Friday, December 16, 2011

Windows 8: A Post-Pre-Emptive Review

Hello again my valued readers,

Y. S. Rice here, with a very important message to all the ladies in the audience today. If there's three things you need to know about me before you inevitably fill my inbox with love letters, they are thus: that I am a well rounded, well traveled, European gentleman; that I enjoy few things in life more than a candle-lit dinner, or a long walk on the beach before sunset; and that when I aren't doing that, I'm very often whiling away my waking hours on developer blogs. If you don't exactly know what a developer blog is, think of it as a blog where developers discuss their software - it's a handy analogy, because that's exactly what it is. [Editor's note - Caowinhim: So wait, you don't mind dying a virgin?]. It's like, if we at The Public Unintellectuals decided to create a video game, and blogged about that instead.

This would be our version of the Kinect, and yes, it'd also be a sign of the coming apocalypse.
"Oh, that doesn't sound too crazy!" says the voice that I have invariably placed in your mouth, "my current/ex-boyfriend checked blogs for news about his favourite video game or computer franchise". That's where we differ (apart from my being far more cultured than CoD_fan-29043 isn't): I routinely check blogs about developers I hate - such as Apple's ubiquitous sites, www.davidcameron.co.uk/the-video-game, and even Microsoft Windows' various Cthuloid tenatcles... err... I mean weblogs.

And it is the latter around which I base today's article - for I have acquired (through secret channels you wouldn't even begin to understand), a developer pre-beta of Windows 8. 

Just kidding. You can totally download it free and legally right here, though you are unlikely to know how to run OSes on virtual hard disks within your base OS - or to even know what that means, really - so you would have to risk all your personal files to try it out. DON'T DO THAT. DO NOT DO IT. NO. BAD. No matter how much of a Windows fan boy you may be, this is a self-styled God damned PRE-BETA of Windows 8, and without proper care - and usually even with it - you will lose everything. Possibly even your mind. Seriously though, that's why I'm here: tech-nerd to the rescue!

Installation:
People often say that the very beginning is the very best place to start, but those people have clearly never seen a Qentin Tarantino film. Nevertheless, I suppose it's good advice for a review, so I'm going to talk you through the installation first. Basically, this is one thing I always hate about Windows - it takes hours to install XP, the most recent Windows OS that I've used for more than ten minutes.

Here, I was pleasantly surprised! W8 installed completely in about 10-15 minutes. After crashing on me three times. Point is, I did eventually get to this screen:
Because blank screens are in again.
And it just kinda sat there for 30 minutes, doing literally nothing. It wasn't still installing, it wasn't loading; I was clicking all kinds of different commands. Nothing. Nada. Eventually I restarted the virtual system, and instead got to this screen:

Logging In:
Login magic.
It's green, it's clean, and it gets to the point. Nothing amazing here, apart from the gigabyte of RAM and the 20 gigs of hard-drive space that it's eating up to just get me this far. Upon logging in, the magic began though!
"It's like, shiny, and new, and not at all inspired by iPhone's iOS in any way" - random Microsoft Fanboy
Again, I was mildly impressed, and this time it wasn't just by the massive amounts of memory that this thing was consuming. This interface is actually pretty nice looking, and would be even cooler if my computer was a touchscreen one. But it's not. So, it was okay. I guess. 

Features:
Now that everything is working 'perfectly' (read as: barely, by overclocking my system and nearly melting my computer), let's see what this baby can actually do! The first thing that caught my eye was the new Internet Explorer, since the internet is really useful for looking at computers and software. [Editor's note - Caowin: And breasts, Yaya! Don't forget the breasts!]
Google knows me too well.
Aside from the now full-screen browsing and the massive amounts of RAM that it gobbles up, there's not much here really. So, after puzzling about how to get out of an app for about ten minutes, I went ahead and force-quit it with ctrl-alt-del (I ended up doing this a lot). The next thing I clicked on was "Tweet@rama" [sic].
...
Since 'tweet-at-rama' literally means nothing, I was left to assume that "Rama" is a person, place, or thing, and that Microsoft is for some reason imploring it's users to "tweet at" it. What the actual Hell? "@" makes an 'at' sound, not an 'a' sound - so if you think this is clever, you're just a massive tw@. I'm sacrificing over a gigabyte of RAM to run this program. Deciding that my clearly aging computer had better things to spend its memory on, I quickly ctrl-alt-del'ed this offence to my eyes, and went to check out Microsoft's much lauded new 'Windows App Store' (also, clearly not related to Apple's app store).
Because developers don't need to see what else is out there.
Okay. Getting kinda bored now. I mean, yeah, it's shiny and new and devours all of my random-access-memory like a starving man on crack, but it's also utterly pointless. There isn't even an ounce of familiarity!

Familiarity:
Oh. HERE it is, cleverly hidden in an app. There's actually an app for 'default'. Because, screw you common sense.
My innocuous files.
But yeah, it's comfortable and all. I mean, this 'desktop' 'app' is the same tried and true environment that Windows has been using almost unchanged for the last 16 years. Yay?

Closing Words:
Did I mention the intense amount of RAM this thing dissolved in its salivating maw? Seriously.

What else can I say? I got to know this screen pretty well:
Since one of the 'glitches' was that it logs out every 15 seconds.
I also got to see that Windows has simultaneously evolved into some sort of gestalt Apple-not-Apple entity and stayed completely the same. Then again, I already knew that it would, since it is Microsoft, and Microsoft specialises at both never changing and ripping off Apple. Don't mistake that as a kindness towards Apple - they both ripped off Xerox, for chrissakes, and if you have to ripoff XEROX (yes, the photocopier company) to think that a graphical user interface (things other than words appearing on your screen) is a good idea, then you are retarded. Plus, Apple's been running the same operating system (OSX=operating system 10) for ages now, only marginally improving it with each 'new' release.

Everybody knows Linux wins, cos' being free is half the battle. Right? Being leet is the other half.

Y. S. Rice

[Writer's note - Y. S. Rice: For the record, mY L337 HaX Br1N9 alL 73h 91RlZ 70 73h yARD. aND 7H3Y'R3 l1K3, 17'Z b3773r 7Han j00rZ, cA0w1nH1m, and as such, I've had more sex in the last year than you ever will in the lives of yourself and any possible reincarnations thereof.]

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