Note: This article was written before Windows 8 was officially released.
As you probably know, Microsoft has announced recently several significant changes to the Windows user interface that are going to appear in the next major upgrade to Windows. Since they released a preview version of Windows 8 a few days ago, we've been eager to see how our software would perform on the new version. Especially since Steven Sinofsky made a point that any existing program that works with Windows 7 should work with Windows 8 as well.
Of course, we wouldn't expect our software to plug into the new Metro interface right away: any software needs to be programmed specifically to take advantage of it. However, since Windows 8 has a special compatibility mode to run the familiar desktop applications, we figured we should try to run our applications in that mode.
So, we've download the Windows 8 DVD image, installed it, and spent some time familiarizing ourselves with Windows 8. Turns out that the desktop mode is just one click away from the Metro interface. And when you make that click, you immediately feel at home. We've installed AB Commander, Space Investigator, Folder Guard, and USBCrypt on the Windows 8 desktop, and after a brief testing we didn't notice any major difference in their appearance or performance:
Sure, it's too early to do the real testing of our software on Windows 8, because a lot of things are going to change before Windows 8 hits the shelves. That's what we will be busy with in the coming months while Microsoft is getting Windows 8 ready for the prime time. Meanwhile, it's nice to know that our software runs on Windows 8 preview as it is.
As for our impression of Windows 8, the Metro interface is quite a significant change that will take some getting used to. It will probably fit the tablets and the smart phones just fine, while when it comes to the conventional desktops and laptops, we are not so sure. Time will tell!
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