As we reported this morning, the Windows 8 consumer preview is here. Now is your chance to try out the new Metro user interface and other features that Microsoft is working on with the new operating system.
While the verdict is still out for some people in regards to their opinion on the changes made to the consumer preview of Windows 8, the response from tech publications has been largely positive.
Gizmodo’s Mat Honan listed his five favorite new features in the Windows 8 consumer preview. The big selling points for him was how fast and fluid the operating system is. It also appears that Internet Explore 10 may be the first good browser that Microsoft has ever developed.
CNet’s Seth Rosenblat called Windows 8 “the most integrated and capable operating system Microsoft has ever put out.” He does, however, feel that Windows 8 “attempt to unify the desktop and the tablet” could end badly for the company. He’s staying optimistic, but says “there’s not much room for missteps.
Tom Warren of The Verge was also optimistic of the new operating system, but like Rosenblat had his reservations. Microsoft is praised for its move to unify its three platforms (Windows, Xbox and Windows Phone) under Metro, but it remains to be seen if customers will care. He says that the true test for Windows 8 now is what developers do with it.
Mashable’s Peter Pachal was more critical of Microsoft’s approach to unify all of its products under Metro. He rightly says that people “don’t do all the same things on a tablet that you do on a PC, and when you do, the experience is different.” He also says that the Metro user interface was obviously designed with touch in mind while mouse control was somewhat iffy with keyboard controls faring better.
David Pogue from the New York Times may be the most excited for Windows 8. He says that its successful because it works and it’s a design that’s entirely Microsoft. In what may be the most ridiculous praise yet, Pogue says that Microsoft gets the “religion of simplicity and beauty.”
Some people have been less than kind to the new design. Ars Technica’s Creative Director Aurich Lawson had this to say on Twitter:
Windows 8 is such a mess. Big flat tiles with crude white icons, glassy window frames, and then random gradients on the stupid "flat" fish.
Freelance tech journalist Elias Makos apparently doesn’t like how Office apps look on Windows 8:
I get all excited when I see Windows 8's sleek tablet experience and then throw up when I see desktop Office apps running on it.
Rafael Magu, who is followed by President Obama so he must be important, tries to download the Windows 8 consumer preview on his Mac and is hilariously greeted with an executable:
The important thing to remember is that this is the Windows 8 consumer preview and as such, it will still have bugs and problems that Windows wants a large number of users to help them find and catalog.
With such early positive reviews, we may be looking at something amazing from Microsoft. Of course, as tech journalists we are wowed by a lot of things that the general public doesn’t care about.
With Apple’s current stranglehold on a lot of the computing industry, it’s all up to Microsoft and its league of developers now to convince people that what they do is better than what anybody else does.
One of the best ways to really test a new operating system is to have somebody who uses a different OS test it out. Here's a great video review from a Linux user making their way through Windows 8. It's absolutely fascinating:
Have you installed the Windows 8 consumer preview yet? What do you think? What do you like or hate? Let us know in the comments.