• Windows 8 Release Preview available online for free download in 14 languages

    Posted on May 31st, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    We have been waiting for the next Windows OS for a long time. With all rumors and speculations going and the approaching of the official release of Windows 8 operation system, Microsoft debuted Windows 8 Release Preview version this Thursday, which might be the last step before a final release of Windows 8 this fall. The debut of the Release Preview version is several days earlier than expected, which was promised to be the first week of June by Microsoft. The freshly released Windows 8 Release Preview is available in two versions for both 32-bit and 64-bit systems. Though the Windows 8 Release Preview has been debuted, Microsoft has not yet announced a launch date for Windows 8 or prices for the OS. Analysts expect the revamped Windows to debut in October and at prices identical to Windows 7. Now, the Windows 8 Release Preview is available online for free download in 14 languages, thus you can have the choice to select and download the one in your familiar language.

    Windows 8 Release PreviewWhat’s new or improved in Windows 8 Release Preview version:
    New Bing-powered apps, including ones for travel, news, and sports
    Improvements to Mail, Photos, and People apps
    Increased Start personalization
    Better multiple-monitor support
    Better Windows Store navigation
    New family safety and security functionality
    Enhanced touch support for Internet Explorer 10

    How to download and install Windows 8 Release Preview
    Go to the Windows 8 Release Preview download page to enter your email and country region, check the agreement box, and then click the button to download Windows 8 Release Preview version.

    Running this application automates most of the set-up process, and selects the appropriate version of the preview for your machine. These must be turned into installation media that are burned to a DVD drive or copied to a USB flash drive in order to complete the install. That’s the installation process in a nutshell. As this is preview software, so keep mission critical work off your test PC.

    Requirements of installing Windows 8 Release Preview
    1. Microsoft advises users to not install the operating system on a computer used for day-to-day work, as there’s also no going back without wiping your hard drive.

    2. You can’t downgrade from Windows 8 since it cannot access the recovery partition of your hard drive. If you need to downgrade, ensure you have recovery disks readily available.

    3. You can upgrade to the Release Preview if you are already running Windows 8 Consumer Preview or Developer Preview. But you cannot keep any of your files.

    4. A processor with a clock speed of 1GHz or greater, 1GB (32-bit version), or 2GB (64-bit version) of RAM, at least 16GB (32-bit) or 20GB (64-bit) of available hard drive space, and a graphics card that supports DirectX 9 with a WDDM driver are required to run Windows 8 Release Preview on your test computer.

    Other features for your selection include: multitouch support, Internet access, and a screen resolution of at least 1024 pixels by 768 pixels, etc.

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  • A wish list of changes for Windows 8 Release Preview on the early June release event

    Posted on April 28th, 2012 David Brooks | No comments

    Microsoft has released several versions of its latest Windows 8 operation system to prepare for the official operation system release, which is said to be in this October, like the Developer Preview and Customer Preview versions. Days ago, the company officially announced that the latest pre-release version of the Windows 8 operating system, Windows 8 Release Preview, will become available during the first week of June, a Microsoft executive said Tuesday in Tokyo. “Announce…Windows 8 Release Preview first week of June. Here’s the announce from Japan’s Windows 8 Dev Days #thankyou”, the company wrote on Twitter. The Windows 8 “Release Preview” will be the most complete version to date of Windows 8, said Steven Sinofsky, President of Windows and Windows Live Division. He spoke at Microsoft’s Windows Developer Days, an event to teach developers about Windows 8. No doubt, the Windows 8 Release Preview would be a feature-completed version of this OS, requiring only bug fixes before the final version out. Then, what are the features in Windows 8? Let’s take a look at what features would be included or changed in Windows 8 Release Preview.

    Windows 8 Release Preview

    Readopt Start button or any hint button like this
    There are a lot of people who have been used to Windows operation system with Start button. Many people would get lost and don’t know what to do and how to operate the computer if there is not a Start button or any sort of guidance on how to navigate the Windows 8 desktops. Watching the video of Chris Pirillo’s father trying to use Windows 8, the company might get to know how real people use Windows 8 without a Start button or anything like that. Thus, the company is supposed to readopt Start button to make operating more user friendly.

    Enhanced Multi-Monitor support
    A better built-in support for multi-monitor is anticipated in Windows 8 Release Preview version. The existing situation is that you can only choose one “main taskbar” to open the Start menu and then run metro-style apps. It would be quite easy for your mouse to jump to the next screen when hitting the corner of screen without a proper Start menu. This would make it inconvenient for operating.

    Keep Metro Contained
    For the most part, ignoring the Metro interface of Windows 8 is easy, especially if you think of the new Start menu as a full-screen version of the pop-up start button. The one glaring exception is when you want to open a photo, video or audio file on the desktop, and Windows 8 boots you back to its Metro-style media players. You can change the default programs for these files, but that’s a hassle.

    Adopt better Tablet App Switcher
    Windows 8 would allow Windows 8 tablet users to fast switch apps, but still too sloppy. When you drag a finger from the left side of the screen, one of your recent apps slides in, but you don’t have immediate control of which app to appear. To choose from a wider list of recent apps, you must slide your finger back to the left side of the screen, which opens up a sidebar with app thumbnails. The operation of switching tablet apps could be confusing most people. For better user experience, the company is supposed to adopt better tablet app switcher to do this.

    A Tutorial for Tablets included
    With physical Windows button and other icons on the screen, average Windows 8 tablets users will be able to get along with their tablets nicely. But many other useful features of Windows 8 operation system, like sharing, searching, app switching, etc. which are hidden from plain sight, may not that easy for users to operate. To make new users quickly understand and get familiar with the Windows 8 OS, Microsoft will need to get a wonderful user-guide for Windows 8 tablet users to make them full enjoy the interesting and practical features of Windows 8 OS.

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