Current Windows applications do not run on any of the popular tablets. The few Windows tablets on the market run poorly because they do not have the power to run Windows 7. Over the years Windows operating systems have demanded more and more power and Intel has developed more powerful processors. On the demo tablet, Windows 8 started in 1/3 of the time it takes Jan's 3GHz desktop. At this point in time, the installation process automatically uses your WindowsLive password and cannot be changed, a caution that may or may not get fixed in the final release. Many of the Metro (the current name for Windows 8) buttons/tiles don't connect to software yet. The way one accomplishes a 'right click' on a button is to press-and-hold. Buttons react by tipping towards an edge that is touched. This indicates that eventually context-dependent menus may materialize.

While one can run traditional applications in Windows 8, the tablet interface is not very friendly for desktop application menus and interfaces, such as office suites. Stay tuned to find out if the desktop version will be identical with the tablet version. In the pre-release version, the wireless and Bluetooth connectors don't yet work reliably. The tablet convention of pinch-zoom gestures to change screen magnification works in some places so far. The Start Button goes to the Metro Interface (the desktop tile interface). Dragging up from the lower left corner brings up the equivalent of the basic Start/Control Panel menu. Tap the Start Button to go to the Metro Interface.


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