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About Ankur

He is technology enthusiast and a collegiate, who likes working with latest gadgets and likes to talk about technology everywhere. He is also a MCTS and MCITP in Enterprise Desktop Administrator 7..

Exclusive: Windows 8 SKU revealed in Consumer preview

We have posted couple of days back that Windows 8 would have only 3 SKU, but the Windows 8 consumer release says something else. According to the registry files in Windows 8 consumer preview, Windows 8 won’t have just the SKU available in Windows 7 but some more as well. The complete lit of SKU available in Windows 8 according to the registry file is-

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium edition
  • Windows 8 ARM edition
  • Windows 8 Professional edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus edition
  • Windows 8 Starter edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate edition

Here is the screenshot of registry file from Windows 8 consumer preview-

And here is the image of same registry key from Windows 7-

We already knew that Windows 8 ARM would be released, but seeing Windows 8 professional plus in the list was definitely a surprise.

 

How to dual boot Windows 8 consumer preview with Windows 7

When it comes to installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview on your PC you have two options:

1)      Upgrade your existing version of Windows to Windows 8 Consumer Preview

2)      Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview alongside your existing version of Windows

This article will focus on the second option and is written with the assumption that you already have Windows 7 or Vista installed. Our friend John has also created a video detailing the dual boot-

You can also follow the steps written below-

There are 3 stages:

1)      Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

2)      Partition Hard Disk

3)      Install Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Stage 1 – Download Windows 8 Consumer Preview

 You are going to need to download the ISO image file of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

This can be downloaded here: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows-8/iso

There are two different images, 32 bit and 64 bit. To find out which version you need go to: “Start” -> Right Hand Click “Computer” -> “Properties”

Under the “System type” information you will see either 32 bit or 64 bit.

From the download page you will also need to make a note of the product key (you will need this later).

Stage 2 – Partition Hard Disk

 Before proceeding with this stage, it is highly recommended that you backup your data.

You need to open “Create and format hard disk partitions” (search for it in the start menu).

Once opened, you will see your existing hard drive partitions. You will see you have the system reserved partition (this may be hidden) and the main partition where your existing version of Windows is installed. The first part of partitioning your hard drive is to shrink your existing Windows partition. Before you proceed you will need to work out which partition Windows is already installed on. In most cases this will be the drive labelled “C” and it is easy to determine by looking at the size.  Right hand click on the partition and click ‘Shrink Volume’.  After “querying the shrink space” you can enter the amount of space you wish to shrink. The minimum amount of space Windows 8 Consumer Preview requires is 16GB. I would recommend you use at least 32GB. You will need to enter the value in megabytes so multiple the number of gigabytes by 1024.

Once entered click shrink. This can often take a long while and it is important not to quit the program or shut down your computer during this process. The new unallocated space will be seen when this is completed.

To create the new partition from this unallocated space, right hand click on it and select ‘New Simple Volume’. Click ‘next’ three times. On the format partition screen enter the name of the new volume. (Call it something easy to remember e.g. “Windows 8”). Click next again and then finish.

You can check this has worked by looking for the new drive in “My Computer”.

To install the preview you will need either a DVD or USB Stick capable of holding the image (at least 4GB).

Once the ISO file has downloaded you need to download and install the “Windows 7 USB/DVD Download Tool” http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool

Once installed open the program and browse to select the downloaded image. Click ‘next’ and then select whether you are using a DVD or USB device. (If you are using a USB device it will be formatted and all existing data on it will be lost.) Next, select the drive and once the image has been copied across you are ready to move onto stage 3.

Stage 3 – Installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview

 You need to restart your computer and boot from the DVD or USB stick. The method of doing this varies between computers/manufacturers. If you are not sure how to change the boot priority, look at the options available as soon as the computer starts up. Alternatively visit your manufacturer’s website for instructions. Once the setup has loaded, fill out the first screen with your country and keyboard settings. Click ‘next’ and then ‘Install Now’. On the next screen enter your product key (this was on the download page).

