Windows 8 Consumer Preview


Windows 8 Consumer Preview – phiên bản cho người dùng chạy thử nghiệm sẽ được giới thiệu vào ngày mai 29/2/2012 tại sự kiện Mobile World Congress 2012. Trong lúc chờ đợi, chúng ta cùng nhìn lại những gì đã biết cho đến lúc này.

So với phiên bản Windows Developer Preview mà Microsoft giới thiệu từ hồi tháng 9/2011, Consumer Preview sẽ chạy ổn định hơn. Phiên bản này cũng sẽ có những nâng cấp đáng kể về giao diện người dùng nhờ nỗ lực của Microsoft trong 5 tháng gần đây. Dịp này, Microsoft cũng sẽ khai trương Windows Store.

Consumer Preview là bản gần như hoàn thiện của hệ điều hành mới, cho phép người dùng chạy thử nghiệm và làm quen với những thay đổi táo bạo của Windows 8 trước khi Microsoft tung ra bản thương mại chính thức vào giữa năm 2012.

Sự “đa hệ” của Windows 8

Với Windows 8, Microsoft đang nỗ lực cải đổi máy tính cá nhân (PC). Thay cho việc sử dụng Start Menutheo kiểu pop-up thông thường có từ thời Windows 95, người dùng sẽ làm việc với một màn hình khởi đầu (Start Screen) hoàn toàn mới, với các “ô gạch” đầy màu sắc đại diện cho các nhóm ứng dụng.

Giao diện này được Microsoft phát triển theo phong cách “Metro”, sẽ hoạt động trên các loại máy tính, từ máy tính để bàn (desktop), máy tính xách tay (laptop), đến máy tính bảng (tablet).

Để bổ sung cho giao diện mới này, Microsoft sẽ mở cửa Windows Store, nơi người dùng có thể mua và cài đặt các ứng dụng theo phong cách “Metro”. Tất nhiên, Windows 8 cũng đã cài sẵn một số ứng dụng (built-in app) theo phong cách Metro, gồm Internet Explorer 10, ứng dụng email, lịch (calendar), ứng dụng về thời tiết (weather), chương trình hỗ trợ xem ảnh…

Nếu sử dụng một thiết bị có trang bị màn hình cảm ứng, người dùng sẽ hoàn toàn thoát khỏi môi trường Windows truyền thống. Nếu dùng PC, người dùng có thể khởi chạy giao diện desktop truyền thống từ giao diện Metro, và từ đây, họ có thể truy cập Windows Explorer, Internet Explorer phiên bản dành cho desktop, và các ứng dụng kiểu cũ khác. Tuy nhiên, các thiết bị Windows 8 nền ARM chỉ có thể chạy các ứng dụng tích hợp sẵn từ Microsoft, trong đó có phiên bản Office 15.

(Xem thêm: Windows 8: thay đổi táo bạo)

Windows 8 Consumer Preview có gì?

Microsoft không tiết lộ thông tin chi tiết về phiên bản Consumer Preview, ngoại trừ việc ứng dụng miễn phí sẽ có mặt tại Windows Store.
Tuy nhiên, theo một số thông tin không chính thức, Microsoft sẽ bỏ nút Start trên màn hình desktop, và thay vào đó là khung xem trước của màn hình khởi đầu Start Screen sẽ xuất hiện ngay khi người dùng lướt chuột lên vị trí góc dưới bên trái của màn hình.

Trang tin The Verge liệt kê một số ứng dụng trò chơi trong Windows Store được cung cấp cùng lúc với Windows 8 Consumer Preview, trong đó có các game đang hút khách như Angry Birds, Full House Poker, và Ms. Splosion Man.

Liệu Microsoft có cải thiện tính năng đa nhiệm với giao diện Metro không? Đối với phiên bản Developer Preview, người dùng có thể chuyển qua lại giữa các ứng dụng phong cách Metro mặc định bằng cách nhấn tổ hợp phím Alt-Tab, hay bằng cách vuốt từ cạnh của màn hình. Tuy nhiên, với những cách trên, khi nhiều hơn 2 ứng dụng được mở cùng lúc, người dùng có thể không biết ứng dụng nào sẽ được trượt vào. Hy vọng rằng, Consumer Preview có thể cung cấp các tính năng quản lý ứng dụng tốt hơn cho giao diện Metro.

