Reengineering the Windows boot experience


Phew!  We’re all back from BUILD and focused on our next milestone.  It is fair to say we had an awesome time showing everyone Windows 8 in depth and all of our speakers and Microsoft attendees are unbelievably appreciative for the warm reception you gave the product.  We know it is early still–a developer preview–and there are lots of questions.  We’re going to be answering them in new posts as we focus on using the Windows Developer Preview (WDP) as a baseline–so if you haven’t been running it, consider it sort of like a prerequisite for many of the blog posts.

Boot is the sort of effort that gets no respect. It is either too long or all the work to make it nice and pleasant hopefully goes unnoticed since you never want to boot your machine. I remember a meeting many years ago where Bill Gates said (paraphrasing) "Boot is a one-line function call that computes a constant yet takes forever: fBoot = SystemBoot()" At the same time it seems like everything boots these days—phones, TVs, cable TV boxes, even my TV remote boots. In building Windows 8, we set out of take advantage of some new technology and revisited some old assumptions to totally rethink the boot experience. We also wanted to make it more accessible and better suited to devices without keyboards. Of course, we also did a lot of work to continue to minimize reboots altogether, but this post is about what happens when you do boot. Billie Sue Chafins authored this post. She is a long time program manager who spent many years on user interface design, and in this release she helped us to focus on the boot experience (in addition to the Metro style app sharing contract which you can learn about from BUILD here).
–Steven

With continued innovation in the hardware ecosystem, the biggest shift in firmware in 30 years, and software changes leading to boot times of ~7 seconds on machines with solid-state drives (SSDs), we decided it was time to bring the PC boot user experience into the 21st century. In a previous post by Gabe Aul, we discussed how fast startup mode will make faster boot times a reality in Windows 8. You may have noticed from his fast boot video that boot felt different – not only was it super fast, it was seamless, from the time the power was switched on all the way to the Start screen. In this post, we will explore how the team has reimagined the complete Windows boot user experience to make that possible.

If you think about the experience of powering up a PC today, first, you most likely see several circa-1980 text console screens flash by as the computer enters the Power-on Self-test (POST) phase of boot. A few seconds later, rendering is handed from the basic input/output system (BIOS) over to Windows, and you see a graphical animation before landing at the logon UI. In Windows 7 today, all of this happens over a span of about a minute on average. Now, imagine all of that flying by on your screen in approximately 7 seconds – that’s a lot of transitions in a short period of time!

Three screens shown left to right: the POST phase of boot, with white text on a black screen; the Windows logo shown during startup; the Windows 8 background image, with the words “Please wait…”

Once we realized just how fast boot was going to be in Windows 8, it was obvious that it was the perfect time to tackle the user experience to deliver something seamless, beautiful, and of consumer electronics quality.

Windows 8 will enter the market in a time when touch-first devices, such as the slate form factor, are becoming more and more prevalent. As such, we need to deliver a boot experience that is designed for touch, but works just as well for mouse and keyboard. From the beginning, we knew that it would be unacceptable to tell anyone that they’d need to go buy a physical keyboard to set up their machine or to perform recovery in the Windows Recovery Environment (Windows RE) if the PC cannot start.

Windows 8 will also enter the market in a time when the industry is shifting to the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) for BIOS on all new client systems. We will continue to support the legacy BIOS interface, but machines using the UEFI interface will have significantly richer capabilities. For instance, UEFI systems can render rich graphical experiences in native resolution via the Graphic Output Protocol (GOP) driver. With UEFI, the OS can finally communicate with boot firmware in a standard way; this work is strongly supported by standards work in UEFI and the TCG (Trusted Computing Group). This enables such features as secure boot, where the OS and firmware cooperate in creating a secure handoff mechanism. It also enables a seamless visual experience from the time you hit the power button – one experience owned by two distinct components.

The boot experience has not been thoroughly revamped, well, ever. The BIOS menus have been stuck in time for nearly 30 years while OSes and hardware have advanced at a logarithmic pace. We’ve introduced many features of the pre-OS environment over several releases of Windows, each designed with a different set of capabilities and limitations. For instance, due to the lack of full graphics capabilities, the Multi-OS and Advanced Boot Options menus displayed by the boot manager shown below appear as if they were from the MS-DOS era:

Advanced Boot Options menu in the Boot Manager, with options to Repair Your Computer, launch in Safe Mode, etc.

Due to the lack of theme support in the Windows RE, experiences built using standard controls offer a look and feel from the Windows 9x/2000 era:

Advanced Boot Options menu in the Boot Manager, with options to Repair Your Computer, launch in Safe Mode, etc.

Boot is a highly visible portion of the system—users see it on average 1-2 times per day. That’s already too much, but this post is not about making reboots go away. We recognize that this number will change as slates and devices that are always on become more prevalent, but for those times when you may still need to boot, we want it to be fast and fluid. The experience of booting a PC should be approachable to mainstream consumers while maintaining the power of Windows for more advanced users who want to configure settings in the pre-OS environment. As you can imagine, satisfying all of these goals was challenging and in many situations, a balancing act.

Seamless setup and first boot on Windows 8

What better place to start thinking about the boot experience than the Windows 8 setup UI. This is one of the first places where we’ve made sure to give a great touch-first experience. The entire setup process, including entering your product key, joining a wireless network, and setting up a default account, will be accessible using the soft keyboard.

If you go out and buy a new PC that comes with Windows 8 pre-installed, you will likely encounter the “Specialize” phase of setup on your first boot. This is where machine-specific information and drivers are installed on your system. In the past, you would go through a series of screens with a visual appearance distinct from other phases of setup. Now, the visual experience will be seamless from POST, to boot, to setup.

Seamless boot, every time

The Windows 8 boot experience will reflect the personality of Windows; it will be fast and fluid, seamless, and beautiful every time. By leveraging the capabilities of UEFI and working together with the ecosystem, our goal is for the PC to power up to the manufacturer’s logo and stay on that screen all the way from POST to Windows logon UI. The logo should be beautiful and reflect the brand you trust when you purchased your PC. Firmware renders the logo during POST, the logo persists on screen when Windows boot takes over, and remains through OS boot. In effect, we are bridging two experiences (firmware + operating system) to deliver one experience, as you see here:

The Samsung logo shown as the PC is powered up

Advanced functionality

We know that some of you love to customize your machines by changing OS settings, booting from a physical device, or performing boot troubleshooting in Windows RE. You are not only getting a seamless experience every time you boot, you’re also getting a beautiful, touch-first experience even if you are someone who wants to look under the hood.

We did a thorough inventory of all the advanced features available and designed an experience that gives a consolidated view of the functionality you may want before entering the OS. Unlike in previous versions of Windows, the advanced boot options in Windows 8 can be reached easily, are simple to navigate, and look and feel harmonious.


Download this video to view it in your favorite media player:
High quality MP4 | Lower quality MP4

You can see a complete demonstration in the video above, but let’s call attention to a few scenarios here.

Dual booting your PC

Let’s say you’re someone who has multiple copies or versions of Windows installed on a PC. In Windows 8, you will be presented with a high-fidelity, immersive, touchable UI where you can select which OS to boot with a single tap (or mouse click, or tab-key navigation).

Dual boot options screen in Windows 8: “Choose an operating system” Icon 1: Windows 8; icon 2: Windows 7; Link to “Change defaults or choose other options”

There are often reasons to change your default OS, or you may want to change the countdown window before the default OS starts. Changing these settings today is cumbersome, as you have to edit the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) store. We decided that this functionality was important enough to bubble up to the core user experience when booting with a dual OS setup. Instead of remembering bcdedit commands, or changing settings in msconfig (though these options are still available), you can easily configure the default OS and timer settings right within the boot UI.

Screen with main heading: Change options; Option 1: Change the timer; option 2: Choose the default operating system; option 3: Choose other options Repair tools, boot to another device, and other options.

Screen that reads: “Choose the default operating system. The current default is Windows 8.” Option 1: “Windows 8” Option 2: “Windows 7”

Performing troubleshooting in Windows RE

Let’s now consider the scenario where you may need to boot into Windows RE to troubleshoot a startup problem or to restore Windows to a previous restore point. Even for such advanced functionality (that you may use rarely, if ever), we wanted to ensure that you would have a consistent and touchable experience.

Advanced options screen. Option 1: System Restore. Option 2: System Image Recovery. Option 3 Automatic repair. Option 4: Command prompt

To illustrate just how deeply we thought about this experience, let’s assume you need to launch a command prompt window from within Windows RE (to check the access control lists (ACLs) on some files, for instance). We’ve even made the soft keyboard available from the command prompt in Windows RE if you need that (imagine a field repair of a device with no keyboard!).

The command prompt window, shown being used with on-screen keyboard.

Booting to a device

We recognize that many of you boot to devices, for example, to a bootable USB stick. Today, this requires entering the BIOS boot options menu which could be under one of many Function keys, depending on the hardware/firmware vendor. But with UEFI firmware, the OS can call back into firmware to enumerate the BIOS boot options. This means that advanced boot options that were formerly only available from BIOS menus will be available alongside the Windows-provided functionality.

Screen with main heading: Use a device; and one option: UEFI: SanDisk

As mentioned above, we did a thorough inventory of all capabilities of the system and thought of how everything should feel like part of the overall Windows PC experience. Nothing escaped our inventory, not even the dreaded “BSOD”! Unfortunately, things may go wrong with hardware from time to time, so there was no way to completely rid the world of the “BSOD.” This was a very interesting balancing act as we worked through several design iterations to determine how much information to display. We wanted to meet the needs of power users (whether you’re troubleshooting your machine or a family member’s) and at the same time, make it less scary for the consumer. One thing you’ll notice is that in spite of all the changes, we did decide to keep it blue! :-)

A blue screen that reads: :( Your PC ran into a problem that it couldn’t handle, and now it needs to restart. You can search for the error online: SYSTEM THREAD EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED (pci.sys) - It’ll restart in: 1 second

We hope you are as excited as we are to see the user experience of boot get the attention it deserves. We anticipate many questions about the work we’ve done and we look forward to a continued dialog with you.

Thanks,

Billie Sue

Comments (209)

  1. Ricardo Dawkins says:

    Ready for Windows 8!

  2. First says:

    I love the new boot experience. Very user friendly. Good job!

  3. Tom Servo says:

    Great post.

    As far as seamless transitions go, is there a way for Windows to talk back to UEFI? E.g. to change the screen resolution the computer starts with? Or is this implementation specific? Or not possible at all?

