Another Windows beta release, another round of impassioned love/hate responses.
Windows 8, released last week in its Consumer Preview form (aka beta) and hit 1 million downloads in one day, has generated reactions varying from "a brave new world" to "this is the death of Microsoft." The consensus is that the tile-based Metro UI on a desktop is still the missing link, as swiping horizontally and navigating apps with a mouse is about as comfortable as sleeping on top of a doghouse.
I agree that unless you can touch the Metro UI and navigate with your fingers, it's not so much fun. Multi-touch capability will ultimately make Windows 8 a great tablet experience, but the traditional "Start button and task bar" Windows desktop that so many of us have come to enjoy and rely on has changed with Windows 8 and Metro.
The desktop is not gone, per se, it's just hidden behind the Windows 8 Metro Start screen. The desktop is basically treated like an app, and you have to go through the Metro UI to get there. If you do, you will find a layout that looks almost exactly like Windows 7 (just without the Start button). But it's treated like an afterthought, making people feel like they are sidestepping something cool and modern to stay stuck in the past.
But at least Microsoft is giving you options, and is trying to change. Change can be exciting, and one man's panic attack at too much sudden change is another man's liberating fresh start. So as expected, Windows 8 Consumer Preview is divisive. With that said, here's a rundown of reactions to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview from IDG sites as well as around the Web, divided into "dig it", "hate it", "kinda confused by it", and "It's pretty good for a beta."
A Huge Radical Rethinking of Windows (New York Times)
Windows 8 May Drive Me to Linux (ExtremeTech)
Kinda Confused By It
Windows 8: No Touch, No Fun (Networkworld)
Windows 8: Something Old, Something Awkward (Infoworld)
It's Pretty Good, for a Beta
Windows 8 Consumer Preview: A Call for Common Sense (Supersite for Windows)