Chuẩn bị phần cứng cho Consumer Preview

Theo Microsoft, bất kỳ máy tính chạy Windows 7 nào cũng có thể cài đặt Windows 8. Tuy nhiên, những yêu cầu về cấu hình tối thiểu cần phải có dành cho thiết bị để dùng được Windows 8 là: một bộ xử lý 1GHz, RAM 1GB (32-bit) hoặc 2GB (64-bit), trang bị đồ họa Direct X9, và màn hình có độ phân giải tối thiểu là 1024 x 768 cho các ứng dụng theo phong cách Metro. Để chạy 2 ứng dụng  theo phong cách này cùng lúc trên một màn hình thì độ phân giải yêu cầu sẽ là 1366 x 768 pixels.

Vẫn chưa có các thông tin chi tiết khác về các yêu cầu dung lượng lưu trữ hay hướng dẫn cài đặt. Tuy nhiên, với Windows 7 beta, người dùng có thể cài đặt từ Vista Service Pack 1 mà không cần phân vùng đĩa cứng. Rất có thể Windows 8 Consumer Preview cũng tương tự như vậy.

PCworldVN

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview due February 29: why it’s not called beta

By  | February 8, 2012, 10:06am PST

Summary: The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available for download on February 29. Why isn’t it called a beta? Blame Google. And Apple. And Microsoft. Especially Microsoft.

On February 29, Microsoft will hold a special, invitation-only event in Barcelona. Presumably, at the same time they will flip a switch that gives the general public access to a major milestone in the Windows 8 development process.

In a bygone era, this version might have been labeled “beta.” Indeed, when Windows boss Steven Sinofsky laid out the Windows 8 roadmap last September, that’s the word he used for this milestone. But Microsoft has chosen instead to label this release “Consumer Preview.”

Why the name change? Blame Google. And Apple. And Microsoft. Especially Microsoft.

They’re literally not making betas like they used to. Originally, beta was the phase of software development when a product was feature complete but needed more testing and tweaking to root out bugs. That was usually the stage at which some small subgroup of the developer’s customers got to try the product, usually for free.

A decade ago, Microsoft was liberal with its use of the beta label. Windows XP, developed in 2000 and 2001, had a half-dozen pre-beta releases, two formal betas (with multiple interim builds), and two release candidates. These were distributed to a worldwide corps of enthusiasts and corporate partners. Features came and went through the long beta cycle, and the general picture was one of organized chaos.

For the Windows Vista development cycle in 2006, Microsoft actually pitched its “beta experience” with the tagline, “The pleasure of testing,” accompanied by a picture of a crash-test dummy. Including the word “crash” doesn’t exactly send a comforting message for potential testers, does it?

Still, these pre-releases were generally open strictly to techies, with a clear warning attached: This stuff is unfinished. It might eat your data. You have been warned.

And then, on April 1, 2004, Google launched Gmail with the beta label attached. A year later, it was still in beta. It was one of many Google services that was still officially categorized as beta at the time, and a ZDNet story originally published in 2005 (A long winding road out of beta) documented the thinking behind Google’s decision:

Google co-founder Larry Page on Wednesday told investors that the beta, or test, stage for its products would last as long as its engineers expected to make major changes to them–a process that has already taken years, in some cases.

“It’s kind of an arbitrary thing,” Page said. “We could take beta off all of our products tomorrow, and we wouldn’t actually have accomplished anything…If it’s on there for five years because we think we’re going to make major changes for five years, that’s fine. It’s really a messaging and branding thing.”

That “if it’s on there for five years” part sounded like hyperbole at the time, but it turned out to be literally true with Gmail, which had its beta label officially removed in July 2009. Sam Diaz noted the impact in another ZDNet post:

Clearly, a product like GMail was being used by a mainstream audience while it still had the beta label on it—allowing the company to deflect blame for software bugs while allowing users to not only use the product but also to invite their friends, as well. That tells me—and others—that the beta label wasn’t so much a “hands-off” for regular users but rather a “don’t get mad at us” asterisk.

The final straw came last fall, when Apple released its iPhone 4S. Its signature feature, Siri, has played a starring role in TV commercials that never once mention that the feature has a “beta” label on it.

You can’t ask for a better example of a “don’t get mad at us” asterisk than this. As my colleague Larry Dignan observed last November:

When confronted with an Apple beta, I’m not quite sure how to react — and I bet a lot of consumers are slightly befuddled too. Apple rarely does public betas—at least ones that are touted as the primary feature for a hot-selling iPhone. Is Siri’s beta tag a crutch when few people view it as a test run?

In the end, this widespread use of the beta label on products used by large numbers of people has muddled its meaning beyond repair. Slapping that word on this milestone of Windows 8 would send mixed messages. Old-school Windows beta testers would be demanding to know where to file bug reports, while the real target market might be scared off by the “don’t get mad at us” asterisk.

