The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has been released and,
according to Microsoft, has been downloaded 1 million times, allowing everyday
people to get a taste of Windows 8 before it is fully released this fall.
You may look at screenshots of Windows 8 and assume
that the desktop doesn’t exist anymore. However, the desktop is very much
alive, and, according to David Pogue of the New York Times, “the beauty
and grace of Metro feels like a facade that's covering up the old Windows” when
you are using Windows 8 on a PC.
If you’re using the new OS on a tablet, you may
never need to go to the old desktop interface. The average PC user, however,
may find the new tile interface superfluous because he or she still needs to
use Microsoft Office and create files, something which can only be done in the
desktop. The “Windows 7” that is hidden in Windows 8 is so distinct from the Metro
interface that each of the two interfaces features its own version of Internet
Explorer, with the tile Metro interface not supporting Flash. Furthermore,
whereas you can share content when you are in tile mode, you can’t share
anything when you’re in desktop mode. The complexity and non-touch interface
that we’ve seen for years still exists because people are used to it. Rather
than completely getting rid of it, Microsoft hopes that that attractive tile
interface will ease its 1.25 billion users into the new interface
rather than forcing them to adopt it.
Although desktop PC and laptop users may feel as if
the redesigned Windows is façade covering up Windows 7, the big story is that
Microsoft is acknowledging that a gigantic shift towards mobile devices is
taking place. The Start Menu that has existed since Windows 95 is replaced by a
tile menu that works beautifully on touch tablets and, according to reviews,
works well on non-touch laptops and PCs. Microsoft knows that the line between
mobile devices and PCs will be non-existent in the future and their pending
release of Windows 8 is their attempt to stay current with the times.