Click ‘next’ and then tick the box to confirm that you have read the terms and conditions. Then click “Custom Install – Advanced” and from the next window select the partition that you made earlier. DOUBLE CHECK YOU HAVE THE CORRECT PARTITION SELECTED. Then click ‘next’. The computer will install Windows 8 Consumer Preview and restart several times (this could take some time). You are then presented with a list of operating systems. Select “Windows 8 Consumer Preview” and proceed through with the first time setup. Enter your user accounts and personalization settings. Once this is complete you have successfully installed the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Every time you now start your computer you will be given an option to select which operating system you wish to load.

Congratulations on completing this tutorial and welcome to the world of Windows 8!

How to close metro apps in Windows 8 consumer preview

We have been getting mails from our various readers and also on our Facebook page asking as how to close the opened up metro apps in Windows 8 consumer preview. There are couple of ways you can close Metro apps. Here we would explain both the methods. The first method is-

Take your cursor to the top left corner of your screen, you would see the most recent app which you have opened, if you want to close that app then just right click on it and click on close, if you want to close some other app then just move your cursor down and you would see other apps. Now just right click on the app and click on close.

Another way to close metro app is to take your cursor to the top left corner, select the app and then just drag the app to the bottom left and your app would be closed (As simple as that and would be useful for touch based PC’s )

Windows 8 Consumer preview initial user reactions


Microsoft has earlier released Windows 8 developer preview which was targeted to developers, so it was very less downloaded by consumers, with the release of Windows 8 Consumer preview the consumers have started using it and the iniitial reactions of consumers are coming. We even asked people on our Facebook Page to share views about the this release. According to the initial reactions from consumers it seems that many people aren’t liking the new interface. People say that they weren’t able to shift from metro view to desktop, unable to close the opened apps and some guys even have a problem of shutting down Windows. Further according to the reactions it may not be as successful if same user interface is kept for business release. Consumers are also complaining about the start orb and they aren’t able to view all the apps at once as they used to view in earlier versions.

On the other side people who are using it on touch enabled PC’s or a bit techy like us are finding it ‘awesome’ and many believe that this Windows 8 is specifically for the touch based PC’s.

Our personal say on Windows 8 consumer preview from consumers point of view is that the windows should have an easier interface, people should have an option to disable Metro UI and enable start orb and finally Windows 8 would be fail in business if same metro UI is used. The reaction from couple of guys who work in offices is- ‘What the hell’. Microsoft has to work a lot from business point of view.

Here are some of the reactions of users who posted on our Facebook page and who mailed us-

No start menu..it s****!! We want start menu back

crashes lot of times………

I love the UI and the new features like Xbox LIVE and Windows Live Integration. There’s some bugs but they don’t take the experience one bit.

and there is no closing option!..the app/program uses resources even in the ‘suspended’ mode

hated at first, no start menu, start button goes to live tiles, etc.
once i got used to it, and is quite awesome. Things are super streamlined and it makes sense why they do what they did. So much smoother as well. It’s great!

its amazing in every way! so fast so smooth that ugly start menu is finaly gone and at last i can use my keyboard to do every thing again! and plus due to the way they made it, it uses almost noooo ran and or cpu to run, its minimalistic!!!! i love it! i must say i will stay with my internal beta till the real one comes out, and oh man how i wish i could show youguys what this is missing but i cant lol all i can say is, ITS REALY COOL!

The desktop experience is a huge step backwards. Sorry guys.

Easy install, not so sure on it as a desktop OS..need a guide on how to use it.. and i have used Windows since version 1… not good.

like the metro style. I wish there was a back button or a start button to switch between desktop and metro. I’d like it to be easier to stay in metro on a desktop. I have a problem. I can’t sign into any of the apps. They all tell me I need to swtich to a microsoft account, but I’m already logged in using my hotmail account (which is microsoft)

First thoughts are.. don’t really like it.. seems like bits missing, Start button is an issue, navigation seems horrid at the moment ! Lets see how it works out later!

I reckon Windows 8 may struggle in the office environment!!!

