Microsoft has had Windows 8 in the works for some time now, and this week the Release Preview went live, giving consumers the opportunity to test out the new operating system before deciding whether or not to purchase an upgrade. So far the reaction from standard users and software experts alike is unenthusiastic.
The biggest change from Windows 7 to Windows 8 is the start menu. No longer a pop-up menu in the lower left corner of the desktop, the Windows 8 start menu is its own full screen window. It mimics the style of the Windows Phone in that each program (or app) icon appears as its own icon in a colorful box in the menu, as opposed to the oldest list format, or the smaller and less uniform desktop icons to which most Windows users are accustomed.
Windows 8 is also incorporating the use of Flash, and providing users with more free apps (akin to the weather widget) than in older versions. Additionally, Windows 8 will include enhanced web browsing tools — namely the Internet Explorer 10 feature, Flip Ahead, which preemptively determines where users will most likely navigate in a given website and allows them to do so with a flick of their touch screen, or clicking the forward arrow that appears on screen.
The consensus among those who have tested and reviewed Windows 8 is that, so far, the operating system is better suited for touch screen devices. Therefore some recommend that standard desktop PC users avoid upgrading while the system is still subject to changes. In the mean time, consumers can find more information about Microsoft’s operating systems, including the anticipated official release of Windows 8, through the BOTW Directories.