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Author Topic: Windows 8 Fast boot time ? Check this out...  (Read 7724 times)
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #25 on: September 18, 2011, 05:04:28 PM »

Well I have downloaded the Developer's Preview.

Here's what I did:

1) Tried to install 64 bit eiditon in VMWare Workstation 7 - no dice - doesn't even start the installer, just a new blue screen that says HAL_INITIALIZATION_FAIL

2) Upgraded to VMWare Workstation 8 (I was going to do it at some point so bit the bullet).

3) Installed 64 bit edition of W8 Preview - which completed but would not install VMWare tools

4) Downloaded 32 bit version which installed and allowed VM Tools to install so I can use it in full screen mode.

I am running on an AMD Phenom II x6 core host with 16Gb of memory under Windows 7 64-bit.

The VM is allocated 4 cores and 4Gb of RAM plus a 60Gb virtual drive. After repeated boots I can't get a clean install of W8 to boot in under 26 seconds - and that is with no added software (other than in the 32 bit ISO supplied).

Granted I have only been playing with it for half an hour but I hate it (with a passion)!

1) Boot time in the video that started this thread is ridiculous. I cannot get a clean install down below 26 seconds from cold start. A VM of Windows XP I use (which has a bit of extra stuff installed and has been running fro years - it was transferred from my old computer and runs with 2Gb of RAM and 2 cores) starts in 30 seconds. So much for much improved boot time.

2) The Tile Start page seems to have absolutely no options on it except to click on the tiles (no right click or any other buttons that I can find). You don't even seem to be able to switch off directly - you have to logoff (which is very slow - I thought it had crashed) and then shutdown.

3) Clicking on a tile opens the app in full screen mode and you then have to use Alt Tab to cycle to other open apps, press the windows key to return to the Start page or move the mouse to the middle of the left hand edge of the screen and click on an app to cycle through (one app at a time). If you choose to go to the Desktop it looks very like Windows 7 BUT there is no start menu only a button that takes you back to the start page. Pressing F1 doesn't invoke a help system (but I suppose that may not be available yet). Right clicking on the Taskbar allows you to go into properties but there are no Start Menu.

4) Apps are a bit odd - there isn't much that you can do to create a document in the standard ISO so I tried using Paint Play which is a very simple painting app. Your efforts survive shutdown and restart but there doesn't seem to be any mechanism to save what you are doing. There are no menus and right click seems to only do things like hide toolbars to give more screen space.

5) The old utilities (Notepad etc.) are still there but I can't see any way to run them except by using Win R to open a run command box and typing the exe file name.

All in all the interface is entirely optimised for touch screens with little if any real support for more than one button on the mouse. It feels INCREDIBLY childish and very limiting on a desktop computer. It is EXTREMELY frustrating to be constantly sent back to an infant school desktop (it really is designed for 3-5 year olds) and with no option to restore a normal desktop environment I cannot honestly see a single business user wanting to go near this.

The other thing that strikes me is that the stupid start page will become extremely cluttered if you install lots of apps (not that there seems to be an obvious mechanism for installing anything except going via the desktop - which I had to do to install VM tools) - plus the constant flashing of all the tiles as they rotate and update content is incredibly irritating.

I showed the start page to a friend and her first comment was "it looks like a shop" - all hail the future. Personally I think it looks like a webpage in the worst excess of Flash based advertising. Maybe someone will come out with a tool to disable the animation otherwise I think it is in danger of inducing mass epilepsy!

Oh by the way - you are asked to link you user profile to a "live" account as your login. There is an option for a local user account but using an email address is already pushed for the 'benefits' of cloud based computing.

If this actually gets released and becomes dominant on home computers we can kiss goodbye to the days of anything sensible happening on desktop machines and laptops unless you move to Linux or Apple (heaven forbid).

Finally this is a an alpha preview release and it shows - it crashes and freezes constantly - even taking down VMWare itself in the process!
« Last Edit: September 18, 2011, 05:10:28 PM by Carol Haynes » Logged

nudone
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« Reply #26 on: September 18, 2011, 05:14:59 PM »

So far then, living up to the Windows H8 moniker perfectly.
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« Reply #27 on: September 18, 2011, 05:44:28 PM »

I don't think booting Windows 8 in VMware is a fair assessment of Windows 8 boot times (or any OS boot time). Sure, it's some kind of indication, but with all the other virtuosity and gooeyness of VMware underpinning it, meh... I'd like to know what it's like on bare metal for an assessment there.
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2011, 06:46:03 PM »

I agree VMWare should not be the benchmark BUT I did a comparison of Win8 vs. WinXP in VMWare - the Win8 being a brand new installation, the WinXP being with much lower resources allocated and at least 3 years old.

