So I’ve taken the plunge and installed Windows 8 Client Preview on one of my laptops. The install process was pretty simple and straight forward. The installer found my WiFi card so I was able to get everything up and running right out of the box. The next thing to do was to install SQL 2012 and Office. I started with SQL 2012 and it installed without issue. Office 2010 installed without issue as well.
Thankfully Windows Live Mesh also installed without a problem and was able to sync up the My Documents folder to my desktop and other laptop so everything showed up on the laptop just as I expected it to be.
The lack of the classic start menu is a little annoying. You can however hit <Windows>+W to get something pretty similar up on the screen. I’ve only had an hour or so to play with Windows 8 so far, so I haven’t done a whole lot with it yet. Task manager is pretty cool looking with a lot of additional information being included.
Now so far I pretty much hate the “Start Menu”. Everything is sitting there with no folders. Needless to say this isn’t exactly efficient with a bunch of applications installed.
I like the changes to the Windows explorer with the ribbon. I think I actually like it better than the old drop down menus. One great new feature is that Windows 8 can, without any 3rd party software, mount ISO images to make it easier to install downloaded software. Is makes life much easier when installing all the various Microsoft software that one uses to work, as Microsoft distributes most everything on MSDN and TechNet as ISO files these days.
So by default (if Windows found a network when installing) the Windows accounts are tied to your Windows live account (if you don’t have a live account it’ll either prompt you for one or make the accounts local accounts like they used to be). This allows you to sync your settings between your Windows 8 computers. Once I’ve got several Windows 8 machines this will probably be handy. Until then this feature doesn’t really do anything for me.
As I use it more I’ll post another update.