Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Windows 8 Consumer Preview is here. Not a developer edition a preview. So basically this is what it is going to look like.

Windows 8 looks cool with its new metro interface, and it look like it would work great on a tablet with a full touch screen. I don’t know how well this will work on a desktop or laptop environment. I guess only time will tell.

 

 

The Windows Store?

Like almost every platform windows now has a store. Like the App Store for iPhones, iPods, iPads, and Macs. This store will have both free and paid apps. The paid apps ranging from $1.49 to $999.99. The developers will also be able to have a trail period.

 

New Features: (From Wikipedia)

Metro UI

Windows 8 will employ a new user interface based on Microsoft’s Metro design language. The Metro environment will feature a new tile-based Start screen similar to the Windows Phone operating system. Each tile will represent an application, and will be able to display relevant information such as the number of unread messages on the tile for an email app or the current temperature on a weather application. Metro-Style applications run in full-screen, and are able share information between each other using “contracts”. They will be available through the new Windows Store.Metro-Style apps are developed with the new Windows Runtime platform using various programming languages; including C++, Visual Basic, C#, and HTML/Javascript.

Other features

  • A desktop app will be included for running legacy non-Metro applications. Unlike the Windows 7 desktop, however, the Start button on the “Developer Preview” build opens the Start screen instead of the Start menu, and recent leaked builds leading up to the “Consumer Preview” revealed that the Start orb had been removed entirely, in favor of a hotspot in the bottom-left corner.
  • Internet Explorer 10 will be included both as a Metro-style app, which will not support plugins or ActiveX components, and a desktop version which resembles Internet Explorer 9 and will maintain legacy plug-in support.
  • Ability to sign in using a Windows Live ID. This will allow for the user’s profile and setting to be synchronized over the internet and accessible from other computers running Windows 8, as well as integration with SkyDrive.
  • Two new authentication methods: picture password, which allows users to log in by drawing three gestures in different places on a picture, and PIN log in, which allows users to authenticate using a four digit pin.
  • Windows Explorer will include a ribbon toolbar, and have its file operation progress dialog updated to provide more detailed statistics, the ability to pause file transfers, and improvements in the ability to manage conflicts when copying files.
  • Hybrid Boot will use “advanced hibernation functionality” on shutdown to allow faster startup times.

Bootable Windows To Go USB flash drive

  • Windows To Go will allow Windows 8 to be run from a bootable USB device (such as a flash drive).
  • Two new recovery functions are included, Refresh and Reset. Refresh restores all Windows files to their original state while keeping settings, files, and Metro-Style apps, while reset takes the computer back to factory default condition.
  • Native USB 3.0 support
  • A new lock screen

Secure boot

Secure boot is a  UEFI-based feature to “prevent unauthorized firmware, operating systems, or UEFI drivers from running at boot time”.

Microsoft will require new PCs to have the UEFI secure boot feature enabled by default to be given Windows 8 certification. Microsoft requires that manufacturers must offer the ability to turn off the secure boot feature on x86 hardware, but must not offer such an option on ARM hardware.

 Videos:

Microsoft has a cool video up on there website where they show some of the features of windows 8. You can check that out here.Tekzilla posted a new episode that talks about windows 8. In which they talk about the metro, the desktop and apps. You can watch that below.