As a comparison I would say that the video everyone is cooing over doesn't seem to live up to expectations!

Boot time seems like the least of the problems to me - if MS really want to dumb down Windows to the point of idiocy I can't help feeling Linux is going to get a massive boost for corporate use provided Linux developers can get their act together and start producing something with less disparate distros and much better hardware support - it could also be the spur hardware manufacturers need to produce Linux drivers.

If Linux don't do get organised I can see MacOS taking over the corporate environment - the future for business is definitely not Windows 8 in anything like its current form. Business isn't even enthusiastic about moving from XP yet to Windows 7 (forgetting the disastrous Vista) and when they see Windows 8 (3 generations on) I think they will collectively hold up the hands in horror. Steve Balmer will hold his hands up in horror too when corporate licenses don't get renewed!

The strange thing with the Win 8 preview is that it is obviously Windows 7 with much useful stuff to desktop users stripped out and a silly childish veneer added to make it tactile for phones and tablets. Ultimately I think it is trying to be all things to all people and in then end it is likely to fail on all counts. I may be speaking prematurely but I think sales of Windows 8 to none phone/tablet users is going ot make Vista look like a huge success and within weeks of launch they will be offering a free downgrade to Windows 7 with every OEM installed edition on laptops, webbooks and desktops - just like they had to with Vista.
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« Reply #29 on: September 19, 2011, 12:56:23 AM »

If they go for cloud route then i have no other choice than using win 7 for few years or switching to linux. I hate cloud based OS and storage.
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« Reply #30 on: September 19, 2011, 06:43:20 AM »

Crap, I forgot all about this. I'd wanted to play with it over the weekend.

Thanks Carol, tis looking like Windows H8 indeed.
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« Reply #31 on: September 19, 2011, 11:15:14 AM »

@carol : thanks for taking the time to test the Developer's Preview. Nice!

Nothing says if the version used on the video demo is the same as the Developer's Preview, however. At first I thought you were exclusively commenting the "Developer's Preview", which seemed "fair", but then you seemed to be already judging Windows 8... A bit too early, isn't it ?

--

Aren't the tiles UI more for tablets and phones ? In any case I personally like the "tiles" design and I can see some clear advantages to it (compared to, lets say... iOS icon layout, etc.). But don't have the time to develop right now.

As long as it's fast, secure, robust, compatible, flexible enough, still keyboard friendly, and... as long as it doesn't fall down the Apple hole...
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #32 on: September 19, 2011, 11:55:44 AM »

The tiles are aimed at tablets and phones - the trouble is that in the Preview the tiles have completely REPLACED the start menu (there simply isn't one) and as a result a speed and flexibility seem to suffer massively on a Desktop.

I just hope that MS have the sense to give the option to restore a start menu option (or classic type inteface) before the final release because I for one will never upgrade a desktop machine to a version of Windows as irritating as the Win 8 Preview.
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« Reply #33 on: September 19, 2011, 11:56:34 AM »

Just imagine the number of "apps" that are going to be created just to make Windows H8 look and function like a proper Windows 7 desktop with start menu. There's an instant market there just waiting...
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Carol Haynes
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« Reply #34 on: September 19, 2011, 12:42:13 PM »

LOL - but then why bother - just stick to Win 7.

I think MS will do what they did with Vista and offer free downgrades to 7 when 8 is preinstalled on laptops and desktops.
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« Reply #35 on: September 19, 2011, 01:32:04 PM »

Lesson to be learned from Carol's struggle: Don't pay money for a VMware license when the free VirtualBox does the same and much better Grin

FYI, it's the full x64 version running with just one core and 896 MB allocated on a 20 GB HDD, virtualized on a 32-bit installation of Windows XP. I tried it first with 512 MB per VirtualBox recommendation, but it was a slideshow. With the extra 384 MB things are much smoother, though not as good as it could be. Don't really care, I am not evaluating performance improvements. I couldn't get the normal 32-bit version to complete the installation, it got stuck at 11%.

