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Installing and running Windows 8

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Installing and running Windows 8

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After watching the BUILD keynote and the awesome Windows 8 demos I was very eager to test it my self. Today I installed Windows 8 (or Windows Developer Preview as they call it). The installation process was very easy and as they promised the whole process took only about 15 minutes.

This article is written from Windows 8 on a Acer Ferrari 5000 laptop I had stowed away. I installed it from USB key by following the guide I found at ghacks.net

Windows 8 running on my Acer Ferrari 5000

My first impressions

Even though this is a very early version of Windows 8 I must say that I really like it. The Metro UI is just what I like with the collection of my most important apps and live feed/info in the tiles. It’s easy to use and after a few minutes playing around it feels like a natural way of navigating and interacting with the different apps. Of course the user experience is for sure much better on a  touch enabled device but it is no problem using it from an old laptop with mouse and keyboard.

The startup time is also impressive, from this 4-5 years old laptop with no SSD it boots in 15-20 seconds! The boot time for Windows Vista (yeah I know..) that was previously installed took probably 1-2 minutes.

Tough I’m very excited about Windows 8 I must also add that it’s easy to see that this is an early version and I have experienced a few issues. For example while writing this article from WordPress it hang when I tried to insert images (had to do this from Windows 7) and sometimes it lags a bit (might be because of my the old laptop I’m running this on).

It is also nice to see that the Windows UI as we know it from Windows 7 is just a click away. It also looks like this part has gone through some polishing as well. Looks very similar to Office 2010 and I think that is good. Then you can use the Metro UI for your most common tasks and go behind this layer when doing more advanced stuff.

Resource friendly

Windows 8 is also very resource friendly, Microsoft have reduced the number of core processes running and the memory usage is down 50%

Below you can see a screenshot from the new Task Manager displaying the performance monitor on this computer.

Developing apps

The Windows Store opens for a new distribution channel for app developers and with 450 000 000 Windows 7 copies sold/installed you can just imagine the potential. The developers can also write their apps in several different languages like XAML, C#, C, Javascript, HTML5 ++

It will also be quite straight forward to modify your Windows Phone 7 apps to run on Windows 8. You can read this article to see how: Migrating a Windows Phone app to XAML. I will soon try to port the PinCodeKeeper WP7 app I created a while ago.

I’m impressed by all the things Microsoft have achieved lately and I’m looking forward to the official release of Windows 8.


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