    Right now, on my ASUS mainboard with UEFI BIOS, the computer starts in 640×480 mode, displaying the ASUS logo, then drops into text mode (device BIOSes, apparently unavoidable, unless they get disabled), then when the Windows Boot Manager starts, it'll switch to 1024×768, and once Windows actually takes over, it'll finally go to 1920×1200. There's still several transitions, despite UEFI. At least the boot manager could start in 1920×1200 from the get go.

  4. AM says:

    Cool take on the blue screen of death. Now I have a question about the new boot manager, I am currently dual booting Windows 7 with Windows Developer Preview (8) and I cannot boot into 7 again. Is there a way I can access the Windows RE menu to set my boot options. I love Windows Developer Preview (8) but since it is not quite finished yet I want to have a quick plan b ready without the need to reinstall Windows 7.

  5. Vadim Sterkin says:

    Nice overview, but you didn't say how one can get into the safe mode and last known good configuration. Lots of people will be looking for this info when they can't get to this new beautiful boot experience :)

  6. Dominic says:

    Very nice.  Could you make the dual boot screen show pictures of the OS.  So windows 7 and windows 8 wouldn't look the same.  It would look prettier.  Also, when you went through the layers of menus, I couldn't tell when the buttons changed.  At least twice my eye didn't catch that you had moved to a new screen.  Could you add a little animation…

    Otherwise it looks awesome (and my laptop, which is not all that powerful, boots up in about 15 seconds on windows 8 rather than 45, which was the best I ever got in windows 7).

  7. mt325000 says:

    Mr. Sinofsky:

    As you know, the Windows 8 Developer Preview has been out for about a week now. This has given everyone the chance to decide what they think of Metro. Please visit the forums to learn what people think, and I have in important question for you.

    Windows 8 is designed for touch. This creates a problem. Most computers don't have touch screens. They use mice and keyboards, which Windows 8 appears to support only as "legacy" input options. Pretend that tablets don't exist for the moment. If we assume this, what is the point of having Metro be the regular UI on my desktop? Most Metro apps feel like iPhone apps running on a full-fledged PC, in my epxerience. When I use Windows 8, what happens is that I begin to use the desktop, then once I start using the desktop, I don't want to leave. For one thing, I don't need a big pane covering my screen every time I want to open a program. Second, it is usually almost always better to design something from the ground up for certain types of hardware. Windows 1.0-7 were designed from the ground up to work with mice and keyboards. Windows 8 was designed from the ground up to work with touch and converted so it would work with mice and keyboards. After I figured out how to use Metro, I began to ask myself what the point was of using a UI that wasn't designed for computers like mine (a 3.5-year-old Dell desktop). Metro works well for tablets, but I don't understand the idea on desktops. In Metro, by default, Metro is the main Windows experience, and the desktop is for "legacy" programs and only runs when you need it. When I use Windows 8, I begin to reach a point where opening the Start Screen becomes tedious, and I dread switching out of the desktop view. Metro apps are not designed for mice and keyboards, so there is no reason to use them on desktops as the "regular" UI.

    For desktops and laptops, this should be the other way around. PLEASE make the desktop the default experience on PC's and use Metro by default only on tablets. Metro has many problems at this stage, but even if some of them are solved, there is still the basic question of why I would want to use a UI designed for cell phones on my computer.

    Interestingly, it is possible to restore the Windows Vista/7 UI in Windows 8 by renaming a DLL file and chainging the RPEnabled value in Windows Explorer from 1 to 0. With certain patters of changing these, it is possible to turn off Metro while keeping all of Windows 8's new additions. Does this mean that Metro is not designed to run full-time on desktops like it is on tablets?

    You said in a previous post that if I want to, I can spend all of my time and Metro and not ever load the desktop. With desktop computers, it makes sense to do this the other way around. Use the desktop as the default UI and only load Metro in special cases.

    Sorry if this post is not appropriate for this blog post, but this, not start-up time, is the most critical issue in Windows 8. Please post something on the blog about this soon. Even after adjusting to Windows 8's Metro UI, I just don't see a lot of potential on the desktop. These apps are too limited, and I tend to abuse Task Manager's "Abort Process" function to make up for the lack of the ability to close apps.

    As for the new boot-up process, this is one of my favorite new features of Windows 8. I can even use the mouse when choosing an operating system. I was able to set up a dual-boot with Windows Vista easily.

  8. jEN says:

    Thanks for your efforts!

    Will W8 finally be able to install to and boot from external media (USB, Lightpeak)? Will the boot manager finally recognize existing Linux installations?

  9. Tom Servo says:

    @mt325000: "Most Metro apps"?!

    There's a few example ones shipped with WDP, that were done in relatively short time, with limited functionality and consideration for varying screen sizes. What stops anyone from creating more complex and powerful applications with a higher control density than a bunch of big rectangles like in the demo apps?

  10. I'm very glad to see how the teams care about every single detail to make user experience better in this version like new boot, new task manager…. Since it's not the finished product yet so I would suggest the team to make the BRAND NEW icon and enhance some aging program like Registry Editor, Direct X dialog…

  11. r3loaded says:

    I like the new boot process. My question is – Asus have a beautiful UEFI interface on their newest motherboards, and it display the Asus logo on boot before booting Windows 7 through UEFI (the logo can be customised too). Assuming Asus push out a firmware update to support this, will Windows 8 automatically enable this seamless boot logo process, showing the Asus logo (or whatever I've customised it to) up until the lockscreen appears?

  12. w1ngnut says:

    Great work guys. It looks awesome!!!

  13. pzstm says:

    Love it so much! Awesome job!

  14. Tim says:

    @mt325000 – Everything you can do with touch, you can do with the mouse and keyboard. Sometimes there's some discoverability (right-clicking to get the app bar, for instance). But it does all work. and it works well. And you get the entire (non-touch-friendly) desktop as well. Best of both worlds. Sorry, I shared your concerns before I got my hands on a device and the OS, but after using it for a week now, I no longer share them. They've handled it the right way.

  15. Dominic says:

    Please make it easier to stay in the legacy desktop and the metro start screen.  I like the beauty of the start screen, but if I need to do something requiring a mouse and keyboard I want to switch to (and kinda stay in) the desktop.  Make it a litte bit easier to start programs from the desktop.  I suggest putting the charms on the right regardless of imput device and put a search bar where the start menu used to be.  Maybe have it only search legacy apps or something…

    You will figure something out, and it will work great!

  16. mt325000 says:

    As for why I am so eager to hear about whether or not Metro will be the default UI in Windows 8:

    I have heard rumblings in the forums that you may decide to change the Metro/Desktop behavior in the future. I have been waiting eagerly for a week waiting to see what you plan to do with Metro on regular PC's.

    Despite this, if you plan to ship Windows 8 with Metro as the default UI on desktops and the regular Windows Desktop in the form of an app like it is now, with no plans to let users turn off Metro or run it in a window, it will be a crushing disappointment. I need to see the Windows installation have an option to install in "desktop mode" with Metro run like a regular Windows program on top of the desktop as an optional secondary user interface before I will consider switching to Windows 8. If not, it may be the first time ever that I avoid a Windows upgrade.

  17. DevPlus says:

    COOOOL :D

    Can i Create Desktop App with WinRT ( i Hate Win32 :D )

  18. mt325000 says:

    To respond to what Tim said:

    I disagree. Using Windows 8 feels like switching back and forth between two computers that have nothing to do with each other. Turning the desktop into a cell phone serves no functional purpose. Just because I can get used to it doesn't mean there is any advantage to changing the UI. Metro needs to run in a window on desktops, not as the main interface. I have also been using the Developer Preview for a week, and I can't figure out why Metro exists. I would like you to name some advantages of Metro on desktops over the regular desktop, if you can. Windows doesn't need to be reimagined, at least not in the way Microsoft has done it. Some of the ideas that come from Metro make sense, but most don't, and Microsoft seems to think that Metro is the interface of the future. What worries me is that so far, it seems like Microsoft expects us to use this interface, with no explanation of why it is better for my desktop. Keep in mind, we are focusing striclty on desktops and laptops in this discusson, not on tablets. To me, the are another kind of device entirely.

  19. I love new boot interface, but…

    …some of us are dual-booting with Linux or other operating systems. Could Windows 8 not overwrite MBR without any question like it is doing for a years?

    It would be great to ask user if to overwrite or… plug this beautiful new boot manager into GRUB or LILO as they support chainloading.

  20. Few questions / comments

    1. Great new OS selector, but is it possible to return to the old boot selector? It takes 10 seconds and a reboot to switch between an OS…

    2. How is this mode stil going to work when Windows isn't? Sound a bit deep, but if a touch-driver doesn't work, will it work when going to recovery options. Is this like running seperate, or is it more related to bios?

    3. I noticed in your video that a function like system restore is hidden in advanced settings, while a full reset is shown earlier. This should be the other way around.

    4. I don't have a tabled :( but how will those people be able to enter F8 during launch? Like start Windows in safe modus without launching the full/crashing windows first?

    5. The blue screen looks better, but I suggest to put more focus on the error code like 0x000c3 , I always find more important info using that compared to the error shown above.

    Thanks!

    Peter

    Also: THIS comment system barely works in IE10 or IE9. Lots of commenting issues and lots of letters I type won't be added to this textbox. Please fix it, it's extremely basic stuff guys and it wil do alot of good. Thanks!

  21. Microsoft needs to give desktop app's title on start screen the ability of live title, notification as well as highlighting desktop app title in start screen for which running on windows. (right now, only metro app tiles look dynamic the desktop app titles look very boring)

    ADD a right click option for explorer title like jump list on taskbar for easier access to recent or pinned documents/files.

    Oh by the way, I want more Metro style apps that represent the current desktop utility of Windows: calculator, converter (richer option), and improve alarm, weather(animation of weather is good but sometime lagging that need to have special modes like low/medium/high graphic to improve performance/experience)

    Graphic mode for app like weather:

    high: the same definition of dynamic animating background of developer preview.

    medium:lower definition of dynamic animating background of developer preview.

    low: static (not animating) dynamic background.

  22. Modern, Clean! I have nothing more to say :)

    Good work.

  23. Tourniquet says:

    I think the boot progress is very impressive.

    Its nice not to see the old bootmenü and i was about time ^^.

    You spoke about the bootprogress with UEFI what about the BIOS bootprogress? Will the BIOS User get a nice and shiny new bootscreen?

    As for the BSOD / Design: I don't like it at all. Some weeks ago we saw the Black Screen Of Death, this was looking really good. Why did you change it back to blue / turquois?

  24. I have to add that you should add more information about the problem in the bluescreen, but i like the design of the new one.

  25. "Sad BSOD is sad." *lol*

    Now I only have one question: How will I be able to manually trigger a BSOD, as soon as I have a Win8 device in my hands? :-D

  26. mt325000 says:

    I just read an article on PC Magazine that said the same thing I have been thinking about Metro ever since I installed Windows 8.

