Friday the 1st struck and I was cursed my receiving a very bad virus which ended up requiring me to re-build my company laptop. After getting it re-imaged with Windows 7 I made the decision to use the Windows 8 Release Preview that was made available on Thursday as my primary OS. So I did a quick basic setup of my newly imaged Win 7 laptop. I then split the single disk into two partitions. This will allow me to have a dedicated data drive for my data and a fall back to the Win 7 image if needed. I then downloaded the latest Windows 8 Release Preview. I then created a new VHD file, on the data file and followed these instructions to install Window 8 into the VHD,

So for the last 48 hours plus I have been running the latest "beta" release of Window 8 as my primary OS, and I got to say it is great! My laptop does not have a touch screen so it took just a little while to understand the mouse and keyboard shortcuts to navigate between the Metro Start screen and the desktop environment, but now it is second nature. I really do like the new Start/Metro interface and I am pretty comfortable with it. I am betting my ease of transition has been greatly helped by being a Windows Phone 7 user for almost two years. I see a bit of a learning curve for normal end users but it is not that steep! End user are very hard to work with but with some simple training the new Start screen and navigation can be learned and mastered. Also the new world of PC/Tablets are combining and the new hardware being prepped for the full Windows 8 launch will, mostly, be touch ready. Once this hurdle is passed by the end users they will see what I see, a great new OS that can be used to be both a powerful business platform and a great personal platform. Now, well it a few short months, a user can experience a great work/life experience from a single platform.

This will truly bring to life Microsoft’s great vision of the 3 screens, Mobile, Web and Desktop. Now with Windows 8 client and Windows Phone 8 and IE 10; it will enable a user to be very productive over several devices and not have to learn a new interface. Windows 8 brings a great touch experience to the Windows world. This new OS is primed to take over as the one platform for a business and personal use. Metro apps are targeted for the end user personal use (but have some great business use cases) and the desktop experience is still what the business needs!

Take a dive and try out Windows 8!