Windows 8 Developer Preview launched one year ago today

While all of us wait for the official launch of Windows 8 on October 26th, it actually wasn't that long ago that Microsoft offered a way for anyone to check out an early version of the company's next PC operating system. One year ago today, as part of Microsoft's first annual BUILD developer conference, Microsoft released the Developer Preview version of Windows 8 to the world.

It was the first time that a large amount of people could check out the biggest UI change in Windows history, with the colorful and touch screen oriented "Metro" style. It's a change that many loved, and many other hated and the debate over the new UI rages to this day.

Since then, Microsoft has released two other free preview versions of Windows 8 to the general: the Consumer Preview in late February and the Release Preview in late May. In August, Microsoft completed the Release to Manufacturing (RTM) build of Windows 8 and some people, mostly IT employees along with some students and teachers, have been able to gain access to it. The rest of us will have to wait until October 26th, the official launch date for Windows 8.

In the past year, we have reported on a number of unexpected Windows 8 news items, such as the first major details of Windows RT, the version of Windows 8 that will run on devices with processors based on designs from ARM. We have reported on how Microsoft is making it very cheap, at least at first, for people who have older Windows PCs to upgrade to Windows 8.

Along the way, word came down that Microsoft would no longer use the term "Metro" to describe the new Windows 8 UI, although the company has been shown to be slow to retire the branding.

The biggest surprise was Microsoft's announcement in June that it would make its own PC hardware device for the first time with Windows RT and Windows 8 versions of its Surface tablet. The Windows RT version will be released first on October 26th, with the Windows 8 Pro port to be released about three months later. Microsoft has been pretty quiet about its plans for the tablet since its announcement, but some viral marketing campaigns have already started for the Surface.

The Developer Preview version of Windows 8, the one that started it all, can still be used if you happen to still have it installed on your PC. However, the Developer Preview will officially expire on January 15, 2013. After that date, that build will send messages to the user saying it will restart Windows every hour until a new product activation key is entered.

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I tried the developer preview and hated it also I tried the consumer preview and hated it.

I tried both of those on my laptop where using the touchpad (without synaptic drivers) was horrendous.

I have installed (barely mind you as for some reason my nvidia graphics card doesn't work with it) the RTM on my desktop and it's not actually that bad using a mouse. The start screen scrolls when I use the mouse wheel for example. I've yet to see what it's like running both my monitors at full resolution (nvidia driver issue again) but using it on the desktop with one monitor it's not that bad.

I can see a lot of people getting slightly confused since the start menu isn't there any more and having to use hot corners (but the video tutorial during setup helps slightly)


My only issue's are:

1) The amount of wasted space when using modern ui apps. I'm not running at full resolution on my monitor and there is lots of wasted space. When I get to full resolution it's just going to get worse.

2) Modern UI apps only being able to be run full screen (or the stupid 1/4 screen), if you could half screen them it would be a bit better.

3) Modern UI apps being always on top, I can't play a video in vlc for example and use a modern UI browser on the same screen as it opens on top of VLC even if I've got it set to always on top.

your using it wrong and not willing to accept change..
don't complain and go back to windows 7
and enjoy your old outdated insecure technology
that is bringing down the quality internet.

seriously people you need to stop critizing Microsoft and just do what they tell you..
who knows best what you like / want than them ?

lol actually some of the stuff you said is what i know would be a problem for me too
i juggle a lot of windows and sure as hell don't need some tile crap interfering with my productivity.

unabatedshagie said,
I tried the developer preview and hated it also I tried the consumer preview and hated it.

I tried both of those on my laptop where using the touchpad (without synaptic drivers) was horrendous.

I have installed (barely mind you as for some reason my nvidia graphics card doesn't work with it) the RTM on my desktop and it's not actually that bad using a mouse. The start screen scrolls when I use the mouse wheel for example. I've yet to see what it's like running both my monitors at full resolution (nvidia driver issue again) but using it on the desktop with one monitor it's not that bad.