Instead, the formal label communicates two messages. First, it’s for consumers, not for IT pros and definitely not (just) for enthusiasts. Second, and more important, it’s a preview, not a test version. Microsoft is encouraging real people to download and use this release. If you do, you’ll get an advance peek at the feature-complete-but-still-unfinished Windows 8, and in exchange Microsoft will get a broad swath of telemetry data from a population that is, in theory, representative of its customer base.

The download will, of course, include the appropriate disclaimers. But you can bet it won’t include the word beta.

http://www.zdnet.com

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Windows 8: what you need to know to be productive now

By  | September 18, 2011, 6:00pm PDT

Summary: Are you one of the million people who have downloaded Windows 8 and taken it for a test drive? Windows 8 introduces some fundamental changes to the way familiar actions work. That can be a bit disorienting, until you learn the new ways of working. Here are my shortcuts and secrets.

Roughly a million people have downloaded the Windows Developer Preview that Microsoft released publicly at the opening of its BUILD Conference last week.

For Microsoft, that’s good news and bad news. That’s a tremendous amount of interest for a product that is probably a year away from shipping. But it also means a lot of non-developers are experimenting with an incomplete operating system that hasn’t been polished for a mainstream audience yet.

As I noted in my first look last week, Windows 8 introduces some fundamental changes to the way familiar actions work. That can be a bit disorienting at first, as you try to adjust to a new way of doing things. The good news is that the “Where did everything go?” feeling vanishes pretty quickly once you learn a few basic techniques (and unlearn some familiar habits).

I’ve put together a gallery showing some Windows 8 shortcuts and secrets that you definitely need to know about. In this post, I want to talk about Windows 8 at a slightly higher level.

Last week, I had a chance to play with the Windows Developer Preview (curiously, there’s no 8 in that name—did you notice?). I returned that hardware to Microsoft before leaving Anaheim, and the first thing I did when I got back in the office on Friday was to begin installing the OS on a handful of computers that I had set aside to be sacrificial lambs.

  • The first was a Dell Latitude XT2. I had high hopes for this device, which has a touchscreen and a 256GB SSD and has generally been a reliable performer for me. Alas, it’s been a complete washout as far as Windows 8 is concerned. The XT2 is not on Microsoft’s list oftouchscreen systems, and in my case a problem with the digitizer makes the system literally unusable under Windows 8. Oh well.
  • The second system is a Dell Studio One 1909. This all-in-one system has a touchscreen with a fairly large bezel that makes some of the edge-swiping techniques tricky. In addition, it supports single-touch input only, which means that pinch zooming and some of the cooler sample apps (Piano and PaintPlay, for example) don’t work. Aside from those caveats, it works very well indeed.
  • Finally, I have a year-old Dell desktop with an i7 processor, 10 GB of RAM, and a swift SATA 3 SSD. This system is on my desktop, and I’ve been switching between it and my main Windows 7 box (a newer i5 desktop) for the past couple days.

After using the tablet hardware for a week, I struggled initially with this desktop installation, which has a keyboard and mouse but no touchscreen. But after some time I’ve finally begun to settle into a rhythm and figure out why the new user interface works the way it does.

So, in the spirit of sharing, let me tell you about some of the things I’ve discovered about Windows 8 so far.

The most disorienting factor, in my experience, is the switch from the Start menu in Windows 7 and earlier to the Start screen in Windows 8. It’s tempting to stuff the Start screen with hundreds of icons and break them into groups. In a way, that replicates the Start menu’s organization. But I’ve ultimately come to the realization that this system was designed as a “search first” experience.

Yes, your absolute favorite apps should be pinned on the Start screen, but for most apps it’s much easier to just search. From the Start screen (tap the Windows key to go there immediately), start typing the name of a program or command. It really is one of those “I can’t believe it’s this easy” features.

A lot of the demos at BUILD last week were tailored to show off the capabilities of tablet hardware, and specifically the Samsung hardware given to conference attendees. Touchscreens have a great vocabulary of gestures that will serve you well in Windows 8. In most cases, the same actions are possible using a keyboard, but the optimal technique isn’t obvious until you learn it.

So here’s a quick tutorial on getting around in Windows 8.

