For those of you interested in getting an early handle on what Windows 8 has in store, Microsoft has made the much anticipated Consumer Preview version available today... Note that this is free, "beta" level software, and WILL expire, so don't expect to just download and use it forever. Ultimately they're going to charge $$$ for it.
ISO images available: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso
Windows 8 Server available to Technet subscribers: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/subscriptions/securedownloads/hh44 2904
I'm in the process of downloading ISO images now, and will be setting up VMware virtual machines in which to test the various versions. I will be interested to see how Photoshop works with it (it mostly worked with the Windows 8 Developer Preview version, with just a few glitches).
Note that these downloads are all quite huge (multiple gigabytes).
I'm a Win7 Pro 64Bit user and what I've been hearing is that for Win7 Desktop users, 8 is gonna be kind-a "meh..." I'd be very interested in your opinion there.
Also on the Desktop interface; I've read a lot of conflicting reports about losing the Start Menu and such.
All the best
Generally speaking, Microsoft seems to be trying to bridge the "touch screen tablet" market with the "desktop computer" market, all in the name of opening up their own shiny new App Store. I don't know whether they're going to pull it off, but Apple has become a world economic power with theirs. It's almost scary to think what Microsoft will be able to do with theirs. Sounds like opportunity knocking for Windows developers.
The Windows 8 Metro Start screen, complete with its flat, styleless tiles, has replaced the Start Menu in Windows 8, and there's no Start button at all. I give it a month at most before someone like Ivo Beltchev, who created the Windows 7 add-on "ClassicShell" package, creates software to restore a workalike to the Windows 7 menu. I've tried the current version of ClassicShell already with the Windows 8 developer preview and it doesn't seem to run, though I haven't gone to the ClassicShell forums to see whether there's a workaround.
But using the Win key to pop over to the Metro Start screen, which is the start menu replacement, all the functionality is still there, and there are some advantages. For example, a number of known bugs in Windows Explorer have been fixed, and they've integrated ribbons into Explorer in a way that actually makes some sense. So far everything I've tried to run has worked - I get the impression either compatibility was very high on their list, or they haven't done much to the "traditional" APIs.
Oh, and they've integrated their own anti-malware solution, so there will be no more need for 3rd party packages.
Interestingly to me, after half a day of testing and getting used to it (and having run the Windows 8 Developer Preview before that for months), the whole Windows 8 system so far feels lighter and more efficient that Windows 7. There are fewer processes running, they seem to take up less memory, and just a lot of things seem more polished.
I'm guessing there's just enough "gee whiz" here to make even people who are relatively happy with Windows 7 want to upgrade.
I love Win7, but for about a week after moving from XP I'd be screaming in frustration trying to find stuff, and that was only a couple of years ago, I'm not reallly looking forward to going through that again so soon!
Regardless of the functionality, I think the "Metro" interface on a desktop is awful, simply dreadful - I don't even have the trashcan icon on my desktop! - and would not want to be forced to use it, but, it looks as if people are already working on that... here, here, and here.
Mind you, I did play around with a Windows Phone a few weeks ago and thought the Metro interface was actually pretty good... on a MOBILE device, not my desktop!!!
But Win8 itself is fast, I watched a video today in the office, and I'm damned if I can find it again, but it showed a notebook booting into Win8 from a cold start - they even put the battery in before hitting the power button to prove they weren't cheating - in under 10 seconds.
I'm quite the opposite, i like fiddling with new stuff which is why i installed the open beta for Win7 and will install the CP for Win8 as well. I'll just wait a few days to make sure that there aren't any crippling bugs left in it before installing it.
I'm wondering if it would work in a virtual machine.
I like how Ms was finally able to produce a brand new UI, and interaction system.
When you see how Samsung copied iOS for its touchwiz skin on top of Android to the color of the phone icon, Ms has a nice and clear UI, and I like the hints of a word to indicate further content, etc. but bringing a touch-oriented UI to the desktop (albeit usable with a mouse, according to what I've seen) lets me puzzled, hence why I'd like to see by myself.
Photoshop CS5.1 seems to have installed just fine in Windows 8 CP and while I haven't done very much testing it seems to basically work. Because of the oddball OpenGL driver used by my VMware VM it doesn't recognize the GPU (not surprising) and so only comes up with OpenGL Drawing disabled.
I'm going to try asking it to update itself now and see what happens... That worked. Camera Raw 6.6 came in and works.