So, first tablet compromise: no Start Menu. All you have now is bunch of tiles acting as shortcuts located at the end of the tiled panorama, and a keyboard operated launcher, similar to the one used on Windows 7, but with a tablet-friendly UI and neutered capabilities. It's activated by either typing on the tiled panorama or by pressing Win + F. It's no replacement for the old Start Menu at all, since its indexing capabilities are pretty paltry, either by design or by the virtue of this being an early version, and you can't find anything that is not installed nor any document by name or content. If you download a program that comes in a ZIP file, you'll need a shortcut for it on your desktop as the launcher won't find the executable if you search for it. You can pin it to the Start Menu, but no new tile is created.

More tablet compromises: you're constantly rocking back and forth between the tiled panorama and the desktop, and the switch not only is jarring, but it also needlessly complicate things. If you want to view the control panel and you ignore of the existence of the launcher, you have to go back to the tiled panorama, launch the tablet version of the control panel and scroll down to find the link to launch the desktop version. Parts of the tablet UI creep up everywhere. If you move the mouse cursor to the low left corner (the Windows button), a menu composed of four items appears together with the date and time, and a icon indicating the network is up, all Metro-styled. Problem is the date and time appear directly above the date and time applet of the taskbar. Old bubble notifications coexist with the new toaster messages.

This menu is a complete fuck-up, actually. I don't know how come you can activate it if you're using a tablet, since the clickable area is very small for anyone's finger, and the Windows button is just a giant area to switch back to the tiled UI. There's a Share action (wat). There's a Search action, with invokes the Metro-styled launcher, but it does not search for anything, and the only thing it does if you input something and press Enter is to launch the BUILD app, which I don't know what it is (yet). And there's a Settings button, which launches a sidebar where you can change a few things, including shutting down the system. Yes, shutting down the system is a "setting" alright V_V. Do note this last sidebar is finger-friendly, so if a tablet user wants to restart the system, he has to jump through a few hoops, if he can jump at all.

More things: the UAC seems to be even less annoying than before. Microsoft Security Essentials has been integrated into Windows Defender (do I sense incoming lawsuits?). The new Ribbon in Explorer is as terrible as expected, with a Fax button and color-coded, filetype-sensitive sections containing a single button in some cases. People amazingly know how to use hotkeys (no sarcasm intended), but Microsoft thinks everyone will work better with this aberration. The new task manager is pretty nice, and a good simple alternative to Process Explorer.

Otherwise, the desktop side of Windows 8 is Windows 7, with a few improvements and changes, and that's a good thing. The tablet UI seems to be as good as the reports around the web show, haven't checked much of it yet.

In short, despite my grievances, an excellent tablet OS and a more or less excellent desktop OS, but a really bad mishmash between the two, with a serious disdain for consistency. Desktop users are going to suffer all the tablet compromises, and tablet users are not going to get anywhere close to the desktop "app". Performance-wise, the OS isn't ready for tablets at all, unless you consider a mid-range laptop a tablet. So, Microsoft still has a long road ahead if they want Windows 8 to be anything other than the laughing stock of the computer industry.

Also, don't be fooled by those sheepishly accepting the new state of things, i.e. almost all tech writers. Anything new is automatically better than the old thing, it seems.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2011, 05:20:04 PM by Lashiec; Reason: Proofreading » Logged
Carol Haynes
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« Reply #36 on: September 19, 2011, 05:00:14 PM »

It has to be said the ribbon in Windows Explorer is the devil's spawn.

Don't get me wrong I like the ribbon in Office but then Office is a complex piece of software. In Windows Explorer is it completely ridiculous - plus they have removed some of the really useful shortcuts available in Win 7 to compensate for the stupid amount of lost real estate the ribbon uses.

I have lso now discovered how to add tiles to the Start page - not that it is useful because the mouse handling on the Start page is truly awful.

I have still to find a convincing way to shutdown - you logoff from the start page but then you are faced with a pointless wallpaper and a clock. There is another page buried underneath with a shutdown button and user logon screen but I'm damned if I can find a consistent way to close the clock to get there!
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« Reply #37 on: September 20, 2011, 02:33:56 PM »

You probably saw it, but here's a video of the "Developer's Preview" on a tablet :

Quote
Not unlike an artfully created but tiny-portioned appetizer leading into a flavorful and filling main course that remains stuck in the kitchen, my first hands-on experience with Windows 8 left me eager for what was coming but disappointed with what was set in front of me.

Microsoft lent out Windows 8 tablets to attendees at the end of the Build conference preview yesterday, surprisingly running an earlier version of the in-development operating system than the one that had been demonstrated as functional earlier in the day.