I can see a lot of people getting slightly confused since the start menu isn't there any more and having to use hot corners (but the video tutorial during setup helps slightly)


My only issue's are:

1) The amount of wasted space when using modern ui apps. I'm not running at full resolution on my monitor and there is lots of wasted space. When I get to full resolution it's just going to get worse.

2) Modern UI apps only being able to be run full screen (or the stupid 1/4 screen), if you could half screen them it would be a bit better.

3) Modern UI apps being always on top, I can't play a video in vlc for example and use a modern UI browser on the same screen as it opens on top of VLC even if I've got it set to always on top.

Why didn't you install your Synaptics drivers? Windows 7 drivers work fine.

What NVIDIA driver issue do you have? I have a 560 Ti and it works totally fine with the drivers from the NVIDIA site.

mrp04 said,

Why didn't you install your Synaptics drivers? Windows 7 drivers work fine.

What NVIDIA driver issue do you have? I have a 560 Ti and it works totally fine with the drivers from the NVIDIA site.

I honestly didn't think of trying to install the win 7 synaptic drivers. Guess I didn't think they would work.

Original install issue thread:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...e-installing-windows-8-rtm/

Driver issue thread:
http://www.neowin.net/forum/to...105105-nvidia-driver-issue/

Basically with my 7600 GT I couldn't get the RTM to install, put in my 6200 managed to get windows to install but after trying various nvidia beta brivers I can't get either my 7600 to work at all or my 6200 to work at my monitors max resolution or work with my dual monitors so I'm stuck with one monitor at 1280x1024 when my monitors max resolution is 1680x1024.

When I try and open the nvidia control centre it tells me I don't have a nvidia gpu but the device manager picks up I have a 6200. :-/

Brony said,
Ugly one year ago and now is still ugly.

Unwilling to accept change a year ago, still unwilling to accept change now I see.

Brony said,
Ugly one year ago and now is still ugly.

What is ugly? The start screen with some other person's tiles on it? Because that's 99% of the Windows 8 screenshots out there but that's not even 1% of what Windows 8 has to offer...

Obry said,

What is ugly? The start screen with some other person's tiles on it? Because that's 99% of the Windows 8 screenshots out there but that's not even 1% of what Windows 8 has to offer...

The fact that Windows 3.0 had a higher color pallet. It is ****ing hideous -- plain and simple. CDE was better looking, a CDE was pretty damn ugly.

It wasn't the smoothest beta to be honest. Windows 7 beta build 7000 I was able to do in place upgrades. I was not able to do an in place upgrade until Release Preview and even then it was buggy and same bug exist the RTM requiring that I do a reset and refresh. Overall, I am running the final release since August on a desktop at work and my personal laptop and I am enjoying it. Especially PC syncing.

Mr. Dee said,
It wasn't the smoothest beta to be honest. Windows 7 beta build 7000 I was able to do in place upgrades. I was not able to do an in place upgrade until Release Preview and even then it was buggy and same bug exist the RTM requiring that I do a reset and refresh. Overall, I am running the final release since August on a desktop at work and my personal laptop and I am enjoying it. Especially PC syncing.

The developer preview was in alpha...

And still the WPA2-Enterprise for Wifi is broken in RTM ever since the Developer Preview...

Dev Preview: http://social.msdn.microsoft.c...1bf7-46d1-a1bb-628a471bd8fc
Consumer Preview: https://www.google.be/search?q=Windows+8+WPA2+Enterprise+CP (Too many of them to pick one)
Release Preview: http://answers.microsoft.com/e...55be-4112-b062-926fe85a92f8 or http://answers.microsoft.com/e...d88d-491a-8963-9d2718e86d3f
RTM: http://social.technet.microsof...ebe5-4aaa-8a61-b5505af2ad64 or http://superuser.com/questions...enterprise-in-windows-8-pro

Sure, it could be categorized as a driver issue but seeing as a lot of people are affected by it, it would probably be a good idea for Microsoft to at least look into it more.
I've reported this bug thoroughly all the way back in October of last year and seeing as I wasn't the only one with this issue, I checked every release in the hopes they would have fixed this. It's sad to see it has even made it into RTM...

Carl2 said,
And still the WPA2-Enterprise for Wifi is broken in RTM ever since the Developer Preview...