With a touch screen, you need to learn three gestures:

  • Swipe from the left edge to the center to flip through open apps.
  • Swipe from the right edge to the center to display the menu of Windows 8 “charms”: Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings. Start always takes you back to the Start screen.
  • Swipe from the top or bottom of the screen to open an app bar on the bottom, with commands relevant to the app you’re using. In the Metro-style Internet Explorer, tabs appear at the top of the window when you swipe

Sometimes a mouse gesture is the most obvious alternative to a touch gesture. But keyboard shortcuts, especially those that involve the Windows key, can be much faster and make you more productive.

  • Tap the Windows key to toggle between the Start screen and the program you used most recently.
  • To go to the Windows desktop (aka “classic Windows”) press Windows key+M.
  • To switch between running apps (treating the entire Windows desktop as a single “app”), use Windows key+Tab.
  • To switch between running programs, where each Windows desktop app is on a par with Metro-style apps, use Alt+Tab. This is the same as Windows 7 and earlier.
  • In any window, you can aim the mouse pointer at the lower left corner of the screen to bring up a hidden Start menu with the same choices as the Charms menu on the right side of a touchscreen.
  • You can enter any command in the Run menu, which is available when you press Windows key+R.
  • Press Windows key+E to bring up Windows Explorer with the Computer window selected. From here, you can click commands on the ribbon to bring up the System Properties dialog box, open Control Panel, or add or remove a program.

One thing that puzzles many first-time Windows 8 users is the lack of a Close command on full-screen Metro-style apps. That’s by design: these apps suspend themselves within five seconds when you switch away, and they’ll close automatically if you need the resources. But if an app becomes unresponsive, it’s handy to know that you can use Task Manager to kill it. (See thedetails and learn the Task Manager keyboard shortcut.)

I’ll have a lot more to share later, including how to create and use Windows virtual machines (first you have to enable Hyper-V, which is off by default). I’m also impressed by the new File History feature, which combines the Backup program and the Previous Versions feature into a simpler package. It should be easier to find deleted files and old versions using this new Restore interface.

Are you among the first million people to use Windows 8? What do you think so far, and do you have any hands-on questions or tips for my next installment?

Related:

http://www.zdnet.com

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Windows 8: Why the coming beta is likely to be labeled the ‘consumer preview’

By  | January 23, 2012, 11:38am PST

Summary: The coming Windows 8 beta is looking more and more like it will be called the “consumer preview.” Why the change in nomenclature?

Is Microsoft going to position the coming Windows 8 beta as a “consumer preview”? And if so, why?

Microsoft officials have repeated recently that the Windows 8 beta release is on track for late February 2012. But one public relations official with the Windows team provided a slightly different message — and one that escaped notice by most of those who read her quote — during the Consumer Electronics Show.

As reported by Pocket Lint, Windows Director of Consumer PR, Janelle Poole, stayed on message regarding Microsoft’s continued reluctance to talk about its release-to-manufacturing/ship targets for Windows 8. But, as Windows SuperSite’s Paul Thurrott noted last week, part of Poole’s message deviated from the usual script. Poole called the coming Windows 8 beta “the consumer preview.” Here’s her quote:

“We haven’t talked about the release date and we generally don’t. We are talking milestone to milestone, so for us right now we’re talking about the next milestone being the consumer preview happening in late February.”

If you know anything about the Windows org, you know words matter. This wasn’t a random throw-away.

My first question was whether it’s just the internal Windows consumer PR team calling the beta “the consumer preview” or if the Microsoft brass plan to do the same. I’m hearing that the Windows organization is highly likely to settle on “consumer preview” as the name for the late-February beta.

The bigger question — which Thurrott and I discussed during the most recent episode of Windows Weekly — is why Microsoft may label this the consumer preview.

Thurrott’s theory was that maybe the developer preview (the September Build version) will be followed by a consumer preview (the beta) and finally the enterprise preview (the release candidate).

My theory is more cynical, but not entirely unwarranted. I believe if Microsoft changes the nomenclature, the company is doing so to signify a change that’s been coming for a while now. What used to constitute a “beta” doesn’t really exist in the new Windows world. I said the same during the Windows 7 test period: That the current Windows organization doesn’t show code publicly at all until it’s pretty much set in stone and going to be tweaked very minimally. This makes Windows more predictable, but it also implies that the product is far less likely to incorporate suggested fixes from those outside Microsoft.

During the Windows 7 test period, there were still a select group of technical beta testers on whom Microsoft seemingly leaned for real feedback and guidance regarding the product. That team, known internally as the “Test Pilots,” was disbanded after Windows 7 was released. As far as I know, there’s no equivalent to this group this time around. And Senior Program Manager for technical beta testing for Windows, Paul Donnelly, recently left Microsoft to go to Amazon with no replacement named (again, as far as I know).

