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news | Windows 8 Release Preview #16

2 June 2012


Microsoft are now entering the final stages of the Windows 8 release cycle. On May 31st, Microsoft released the Release Preview, which is their final public pre-release until the OS is released to manufacturing (RTM) in July.

Since our post on the Developer Preview, there have been thousands of feature changes and another revamp of the OS. The most notable is the lack of having a Start Button. The replacement is a box appearing when you hover over the bottom left-hand corner.

example1

The 'charms' menu now appears in the same place on all devices, on the right of the screen, touch users simply swipe in from the right, while mouse and keyboard users have to move the mouse to the bottom or top-right hand corner and then move the mouse downwards to utilise the charm menu.

example1

This may seem daunting, but there is hope. Microsoft are planning to incorporate multi-touch into laptop touchpads, a feature which Apple have had for several years, unfortunately existing PC's won't be able to utilise this due to the connections from the touchpad being too low quality to support this. You can view the Multi-touch touchpad Demo on Laptopmag's website.

The Windows Store was released in the Consumer Preview and has been improved in the Release Preview. The sections are easier to navigate and things are placed in a better order. Just remember, to search in the store, you have to use the search charm, as with a lot of the metro style apps, a search box isn't inplemented due to the search charm being able to conduct search for them.

Other notable features in the Release Preview:

  • A better background colour selection at setup and in the Control Panel.
  • Metro IE 10 supports flash on approved websites such as Youtube.
  • The ability to close apps without the use of task manager.
  • Slight changes to the appearence of desktop apps and Windows Explorer.
  • Xbox Live apps are now supported in more countries, including the UK.

There are of course more feature changes than those above, but they are the most notable ones out of them all.

The Release Preview certainly offers some food for thought, with some people explicitly 'bashing' the Metro UI and Microsoft. The best thing to do is to ignore all of these people and make your own informed choice whether or not to buy Windows 8 when it comes out by trying the Release Preview.

The Windows 8 Release Preview can be downloaded from the Windows 8 Download Page.

Note: You can't choose what partition to install Win 8 on unless you boot it up from the BIOS, if you install it while logged in, then it will overwrite the current OS you are in. If you are unsure, ask someone you trust for help or email us at [email protected].



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