Dev Preview: http://social.msdn.microsoft.c...1bf7-46d1-a1bb-628a471bd8fc
Consumer Preview: https://www.google.be/search?q=Windows+8+WPA2+Enterprise+CP (Too many of them to pick one)
Release Preview: http://answers.microsoft.com/e...55be-4112-b062-926fe85a92f8 or http://answers.microsoft.com/e...d88d-491a-8963-9d2718e86d3f
RTM: http://social.technet.microsof...ebe5-4aaa-8a61-b5505af2ad64 or http://superuser.com/questions...enterprise-in-windows-8-pro

Sure, it could be categorized as a driver issue but seeing as a lot of people are affected by it, it would probably be a good idea for Microsoft to at least look into it more.
I've reported this bug thoroughly all the way back in October of last year and seeing as I wasn't the only one with this issue, I checked every release in the hopes they would have fixed this. It's sad to see it has even made it into RTM...

I'm pretty certain our Sonic Wall at the office uses WPA2-Enterprise and I have no issues connecting to it via our WIFI? I'm using the Intel WIFI drivers that came with Win 8....

What is it with rushed releases these days, I wish they'd hold off for another year and fix all the bugs, like on my new laptop Windows 8 isn't supporting my multi-monitor setup, runs fine out of the box with Windows 7 SP1, doesn't work under Windows 8 even with the latest drivers.

thealexweb said,
What is it with rushed releases these days, I wish they'd hold off for another year and fix all the bugs, like on my new laptop Windows 8 isn't supporting my multi-monitor setup, runs fine out of the box with Windows 7 SP1, doesn't work under Windows 8 even with the latest drivers.

Sounds like a driver incompatibility issue. Has your graphic card vendor certified the new drivers for Windows 8? Or are you attempting to run Windows 7 drivers on Windows 8?

There have been some changes to the driver model. Compatibility is still quite good, but will likely be slightly worse than the Vista-to-7 transition.

DesiSpark said,
ohh.. Happy birthday Windows 8 Developer preview. 1 year old ..buddy.

I hope MS would fix you ..buddy.You are full of bugs.

The bug fix is called Windows 8 RTM.

It is strange that they open it up for all there could be next customers to buy this to only fix the bugs people had.. I feel like they had is closed down even back then, and only made it run without less issues, rather then also take on what people wanted out of a new OS.. I'm not stupid though, I know they can't please everyone with a product, but come on MS, do take in at least some of the views from the people that pay for your work to sale

So basically MS learned nothing in a year. They just fixed the bugs but did nothing to improve usability.

LaXu said,
So basically MS learned nothing in a year. They just fixed the bugs but did nothing to improve usability.

You don't appear to be aware of the improvements in usability that they made since the Developer Preview, after hearing feedback from others. I suggest you check out their blog posts, from around the time of the Consumer Preview, which talk about the improvements they made. There may also be some blog posts regarding usability improvements in the Release Preview.

Personally, I find Windows 8 RTM brilliantly usable.

LaXu said,
So basically MS learned nothing in a year. They just fixed the bugs but did nothing to improve usability.

You obviously didn't use the dev preview and haven't used the RTM. Please be quiet.

ingramator said,

You obviously didn't use the dev preview and haven't used the RTM. Please be quiet.

I did and while MS fixed a lot of bugs (mostly obvious bugs), a lot of missing features was left missing.

IMHO, MS does not care about desktop but to try to fix the mess leaved by WP7, so they rushed this OS in a futile attempt to push the sales of WP8

LaXu said,
So basically MS learned nothing in a year. They just fixed the bugs but did nothing to improve usability.

Worlds dumbest comment ever.

LaXu said,
So basically MS learned nothing in a year. They just fixed the bugs but did nothing to improve usability.

LMFAO! I think you could have cut that comment off at "MS learned nothing in a year".
Actually, MS's stupidity level increased over that year's time.

ingramator said,

You obviously didn't use the dev preview and haven't used the RTM. Please be quiet.

Actually I did. Even in RTM they didn't have any real improvements because they had obviously locked down features and how stuff works already.