Win8 – making a desktop os from a tablet build

So, Windows 8 was showed to the public yesterday during Microsoft’s BUILD.
That evening, a “preview” build was put available for everyone to try out Microsoft’s new operating system.

You can download it via http://dev.windows.com .

So some thoughts.

What you download is a preview version (pre-alpha code), build for x86 (or x86-64). But with the METRO-interface. This interface is of course the new visual trademark of Windows.
But this UI is mostly mentioned for touchscreen devices, like tablets. This is not what you are going to use in the end, when you’re sitting in front of a desktop or laptop computer.

So, don’t try to “compare” this version to the regular Windows desktop operating system. (We are going to hack this, more later).


The first desktop OS from Microsoft for touchscreen devices. And yes, the metro-interface is slick! It works, it’s all you need, it’s perfect.

It puts android on the ground, and burries iOS.

But I have no touchscreen device, except my TouchPad… (Maybe someone ports the ARM-build to it 😎 )

When you’re trying to use this build on a non-touchscreen desktop computer, like I do, you’ll notice it sucks. The metro-interface limits itself to only 1 screen, that’s just ugly. Plus the user wants to use the other screen as well, like they’re used to… But you can’t… (metro interface doesn’t minimize…)

The entire metro interface blocks a regular computer user. You have no access to your taskbar, no start menu (start menu = metro), you can’t look at multiple screens at once, …

Luckily you can get around this by modyfing a dll in this build.

Go to c:\windows\system32 and rename shsxs.dll to something else 😛

After a reboot you get this…

That’s more like it 😎

So you get a regular desktop os. And as Steven said it on the premiere on monday: it’s actually Windows 7 but better, it truly is.
The windows are now more square (metro-style), new taskmanager, new copy-paste window, … It all looks better.

But hey, it’s a pre-beta build. Skype wouldn’t install on my machine. So I went back to my W7 installation.

Technically it’s a great OS. It uses less resources, it’s fast and has some nifty additions over the previous versions.

So I’ll be back!

 

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