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Windows 8 Consumer Preview – A First Look

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Windows 8 is currently available as a “consumer preview” – PREVIEW being the key word here.  Should you download it now?  Only under certain circumstances.

Microsoft released a “consumer preview” of Windows 8 just a few weeks ago and I figured I’d better get my act together and download it to begin testing our software with it, so that we can make certain that everything is going to run smoothly when it is widely available on the computers that people purchase.

For the normal, every day computer user it’s definitely NOT a good idea to download the “consumer preview” and install it on the computer that you use on a daily basis to run your business.  The word “preview” here means just that – a look at what Windows 8 is and how it works – it’s NOT the final version and while most (if not all) of your software should work just fine; software developers (such as ourselves) haven’t had the opportunity to test the programs they’ve written on this new operating system to make sure that everything works as it should.

When you run a business and rely on QuickBooks, 3rd party applications, and other software to handle all of the day to day tasks that keep your company running smoothly – it’s only asking for trouble at this point to attempt to install and use something that no one has had an opportunity to test.

If you absolutely must get your hands on the latest in technology – create a virtual computer using VMWare or Oracle and install it there – or install it on a computer that doesn’t house your company’s data.

I wasn’t about to go out an buy a new machine just for testing, so I created a virtual machine and installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  Installation went pretty smooth but man I was shocked when the Desktop appeared – see the screenshot below:

Right click on the image to enlarge it


Gone is the normal standard Windows Desktop that we’ve all gotten used to and gone is the familiar “Start” button that’s been around for years.

Chris Pirillo wrote a great article called Why Microsoft Can’t Afford a Failure With Windows 8.  While some of the article may be more techie than you care for, you should really watch the video he did of his Dad trying to navigate around – it was exactly how I felt.

I honestly have to say that I didn’t like the “clunky” look of the Desktop (my Toshiba tablet has a much more visually pleasing start up screen), in fact I was so turned off by it that I shut it down and haven’t touched it in over a week.  I know that I need to get back to it and install QuickBooks, Office, and our software – but I’m not looking forward to it.

6 Responses to Windows 8 Consumer Preview – A First Look

  • Oh Bruce, Windows 8 is driving me insane! But after enough “cussing” I’m finally beginning to master it – slowly but surely. There are still things I haven’t figured out – and things I absolutely detest. I have some video’s on Windows 8 on my “To Do” list.

  • Okay, I know I hated the new system From many other views/reviews I have read…. But Chriss’s Dad makes me wonder if my thought earlier this year was a good one, and that I should be glad I had it…

    “Are they Driving me to buy a Mac?”, Well I have one, and thus far I like it more than the PC I have.

  • Hi Sherra
    I’ve heard the same thing – that it can be turned off, just haven’t found the correct setting yet!

  • I’ve heard that is the default “Metro” theme & can be turned off in the settings…8 then looks very similar to 7.

  • Karen – it is pretty scary and certainly not what we are used to seeing! It’s pretty much designed for people who have those HUGE lovely touch screen monitors (also probably is the reason that those icons are so huge). I have a 25″ monitor and don’t want to be looking at that – I feel like those icons are just going to swallow me! Oh well, welcome to the future!

  • UGH! That looks awful and I would have had the same reaction as you did – shut it down and walk away…..

About Your Host:

Nancy Smyth, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor

Nancy Smyth, Sunburst Software Solutions, Inc.
QuickBooks Construction & Payroll Expert

I've been using and supporting QuickBooks products since the early 1990's. I've worked with thousands of contractors, assisting them with QuickBooks setup, Certified Payroll Reporting requirements, AIA Billing and Weighted-Average Overtime.

QuickBooks is a powerful product, but learning how to use it in your construction business can be difficult. I hope you find resources available here to be helpful.

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