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windows consumer preview

March 4, 2012

windows consumer preview came out just the other day to all users who have a windows 7 compatible computer.

a big part of W8 is the new “metro” UI

for those of you who are not so tech savvy ill take a moment to explain what all that means.

what is a OS, UI, desktop, and apps

first every computer needs a OS to run, which stands for operating system. you might hear hot words like “windows” (microsoft) “osx” (apple) or “android (google) these are all operating systems or OS. other brands are Linux, (online community) palm (HP), and many others. in order for a computer a OS runs all the system and applications. each OS has a UI which is “user interface” the UI is how you go about doing any thing in a OS/on your computer. its how things look and feel, it even effects the way apps look and are used. almost all computer UI have a “desktop” which though simple can be very cluttered and some times hard to find what you need. a “task bar” is located some ware around the edges of the screen which has tools to simplify things, and keep some things in order. with new cell phones and tablets taking the markets people have bin asking for more simple ways of using their computers. new UI have bin made that take your apps and align them in a grid and then users get page after page of apps. apple really set the standard for what that means to revolve a system around apps rather then folders and files. and wile apple has done little then just keep users with their pages of apps, other UI from android

(Google) and Microsoft have built on what apple set forth. android allows for some “widgets” small open apps on the desktop to be used next to app icons in the desktop. Microsoft has bin slowly promoting the “metro UI” for some time and is finely taking it on full speed. it started with the Zune HD, a smart device focused around their music/video store. then to their windows phones, Xbox and now pc (personal computer ) for their windows OS.  now wile windows is still keeping a desktop for the power user, or just the user that wants the desktop. now there is the metro UI,which comes up first before the desktop. it is a much different take on a app first world

apps are programs, most of them are small games used to kill time rather then hard core gamers who demand a home system to plug into their tv, or a dedicated hand held system. apps are mainly small programs that do a lot of different things, most of them tend to be a program version of a website, rather then going to BestBuy.com you could use the best buy app on your device. apps can be better then websites because they can get you data faster, and end to much more simple. some of them are made for production like a app to keep your calendar, a app for a dr to keep track of is patents. a app for seating t a reseraunt, keep track of stalks and much more. but to use a app when the data you need is very simple like a app that tells the weather can some times be overkill when you just want to see todays weather. and to use a app that takes a full screen this can be a waste of time and screen space. Microsoft has made what it calls “live tiles” they display information without going into a app, like your next appointment, todays weather, and your flight information. it’s the icon of the app but displaying real time information without opening the app, but of course opening the app gives you extended information.

this is big part of metro, if you have ever bin to a air port, train station, or a large bus station you well see a metro UI in real life. all key information is BIG and easy to find, then all the detailed information is kept under it. much like live tiles. also your tiles are organized this same way, rather then have a games folder, with games in it, you can have a games section that just says in BIG letters GAMES, then right under it have all the tiles/icons of those games. then by panning around left and right you can see all those different sections you have made, your life apps, games, web, video, music, and what ever else. its all part of metro having every thing ware you need it, and it being easy to use.

want a taste ?

now that being the sort of philosophy of metro in a computer OS. id say they did it very well. you can download the windows 8 consumer preview hear

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/consumer-preview

but I would only do so IF you have the back up disk for your computer, this is not a final version of windows 8 and their for there are some glitches and some things are not included in this version.

ok but how good is it

from this point on I well now be giving a review on this consumer preview of windows 8 and leave the metro talk of things.

the OS is grate if you are a app person, there are some well deserved upgrades like being able to transfer files with the same name in the same folder, allowing you to have a easer look at transferring files, upgraded security, and speed. but the BIG focus is really the metro UI, it allows for a panning instead of pages like most OS that are centered around apps. one continuous pan from beginning to end. all you need.

now keep in mind that this is a unfinished version so there are a few problems hear and their, and some things are just plane unfinished but the idea is to test the waters and get consumer feedback, so by downloading and testing those waters you can do your part to give feedback and ideas. After all community is a big part of metro.

Apps that you down load allow you to give reviews which is nice because you can read through a few and then share your own thoughts.  there are a few games and useful apps, even a preview of ie10 (internet explorer) which has a focus on touch and html5. The touch iv very fluid and every thing can also still be used with mouse and keyboard, even digitizer pen. As it’s a “real operating system” meaning it is not a os that is focused on media apps, and casual games there is not much need for something like a YouTube app as you can imply go to YouTube.com and it works as it should like any computer. But a YouTube app well probably come along sooner or later to have a app control and metro interface. You can make your own hubs ware you can organize apps, and move around the tiles as you see fit. You can get system controls by  using touch on the sides of the screen, and use controls for the app your using from the top and bottom. You can use 2 metro apps side by side, even use a metro app next to your desktop, and your desktop well run as many windows as your ram will allow. System controls you can access from the right side bar. And there are differences in what it dues when you are using the desktop or metro. The start button is gone but you can access what you need from the right side bar, there is also a new search function it allows you to type in what you want and then choose what program/app you want to search from, or you can simply search for a file or app. The interesting thing about this is you could choose the interment to do your search through Microsoft’s Bing, or you could choose something like a cookbook app, word press, or YouTube app and run your search through the app. Then it well pull up results relevant to that app. This may seam like a trivial feature but when you start to realize its something you can do, you find your self using it more and more. Also from that side bar is a share option, again community and working together is a big part of metro. imagine being in a app or on a website and you find something you want to share with some one. Like a news article you have to show some one. By using this share charm you can simply send what your looking at to some one else. Amazing

Another grate thing you can do is use your windows live id to log in to your system then no matter what computer your on you can log in and have all your setting, favorite sites, colors and more on any computer. And you can save your apps and files to a jump drive and that can be all you need for a computer so long as ware your going has windows 8 running. you can also log in using a picture password, which allows you to pick a photo then using touch draw your password on the photo

Microsoft has a website service called SkyDrive.

It allows you to save files of all types to your SkyDrive account, you can even create office documents and folders for files. And then when you log in from any computer you have all your content in the cloud. With this and the ability to log in to the system with your own account you well find that the next time you travel using windows 8 you wont need a lot if your destination has a computer running windows 8. Simply log in, and through SkyDrive have all you need. this is about all that’s in this consumer preview but the final version well have a big app store with free and pay apps/games and a growing library of them you can download through the app marketplace. Also there are free trials you can try.

You can also use any legacy app. Meaning the more the a million apps made for windows over the years can still be used on the desktop. Even all those nice Xbox tittles that came out for pc as well. Even get some world of war craft on.

As ware the apple and android app stores have around 500,000 apps each and most of them are what’s called shovel ware meaning its crap, or apps that were not made to be grate sure its nice to have a calculator app nut when there are more the. 30 calculator apps to choose from and their all free and do the same thing that 500,000 apps seams much smaller. Sure that’s no guaranty that the windows market well be the same but with the tool they have made in their sdk (software development kit) it allows for most web based apps to simply enter in a few bits of information to get a nice metro style app running, so content can be more meaningful.

That’s about all I can say on the matter of windows 8 thus far. I well probably do a fallow up on this later to see how things come along and what comes of the app marketplace.

And remember we live together, so lets work together.

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