    What's the point? It works well on tablets, but on desktops, Metro serves no useful purpose. The Office 2007 redesign was about exposing features that already existed and adding new ones. Everything worked with the Ribbon, and it wasn't a radical new concept, just a reworking of what Office already had.

    Now look at Metro in Windows 8. It takes a phone UI and adds it to desktops. It's not a question of learning to use it. That took about an hour. Now that I have Windows 8, I don't want to use it. It actually makes Windows more complicated. I don't think that's what anyone at Microsoft has in mind.

  27. Michele Fioretto says:

    Installed on dell xt2 tablet and it is working very nice! stable even better than windows 7. really promising good. Thanks!

  28. Tom says:

    Why "Windows Registry" still exists?

  29. cranberry says:

    Love what I am seeing. It was about time to modernize our beloved BSOD. :) The only thing that I don't like with the WDP is that the boot manager takes quite a while to show (half of Windows seems to get loaded first) and when choosing to boot into another OS it completely restarts the PC before Win 7 boots. That can take quite a while.

  30. Skiz says:

    @Tom "Why "Windows Registry" still exists?"

    I think you've been fooled into believing that the registry is the reason your Windows is running slow.  There's a whole industry of folks who have tried to make you believe this and that you should buy their "registry cleaner".

    In reality, the registry isn't so evil or bad.  Sure, if you install a lot of garbage and either never remove any of it, or if the app uninstall processes don't remove things, or if things get set in ways that weren't intended, it can get junked up.  It's a good reason to do a clean install when a new OS comes out.  But it isn't necssarily as bad as you're led to believe by folks who want to make a buck.

  31. Octagon says:

    This is very good, but why Windows STILL cannot install itself just into ONE partition, without messing the whole system up? Cannot learn from Linux?

    The only SAFE way to try Windows 8 is to physically disconnect the Windows 7 disk. Sad. VERY sad.

  32. Brandon says:

    A couple comments:

    1. Like the new BSOD however like was mentioned above – please try to include some more detail  0x1234567 is usually a really good part of the search term when troubleshooting. As I'm sure you know a single digit difference in that code means different things. Also are you still creating crash dump files that can be investigated?

    2. F8 – Safe Mode – Last Known Good… are those still going to be accessible?

  33. Tim says:

    @mt325000

    I don't need to name some advantages of the metro style interface, because everything I can do in Windows 7 with mouse and keyboard on the desktop, I can do in Windows 8 with mouse and keyboard on the desktop. It's clear that there are some things missing in the Developer Preview that will be hooked up later on. But its a completely additive process as far as I'm concerned. So the advantages are irrelevant to your argument as far as I'm concerned.

    I wouldn't mind having an option to just stay in the desktop world, but I can pretty much do that on my own if I want to (minus the first click to get there after log in).

    The main point of my argument is that its completely additive. Don't use it if you don't want to. Stay in the desktop world. But then for people who want BOTH worlds (which i certainly do – on tablets and on my touch-screen laptop), they can have it. Everyone gets what they want. That's the beauty of this approach versus what everyone else is doing.

  34. Martin says:

    I would like to see a revamp of the console (command prompt) .

    redraw on resize, transparency, multi-tabbed console, etc.

  35. Bart says:

    @Raffo – Enable this feature support.microsoft.com/…/244139 to be able to manually trigger a STOP screen.

  36. RJHS says:

    Hello, I think you're doing a great job, and I really preciate this change because now it's much more user friendly, and that is always welcome. As I see this, I was thinking in an option you should add, something like a third option that let you get in the browser very fast. Something like: "Internet Explorer Only" for those who are in a hurry and can`t wait the 20 seconds of a complete boot (I'm thinking for those that don't have a super fast PC as you do, so they boot slower than 8 secs). And another thing, it would be great if you added the option of customizing that screen, somewhat like choosing an image, or icon for the OS, or changing the name, faster than going to BCDEDIT on windows itself

    Regards

  37. Francis Adu-Gyamfi says:

    For the BSOD, I believe the " :( " symbol needs to go. It's kinda out of place. I never liked the icon with Google Chrome either.

  38. mt325000 says:

    Using Windows 8 in the desktop world only is exactly what I want to do. However, I don't want Windows 8 to load Metro on startup or use the Start Screen to replace the Start menu. I want to be able to open Metro as an application in the regular Windows environment, possibly even in a window like other programs. I do not expect Microsoft to completely remove Metro, I just think it needs a different usage model.

  39. Good Work says:

    I love the new startup. However I still fail to understand why you use Metro.

    We can all agree that tablet users don't want to use the regular desktop, and desktop users don't want to use Metro.

    Why not make two seperate operating systems, perhaps Windows 8 and Windows 8 Tablet?

    Imagine Mac OS X starting up onto what they call Launchpad with the regular desktop becoming "Just Another App".

    Can somebody please explain to me why they don't just make 2 different OS's?

    Please don't yell at me or call me a troll or etc; I am voicing my opinion.

  40. Andrew C says:

    Hey, looks great.

    I've got the dev preview up and running on my slate pc. How do I get to the boot menu? I guess my question is: What's the gesture equivalent of pressing F8?

    Thanks, and keep up the great work!

  41. Ian says:

    I was wondering how would you be able to select a flash drive to boot from if you never see this screen when you have only Windows 8 installed? how about accessing cmd and other features shown in the video.  

    The "Old" interface used to allow you to press a key even when it only had 1 os installed because it was the option was presented before the OS loaded. Such as the boot Manager.

  42. Philippe S says:

    Thank you for your work

    I think it's ok if you show less information on the BSOD – as long you can guarantee a minidump has been created. If this isn't the case you should present more information.

  43. Doug B says:

    The embedded video does not play for me on Chrome 14.0.835.186 or Firefox 6.0.2 under Windows 7 SP1 x64.

  44. tN0 says:

    I fully agree with what @mt325000 said and I share the same concerns about how well Metro can be used with a mouse and keyboard. Sure, it is very early so I still have hope that a lot of problems can and will be solved but at the moment I see a lot of important issues:

    Metro and desktop feels like two products. It is inconsistent: with touch the Charms appear on the right side of the screen. When you use the mouse they appear on the lower left side of the screen. The exact same feature! Or the "forward" button on modern IE is on the other side of the screen but could be easily accessed if it would stay on the left side.

    Metro lacks a lot of useful functionality: you don't get hover states when using the mouse, Fitts' Law is almost completely ignored on the current Metro UI so you have to move your cursor too often across the whole screen.

    Same tasks are more complicated as they are now: searching on the Start screen needs manual filtering to access settings or files, navigating grids of elements with a keyboard is less effective as navigating lists (Start menu vs. Start screen). Simple things like going back in the IE need two actions (open Charms, pressing/tapping "Back").

    Where are Jump Lists on the Start screen? Or the recently used apps? Now if you searched for an app and used it, you didn't have to search again if you need it later. With Windows 8 you search every time until you finally pin it. Power users may end up pinning every program to the Start screen.

    Invisible functionality: "Hot corners" and Charms aren't good solutions, IMHO. Because functionality is hidden from the user. You don't even have these concepts on Windows Phones.

    Metro doesn't feel "right" with a mouse. For instance using a mouse wheel for horizontal scrolling feels odd.

    The level of complexity is extremely unbalanced: compare the modern Control Panel with the new Ribbon Explorer. These are two different interfaces for different input "devices" but they seem to be designed for different species.

    At the end my biggest concern is that Windows 8 doesn't feel like one product and i'm not talking about colors or gradients or icons but colliding concepts. "Desktop as an app" does not work for me. Why isn't the Task bar accessible on the Start screen? Could work well with touch and Metro apps should be handled like full screen apps before (think of Media Center) and they should appear on the lower end of the Start screen.

    I'm a big fan of Metro on a phone. But if you say that a tablet is a PC and you are using the same interaction concepts, well, does it mean a PC is a phone?

  45. My suggestion / A better idea for implementing Metro Apps

    I think the desktop must continue to be the main space in a PC, like a "welcome home", but improved in many ways.

    Windows 7 default dektop (here http://www.moquo.com.ar/…/w7.jpg) its kind of empty and almost not functional.

    But I've made a concept, that's shows how to improve the desktop in a very interesting way.

    This image says it all: http://www.moquo.com.ar/…/desktop+metroapps.jpg

    I show you here that it can be possible to integrate Metro Apps right in the desktop without compromising desktop organization! And, the best thing is: there’s no need to press Start button to switch between apps and the desktop!

    You will see too -apart from metro apps and the taskbar-, a bunch of icons and shortcuts, organized inside “Fences”. Fences is a 3rd party program that allows you to organize the desktop icons much better than the “organize” native function of Windows.

    This program/technology can be acquired for Microsoft for its implementation in the next version of Windows.

    So, with this screenshot, it’s proved that 4 elements can coexist well together: desktop + icons/shortcuts organization + apps + taskbar.

  46. Alberto says:

    It is not necessary to create two versions of Windows as many are asking (tablet and desktop). Microsoft only needs to create two profiles, and allow the user to choose whether the profile desktop or tablet. Problem solved.

  47. Lance says:

    I know this is off topic but the conversation has drifted to metro vs. desktop.  on my PC I want a desktop.  Switching to metro to find an app is annoying.   Having metro and non-metro apps is pretty bad for the end users as well. different bookmarks in different explorers.

    It's jarring to hit the windows key and have the screen swap to a totally UI, one that for a PC, is inferior.

    I know Ballmer thinks of everything as a "windows device" and you're trying to cram features into a PC to train people to use your mobile platform. People work in a desktop environment, people futz around on a tablet environment (mostly).  alt tabbing 12 times to get to my app while 9 of my applications are suspended waiting for windows to close them is moronic an makes me less productive.

    I use a computer to be more productive, not less.

    Give us the option to disable metro on a PC, the new windows key function creates a horrible experience. Full screen application tabbing is slow and awkward on a desktop – extremely kludgey.

    I want to like metro, and on a tablet I might, but using it on the PC makes me never want to install it on any device I own or buy.  On the desktop it's a poorly thought out kludge in an attempt to extend the windows monopoly to tablet devices.  In terms of system enhancements, all I see is faster boot times and a better file/copy interface.

    Aside from metro, which I find simplistic, unfriendly, and abhorrent, why should I upgrade to windows 8?  I make the tech purchases for my household, not my wife. You are catering to the lowest common denominator again. This didn't work out too well with Microsoft Bob, and now you are following the same pattern on a grander scale, welcome back to 1995.

    Stupid interface – check

    Apps scattered all over the place – check

    accommodating people that can't spell PC – check

    Insulting the real users and people that decide what tech to buy – check

    All you're missing is the dog….and Clippy.  I almost forgot Clippy, wasn't he supposed to cater to the neophyte crowd too?  