I have installed it on a touch enabled HP Elitebook. My first reaction is that it is screaming fast. Wow, things just pop switching between apps, IE10 tabs, and very fast loading of pages.

I was watching windows 8 customer preview and it’s nice start but in my opinion that should stick to windows tradition start menu that come with detail of all programs. Metro Style is fanatic idea but in some way to useful like become more on front of desktop with some apps with go to start program like for example Internet explore, control panel, music, file, setting, add or remove program, command prompt, email, third party programming, clock, office, instant message, social network. Get idea what I am saying so for metro style when you click will be new page with detail that way user don’t have to close program then go start program menus so when close program then metro style still present front of window then click on same metro style that way will less go back and forth with more focus what is there on front of windows.

There is a method to disable the windows 8 metro interface. After you do that it is quite good because you get the good ole trusty standard windows explorer shell back with your start menu). It runs faster than windows 7 on newer hardware. Get rid of Metro UI and its all good

Every single post ive seen has been excited about windows 8′s performance and I too an happy with it for the most part. There needs to be a way for users to turn off the Metro UI if their on a desktop or laptop without touch. And there should be a way to enable the good old start menu we have grown to love since Windows 95. The old layout just worked, if it ain’t broke Microsoft, don’t fix it! Let me enjoy my desktop the way I want to, like you keep saying I should…

Bing Apps for Windows 8 consumer preview is available

With the availability of Windows 8 consumer preview today, the users can now access Windows Store. Bing team has today released three Bing powered apps for Windows 8 namely Finance, Weather, and Maps.

All these apps were made to be compatible with touch and as well with keyboard functionality. The weather app allows you to view weather with hourly, daily and even 10 days forecast. The finance app lets you view the key market indices via live tiles and the last app is the maps app which allows you to find different places. You can pinpoint various places, get directions, see traffic conditions thorugh this app.

Here is what the blog post has to say about these apps-

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview, ready for download, previews 3 Bing-powered apps: Finance, Weather, and Maps. Each Bing app was designed for touch devices and offers mouse and keyboard functionality. A key focus for us at Bing is helping people get things done more quickly and these visually organized, intuitive and dynamic apps do just that.

All these Bing powered apps are very user friendly and rich graphics has been used.

 

Windows 8 consumer preview event video is live

Microsoft has earlier released Windows 8 consumer preview, but there was no live streaming of the event, just the handful of bloggers were live blogging from Barcelona. Now after couple of hours Microsoft has released the complete video of the event on the Microsoft Press Release site. Besides the video of complete event, videos related to the new hardware, Windows 8 start screen has also been posted.

In the video which is showing the new hardware you can see the 82 inch touch screen which has bee made by Perceptive Pixel. This screen supports multi touch and is used in many events. The price of this screen is still unknown though certainly it’s going to be out of range for most of us.

Check all the videos from Windows 8 consumer preview even from here

 

Nvidia’s Tegra 3 quad-core chips to power Windows on ARM PC’s

There has been rumors that Nvidia’s quad core processor would be available in several WOA PC’s, today Nvidia has confirmed via blog post that these quad core processors would indeed be a part of Windows on ARM PC’s.  Nvidia would also be sending away a couple of test PC’s running Tegra 3 quad core chips to selected developers. Here is what the complete press release reads-

NVIDIA confirmed today that it is working with Microsoft on a program to distribute Windows 8 test PCs to software developers and device manufacturers powered by the Tegra®3 quad-core mobile processor with 4-Plus-1™ architecture.

This seeding program enables these parties to create a rich ecosystem of apps and devices for Windows 8 on ARM-based processors.

“NVIDIA has a long record of supporting software developers working on the cutting edge of innovation,” said Tony Tamasi, senior vice president of content and technology at NVIDIA. “We’re furthering this tradition by helping to realize the extraordinary potential of Windows on ARM processors, like Tegra 3.”

“Microsoft is excited to partner with NVIDIA to bring developers leading edge Windows on ARM test PCs to support the creation of compelling Metro style app and device experiences for Windows 8,” said Aidan Marcuss, Senior Director of Business Planning, Microsoft.

