Home to Windows 8


Got home to Hull this morning at 11:00 am. As I had rather cleverly (if getting up at 4:00 am for three days counts as clever) kept my body clock on UK time while I was away, I wasn’t suffering too much from jetlag, although I was suffering a bit from lack of sleep.

Anyhoo, I was wide awake enough to download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and install it on my Acer Iconia W500 tablet. I’d put the Developer Preview on the device earlier, and I thought it might work well. It does. I’ve got me a snappy Windows tablet that works a treat. If you’ve got one of these devices and want some Windows 8 goodness you can find a useful howto here. This was written for the Developer Preview of Windows 8 but it works fine with the latest version too.

Windows 8 itself is interesting. It really is a system of two halves. The Metro powered Start Menu gives you Live Tiles and a very finger friendly environment. The desktop gives you a, well, desktop that looks and behaves pretty much like being at home, although it is noticeably quicker than previous versions of Windows. Startup and shutdown times have shrunk dramatically  too.

The Acer running Windows 8 is a reasonable iPad substitute. It even has a Marketplace where you can download and install applications, including a free copy of “Cut the Rope” which is a really good game. And of course I can plug in a keyboard and a mouse and then fire up Visual Studio to do some proper development.

I’m looking forward to seeing Windows 8 running on “pure” slates/tablets which are based on ARM technology. With built in Live Mesh integration you should be able to move between different platforms really easily, using the iPad like devices to consume information and the Windows Desktop behaviours to produce it.

Actually, for me one of the best things about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview is the version of Pinball FX which is shipped with it. This is a very good implementation of the game and it runs really well, even on my little Acer.