Windows 8 Consumer Preview coming Feb. 29, bundled apps leaked

By on February 8, 2012, 3:30 PM

As promised, Microsoft will release a public beta of Windows 8 this month. The company scheduled a launch event for the "Consumer Preview" of its next operating system on February 29 in Barcelona, Spain -- the same timeframe and city as Mobile World Congress but they're separate occasions. Although the company is doling out invitations, it hasn't shared much about the event or whether a US affair is planned.

While Microsoft's announcement is lacking juicy details, The Verge has learned more about the programs that might ship with Windows 8. According to unnamed sources familiar with Microsoft's plans, the OS will offer Metro-style camera, messaging, mail, calendar, SkyDrive, photo, video, music and "people" applications -- all of which will be present in the Consumer Preview, but aren't set in stone for the full release.

It's noted that the calendar, mail, messaging and people apps will be more encompassing and useful than solely Windows Live software. The messaging app, for instance, is claimed to have support for SMS. The music and video apps are currently labeled as Zune, but they were built by the Xbox team and they'll soon be rebranded as such. Xbox Live will be the entertainment brand for Windows 8's music, videos and games.

Microsoft has kept Windows 8 in the headlines by gradually releasing information over the last year or so. Although there are new features for conventional desktop users, the next OS is expected to address the many mobile-oriented shortcomings of Microsoft's previous offerings, including the addition of a touch-friendly "Metro" interface. If you haven't been paying attention to the announcements, here's a shortlist of coverage:




User Comments: 23

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captainawesome captainawesome said:

I have this niggling feeling that Windows 8 is gonna be a little like Vista in that it is so different, people are going to get super frustrated with it and bark up Microsoft's tree for a downgrade to 7.

Guest said:

Vista and Windows 8 can't be compared.

Vista wouldn't run properly on non-dual core processor PCs that were running WinXP.

Windows 8 will run just fine on Windows 7 PCs.

And device driver issues with Vista won't be the problem with Windows 8.

Guest said:

In the desktop world Windows 8 is going to make Vista looking like a raging success story of epic proportions.

Microsoft's new Metro interface is less functional if you use the system for working, creating content, or multitasking. The tiles and side scrolling are un-natural, and un-intuitive with a mouse and keyboard, and completely redesigning the interface is going to frustrate users of older windows versions because they will have to waste time finding all the settings and features that they have spent the last 15+ years getting familliar with.

Vista had compatibility and performance issues because the underlying technology was different from the versions that came before it.. its interface had been given a big face lift but the general layout was familliar enough that there wasn't a giant learning curve... Windows 8 is going to be both a support and training nightmare. Companies aren't going to buy it, home PC users are going to be frustrated by it. Epic Fail does not begin to describe what Windows 8 is going to do in the desktop/laptop PC market which weather Microsoft wants to admit it or not is its bread and butter.

Time to by extra copies of Windows 7 now so you have all the licensing keys you need to ride out the storm until Microsoft gets their act together with Windows 9 after the share holders demand they put out a product thier customers want again.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Both guests make good points.

As long as you can minimize or eliminate the amount of Metro interface on desktop PCs I think it will be fine. Some of the 'energy saving' stuff that is for tablets and phones should go a long ways in keeping the interface 'snappy' on some of our old PCs that are showing their age with Win 7.

Puiu Puiu said:

not really. people want the optimizations windows 8 offers and i'm sure that really soon we'll be able to completely disable metro with some sort of third party program (not app). i'll try it on my laptop and if i don't like it i'll reinstall windows 7.

