Well its now here and I have to be honest while I do not think the Metro UI will appeal to many and certainly not to businesses (Microsoft will have to release a patch to restore the Start Menu UI for these users) its a very good OS.
Its very good on low powered laptops or netbooks as I have it installed on my Samsung N110 Netbook and clean install was 20mins from USB stick and all drivers ok apart from needing to revert to an older Intel GME graphic driver to take advantage of 1280×768 resolution as without this you cannot open the Metro Tile apps without being at 1280×768 resolution.
I did take my netbook into work this week and the IT tech who works in our dept (Jeff) was impressed and to impress him is a good signal of a great OS, as we looked past the UI of Metro and looked more at the backend apps and Task Manager is superb a tool for troubleshooting. The app for SkyDrive impressed us both and it may need the ability to allow multiple accounts as well as possibly the ability to auto sync the File Versions backup to SkyDrive.
The ability to backup to not only a portable USB drive or another Hard Drive (HDD) on your PC is great, but also is the option to use a network drive and setting up a network between PCs is really now easy, in fact so easy you don’t need the family geek to help you out.
Storage Spaces allows you to use a pool of HDDs, to save your files too so backup is seriously covered in Windows 8.
The boot up of my netbook to usable status was with Windows 7 about 2 mins, with Windows 8 its 20 seconds!! yes I said 20 seconds, with really great battery usage.
I was massively impressed at the driver location and installing for hardware as I have a HP Envy 100 Network printer I turned it on to test how the install of a network enabled printer would be but by the time I got back to the Windows 8 PC from switching on the printer the driver had already loaded…. impressed was I!
Wireless connectivity is improved in the management of as you can now see how much data you have used, good for those on a limited data contract as you can use the Metered option, you also have taken from mobiles the Airplane option to turn off Wifi and Bluetooth.
Task Manager is really improved into what now can be used more and more as a troubleshooting tool, not only does it now give you a great graphical representation of the applications usage, it will highlight high CPU, Ram using applications which will make spotting issues easier. It will also allow you to look at App history to see what applications may having been causing any issues.
You can also manage start-up via Task manger now as it will let you know what impact a start-up program is causing on your PCs boot up.
You can download applications (apps) from the Windows Marketplace which is the same type of thing that I have for my Windows 7 Phone, it looks like it may be a great PC version of the Windows Phone Marketplace, Apple Store and Android Store but for PC.
I really love the main feature which is that if you use the login option of using your Microsoft Passport ID (email and password) then you have the ability to share data from multiple PCs and a Windows 7 Phone so items like email addresses, calendar items are shared between devices.
Windows 8 has many great features that many will like when they look under the skin so to speak, I think this is a great OS even at this early stage so it can only get better, it will not appeal to all in the Metro UI look but that is a debate for a later date.
DO remember that if you install this Consumer Preview version that it is not a finished product and should be classed as beta and only installed on a spare PC or Virtual Machine and not a production or main household PC as in some cases not everything as in hardware and software will work normally as your current Windows version does.