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Windows 8: Consumer Preview lands Feb 29th

Damian Estrada February 8, 2012 Microsoft, Microsoft Skydrive, Windows 8 2 Comments

The future is coming, I suppose it is always coming, but this time its by Microsoft. The Windows 8 Developer Preview was a bit of a mess. We tested it for a few weeks on a handful of machines. It ran smoothly but has some errors with being able to play certain games, mainly Borderlands.

Windows 8 Metro UI replaces the start bar.

Start Button in Windows 8 Developer Preview

A larger complaint about the Developer Preview was the loss of real functionality with the Start Button and Start Menu. In the Developer Preview we were given a crippled Start Button. The Start Menu was reduced to a black menu with little options. (See Image left) In order the access the menu you would have to mouse over the Start Button. Clicking on the Start Button would take you to the gorgeous Metro UI.

Workarounds were found to make the Super Bar (previously named Taskbar) a bit more functional, such as pinning all of you frequented apps for easy access. Due to the distaste for the crippled Start Button the community assumed Microsoft would bring it back for the Consumer Preview.

The Verge is reporting that a reliable source of theirs has informed them that the Start Button will be completely stripped from Windows 8. The area is now a hot corner that will pull up the Metro UI, much like hot corners in OSX. We should have realized that the start button had its days numbered. I personally can live without a start button. I am a recovering Mac Fanboy, but I would think others more accustomed to Windows XP or Windows 7 would have issues with it. The Super Bar, previously named Taskbar, will stay just as is. But now broken down to a simple dock.

Confirmed Apps in Windows 8 Consumer Preview

The Verge is reporting that the apps in the following list are confirmed and will be preinstalled with Windows 8 Consumer Preview. All apps with be of the Metro UI variant, no word on if there will be a non Metro desktop counterpart.

  • Camera
  • Messaging
    • [Rumor] Microsoft is looking to tie SMS into this app for launch.
  • Mail
    • This is not Outlook or Windows Live Mail
  • Calendar
  • SkyDrive
    • 25GB worth of free storage, files limited to 100MB
  • People
  • Photos
  • Videos
    • Currently branded Zune but built by the Xbox team and will be branded as “Xbox Live for Windows” on launch.
  • Music 
    • Currently branded Zune but built by the Xbox team and will be branded as “Xbox Live for Windows” on launch.

Another new featured new to Windows 8 is the introduction of the Windows Store. Much like the Mac App store, the Windows Store will feature applications submitted by developers. All of the above apps will be updated through the Windows Store. Xbox Live will feature a Companion app much like the one found on Windows Phone 7.

In closing, Windows 8 is shaping up to be the most trans-formative Windows to date.  

Source: The Verge

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About The Author

Damian Estrada is the Editor-In-Chief and Creative Director of Noble Press. He attended the Los Angeles Film School in the major of video editing and set design. Some of his all time favorite franchises are Mass Effect, The Legend of Zelda, Borderlands, Dead Space, and Final Fantasy. In his off time he can be found playing DOTA 2 alongside his co-writers and friends.

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