    While I understand that MS needs a single OS to support both tablets and their core OS, metro is good for quick tasks and casual browsing. As tablets and computers merge I can see taking a powerful tablet docking it and using it as a PC (with a bigger screen).  One OS to do both sounds elegant… but it’s not.

    For power users Mero is under whelming.  I doubt I’ll ever use it in day to day operations.  One of the first apps for windows 8 that I’ve seen is to turn off Metro.  What works in one instance is not optimal for a

    What I like:

    • Searching is fast

    • Better boot times

    • Lower footprint

    • Great for touchscreens

    What I don’t like:

    • I HATE the way windows key takes me to metro. Now it’s more steps to start an app:

    • Not very nice using a laptop trackpad, a lot more scrolling around to get to something.

    • Separate pages for apps wastes time.  If I frequently use an app today it’s on my desktop – one click. Metro forces me to “swipe” to get to the next page… I really don’t want to swipe 15 times to go through my apps (yes I can search for them, but I use a large variety of apps and even 50% size many wouldn’t fit.)

    • Switching between apps is worse – I often have as many as 15 running when I close things I don't need.  I don't want to swipe 15 times to get to the app I need to work on and I don't want windows to close one I plan t use in 10 minutes,

    • Apps don’t close they just hog RAM (even when idle)

    • There’s not a lot feedback about what is clickable (lower left corner)

    • Many things can only be done from the desktop – why bother with the limited metro environment?

  48. Chris says:

    Wow!

    @ludomatico

    Your concept is very interesting: http://www.moquo.com.ar/…/desktop+metroapps.jpg

  49. Persuadable says:

    Logarithmic?  Really?

    If Gordon Moore were dead, he would be spinning in his grave.

  50. Pip says:

    The whole Windows 8 is optimised for touch that's ok but when I try to us it as a working station and a mouse and keyboard it's like I'm using my legs and not arms to do the operations.

  51. Jason Ryan says:

    This whole presentation is just beyond infuriating.

    First: You couldn't embed the video for non-IE users? Really? Come on.

    Second: ok, so you demo with a bootable Sandisk plugged in. Why is the boot option for Sandisk buried three levels deep? WHY CAN'T I BOOT TO SANDISK FROM THE PRIMARY BOOT MENU? This is beyond stupid.

    Third: does it really take two menu navs and 45 seconds to get to a command prompt in a dinky little window with a virtual keyboard half covering it up? With all of the thousands of people working on Win8, this is the best you guys can do?

    Here's the problem: I see nothing of value to make me upgrade my notebook, or to buy a Win tablet. It's still the same core code. It's still the same core security vulnerabilities. It's still the same systemic complexity that I'm desperately trying to get away from. The fact that I might have to dive into a command prompt to fix a driver problem when Win8 really should have automatic driver roll back features tells me my next computer or tablet should come from Apple.

  52. xpclient says:

    1. Good grief but you removed the useful information that the BSOD gave? Can we turn off the friendlier BSOD and turn on the more useful one which gives us some information? Dumbed down BSOD is a deal-breaker. Only if it's the default it's okay but we can turn on the more technical one?. You cannot make troubleshooting of a BSOD more difficult!! Now I will be forced to use Crash Analyzer from Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, part of MDOP.

    2. As already pointed out, booting into another OS should not reboot! Why are you delaying the boot of any other OS besides Windows 8? It takes longer to boot into Windows 7 or Windows XP because of the new boot loader, it restarts to boot into the other OS.

    3. When Windows 8 is installed, it is your responsibility to make it play nice with other installed OSes including Linux. I had a triple boot perfectly set up and working with Windows 7 SP1, Windows Vista SP2 and Windows XP x64 SP2 and when I replaced Vista with Windows Developer Preview, it killed my ability to boot to Windows XP x64. I had to use bcdedit again to add it back. Make it easy to add and properly locate NTLDR-based legacy OSes and Recovery Console if it's already installed.

    4. Whatever happened to the functions like Last Known Good Configuration, Disable Driver Signature Enforcement, DSRM, Safe Mode etc? How do we access these F8 functions (actually since Windows Vista, F8 was replaced by Space bar but this wasn't documented well). I did not see them in the new boot UI.

    5. Lots of polish is required for the boot screen. Currently, it's ugly as hell. The pictures in the tiles especially are really really ugly.

    6. There is no progress bar indicating the hibernation status. We need a progress bar at least while it's hibernating if not while its resuming. Not all devices even have LEDs so you aren't being clear that it's still hibernating and the user doesn't feel confident to throw the portable device in his bag.

    7. Bring Hardware Profiles feature back. It was very useful when we have similar hardware with multiple configurations.

    8. Things like "Please wait while Windows configures updates" should be done in the background without delaying logon.

    9. Logon related: For workgroups computers, the classic logon prompt cannot be made to appear in Windows 7 (like it could in XP) by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del at the Welcome screen twice. This makes it impossible to logon to a hidden user account while the Welcome screen is enabled (when Classic Logon is not enforced through Group Policy). This is not a problem for domain-joined PCs where pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del twice at Windows 7 logon screen shows the classic logon prompt.

    10. Logon related: Because of the classic logon being removed, domain names are no longer populated on the logon screen and cannot be selected from a drop down list. We have to type the full domain name every time.

    And please reply to the questions.

  53. I love the new boot but could be better, for example a new "DOSSHELL" to transfer easy and quick files between local disk or network.

    CMD (AKA old DOS) is simple and good but for amateur users o new users Its difficult to learn all commands.

  54. xpclient says:

    In Advanced System Properties -> Startup and Recovery options, there should be a dropdown to show the more user friendly BSOD or the technical BSOD.

  55. xpclient says:

    And no everything from the BSOD is not logged to the System Event Log. Last time I was experiencing BSODs, I checked the event log which did not have that information.

  56. Edwards says:

    Press Shift + F8 and you can get the old DOS boot…

  57. xpclient says:

    Also Chkdsk when run at startup before booting no longer displays any information besides % complete! Why this dumbing down of every aspect of the boot? It won't tell me what corrections it made to the file system?

  58. leigh says:

    First, on topic:

    The boot expeience looks great.  I do like the graphical screens to select the OS I want, and am currently booting 2 computers dual with Windows 7 and the Developer Preview.

    Off topic:

    I do think that the use of Metro is bothering some users, but others are very happy with it.

    it isn't that dififcult, or different.

    If the app that you want is on the first screen (which has A LOT OF space), it is as easy as hitting the Windows key and then clicking on the app.   This is a lot more convient than the experience of clickinng on "All programs" and then finding the program I want, and then finally clicking on it, and really no different than clicking on a desktop icon.  

    I find the Metro experience very easy with a mouse and keyboard, and it will be great with a touch-first tablet, like the Samsung Series 7 Slate.

    The problem with having the ability to totally turn off Metro is that MS would now have to support more ways of controling everything, instead of one experience.  And, let's face it, if they did that, many different people would complain.

    Another problem with dumping Metro, even on the desktop, would be the lessening of the audience for Devs wanting to write apps with live tiles and notifications, that really pump up the PC experience.

    Giuys, understand, for every person saying they don't like Metro, are many that say they do, and then there is one that says "Metro is king!  Why do we still need the desktop?"

    Try not to use words like "su-ks" and "stupid" and "illogical", as these are all opinions.   Try to describe your point in more generic and professional langoage.

  59. gawicks says:

    Steven you did a post on the Explorer, now can you do a post on Metro ( ie Start screen etc;) . This is something we have lots to talk about

  60. jader3rd says:

    Billie, great post thanks.

    It is down right entertaining how frustrated some of these commentors are. For pretty much every frustration I've read I'm rather confident that it's not just a "you'll get used to it" type of thing, but once they do they'll struggle to go back. They'll subconciously and slowly learn the advantages and see the current computer paradigm as archaic. I love it.

  61. war59312 says:

    BSOD needs lots of work. It should say were the crash info is stored and information about the driver that caused the crash.

    And get rid of the stupid sad face. It's ugly.

  62. Cotti says:

    It is extremely frustrating having to reinstall WDP every day.

    Why? Because after a forced reset, all Metro apps (with one or two exceptions, like Control Panel) stop working.

    And forced resets ARE needed, because logging off / asking for shutdown or a reboot are downright still broken.

    Of course it's a M3 build, but wasn't it intended to at least work for devs to become familiarized with Metro? I wanted to do just that, and it's becoming impossible.

    Won't a fix for situations like this become avaliable?

  63. tcamp says:

    The system recovery needs a registry mount option.  It is always a bit frustrating to be able to view/change/modify files, but not the corresponding registry entries (without a lot of work at least).

  64. Metro on desktop sucks! Please do not alienate your 400million users for 20million tablet market. Metro on desktop is a disaster.

  65. What was wrong with black BSOD? That seemed far better than this joker screen now.

  66. Michael Douglas says:

    Nice post but I'll continue to use EasyBCD to do my bootloader options. It lets you rename and supports operating systems different from Windows (mac, linux) and it's free. :)

  67. Windowsfan says:

    I'm glad you've focused so much on making the boot experience seamless. It looks so much nicer than those old DOS screens! It also proves that the Windows team has an eye for style ;) As good as these efforts are, I wish you would extend this focus on a "seamless" experience to the desktop. the Metro-to-desktop transition isn't seamless at all. the two use entirely different styles; they don't even look like kin. Please make the Metro experience and the desktop experience feel cohesive, Perhaps replacing the roundness and glassiness of the buttons/taskbar would help move towards this end. I really enjoy the transparency from Metro, though. I'm excited to see what you'll do to "marry" these two UI's and make them feel like they belong together.

    By the way, I hope Windows 8 supports trackpad gestures ALONG with touchscreen abilities. Being able to swipe left and right on the trackpad to navigate the Metro screen would be amazing.

  68. xpclient says:

    Okay I didn't see the line "You can search for the error online" at all earlier as it was too tiny in the resized screenshot.

  69. intellll says:

    can you create optimize optiones for overclocking or speed up pc?

  70. Please get rid of this god awful metro menu and provide us regular start menu. The big tiles are optimized for finger and not mouse. This is one of the worst decision. Even Apple did not alienate their desktop users and Microsoft is going to alienate their cash cow.

    I believe windows 7 nailed the user interface for desktops so it is not clear what was the reason of changing it, other than just some stupid managers trying to make their mark.

    Do you know that this metro screen is also on servers? HAHA best joke from Microsoft. Even a fresh college graduate would not make such a decision. It seems either Microsoft has bunch of bozos or some ultra super human smart who are above the normal intelligence of us mortals.

