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Windows 8 Preview

With Windows 8 reportedly being released in October 2012, we thought we’d do a preview of what it’s like to install and run the new Windows 8 Operating System.

Installation Hardware:

HP Compaq 6715b Laptop


Dual Core Processor

Windows 8 Preview Download

Here’s a link to the download if you want to try it yourself.

Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

The installation is in a 3.3GB ISO file that you can burn to a DVD.

Product Key needed to install:

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Key: DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

The key will expire on Jan 13th 2013

Windows 8 Preview Install

  • Boot from DVD
  • Select Language
  • Install Now

So far it looks just the same as Windows 7, except for a different coloured background.


After 2 restarts, you’re ready to pick a background colour.


The wireless drivers have been installed and the laptop is ready to connect wireless. Select your AP and type in the security key.

The next step is where things have changed slightly from Windows 7 and you can really see how Windows is copying Apple & Google by going Apps based.

You can select the following:

  • Auto Updates
  • Auto Device Drivers
  • Auto Get Device Apps & info for new Devices
  • Use IE Smartscreen Filter
  • Use Windows Smartscreen Filter for Apps & Files
  • Send URLs for web content that Apps use
  • Send Location Data to Microsoft when Location Aware Apps are used
  • Join Microsoft Active Protection Service to respond to malicious Apps & Malware
  • Send Location Data to Microsoft when Location Aware Apps are used
  • Send Information to Microsoft Customer Experience Program
  • Send Information to the Microsoft Help Experience Program
  • Windows Error Reporting to check for solutions to problems
  • Get the latest Troubleshooting Packs to fix problems
  • Share Information with Apps
  • Let Apps use Name & Account Picture
  • Turn on Windows Location Platform so Apps can ask Users their Location

Looks like Malware isn’t going away anytime soon for Windows.

User Sign In Process

The biggest change so far that I can see is the user sign in process. Instead of just typing in a username and password like Windows 7, you now sign into your computer with your email address and password.

This will enable you to download Apps from the Windows Store without having to sign into the website or App every time. You will be able to download Apps with this account, but you will also be able to access your files from any computer, including photos & music. If you have a computer you use at home and a laptop that you use in work or somewhere else, you will have your Favourites and Web History, and anything else you choose to access. All devices can now be synced to look exactly the same

As part of the user name process, Microsoft now asks for your mobile number, so that if you ever forget your password, you can request a password reset.

Immediately you will receive an email from Microsoft asking to confirm the email address.

Windows 8 Start Screen

The biggest change so far.  No Windows Start Button. Instead there is a Start Screen. Everything is made to look like it is an App.

Some Pre Installed Apps

  • Microsoft Store
  • Internet Explorer
  • Mail
  • Xbox Live Games
  • Messaging
  • Calendar
  • Solitaire
  • Weather
  • Video
  • Music
  • SkyDrive

You can move the Apps around the Start Page and customise where you want them to be.

Windows 8 Desktop

The Windows 8 Desktop itself looks just like the Windows 7 Desktop. You sort of get the feeling that they just kept it there for users that don’t like using the Start Screen. Again, no Windows Start button, so it’s been completely done away with.

As far as usability is concerned, it’s probably the easiest version of Windows to use yet. It’s about as easy to use as an iPhone, with the Apps showing on one page, the settings are hidden so you don’t really have to worry about them. In Internet Explorer the address bar is now at the bottom instead of the top and it disappears after you type in the web address, making the web page the full size of the screen.

Windows 8 seems to run fast in general, with all the buttons responsive and taking hardly anytime to load, it’s definitely faster than Windows 7.

On a side note, it seems like users will be forced to use keyboard commands like Alt F4 to close down programs as there is no red X in the top right hand corner anymore. Once people get used to doing it this way, it’s easier and quicker than moving the mouse around.

For users that like phones and use them a lot, they will find the Windows 8 experience very good and easy to understand.  For users moving from Windows 7 to Windows 8, it will be quite a bit different, but easy enough to pick up.