(My emphasis)

http://download.cnet.com/...ok-at-windows-8-hands-on/
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« Reply #38 on: September 25, 2011, 02:19:24 PM »

Atleast windows tablet will support flash, multi-tasking and many other features that apple failed to do so.
Will it, now?... for Metro, anyway. Yeah, you have the option of installing 3rd party browsers, but the message is clear.

Anyway, I installed an x64 preview on physical hardware, and the results were craptastic. Long story short, if the end product is anything like this, I might be driven to linux (or, hopefully, can stay on Win7 until MS realizes the error of their ways and come up with something good). Not going to do a long review now, but I'm pretty certain you'd feel a lot less schizophrenic if you dropped a wagonload of acid and watched artsy french noir movies.

As for boot speed, you probably need an UEFI system to make it go fast, as BIOS initialization eats a lot of time.
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« Reply #39 on: September 25, 2011, 03:58:01 PM »

They abandoned their own technology -Silverlight ?   huh  Man, this is really bad message for all those .NET developers.
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« Reply #40 on: September 25, 2011, 04:02:35 PM »

They abandoned their own technology -Silverlight ?   huh  Man, this is really bad message for all those .NET developers.
Good question - I don't know if it's going to be in the metro version of IE10 or not, but it'll definitely be available for the desktop version... and .NET applications are first-class citizens for WinRT (the replacement for Win32), silverlight is just another .NET aspect.
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« Reply #41 on: November 07, 2011, 04:33:42 PM »

There's an authorized MS developer next to me right now, and he had a pre-beta Windows 8 tablet.  Guys, this thing is very nice.  Very fast, responsive, and it's not even in beta stage yet.  What's going to be appealing to us about all of this is the fact that in the backend, it's running a normal Windows desktop environment.  The tile UI (which I really like) is more like a launcher, at least that's how I think of it.  It's like a fullscreen LBC or TrueLaunchbar.  The only other weird new thing to think about is the two types of programs: apps and regular pc programs.  Regular programs are the stuff we use now that is mouse-centric, and apps are the touch-centric programs.  I don't really feel a need to distinguish between the two other than the input device.

I've now had the chance to play with Android phones and tablets, full Mac pc's, ipads, iphones.  After the initial wow factor, none of those things are tremendously useful for me, from a productivity standpoint.  A lot business applications become cumbersome on the mac.  Android and iOS are very very limited in what they can do. The hope once again falls on mobile devices that can somehow effectively run full Windows OS's in small form factors.  Windows is the key.

And all these opinions are from the perspective of a person trying to avoid cloud services.  If you are open to cloud services, than much of my criticisms of iOS and Android might not be valid.  But you will be sacrificing privacy, flexibility, inability to work without a connection, you will be managing several monthly payment accounts, and forget about dealing with large amounts of data.
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« Reply #42 on: November 07, 2011, 04:50:41 PM »

The touch interface is cool, when you can touch it. But I gotta tell you ... Accessing it via remote desktop seriously blows. They really gotta fix that part. I've got an HP TouchSmart running the Windows 8 dev preview at the office, I'm really trying to like it ... But it ain't easy.
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« Reply #43 on: November 07, 2011, 04:54:31 PM »

The touch interface is cool, when you can touch it. But I gotta tell you ... Accessing it via remote desktop seriously blows. They really gotta fix that part. I've got an HP TouchSmart running the Windows 8 dev preview at the office, I'm really trying to like it ... But it ain't easy.
That's going to be critical...the smoothness of the touch stuff.  After all this time, Android still is not nearly as smooth as Apple.  Apple, of course, has the benefit of fine-tuning their closed ecosystem hardware and software, so they have an advantage.  I hope MS really focuses on the responsiveness of the touch with Windows 8.  As you say, it can be awesome feature-wise, but if the touch isn't smooth, we're always going to be looking a little enviously at Apple and wishing we could have it that smooth while still being a Windows OS.  That's what I'm constantly thinking about, at least.

Check this out, a fake Metro UI for Windows 7:
http://mosaicproject.codeplex.com/

I'm using it right now, it's pretty cool.  It can't really do much, but it's cool.
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« Reply #44 on: November 07, 2011, 05:16:44 PM »

I hope MS really focuses on the responsiveness of the touch with Windows 8.

Oh I'd say that one is a sure thing. My test box (specs are in another thread) is an older low budget cheap-O, HP all-in-one, with absolutely nothing exciting for hardware. And it's smooth as hell when navigating the UI and/or the inbox games that we all took turns playing with.
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