  71. I totally second what Raffo said, because it'd be fun to see the new BSoD, but I haven't after putting the WDP through hell apparently because your OS is too damn stable! Great work guys ;)  

    P.S: As a dual booter, I have to say that the new UI is really good … though It took me a while to get used to the fact that I can use the mouse to select an OS!

  72. B8Blog says:

    @Cotti — there's something else going on with your preview setup.  Obviously many of us are getting a bit more uptime than you.  It could be hardware/driver specific or it could be some additional software you are installing?  You might detail your post-installation steps and/or hardware on our forums and see what other folks have run into on http://win8.ms/forums.  

  73. Kaushik says:

    Can you please provide a choice during Windows installation for users to choose their desktop preference – Metro or Regular desktop? I don't want Metro to be shoved down my throat.

  74. Will UEFI SecureBooot option avaiable on all devices, which using UEFI or can the oem manufactors decide?

    Because for example with supporting virtualization, some oems diabled (not available) that function on the bios, but the cpu would support that.

    I hope that all device would benefit of it.

  75. CodeNameUnknown says:

    I was kinda frustrated with the new boot, because i use Windows 7 win8 DP and ubuntu.

    The windows 8 DP boot loader loads up most parts of win8, then gives you the choice of choosing an operating system.

    1st i dont like the whole "loading part of win8" but i understand why you guys did that.

    2nd my ubuntu doesnt show up!

    Now normally i'll use the windows 7 bootloader, and that'll give me full options too all the OS's i have (it's the same old boot menu…that honestly, i like)

    But here comes the problem, … , when i boot up win8 DP from the win7 bootloader (or the general boot loader), and then i restart my computer, i realise that win8 takes over the bootloader and then i enter the new boot menus, which excludes ubuntu….

    Im not saying "i hate the new boot menu, take it away'…i understand why you guys did it (for touch experiance), but please dont take over my default loader, … , let us choose!!

  76. FIX: Windows 8 PC reboots every time while switching between an OS on dual boot system. http://wp.me/zY7h

  77. will says:

    need to reengineer every thing on windows 8. now i move to windows 7 because it works too slow. i cant play dvd movies it doesn't work if it woks and it really slow. there is no screen resolution on windows 8. look at windows 7 desktop from the moment it start its awesome fast and beautiful. themes are awful in windows 8. really annoying. go back to winows7. this os is 10 time slower than vista. you guys need to reengineer the whole widows. in widows 7 it automatically adjust screen settings and windows 8 there's nothing. this is going to be end pc era.

  78. will says:

    need to reengineer every thing on windows 8. now i move to windows 7 because it works too slow. i cant play dvd movies it doesn't work if it woks and it really slow. there is no screen resolution on windows 8. look at windows 7 desktop from the moment it start its awesome fast and beautiful. themes are awful in windows 8. really annoying. go back to winows7. this os is 10 time slower than vista. you guys need to reengineer the whole widows. in widows 7 it automatically adjust screen settings and windows 8 there's nothing. this is going to be end pc era.

  79. After testing the Windows Developer Preview for a couple of days, I finally dropped my Windows 7 Ultimate and use WDP as my main OS on my netbook. I like how it boots, changing from one screen to another.. It's fast and fluid. Looking forward for more updates!

    Congratulations!! Microsoft for a job well done!

  80. Jaising says:

    The boot loader will be replaced by the Windows 7 boot loader by me if it is going to restart to boot another operating system.

  81. Brian says:

    There is FAR too little info available on the new BSOD.

    There needs to be a way to display more details.

  82. I prefer to see also the 0x… number on BSOD as it is easier to remember (in many cases, just one or two characters as the rest are zeros). Remembering and retyping 30 chars string has a huge risk of typo.

    Additionally, showing the parameters are also very usable, especially when they have a meaning of error's subnumber. Not every time it is possible to get mini-dumps from that PC as it is not bootable and reattaching disks, especially in tablets, is also quite risky and time consuming.

    You are presuming that every device is "PC". Personally, I do not call 10' tablets a PC.

    There are many useful options missing, like booting in VGA (faulty GPU, display or graphic driver, in some cases CPU or RAM) or booting without network (removing malvare).

    What about memory test? It's still accessible from boot menu (faulty anything)?

    And yes, the commenting system is buggy. The late load prevents from the browser to keep the last scrolling position after Reload. And sending a comment is a long run to get it finally sent and/or published.

  83. Windows 8 Enthusiast says:

    Can i use MS Touch mouse for multi-touch gestures and side scrolling with Windows 8?

  84. Octagon says:

    As far as I understand, the new shutdown is stopping all user processes and hibernating system ones. If so, wil the new hardware be detected if I replace the motherboard and the video while the system is shut down?

  85. @will, themes are awful in Windows 8 because they want you to use Metro ALWAYS.

  86. Kazi says:

    Hi,

    1. First of all, I have tried out Windows 8 Developer Preview on 3 machines of mine, and the experience is fast and fluid indeed, despite it is a pre beta release. It runs very well on my 6 years old Toshiba Tecra notebook as well, which has Pentium-M processor. The only thing I can say: BRAVO Microsoft.

    2. I was eager to discover the new developer experience. As I'm a long time WPF fan, WinRT is a big surprise for me. WinRT is so well designed, architected and thought through, it beats WPF in almost every area but inherits all the goodies we had in WPF. Considering to try out native C++ and Html5/JS tools too. The developer experience is fast and fluid, plus very consistent. The only thing I can say: BRAVO Microsoft.

    3. I can see one area as a possible improvement. Scrolling with mouse is a bit hard in Metro style applications. I know, mouse wheel /and scrollbars/ are for scrolling, but mouse wheel doesn't work most of the time. I tend to try pan scrollable areas by dragging empty areas with the mouse. It never works, but Metro style applications suggest me all the time that, it should work this way. This is a vegetative reaction to see Metro UI despite using mouse only. Please improve mouse scrolling experience.

    Kazi

  87. Kazi says:

    On the boot experience: my bluetooth mouse works on the new GUI based boot menu as well, so it preloads drivers as well. Smells like it is MinWin.

  88. Nirav says:

    it would had nice if MS also adds auto screen shot of BSOD on disk as error log.

  89. RP says:

    Most of this is great, but

    - how about an option to press Esc during the manufacturer logo stage to see more detail of the boot, so that we can track which stage any fault is occurring at?

    - how about an option to activate VGA boot as MCCZ suggested above?

    - and extra detail on chkdsk as xpclient suggested?

    - why are the soft keyboards so limited? There are so many useful keys : / * that you don't have easy access to (you have to go to the numbers screen first).  Is it not possible to design a better soft keyboard that shows more keys at once, at least on devices with larger screens or for people with smaller fingers?  Already I find that typing passwords into a touch phone is an awful experience because of the need to switch back and forth between alphabetic and numeric input.

  90. Mr.Windows says:

    Great work Microsoft & please add controls to close the metro apps(currently we have to close them via Taskmanager).

    BTW: I will soon give you a concept screenshot of a feature which you might want to add in the desktop interface of Windows 8,you guys might like it…  ;-)

  91. Drewfus says:

    @Billie Sue Chafins (post author)

    "If you think about the experience of powering up a PC today, first, you most likely see several circa-1980 text console screens flash by as the computer enters the Power-on Self-test (POST) phase of boot."

    You mean it's no good because it's old, right? Those BIOS screen provide useful information. If you want pretty, why not make the existing white text on black background, white text on turquoise/blue background? Just removing the information and making the screens a pastel color with large font is neither helpful, nor is it beautiful, just because you say it is.

    "… consumer electronics quality." What does that mean?

    "…due to the lack of full graphics capabilities, the Multi-OS and Advanced Boot Options menus displayed by the boot manager shown below appear as if they were from the MS-DOS era"

    Yes, and they are simple, functional and responsive, too. Why is beauty the main criteria now? Again, if you want it to look a bit nicer, initialize a simple ANSI-like graphics driver during boot so you can set text and background from a small pallete of colors. No need to launch WinPE just to get better looking boot screens. That's overkill. Your going down the wrong path with all this emphasis on looks and ultra-simplicity.

    "…UEFI systems can render rich graphical experiences in native resolution via the Graphic Output Protocol (GOP) driver."

    So that's how it works in Windows 8, right?

    "With UEFI, the OS can finally communicate with boot firmware in a standard way … This enables such features as secure boot, where the OS and firmware cooperate in creating a secure handoff mechanism. It also enables a seamless visual experience from the time you hit the power button – one experience owned by two distinct components."

    That's not a lot of technical detail for a supposedly 'power users' blog.

    Most of the posts in this blog read more like press releases than semi-in-depth technical overviews. Sinofsky, et al, you should stop insulting the intelligence of your readers and step-up both the technical level of posts and the quanity of feedback to readers questions and comments – otherwise your only going to be preaching to fanboys like SuperJaycee13.

  92. OX4 says:

    Please get rid of the frowning emoticon on the BSOD.  There's nothing worse that experiencing the horror of an error at an inopportune time and at the same time realizing that the developer thinks it's all a joke.

  93. "Unlike in previous versions of Windows, the advanced boot options in Windows 8 can be reached easily"

    Nice marketing phrase, but not supported with facts, nor futher described what this means in reality; so just another buzz words.

    If there is no hint in UI to get into the boot screen, I doubt the following steps fits into "reached easily".

    1. First discover that there might be such a feature like a boot menu. This step is quite hard – want something you never meant you can get.

    2. Connect to the internet and search for this. Quite hard if you have no clue how to call that feature.

    3. Go through several blogs and forums talking about everything else than you need to finally reach the right steps.

    4. Power on the device and press the magic key or touch sequence. By the way, how to press F8 or DEL while having no keyboard?

    5. Wait 10 more seconds just to get white Segoe text on a blue background. Not much benefit for that time and you have not provided any other benefit (mouse driver is quite easy to load, proven by MS-DOS, and touch on something can be easily transformed into mouse clicks).

    6. Determine that the text which looks like a simple title is actionable and click/touch it. [This is general approach in Metro, many parts seems to be static/title/etc while they are actionable, so user is required to touch every single pixel on the screeen to determine what does something and what doesnt.]

    7. Navigate to the third or forth level of the navigation (quite simple, right?).

    8. Read three options which looks very similar and which are not described seemlessly – recovery, restore, repair; what is the difference?

    9. Go to internet again to determine what does it mean.

    10. …

    PS: How can a "Continue" link in the "Choose options" screen match "Boot the default OS" paradigma? For me, it should mean "Continue in choosing options" which is quite strange command.