Guest said:

On of the most BASIC principles of design in any industry is this: "One shoe does not fit all"

That they are naive enough to think that one interface is going to be able to suit the needs of a mouse and keyboard, a touch screen AND a games controller is absurd. They are completely different forms of hardware interface and as such require very different types of software interface in order to get the most out of them. Asking a mouse user to stop using simple point-click and start using large dragging actions on everything is.... it's beyond any kind of logical thinking. Metro works fine with a controller. It will probably work fine on a touch screen device. But on a PC? Not a chance in hell.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

On of the most BASIC principles of design in any industry is this: "One shoe does not fit all"

That they are naive enough to think that one interface is going to be able to suit the needs of a mouse and keyboard, a touch screen AND a games controller is absurd. They are completely different forms of hardware interface and as such require very different types of software interface in order to get the most out of them. Asking a mouse user to stop using simple point-click and start using large dragging actions on everything is.... it's beyond any kind of logical thinking. Metro works fine with a controller. It will probably work fine on a touch screen device. But on a PC? Not a chance in hell.

I have precisely zero hours logged on Windows 8, but my impression has been that desktop users won't have to use the Metro UI. It's separate from the conventional desktop UI, yet quickly accessible if desired. Likewise, mobile users won't have to use the desktop UI, but it's also quickly accessible if desired.

Guest said:

Well I tried out the developer preview, and even the start up screen required you to click and a drag a fullscreen image just so you could enter in your login in details. Then whenever I tried to get into any kind of meaningful apps or system settings from the desktop view, it would keep kicking me back out to the metro UI to adjust the settings there....

Oh, and because the VM I was running it in didn't have internet access, it wasn't able to validate itself as a legitimate product, which meant I couldn't change the desktop display picture. Absolutely fantastic. Because needing the internet to change your display picture is clearly essential...

treetops treetops said:

I want remote control mode for my desktop so I can kick back and play media while sitting on the couch or laying in my bed without having to strain my eyes. Have a remote, press a button and have media mode activated or something like that.

EEatGDL said:

I tried the DP (still have it installed in my second partition) and the first thing everybody thought at the university: "it looks like an educational OS", I have few complains about it, but the main one is, as many have said... "Metro simply sucks in a non touch screen", I guess it is intuitive in a tablet and maybe more useful than the desktop interface, but it simply fails on mouse and keyboard [even when I have a multitouch trackpad in my notebook it won't recognize horizontal scrolling on metro, but it does on vertical scrolling ]. Have not much to add, I've used it so far about 5 hours in total, just tryed some things, installed some programs, games and see how it handles but of course the BETA drivers for Optimus on W8 give problems, and the turboboost application didn't work; so I never touched it again waiting for improved driver support and the next BETA [consumer preview].

Chazz said:

The developer preview is nowhere near indicative of a final product. Until people get betas installed no one can have a meaningful opinion on it and event hen beta is not final. Windows 7 beta was good but had problems that weren't present in the final version..and features that were outright changed.

Did any of you guys try the IE9 preview?

gamoniac said:

Guest said:

Well I tried out the developer preview, and even the start up screen required you to click and a drag a fullscreen image just so you could enter in your login in details. Then whenever I tried to get into any kind of meaningful apps or system settings from the desktop view, it would keep kicking me back out to the metro UI to adjust the settings there....

Oh, and because the VM I was running it in didn't have internet access, it wasn't able to validate itself as a legitimate product, which meant I couldn't change the desktop display picture. Absolutely fantastic. Because needing the internet to change your display picture is clearly essential...

I have Win 8 Developer Preview as a VM running on 2008 R2 SP1 in no time, with Internet access and all, etc. I can even remote into it with dual 1920 x 1080 screens. You were probably trying to install it on VMWare or Xen, in which case it's not Win8's that the hypervisor (VM server) does not yet support it. I remember Win7 beta didn't allow me to install it as a VM, so I was pleasantly surprised when Win8 Preview allowed me to do so.

Regarding the experience, I have a mixed feeling and would rate the Preview a 6 out of 10. However, adding in all the features that came out after the developer preview was released, I would rate it a solid 9. Of course, I would hold my judgment until I check out the beta.

Guest said:

I thought windows 8 ME or was it ME that 8 Windows. I see a remaking come here not good. Without Metro so so.

