Windows 8 Developer Preview Walkthrough

After my initial hiccup I’ve ditched Microsoft Virtual PC 7 and installed Windows 8 Developer Preview on VMware Player 4.

Here’s a summary / walk-through of what I played around with:

Start screen:

It’s scrollable / flickable (if you’ve got a touch screen), so moving across to see the rest of it:

It looks modern to start and you can move the tiles around if you like, but I want normal Windows, show me Windows! Click the Desktop image and bam:

Yes, looks like Windows 7 to me, good start, now what have they hidden away that will take me ages to find and tweak?
The good news is the initial tweaks are as easy as before to locate, resolution, desktop image, etc, all within a (right) click away (phew):

But wait, where is my start menu? Clicking Start or using the Windows Key will take you back to the Start screen rather than opening up the menu we are used to. The closest you get is to hover over the bottom left (who knows how this will work with a touch screen?):

How do I run something? Well, those who know what it’s called can still use Windows Key + R to bring up the Run dialog, that still works:

As do most Windows Key shortcuts.
So selecting Search from the hover over menu can be reached also by Windows Key + F:

I also use shortcuts to my applications that are in the program groups or pinned to the start menu, I sometimes even search, well I guess these are going to be littering the Start screen now? Did you notice the Apps icon on the Search screen?

So it’s a nice A-Z, flicking across and the side part hides:

Or you can actually search, it’s pretty good, typing and it dynamically filters, so p gives me all the occurrences of p, pa gives me:

I liked that, you keep typing until you see the icon and / or name you recognise. And at least people can’t say they can’t find control panel now šŸ™‚
But, you can also search Settings, this is my favourite feature so far:

Coming back to the Start screen, the more I look at it, the more I see the features I liked in the Windows 7 (and prior) Start Menu, things are pinned and can be re-ordered (moved anywhere on the screen in this case). Right clicking on a tile you can resize, unpinned and even uninstall:
(compare with the first screenshot)
There is one key difference that will take some getting use to, those Apps you spawn from the Start screen, they aren’t on the Desktop! If you ALT+TAB you will see them, why aren’t they on my Desktop? Apps you spawn from the Desktop are there. Oh well. Naturally they are visible in Task Manager, I won’t go into Task Manager, but it’s there in the same places and the shortcut still works (CTRL+SHIFT+ESC) but it’s been completely overhauled and I like what I see:

The Apps spawned from the Start screen are Suspended, but those spawned from within the Desktop are not! See what I mean, some getting used to.
That’s it, I’ve not covered a lot, but it’s bed time and it’s nice enough and not annoying enough to be given a deeper look.

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2 responses to “Windows 8 Developer Preview Walkthrough

  1. Pingback: Windows XP needed a reinstall, so I thought I’d try Windows 8 Developer Preview instead | Tim's cycling blog

  2. Pingback: Windows 8 Developer Preview – More on keyboard shortcuts | Tim's cycling blog

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