    Summing feelings from Build and this blog together, I am loosing confidence that you are playing a fair game with your partners. Instead, you are prefering marketing and press-like shows before being clear and transparent. I don't like Apple, mainly because of their ignorancy and silency in regards to their customers, so I am successfully starting to not like you, Microsoft, as well. As a result, I am seriously considering to stop pushing Microsoft technologies on new projects, whenever feasable, and rather move to another platform as you are loosing my trust.

  94. Drewfus says:

    @MCCZ: +10 points. You've summed it up very well.

    @post: "Unlike in previous versions of Windows, the advanced boot options in Windows 8 can be reached easily" … by banging away on space-bar (assuming keyboard exists and user is aware of this option, and how to access it), like we have been banging away on <insert BIOS vendors prefered> key, since circa-1980. This ancient ritual looks set to persist.

    Doesn't it occur to anyone from the hugely funded Microsoft Research labs that a simple switch or key on Microsoft branded keyboards – marked something like 'BootCfg' – could avoid the irritation of needing to madly tap on some arbitary key during boot sequence, just to access a menu? Instead, put some of those great intellects at MR on the job of creating an option to *preconfigure* the system to boot into startup menu *before* re/booting system. User friendly :)

  95. Paul from Italy says:

    Great job! Hope to hear more soon!

  96. Dear devs, when confronted by features and changes that one does not like, there is a long scale between only mildly annoying and infuriating.

    I am normally a fan of constructive dialog, but… congratulations, with the "UEFI SecureBoot" requirement you managed to hit "completely infuriating". This is a blatant, despicable move to lock out the competition, disguised as a security measure. You succeeded in making me seriously doubt to go anywhere near Windows 8 if this measure will be mandatory to boot it.

    Oh, and don't be surprised to see some more anti-trust suits in the future.

  97. Gerald says:

    boot, "users see it on average 1-2 times per day"

    Are you kidding me?  I only boot when there's been a power failure or some system update requires a boot to finish.  On average I boot maybe once every two or three MONTHs!

    Seriously, who boots 1-2 times per day?

  98. Matteo says:

    As far as I can say, after trying Windows 8 Developer Build, there are some bugs in a dual boot environment. My Windows XP installation is not recognised at all by Windows 8 boot manager, the only chance in my own experience to dual boot XP with Windows 8 is using EasyBCD. Obviously there is still no trace of dual boot options if you have a pre-existent installation of Ubuntu or Gnu/Linux. I think that with 2012 approaching you have to make lots of improvements in Windows 8 to have a "decent" behavior to dual boot scenarios.

  99. Gerald says:

    boot, "users see it on average 1-2 times per day"

    Are you kidding me?  I only boot when there's been a power failure or some system update requires a boot to finish.  On average I boot maybe once every two or three MONTHs!

    Seriously, who boots 1-2 times per day?

  100. RP says:

    On the subject of pip25's comment, does Microsoft have any comment on this article from The Register – http://www.theregister.co.uk/…/secure_boot_firmware_linux_exclusion_fears – which claims that UEFI could lock out linux and thus be illegal in the EU?  It may be scaremongering, but it would be nice to know.

  101. Windowsfan says:

    I definately agree with Kazi. Please allow users to "grab" the Windows 8 screen with the mouse and "throw" it from side-to-side. It wouldn't have to replace the scroll bar, but it would be a great option. This setup emulates touch very well, and would make the experience similar, no matter what device we use to navigate the OS. I found myself really wanting to do this on the Metro apps myself! It would be very intuitive. Using the scroll bar to navigate everywhere will prove rather tedious, over time.

  102. Drewfus says:

    @Martin: "I would like to see a revamp of the console (command prompt) ."

    Totally agree. Why do Microsoft keep trotting out the same circa-1980 80×25 console window in release after release? MAKE IT BIGGER! 128×50 with Consolas font would be a big improvement. Also, could you make Edit a proper 32 or 64-bit app, with hex editing, and make it track the size of the cmd window it is opened from? Edit hasn't been updated since circa-1980. Notepad hasn't been updated since circa-1990, and Regedit hasn't been updated since circa-2000. Ditto cmd.exe. However, circa-2012, Windows will aquire a boot screen with a nice blue background. Glad to see you have your priorities right. :(

    @xpclient: "1. Good grief but you removed the useful information that the BSOD gave? Can we turn off the friendlier BSOD and turn on the more useful one which gives us some information?" You prefer stop error data to emoticon? Sorry, Windows is now a 'consumer quality' OS.

    "3. When Windows 8 is installed, it is your responsibility to make it play nice with other installed OSes including Linux." One thing that would help in this regard is that the 'bootsect' command could install bootsectors other than NT52 and NT60. Like;

    bootsect /GRUB | /LILO | /Grub4Dos | /FBSD | /DOS8 | /FD16

    "4. Whatever happened to the functions like Last Known Good Configuration, Disable Driver Signature Enforcement, DSRM, Safe Mode etc?" Deprecated?

    "5. Lots of polish is required for the boot screen. Currently, it's ugly as hell. The pictures in the tiles especially are really really ugly." My DOS diag disk menus with circa-1976 ANSI color palette look better than this post-modernist stuff.

    "8. Things like "Please wait while Windows configures updates" should be done in the background without delaying logon." The complexity of Windows precludes this possibility.

    "9. For workgroups computers, the classic logon prompt cannot be made to appear in Windows 7 (like it could in XP) by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Del at the Welcome screen twice. This makes it impossible to logon to a hidden user account while the Welcome screen is enabled." Totally agree that Windows XP is preferable in this regard. What annoys me just as much is that if a username is hidden from the Welcome screen – like an administrator account that should only be used for elevations – then when a UAC prompt occurs you cannot logon as that user because the password field is missing! As a workaround, the policy EnumerateAdministrators (details i can't be bothered recalling) must be disabled, but then you have to elevate by entering password *and* username from a list of available admins. Dumb, just dumb. UAC is a very clever and well thought out technology, but these problems undermine it.

    "Also Chkdsk when run at startup before booting no longer displays any information besides % complete! Why this dumbing down of every aspect of the boot? It won't tell me what corrections it made to the file system?"

    The problem with dumbing things down, is that users don't need to stay at their current level of expertise/literacy – they just get dumber than they currently are (on average). Dumbing down is a race to the bottom.

  103. RP says:

    Revamping cmd is a good idea – and why not reintroduce the option of a full-screen cmd – especially now that full-screen apps are all the rage again?  

  104. Why revamping cmd? Nobody uses command line, nor powershell with its thousands of commands, right?

  105. blahblahblah says:

    I like the Metro UI (on my desktop!), and know that it's far from finished but it needs to be more customisable.

    1. Is it just me or does anyone like the metro background? That green background is horrible and I cant change it?! Change background option!

    2. Desktop icon looks out of place to me. I don't need a little pic of it, should be more like the other metro app icons. Need options to change the icons!

    3. In the live stage demo at Build I saw that you could group the tiles and give the groups names. Can't figure out how to do this. Managed to move a few around, haven't got a clue how to give them names though. Not very intuitive.

    4. Log off, then swipe screen, then I can actually choose power down. I want to do things in fewer moves/clicks.

    Bacically, going from a desktop UI where I can change pretty much everything, makes the metro UI look like a dictatorship.

    And the scroll bars that pop up in metro make it look broken too.

  106. RP says:

    @MCCZ, I'm not sure if you're being serious.  Obviously cmd is essential for power users.  Indeed, Win 8 preview recognises this – Developer Command Prompt is one of the icons on the Metro start screen.  Given that the new Explorer no longer provides any way to view system files (files with the system attribute set) (it can view hidden ones but not system ones), whereas this is easy to do in cmd, surely the command prompt is more necessary than ever.  

  107. Richard says:

    So far WDP seems like a stable functioning OS, with lots of possibility. However, there is the metro issue.

    Most desktops and laptops without touch capability do in fact have an extremely limited usage of this OS with the metro design. I have to Alt+Tab to my desktop window to get out of a metro app, then close it using task manager every time. Its a bit tedious to keep doing that operation every time i use an app. Also, i have noticed a few minor glitches with the keyboard/mouse drivers, in which it will someitmes skip an input when typing. Even after a reinstall, it still provides the issue, with multiple keyboards, on the two desktops that I am using to evaluate WDP. All in all, with some minor adaptions, this OS would be solid for use even on vista-era PC's. As for the server edition, there are quite a few things wrong, especially domain services, but thats a complaint for another day.

    So far, team microsoft is pissing on apple. hurrah.

  108. ali says:

    1. What about boot interface in BIOS-only systems? Are those beautiful screens and useful features only for systems with UEFI ?

    ludomatico

    2. After Build, unfortunately i see a lot of negative reaction from people who use win 8 with mouse & keyboard.  Does Microsoft think touch-first UI in desktop computers is a good idea?!

    3. Microsoft must find a better solution for implementing touch-first UIs like Metro in Desktop PCs.

    ludomatico's concept is a good idea:

    http://www.moquo.com.ar/…/desktop+metroapps.jpg

  109. @RP: You are right, I was not serious with that cmd note.

    I still see "[x] Hide protected operating system files" in the Windows 8 Folder Options dialog and it still can be turned off.

  110. RP says:

    @MCCZ: You're right – I couldn't find Folder Options (found it now!) and thought it had been removed!  Oops.

  111. mvadu says:

    I liked the new bootloader /config screen. I am happy to see bcdedit finally getting an UI. But once I change default OS to be Windows 7  new bootloader is completely gone, its as if MBR was overwritten to replace windows-8 bootloader. Now to get that new UI on a dual booting system and to retain windows-7 as my default OS, do I need to edit bcd store? or all new UI is only available if windows-8 is default OS?

  112. mvadu says:

    to all people who don't want to get in to Metro UI on your non touch enabled PC's you can disable Metro while retaining all other new improvements by renaming c:windowssystem32shsxs.dll to something else. I gave a week to Metro to impress me, and turned it off. Its not a matter of "Can I get used to it?" its more of "Do I need to?" and "Is it worth my time?"

  113. Panda X says:

    Now if you updated the disk partitioner Computer Management/Disk Management it'd be great too. It looks like it's from Windows 3.

    And added the ability to launch it from setup/WinRE would be great too.

  114. GoodThings2Life says:

    I think the frownie emoticon on the BSOD is a bit condescending and lacks professionalism. I also would like to see the return of the 0x000000?? string, because that's actually easier to search for than the error string. However, that said, I really like the overall simplification of the BSOD screen. Also, the rest of the boot enhancements are very nice to see! :)

  115. @Panda X: You can use diskpart command-line utility instead.

  116. D says:

    You should really replace that command prompt window and do something like this instead i55.tinypic.com/3d5xd.png

  117. LH says:

    I have installed W8 DP next to my W7 so I have two systems in the list, one being default.