ME(Millennium Edition)

gamoniac said:

Correction to my post: Win 7 beta did allow me to install it on VMWare. I got mixed up with some other OS I tested.

On remoting in with dual screens, the left screen shows the traditional desktop and the right screen shows the Metro UI. It is pretty neat, although I have to say Metro does take some getting used to; Microsoft needs to improve on desktop users' Metro experience if they want to sell it as a desktop OS. Aside from that, the other features of Win8 (ReFS, etc) are simply remarkable. We will see on Feb 29.

Guest said:

Dan here

As both a Desktop and Laptop user, I do use metro in a way it's just called Gadgets. I do fine this metro thing a great idea because it gives you things like Facebook and your pictures all in easy reach with the click of a single click or button. I think people will enjoy this idea mostly because people don't like things to be complicated, especially older people. I can see somebody like my Mom and Dad loving this mostly because of the ease of use aspect. I currently am using all windows OS including Mango on my phone and I really enjoy it. I am coming from an Android phone, which I LOVED, and I think Microsoft has something here with this Metro design. Now as an IT guy for my company, I don't see how Metro will fit in the business world. Truthfully, in my eyes at least, I see this as an opportunity for Microsoft to be able to regain or rejuvenate the consumer market with something new and fun. Yes I do feel tablets are the future but I would much prefer a Tablet PC over a tablet android or iOS. The idea of knowing that my Laptop, Tablet PC and cell phone will sync up easily without having to use additional apps, aka Zune or iTunes or even DropBox (or any online storage system), to me as fantastic in the business world but metro interface is more of an ehhhh in the business world, at least in my eyes so far.

Guest said:

From everything I've seen Mehtro sucks for my usage scenarios, but could be good for some depending on the device.

Guest said:

So the lesson here, don't loose that copy of XP, I have 4 computers and only one Is running Win 7 I'm still testing It to see If I like It or not........and yes I do have commitment Issue's why do you ask??

killeriii said:

Vista wouldn't run properly on non-dual core processor PCs that were running WinXP.

Windows 8 will run just fine on Windows 7 PCs.

And device driver issues with Vista won't be the problem with Windows 8.

???

Say what?

Anyway, I guess we'll see what issues Windows 8 has at the end of the month.

Guest said:

You click in one spot and the Metro disappears and the old desktop 7 look is right in front of you. Everyone is making it harder than it is. If you click Start it takes you back to the green Metro screen and if you type anything in the green screen anywhere it will do a search for whatever you are looking for, if thats too complicated for you, YOU DON'T NEED A COMPUTER. You are then popped back to your 7 desktop with whatever you searched for and are ready to use it. Vista was OK it had so many features, and too hard to find them all except for the most hardened Geek, it took twice as much memory as XP. 1GB vs 525MB for XP thats why it ran slow on cheep computers that never have enough memory. Win7 is smaller and faster than XP. Somewhere around 425MB big improvement over Vista but still most all the bells and whistles of Vista. Now you have Win8 that runs in roughly 256MB and is twice as fast as Win7, plus it will run on touchscreens as well. So all you Haters out there that havent run Win8 yet need to run it on a machine for a while before you condem it it works pretty good now and they dont have the Beta release out yet.

Guest said:

In what ways is 7 a downgrade to Vista?

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Vista was a memory hog and Windows 7 wasn't since you could install Ultimate on netbook with 2GB of RAM on 1.6GHz CPU. So no issues doing that either. XP was good for what it could at the time upgrade from 2000. So now we have Windows 8.. I am looking forward to getting Windows 8 tablet. Android which I've been programming with since 2010 it's getting there. But still I am Windows guy and all my systems are Windows 7. Now that 8 coming out shouldn't be an issue to upgrade to it.

Guest said:

I dont think it will be too hard to eliminate most of the metro crap, It wasnt with the developer preview

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Perhaps this has been addressed already, if you have the dev preview, will it update to the RC, or CP, Beta, or whatever they are going to call it? Or will you have to clean install?

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