Qualcomm to power Snapdragon-Based Windows on ARM PCs

Microsoft has recently released the 32 bit and 64 bit version of Windows 8 consumer preview, but we still have to see Windows on ARM with the public, couple of vendors have already released a press release stating that they are working with Microsoft, today Qualcomm has posted that there Snapdragon processor would be joining Windows on ARM and they would be sending out a limited number of such machines to selected developers. According to the press release, the Snapdragon processors will support 4G LTE activated and GPS enabled. Here are some of the extracts from press release-

“Microsoft’s development tools and the Qualcomm Snapdragon test PCs will enable developers to build and test Metro style apps for Windows on ARM PCs,” said Stefan Kinnestrand, director of business planning, Windows Division, Microsoft. “Based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processor, these systems will equip developers to create Metro style apps and offer a rich set of hardware peripherals that plug in and help enable seamless user experiences on the Windows on ARM platform.”

Qualcomm, with Microsoft, is among those leading the shift to anytime, anywhere connectivity. The Snapdragon mobile processor will offer a combination of processing performance, rich multimedia, GPS, high-performance graphics, wireless connectivity and power efficiency with Windows on ARM.

It may be noted that Windows on ARM won’t be released as a separate product, but will come pre-installed on ARM supported PC’s

 

Upgrading from previous version of Windows to Windows 8 consumer preview

You can upgrade to Windows 8 consumer preview from Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8 developer preview but you may not be able to keep all the files, programs or settings. Currently complete upgrade to Windows 8 consumer preview is only supported from Windows 7 and you can’t even directly upgrade from Windows 8 developer preview. Here are the supported paths of upgrade-

Current operating system What you can keep
Windows Developer Preview
  • User accounts and files
Windows 7
  • Programs
  • Windows settings
  • User accounts and files
Windows Vista
  • Windows settings
  • User accounts and files
Windows XP
  • User accounts and files

Up-gradation to Windows 8 consumer preview from Windows XP and Windows 8 Developer preview is only possible via migration. We would shortly write an article detailing how to upgrade from Windows 7 to Windows 8 consumer preview.

Windows 8 minimum hardware system requirements

Windows 8 consumer preview has just been released and Microsoft has posted the system requirement for the same on official blog. The hardware requirements for Windows 8 is similar to Windows 7 and you can run it on 1 GB of RAM and 1 GHz processor. Here are the complete system requirements as posted by Microsoft-

  • 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

Further to run Metro style apps your screen should have a minimum resolution of 1024*768 and 1366*768 for snap feature.

Some other new features in Windows 8 requires new requirements which aren’t available in most of the PC’s right now. Here are those features-

  • Secured Boot requires a new UEFI BIOS, which is not available broadly on PCs yet, but is starting to be made available. If your machine does have UEFI, you can enable it via BIOS settings.
  • BitLocker does not require but performs more seamlessly if your PC has a Trusted Platform Module(TPM). Machines that have this sometimes require it to be enabled via BIOS settings. BitLocker To Go requires a USB flash drive that meets performance criteria evaluated at installation time.
  • Hyper-V requires a 64-bit system with second level address translation (SLAT) capabilities and an additional 2 GB of RAM. You can also enable SLAT via a BIOS setting.
  • Some games and other software require graphics capabilities compatible with DirectX 10 or higher (including some games available in the Consumer Preview and in the Windows Store.

Microsoft has also posted a set of PC’s on which they have been testing internally-

  • HP Elitebook 2760p convertible (Note: This PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
  • ASUS EP121 tablet (Note: his PC is 1280×800 and so does not support snap.)
  • Dell Inspiron Duo convertible
  • Lenovo x220t convertible
  • 3M M2256PW 22” display (Note: The raised bezel can make it harder to swipe along the edges)
  • Samsung Series 7 slate

Lastly the post reads that you can upgrade your Windows 7 to Windows 8 consumer preview, but there is no rolllback, and all those running Windows 8 developer preview can upgrade to Windows 8 consumer preview by just using the migrate option.