    But to boot the default system immediately I have to choose one of the options using arrow keys before I can use the enter key to start it. This is worse in comparison to W7 boot loader where pressing the enter started the default system.

    LH

  118. Nick T. says:

    @MCCZ, if you are so upset and have decided to leave their technologies (and probably going to embrace some goofy G-prog-language…) why u r still here? You love Microsoft Windows OS don't you? Its really hard to use Ubuntu of ChromOS for the rest of your life? Also the Apes-apps are too crippled to work with and monotonous too.

    > P.S. Get DOOMED TROLLS!

    > M for Microsoft and nothing else matters!

  119. asdf says:

    Hey Microsoft, can you make a theme that looks like Windows 2000 but supports desktop composition?

  120. HandNF says:

    I noticed the boot times in the video were a bit longer than maximum. Of course, that is to be expected, I'm just impressed you didn't edit the video to make it seem quicker.

  121. Hamdy says:

    It is designed for touch PC. Any one tell me how close any start apps after open it (( like Stocks or News)). and where is shutdown button.

  122. Jeez only a geek can get excited about booting a computer.  Very nice though.

  123. dave.. says:

    yes where is shutdown button. this os is made for touch not for pc. microsoft made this messy not friendly??

  124. Caramel says:

    Amen @eric908. But now even the non-geek can get excited about it. There needs to be some level of customization within the boot loader and from the window as well. Like changing the background color/theme, nice way to rename the entries (for instance i wana call windows 7 ultimate win7u.. some GUI thing rather using the description via bcdedit) and pinning the option on main screen (like some folks want the boot from San or external media should be on first screen.. so let them pin the device once its attached then next time identify the device from mac-address and load it on first screen if it is attached).

    Its hard to listen to everyone and very few people actually appreciate the effort. I love how these Microsoft guys designed the world's most beautiful bootloader till date.

  125. BILL says:

    microsoft need to redesign the whole OS again..

  126. Drewfus says:

    "The logo should be beautiful and reflect the brand you trust when you purchased your PC."

    Really? In practice, the logos will be no more beautiful than the current BIOS splash screens – that is, fugly. I *always* turn off the graphical boot in BIOS setup so that:

    1. Users of the computer don't have to look at a garish fullscreen advertisment everytime they boot the machine.

    2. Useful boot information and boot options are *visible*.

    Hiding this information is a retrograde step. Ditto BSOD screens. Can't you just have your friendly BSOD message at top of screen, and at least the stop error number and parameters down the screen somewhere? Is that too frightening for 'consumers'? Currently you have stop error translation, and suggestion to search online using this string. So user starts writing down this cryptic string and … system reboots. Double :( dude.

    It would be an interesting possibility that Windows could include enough of the debugging tools that on rebooting after a BSOD, the system does an automatic '!analyze' and presents the summary details in a Metro tile. If the error is "probably caused by <driver.sys>", suggest to user to search Windows Catalog for update using an appropriate clickable string. This would be vastly more beneficial than a sympathetic emoticon.

    @D – Good work on the command window. Definitely an improvement on the "DOS prompt" we currently have. I would also like to see a text-based graphical help system with lots of examples, and a textual tree mode, for folder navigation and easier copy/rename/delete operations. A new DosShell, in other words. This would be especially helpful in WinPE, WinRE command prompt, and Server Core.

  127. @mt325000 – While Microsoft keeps saying that everything in Windows 8 has been designed to also work with a mouse and keyboard, that's obviously not their primary focus.  Because of that, I fully expect that by the time Windows 8 is shipping that nearly every PC, regardless of form factor, will have a touch interface.  

    Slates will of course need touch but I also believe regular laptops and desktops will have touch screens. This will allow them to take advantage of the new interface while at the same time including a mouse/trackpad and keyboard for legacy apps and any task where touch is not ideal.  

    I think that Windows 8 will make perfect sense for desktops, just not until touch screen monitors become widely used with them.

  128. Maneesh says:

    Just stop with the whole touch nonsense. 'Touch-first' is a euphemism for 'we don't care about mouse+kbd users, we are going after the iPad market'.

    99.999% of the world will continue to use a non-touch device for the next many many years. Does Microsoft really expect everyone to upgrade their pc's and buy expensive touchscreen monitors (which are terrible to use) in 2012?

    The underlying theme of Windows 8 which is visible in everything (the UI, WinRT, apps) seems to be  – cut down features, make it touch friendly, remove information. In other words, make it more like an iOS app. This is a disturbing trend. Nothing has been done to improve desktop apps – all the effort is in the Metro UI and Metro apps. Which will be in the extreme minority.

  129. @Steven Sinofsky:

    Please discuss the future of Windows 8 and its UI on desktops while leaving tablets out of the discussion. Metro has a few problems on the desktop, and I would like to see them addressed as soon a possible:

    1. Can't close apps

    This may not seem like a big deal when you are watching or setting up the BUILD conference, but this is a glaring oversight on the part of the Windows team. People don't need Windows to manage whether or not apps are open. When I am done with an app, I close it. I don't leave it open until I decide that it is taking up too much RAM, I close it when I am done. This needs to be possible in Windows 8. Whether this is by design or not, it is not a good idea for Windows, and I can't see any reason for keeping it.

    2. Touch-First (or PC-Second)

    Metro has a touch-first UI. This means, by nature, that it is not designed for PC's with mice and keyboards, which is almost everything in existence that runs Windows. User interfaces are better when designed from the ground up for desktops and laptops, not designed for tablets and then converted to work with mice.

    3. What's the point?

    After learning how to use Metro, I left disappointed. The desktop is not an app, so why does it look like one? If anything, Metro should be an app that runs on top of the desktop. Why does the Start Screen replace the Start Menu? Yes, the Start Screen does work as an app launcher, but it doesn't work as well as the Start Menu. As for the App Search feature, it is easier to search and scroll in the Start Menu, and Windows 8 needs a dedicated app interface, not just a search function.

    4. Navigating open programs

    There has to be a better way of moving through open programs than grabbing them at the side of the screen and moving them into the middle of the screen. This is only made worse by the fact that I can't close apps, so I end up scrolling through a list of apps that I don't even want to have open. This is the part where I begin to terminate apps manually in the Task Manager, which shouldn't be necessary.

    5. When touch is removed from the picture, why?

    Think about that for a second. If you pretend that tablets don't exist, why does Metro exist in its current form? What benefit is there to using it on a desktop. Yes, it works, but I can't come up with a single reason why this is progress in any way. Running iPhone-like apps with an iPad-like screen with a mouse on my desktop is just not a good idea. If Windows really needs to be reimagined, it needs an interface designed for computers, not tablets. I recommend using the tablet interface on tablets only, and using a PC interface for desktops and laptops similar to what exists today. Think about how much Windows 95 changed from Windows Chicago Beta to launch. If it could a happen then, I hope it can happen now.

    I'm not trying to pick on Windows or complain, but I see some issues that need to be addressed, or extra features like this boot-up time will go unnoticed next to the problems in Metro's current implementation.

    Please answer soon. From,

    MT325000.

  130. I'm sorry if I posted too many comments about the Metro UI. I've been waiting impatiently for updates on how the UI will work on desktops ever since I started testing the preview, so a response would be appreciated. Now for my opinon of the startup process you demonstrated.

    Excellent! I am impressed with the new design. I noticed while setting up a dual boot with Windows Vista that I can now navigate the menus with the mouse. That's impressive. When the operating select screen works with touch, this is a huge milestone for the computing world. I am curious, is there any chance that you could start posting more demos of Windows 8 running on desktops in the future? Desktops and laptops are the primary audience of Windows 8, and touch screens that work with these devices can cost as much as the entire computer, so it is unlikely that future users will have touch screens to use. I would enjoy it if I could see how these features work on desktops, since those of us who build PC's aren't going to stop just because Windows 8 is designed for tablets. Thanks for reading,

    MT325000.

  131. Matt says:

    >>This enables such features as secure boot, where the OS and firmware cooperate in creating a >>secure handoff mechanism.

    >>It also enables a seamless visual experience from the time you hit the power button – one experience >>owned by two distinct components.

    … It also will make impossible for an alternative not-signed OS to be installed in such computers/devices!

    It's a great regression I think…

  132. xpclient says:

    For those who build their own PC, what logo will they see? I would rather see the lovely Windows logo than some ugly OEM logo.

  133. nanya business says:

    somehow the new :( screen makes me :)

  134. Wow, all this re-imagining of Windows, right down to the BSOD, I have a few things I hope the Windows team finally address:-

    1. Registry – there has got to be a better way to store, manage and view the central registry.  Even the icon has never gotten a makeover.  The most “innovation” that the registry has seen was the amalgamation of regedit and regedt32.

    2. Disk Properties window – this hasn’t changed since Windows 95 and still has the same static, archaic pie chart and it’s still there in Windows 8 DP.

    3. Command Prompt – yes I know we have Powershell and that’s probably the future but there are so many little things that could be done to improve the command prompt from adding multiple tabs so that running multiple commands is no longer a chore in arranging windows, copying and pasting into and out of a command window or between command windows needs to be brought into 21st century, and finally, being able have a command line longer than 80 characters long.

    More to follow…

  135. With all this re-imagining of Windows, right down to the BSOD, I have a few things I hope the Windows team finally address.

    1. Registry – there has got to be a better way to store, manage and view the central registry.  Even the icon has never gotten a makeover.  The most “innovation” that the registry has seen was the amalgamation of regedit and regedt32.

    2. Disk Properties window – this hasn’t changed since Windows 95 and still has the same static, archaic pie chart and it’s still there in Windows 8 DP.

    3. Command Prompt – yes I know we have Powershell and that’s probably the future but there are so many little things that could be done to improve the command prompt from adding multiple tabs so that running multiple commands is no longer a chore in arranging windows, copying and pasting into and out of a command window or between command windows needs to be brought into 21st century, and finally, being able have a command line longer than 80 characters long.

    More to follow…

  136. Stjepan says:

    I dont get it..whats up with ppl and boot times…i turn on my pc once a day and shut it down once a day…what do i care if boot lasts for 1 or 30 seconds….

  137. pramod says:

    Just out of curiosity,  do we still need both 32 bit and 64 bit Operating Systems? Why cant we just settle for one – 64 bit?

  138. vishnu says:

    i love the new windows 8 and i am going to download it. but i have 2gb of ram so do you recommend me to download and install windows 8 32bit or 64bit?

  139. flynhigh says:

    Mouse operation on metro ui should mimic the touch. When you press down and hold the left button you should be able to scroll icons. At least, you should be able to scroll when you move your mouse to the edge of the screen instead of using scroll bar at the bottom.

