Going MetroTechnical – Windows 8

Going Metrotechnical – Windows 8 Consumer Preview

I’ve been testing the Windows 8 Consumer Preview from Microsoft for the past 6 weeks as well as following other techies working with the preview of the new operating system.

Microsoft will be releasing it sometime this summer and already we’re seeing new laptops from Lenovo and Sony which are clearly designed for the new Metro interface.


No more Start button (that bastion of windows computing), it’s being replaced with the Metro Start screen which only functions properly with a touch screen. I foresee a lot of confusion and frustration for folks who are visual learners (it looks very different) and are using this operating system on a device without a touch screen.

Metro Start page

Your average 23” touch screen for a desktop costs $299 before taxes versus $150 for a regular screen. Expensive to upgrade your existing equipment to work with Windows 8.


Blindingly fast on boot and wake up from sleep. Finally Microsoft has something about the bloat on boot.

Profiles that you use from computer to computer. For example, if your employee works from home they can log in to their work Windows 8 Profile and get access to all their files if they’re using Skydrive for storage (will cover the fabulous free Skydrive in another blog).

It will be fabulous on tablets for business. Besides the profiles, all your regular office tools will work better on a tablet. Given that most small businesses are seriously thinking of buying a tablet in the next year, this is the one area Microsoft has a winner.

Recommendations: if you know you need to get desktops for your business this year, buy before Windows 8 comes out. Your total cost of ownership will be less. If you know you want to get a tablet, either wait for Windows 8 tablets or buy Canadian and get a Blackberry Playbook which is the best bang for buck right now and comes with word and excel.