There could be other reasons Microsoft may prefer the “consumer preview” name to “beta.” By claiming a product is far enough along to be used by plain old consumers — and not just techie beta testers — Microsoft officials could be hoping to convince those who think a possible Q3 Windows 8 launch will be too late for Microsoft to shoe-horn its way into the tablet space that Windows 8 is right around the corner. (”Hey, it’s basically done — it’s in consumer preview now!”)

Such a name also could help Microsoft’s PC partners who need a way to make new tablets and PCs that they’re bringing to market from now until the time that Windows 8 is shipping seem more up-to-date and palatable. (”This runs the Windows 8 Consumer Preview — so you know it’ll be able to run the final Windows 8 with no problem.”)

Microsoft officials aren’t saying anything beyond the fact that the next Windows 8 release is due out in late February and that there is no separate “consumer preview” in the works — meaning, to me, the one-and-only Windows 8 beta is highly likely to be called the “Consumer Preview” when it is released.

What’s your take as to why Microsoft is leaning toward calling the beta a “consumer preview” — and what effect (if any) this will have on Redmond, its developers, partners and customers? Thoughts?

Update (January 25) : Thanks to reader Darren Baker, there’s now validation that Microsoft is planning to call the beta the consumer preview. Here’s an excerpt, courtesy of Baker, from the latest Microsoft Hardware newsletter that uses the “Consumer Preview” nomenclature.

http://www.zdnet.com

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Theo Microsoft

http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/iso

Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO images

Windows 8 Consumer Preview ISO files (.iso) are provided as an alternative to using Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup. If you are on a PC running Windows and want to install the consumer preview on another partition, another PC, or a virtual machine, we recommend youdownload Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup and use the built-in tools for converting an ISO image into installation media, such as a DVD or USB bootable flash drive. You can find additional information, including a list of supported upgrades, in the FAQ.

Note before you download: Windows 8 Consumer Preview is prerelease software that may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here. Some product features and functionality may require additional hardware or software.

To learn more about how we use your information, please read the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup privacy statement. If you would prefer not to useWindows 8 Consumer Preview Setup, you can download Windows 8 Consumer Preview in ISO format instead.

Important: If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC, which is typically DVD media. If you don’t have recovery media, you might be able to create it from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more information. After you install Windows 8, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.

ISO images

An ISO image must be converted into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive. Instructions are provided on this page. Developer tools are available for download from Windows Dev Center.

Important: If you decide to go back to your previous operating system, you’ll need to reinstall it from the recovery or installation media that came with your PC, which is typically DVD media. If you don’t have recovery media, you might be able to create it from a recovery partition on your PC using software provided by your PC manufacturer. Check the support section of your PC manufacturer’s website for more information. After you install Windows 8, you won’t be able to use the recovery partition on your PC to go back to your previous version of Windows.

English 

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 1288519C5035BCAC83CBFA23A33038CCF5522749 

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — E91ED665B01A46F4344C36D9D88C8BF78E9A1B39 

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Chinese (Simplified) 

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.4 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — DF69B851F9A81DECBB16648CC452461894416EB0 

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.6 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — E29A2072745A48C14A1C2E5A61F5230841BEDB45 

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

French 

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — A9358E6799ABEEF29EDBA054AD34849C02C7F51F 

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 2EF8013B9F50B93AEAC8068F4827E2C1DC0DC0B1 

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

German 

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — DB1003A47C266697B3832BE2A23319988EE34495 

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — 91075AEA665C5D6F42A24714B3A3390762C94457 

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

Japanese 

64-bit (x64)                    Download (3.3 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — A8F0DB12CAECEA0BE8B27EA124F2234212D9103A 

32-bit (x86)                    Download (2.5 GB)                    Sha 1 hash — C8A322ED86058086207CAAECD46B4DDACF9E247A 

Product Key:   DNJXJ-7XBW8-2378T-X22TX-BKG7J

System Requirements

Windows 8 Consumer Preview works great on the same hardware that powers Windows 7:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster

  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)

  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)

  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher

  • To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch

  • To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768

  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768

How to install Windows 8 Consumer Preview from an ISO image

The easiest way to convert an ISO file to a DVD in Windows 7 is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. On a PC running Windows XP orWindows Vista, a third-party program is required to convert an ISO file into installable media—and DVD burning software often includes this capability. One option is the USB/DVD download tool provided by the Microsoft Store. You can also download Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup, which includes tools that allow you to create a DVD or USB flash drive from an ISO file (Windows Vista or Windows 7 required).