Microsoft Windows 8.1 (32-bit) Preview
Software Product Description
Windows 8.1 offers new features under the hood to make it the fastest, most secure, and easiest to manage Microsoft operating system for desktop, laptop, or tablet.
Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview are prerelease versions of Windows 8.1. They build on Windows 8 and bring you more ways to stay productive, have fun, and do all the things you need and want to do on your PC.
Windows 8.1 Preview and Windows RT 8.1 Preview include enhancements in personalization, search, apps, the Windows Store, and cloud connectivity, and have the security and reliability features you expect from Windows. They're fast, and made to work on a variety of form factors—especially the new generation of touch devices.
To install Windows 8.1 Preview from an ISO file, you must first convert the ISO file into installation media stored on a DVD or a USB flash drive.
If you're using Windows 8, follow these steps to install Windows 8.1 Preview from an ISO file:
- Download the ISO (.iso) file.
- Double-tap or double-click the ISO file.
- Double-tap or double-click setup.exe and follow the steps.
If you're using Windows 7, the easiest way to convert an ISO file to a DVD is to use Windows Disc Image Burner. On a PC running Windows XP or Windows Vista, a third-party program is required to convert an ISO file into installable media—and DVD burning software often includes this capability.
Notes before you downloadWindows 8.1 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.
Product Key: NTTX3-RV7VB-T7X7F-WQYYY-9Y92F
"Its a total mess...!"
Review Date: 2013-08-10
Pros: Not that many, quicker boot and shutdown time, quicker program loading, quicker at closing running apps, Comes with free Anti Virus built in, enhanced security, enhanced recovery options, easy install with no issues, Seems to run most my Windows 7 programs.
Cons: I could genuinely fill this page with the cons of 8, Terrible user experience, missing key features of Windows, requires 3rd party apps for basic funcionality, has bad privacy issues, most locked down version of Windows ever, has touch UI integrated that cannot be switched off, requires Microsoft account or to register for one, No Start Menu, Some apps cannot be removed, etc etc etc..
Other Thoughts: The truth is you could write all day long about how bad Windows 8 is on a desktop, it may be ok on a touch device as its primary
target are touch users so its geared for them, but traditional users are the ones who are taking the pain of 8 and that's risky given
Windows users are mostly desktop users. Important features like the Start Menu have been removed for no good reason other than
to lock you into the Metro way of thinking, in this version Microsoft have put a Start Button in that is pretty useless as it throws you
back to Metro. On a desktop 8 is simply a different way of doing things for the same result, a bit like learning to drive again in the rear
seats, its pointless.
Installation was the easiest Windows version I have ever done, it was quick, error free and found "all" my drivers. My problems began at
the end of the install when you are "forced" to open a Microsoft account. This is to ensure you get access to all the included apps and
I am guessing for Cloud integration. Why should I need to open a account at all but more to the point why am I being forced to do so.
It's simple, the more accounts Microsoft have the more money they make and that's why you can't use a Google account. The only way
around this is to install 8 offline, that way you are given a option to set one up later.
Then 8 asks you if you want to include Bing in your local searches, if you select yes then Bing takes your local searches and sends them
to Microsoft to give you web assisted searches, it then integrates Bing into most of your apps and takes over your desktop. I only selected
yes to see what it did with a made up Email account so a wasn't bothered at what it sent to Microsoft, if I were a business customer or even
a average Joe, I would be appalled by this, its basically Spyware. I spend most of my time unchecking Bing Toolbar in Windows Updates and
certain Freeware programs. Even if you select no, Bing is still integrated into 8 in many ways. Within 10min I don't trust this operating system.
Finally I get into 8 and I am greeted by the interface formally known as Metro, it is hideous and looks like it was designed by a 5yr old.
