It has already been nearly a week since we got the Windows 8 Release Preview from Microsoft. Since then I have updated my Acer Iconia Tab W500, which was running the February Consumer Preview, and switched over to the Release Preview as my primary OS on my desktop.
Prior to the Release Preview I was still running Windows 7 on my desktop and then had the tablet running Windows 8 so it meant I was using Windows 8 when I was remote from the desktop or travelling. My choice to go full time with the Release Preview was to get the full immersion experience and is similar to what I have done with past version of Windows when they reached the Release Candidate phase.
So as I am using the preview OS each day I am running into different things some of which are great and some that causes me to scratch my head. I wanted to share those items here with you and see what the dialog and perspective is from you all as well.
These observations are a mix of tablet and desktop issues. I run a dual monitor set-up on my desktop so there are a few dual monitor specific observations as well.
In no particular order – here you go:
- On the tablet the on screen typing and responsiveness has improved a lot. In the CP there always seemed to be a lot of lag, especially on IE, which in turn caused missed characters in the finished product.
- Speaking of on screen typing I would still like to see the on screen keyboard pop up for use anytime I tap into a text entry box. This seems to work consistently on the Metro side of the OS now but it does not happen in Desktop programs. Capitalizing the first letter of a sentence after a period doesn’t even work in some Desktop programs. As I have said before this needs to be a consistent experience across the Desktop and Metro interface otherwise it is just frustrating.
- Biggest mis-mousing movement on my desktop is heading to the lower left corner to get to the PC’s power controls. That is now located over on the right side on the Charms Bar. Muscle memory kicking in big time on this.
- I really like how well the visited sites and favorites sync between machines for IE. I use those frequently visited sites that display when you open IE so this is a very nice feature.
- I tried out the new Metro Remote Desktop App from my desktop to the tablet, which worked fine, but it left the default login method as manual entering the password instead of going pack to Picture Password like I had it setup. Remoting into a machine should not change the method the user employs to login. It is easy to switch back to Picture Password but that is not the point.
- Currently all the accounts you tie into on Windows 8 RP are linked to your Microsoft Account settings. The accounts I am talking about are like Twitter and Facebook. These same settings impact your accounts on Windows Phone as well. I would like to see the ability to separately choose which accounts I want to link to on each device (i.e. Windows 8 and Windows Phone) instead of having them tied together.
- In dual monitor setup you can now pull up the Metro Start Screen on either monitor by dragging your mouse into the lower left corner and clicking – this is good. However, the Metro Start Screen will minimize on that monitor if you click on the other monitor and take focus. Shouldn’t the Metro Start Screen remain on screen in a situation like this?
- If you have a Metro App snapped on one of your monitors you can get other Metro Apps open in the remaining screen space as well as the Desktop and clicking on the other monitor does not take focus and minimize the apps. I am thinking the Metro Start Screen should not minimize when focus is taken on another monitor.
- The dual monitor improvements are great and you get a couple of options of how to employ the taskbars and the system does a great job of remembering what monitors a program previously opened up on and uses that the next time. The only method for moving a program to the other monitor is to grab the title bar and drag it over. I would really like to see a Context Menu item that simply says Move to other Monitor to make that a one click and no drag process.
- I was able to install and use Windows Live Writer, Windows Live Movie Maker, Windows Live Photo Gallery and Windows Live Messenger from the Essentials Suite with no problem. I can even set them as the default for opening their type of files very easily in the Control Panel.
- Even though there is a Metro SkyDrive App in Windows 8 RP I opted to also install the desktop SkyDrive App so I could have easy access to copies of all my SkyDrive files on the local machine.
- Windows Store now has a Your Apps option on the App Bar when you swipe from the top or bottom. Now you can see all your past purchases and installs in one place and quickly. It also lists your other machines that are tied into your Microsoft Account. Reinstallation is as easy as selecting the app and then tapping the Install option on the App Bar. This is very nice to have available.
- I know I mentioned that the on screen keyboard is much more responsive now but I am noticing some occasional issues as I tap on links and them acting as if they were never tapped.
The process continues and I will keep you updated on what I see and hear with this full time Windows 8 Experience. How has it gone for you with Windows 8 Release Preview so far?