Installing the Windows 8 consumer preview on the Acer Iconia W500 was met with the same limitation I found when installing the developer preview and im sure ill find when installing the finished product. The hard drive in the machine is 30GB Windows 8 wants 16GB free, that’s 53% of the hard drive just to install. booting from a bootable USB (no optical drive) would negate this and you can delete partitions but to upgrade will be a nightmare. I managed to delete EVERY program off the machine then went ahead ripping whatever out I could and keep Windows running. to give you an idea of how difficult a task that was here is my drive stats right at this very moment (2 days since install)
The install itself was fairly painless as is come to expect with Windows these days few clicks aaaaaaaaaaaaaand wait. I was installing from a USB drive (having 1.75GB of Windows files on C:\ didn’t help with trying to clear the prerequisite space) making the install a little slower than I imagine it would be otherwise.
The main thing I note when Windows 8 consumer preview loaded for the first time was that it seemed altogether more solid so with wreckless abandon i went about my swiping ways…. or I would have had it worked. Metro was unresponsive to my touch although the screen pulsed where i had my finger showing a connection was made but the screen would not budge i swiped and prodded for a bit with no joy and went to the desktop, this worked fine with touch and after a run through the initial updates and a reboot all was well with metro.
While flicking through the metro apps I found camera which seems to record if you tap the screen so when your browsing around you end up with random videos of yourself and if set to picture mode random pictures. Other than that I found the metro tiles easy to navigate and move to where I want. Microsoft are really pushing this over using the desktop and I had to move move my desktop tile from somewhere tacked on the end to pride of place. Microsoft you may have taken my start button but your not getting rid of my desktop that easily!
There is an inbuilt hardware start button on the Iconia anyway so the loss isn’t all that bad on this machine one thing I did find, try as I might I could not get the start menu up by swiping I just could not do it, I even paused midway through typing this sentence and tried again. Unless im doing something wrong im glad of the hardware start button especially when using the Icnonia without the keyboard and therefore mouse attached.
The start…. box? is accessible with the mouse in the lower left and if you drag upwards from the bottom left you get what is essentially alt+tab just horizontal not vertical. you can also bring it up with Windows key and tab.
Something else noticed while creating this blog wen print screening the screen dims for a second to show capture and auto saves them to your pictures, no click as with IOS devices but it will be familiar to users of these devices.
Other things to get used to are a few occasions I have clicked the left most pinned item and not gone all the way to the start box (really has this actually got a name?) as there is no physical start menu icon. I’m not sure how to feel about the removal of the iconic… er icon myself.
Show desktop has gone walkabout too although Windows D serves the purpose. This is gone even with the following ticked
I’m going to leave the above in…. although I found it! you have to bury the mouse in the very bottom right to get peek to work, not when moving your mouse over the show desktop ‘button’ as it states as there isn’t one.
I use live writer to create my blog posts and when opening it decided it needed .net framework 3.5 so off it popped downloaded and installed it and I was away gone are they days of you need X and Y for Z to run….. go find it.
One thing everyone will be glad about… using the compatibility trouble-shooter or just setting to win xp and run as admin everyone’s favourite touch game works.
These are just some impressions a couple of days in everything worked (metro required a reboot) ‘out of the box’ on the Iconia. Drivers for sound, touch, the various external buttons…. It certainly feels like a robust polished operating system already but I cant help feeling they should have called it Windows 7.5 and classed it as an upgrade. Its quite a change but once you realise that if you get lost find a corner and jam your mouse into it you get options its all downhill on the learning curve. Not sure im fully converted to metro, the way you select a link and it takes you to metro IE wasn’t just annoying it infuriated me and I couldn’t figure out for the life of me how to change it ended up using start an run to run iexplore.exe and ultimately swapping to Firefox.
Goodbye start button, goodbye BSOD (now its the sad face of doom?) and hello Window 8