There are big 2d squares and if you click the down button you get all your apps in small 2d squares, when you scroll the screen moves left
to right, there are no right click menus or power options and to close a app you need to left click the top and drag to the bottom. Most of
the included apps are 3rd rate junk except the weather which is actually quite nice, however it has its bugs when you try to scroll left to right
it stops at the hourly forecast as it requires up and down scrolling. The apps have some right click options but nothing that could be called power
options. I then spent 20min removing most of the junk and soon discovered that some cannot be removed at all. These include the Store app
itself, Skydrive, Video player and a few others. So basically Metro is useless and contains programs that I don't need or want.
The desktop has been relegated to app status much like DOS in recent versions of Windows, when you click it the desktop we know so well
appears, but its missing the Menu we have used since Win95, the Start Menu is gone, only a button remains that throws you back to Metro.
It has some right click options that look like they were crudely added in this version. To get any level of sanity I had to add a desktop toolbar
to get quick access to the Control Panel etc. This is where the split personality of 8 starts to annoy you, they have moved settings over to
Metro but power options are still in the Control Panel. I found I was going round in circles with Metro and then back to desktop, it feels like
you are using 2 operating systems and it quickly wears you down. Nothing is obvious or predictable, it just feels like Touch and Desktop had
a car crash and this was the Mutant result. You also do "not" feel lie you are in control of this OS, with older versions you could quickly
switch off waht you don't want and enter regedit and msconfig to make changes. With 8 you are scared to make changes as it might affect
another service as many are interlinked. I also hate the fact that if I open a file in desktop I get thrown into a Metro app by default, try opening
a picture and witness the horror of a full screen crippled app, its madness.
What quickly became very clear is that Microsoft are pushing touch and looking to kill the desktop ASAP, this version proves that with the
Start Button rather than the missed Menu, its like "that's as far as we are willing to go so get used to it"., its not even a compromise. The fact
you cannot remove or properly switch Metro off confirms this, the fact I cannot remove certain apps is a disgrace as is re-enabling features
like the Start Menu. When you need a 3rd party app to do this then 8 has failed failed failed.
Performance is better in 8 but don't be fooled by the Fanboys who over hype this in the extreme. Yes it loads programs quicker, it also
shuts down programs quicker to return reaources back to the OS, a few reg tweaks have made it appear more snappy but keep in mind
this can be achieved in 7. It boots quicker as it never really shuts down properly, it goes into hibernation, on a cold start its not much quicker
than 7. It also shuts down quicker although in a comparison to my 7 rig its very marginal. Program performance is virtually the same and
benchmarks I have seen confirm this. I did notice it was much quicker at installing Netframe updates which is handy as Netframe 3.5 is missing.
Most of your programs installed on your current PC probably require 3.5 so that was a smart move and more of your time wasted. Any speed
advantage is quickly canceled out by the usability learning curve. Even after using and understanding 8 it still offers nothing that can be done
8 comes with Anti Virus installed which just to confuse you is MSE renamed Defender, I am sure this will please OEM's trying to bundle
Norton's crap programs. There are a few handy features like the Update and Recovery feature that can reinstall Windows with or without your
files backed up. This sounds good but a wonder how long it will be before it breaks. There is also Windows To Go that lets you use 8 on a
USB key although I never actually tried it. The Help app is useless as it doesn't exist yet, a mean how long has 8 been out for and still no
proper help app.
BOTTOM LINE-- Windows 8 just makes no sense at all on a desktop and offers "no" value in upgrading worth mentioning. So far it feels
like a Alpha in terms of usability and far from a finished product. They failed to integrate the 2 UI's in any way that's usable and you get
the feeling that its more like brining Touch to Windows and gradually fading the desktop out. That may be ok in a retail sense but it
throws millions of professional users under a bus and asks them to sacrifice productivity so Windows can run Facebook apps for brain dead
retards. Enterprise will move to 7 as 8 is a Administrators nightmare and its hard to see a future for 8 as it compromises whatever its ported to.
Microsoft are the only ones to attempt this and have failed, they have failed to understand that Touch and Desktop are 2 entirely different
experiences, one for consumption and one is for productivity. That's why their rivals didn't even consider this madness. For Microsoft to
do this is immature and downright reckless. If you are happy with 7 then stick with it as 8 will bring you no joy at all......