We’ve got our hands on Window’s 8 consumer preview (and so can you) and what do we think?
We, first things first – no start button and an all new Metro interface, with all its fancy pins for emails and social media. Of course, Metro is all about touch screen and the OS works right across all of Window’s devices from phones, to tablets, to laptops, to computers. It’s still no problem to use the mouse on the new OS so it’s your choice essentially.
The Big Swipe
Things have changed, as Windows 8 is more about gestures and swiping across the screen from different sides brings about different results and menu screens, just like a tablet. Mouse’s are catered for too, though Windows now uses the corners to bring up each of the different screens, in desktop mode. For instance, swiping up with your hand gives you the apps view, while placing the cursor in the bottom left corner and clicking also achieves this. Apps can be swiped across, or scrolled with the cursor, as well as dragged and moved about, all in an intuitive manner.
Typing can be done on screen and the keyboard comes with predictive text, of course you can still just use the keyboard.
Apps are quite similar to that of Windows Mango 7.5 for phones and address books, updates and info is displayed in a similar manner. Window’s consumer preview comes with a range of other apps, such as mail and calendar as well as the Xbox 360 Live App. The top left corner displays all your programs, or apps in a functional manner, users of touch screens will delight in and it all seems quite practical once you get used to it.
Corners are Key
The desktop area includes all of the corners and also a number of other ways to switch between apps and do all else. Things have changed, but it all seems smoother once you get used to it and there is a shorter, more practical way to achieve most outcomes. Apps in use can be seen by clicking on the left side of the screen and selection just involves dragging the app to where you want on the screen from the bar.
Microsoft are promising more apps on the fully released version which is set for show towards the later part of the year.
Though, it’s about touch, desktop users don’t seem to be left out and it works well with the traditional mediums. Windows 8 is not devoid of problems, but does look set to bring together the ebony and ivory of mouse and touch screen, in the most harmony ever.