  140. ManJoeUpdate says:

    @pramod, for backward compatibility my son backward compatibility!

    btw, this blog system ate my comments .. its sucks.. Steven you need to kick some internee's butt to come up with a decent blogging system for MSDN using .NET4.5-MVC4 and FTW once forever!

  141. Windows HUD??? says:

    Pretty much what it says – future TVs, navigation HUD, field-deployable monitors etc. and wearable display solutions.

    How do you propose to control that other than with a pointing device???

    Eyeball movement registers only one "pointer"!!!

    But in your "metrosexual" world there is noooo pointer feedback of any kind.

    Damn, Microsoft usability and PMs, you've done ZERO on your homework… use a nearby brick wall to kill yourselves. You SUCK.

  142. Windows HUD??? says:

    Balmer, call me if you need help cleaning up acts, straighten resources and hire talent, pupkinsan@yahoo.com

  143. MyName says:

    I just hate the new metro sytle i want the windows menu back

  144. Stiny says:

    One thing I think most of us here are overlooking is that we are NOT the "normal" user. Windows is the default OS on all Dell PC's, so whenever Joe Schmo buys a PC he's 90% likely to get a Windows box. While I applaud the wonderful points and arguments presented here by all of you, we must remember that no "normal" user would be following Windows 8 this closely. We have different needs and expectations than the "normal" user.

    @Microsoft, why don't we have an option to choose a default boot and UI experience? Users should be able to choose on setup whether they want the "Simple" or "Technical" form of Windows 8. Users who pick "Simple" get the fancy BIOS and the BSOD shown above, while "Technical" users get the older, more advanced boot options and the more informational BSOD.

    I understand Metro getting on a PC power-user's nerves. This should be a default choice too. Control Panel should have an option of letting you decide whether you start with Metro or Desktop whenever you login. And as for accessing apps… can't we make those be accessable as icons on the Desktop? When developers make the apps, they should have to submit a .ico file as well so that the app will work in the Desktop environment. The app could appear in a window that uses Metro inside to run it.

  145. Mike Hammond, MCT I'm not sure that's the adjective your are looking for. says:

    OSs have been advancing at a *logarithmic* pace?  Getting better with each iteration, but getting less better with each "getting better"?

  146. humberto says:

    probando win8 en mi notebook bastante mejorado el arranque y cierre del sistema un poco complicado de usar todavia pero ya voy tomando la mano… esperando el pack de idiomas jejeje

  147. Stefan says:

    Boycott Microsoft ! If they follow through with their idea that people shouldn't be able to install other OS:es other than Windows 8 on computers with preinstalled Windows 8 let us, the buyers and users, make that decision to hurt Microsoft as much as possible. I am ready to stop pay for Windows and use pirated Windows instead ! Why should i bother about Microsoft's earnings when they don't bother about us customers ? Exactly, there are no reasons for that, very soon, anymore ! If i buy something, like a computer it is my right to install whatever i want to on that computer. God, how Microsoft suck, more and more ! Boycott Microsoft !

  148. old traf says:

    There are lots of retards out there. I wonder how confused those must feel, that even they would not recognize genius behind Metro and instead rush to buy competing mobile phones, mobile devices?

    I remember there was presentation for Windows Phone 7, that had to explain the name Metro with street signs.

    LOL, in that case the most recognized and understood signs would be in the form of genitalia, not boring rectangles…

  149. Mike says:

    Well, I noticed again that a comment is not published. I specifically asked about existing boot managers from Linux or OS X and not to overwrite them. Please post my comment, thank you!

  150. Moisés Rivas says:

    Very good system, this time the truth will be hard to overcome this operating system

  151. prunoki says:

    Could not care less. All this energy wasted.

  152. Sean says:

    Do you guys know that text becomes white randomly? I think its related to the if you change the high contrast mode, but I'm not sure. Just figured I'd post it here for you to see.

  153. @ prunoki says:

    Good job. Would you like a sticker for that one?

  154. @Vishnu Both 32 and 64 bit work fine in 2gb.  32 bit will leave slightly more memory for apps.

  155. @Tom Servo, that's becasue the EDFI is emulating BIOS…

    install an x64 copy of Windows Vista or 7 and it should work. :)

  156. @Steven Sinofsky

    about the Registry, you should REALLY virtualize all old apps with App-V and steal Apples Plist setup ;)

    you could call it Microsofts super duper xml config file that's almost exactly like plist, except for the egomaniac tendency to name it after us :)

    bit wordy tho, eh?

  157. @Steven

    i have so many ideas, that i have to post multiple times, you're luck their free ;)

    anyway, you guys should really rename old system apps.

    regedit and dxdiag are perfect examples.

    now i understand old people are use to those names, but for less oldfags you should really somehow (within the search perimeters) automatically recognise something like directx adn reroute it to dxdiag.exe

    that would make it considerbly easier to use.

  158. @Stiny

    choices are confusing. that's the problem, so by adding an option for oldfags, they will inheriently be confusing end users…

    they do need to have a SINGLE error message on the BSOD, but it CAN NOT be dev code, a hacked like me dosen't even give a single *** about the memory address. it need to say something simple, in small friendly letters, XXX Driver Crashed, Windows needs to reboot.

    then the end user could fix the problem.

  159. @Skiz

    the fact of the matter is, loading an ~80MB registry hive into RAM and trying to acces those billions of bits adn sort it all properly and not crash or curropt the damn thing takes imensly more RAM and CPU cycles than loading a ~10kb plist like file would.

  160. @Francis Adu-Gyamfi

    just becasue YOU don't use Emoticons, dosen't mean anything.

    EVERYONE uses them, and it was a stroke of brilliance to include them.

  161. Octagon says:

    I have found some answers to my questions. On installation to Virtual Box, W8 did not recognize the sound device. Thus, I changed it. My suspended W8 detected the new device and I got sound. Good.

    This morning at work a guy got a boot virus on XP. At the evening, I installed W8 to its partition

    on my home PC. Now I have a pre-beta loader on my system, but it dos not look that bad any more.

    And you know, people, a VM does reproduce the look of W8, but fails to reproduce the feel…

  162. @ALL OF YOU!!!!!!

    lol, Microsoft doesn't need to back down and hide in the corner, they can come up with the right answer, they CAN balance Metro AND desktop. IF they think long and hard about it.

    the whole, back down because you're not smart enough to find the solution is the wrong message.

  163. Fabio says:

    Since I'm getting no input from the forums and I can't log bugs on connect because the OS won't get installed on my machine, I'll try it here.

    I own an alienware m17x R3 notebook which uses Intel Rapid Storage Technology (SATA), so prior to choose the installation partition I need to load the drivers. However, WDP fails to load the driver so I'm unable to sucessfully install the OS. It works fine on windows 7, but not on WDP.

    Perhaps you should take a look at it and if there is a workaround it would be wonderful.

  164. @Fabio

    it should install just fine, MILLIONs of motherboards use Intel RST including my computer, and i've never had any such issue.

    check your BIOS settings…

  165. Just wondering, but how closely does Windows Developer Preview reflect what the final version of Windows 8 will be like? Do you plan to make changes to Metro, or modify the start-up process so that the computer doesn't have to restart when an OS other than Windows 8 is loaded, or will the main changes between now and RTM be bug fixes? I am interested to know.

  166. Señor X says:

    Some thoughts about WDP:

    Annoying part: I'm lost between Metro experience and Desktop experience. For example, the "old new Start button" has no sense.

    Unpleasure part: Mr. Sinofsky, did you ever tried to read a PDF document? Did you ever saw in there a little magical and tiny hand that emulates a simple touch capability? Well,  I would like to see something like that in W8 Metro user interface. The mouse experience is currently unpleasure. I would like to click and drag. So simple as that.

    Concern: Over all, the user experience feels like if W8 is a dumb OS. Of it is not, but it feels like it does.  I hope that that will change soon with new releases.

  167. Fabio says:

    @BumbleBritches57

    Sorry, I said something wrong on my post, I meant RAID instead of SATA. So I do need to pre load the drivers (had to do that when I reinstalled Windows 7) so the installation is successful.

    I don't see how BIOS settings would influence anything to install WDP that wouldn't on Windows 7. As I'm dual booting and W7 is working fine I don't see anything else that might be wrong with my settings.

    Thanks anyway for the suggestion.

  168. @Fabio.

    i have no clue about RAID bro. sorry.

  169. @BumbleBritches57 says:

    That's ok m8. It was the first response I got so far =/

  170. MikeCH says:

    I can see where speeding up the boot process will make many happy, it's one  plus  in a sea of not so very positive  minuses at the moment.  The one thing  I fail to understand, is why even bother booting into the Metro UI (Win8)  if your a  production oriented  PC user  at all, especially if you do not have any devices that support the interface (touch-centric) and  the very use of  Metro UI will slow down your productivity in the first place. Why not just  stick with W7 and leave W8 to what I am sure will be a huge hit with the consumer and tablet markets ?

  171. @MikeCH

    it may seem like the Metro version is less productive, but that's becasue your used to menus, and keyboard and mouse, in a few years, after everyone gets use to Metro and general Mobile style, everyone will agree it was best.

    everything is a touch away…

    mouse seems simple now, beaue your use to it, but what in the world is more simple than something your born with and use for literally everything?

  172. John says:

    Agreed with BumbleBritches57 on Apple's plist (Property list) file for store app settings. Why not use an XML file to save app settings?  

    Microsoft, remember your motto: “Be what's next”

    Windows registry is really just a big mess.

  173. Brilliant, awesome, outstanding and impressive!!!

    Thanks girls and guys for all your hard work in this area :-)

  174. Nathan Ladwig says:

    XAML is disgusting for storing a large mass of settings. I'd rather see no centralized system than an XAML one.

  175. g3@live.jp says:

    What's interesting is the font blue screen.

    UEFI (BIOS) Windows 7 even more beautiful, more than or equal to OS X.

    If so, Windows 8 fonts to display itself must be greater than or equal to UEFI.

    I've also been previously accused, Windows fonts are very ugly.

    Especially in Asia, it's very ugly beautiful Japanese characters in the world.

    People exposed to the iPhone is a computer font and have a very inspiring person and a thing of beauty Konnanimo.

    And those who experience it with ugly font rendering traditional Windows does not feel like reading a letter that is not uncommon for even the people who buy a Mac.

    My name is many times, challenges and priorities more than anything is the font rendering on Windows 8.

    Can double-byte fonts are terrible, especially in Asia.

    We look forward to a Japanese beauty is sure Windows can see my native language.

  176. g3@live.jp says:

    What's interesting is the font blue screen.

    UEFI (BIOS) Windows 7 even more beautiful, more than or equal to OS X.

    If so, Windows 8 fonts to display itself must be greater than or equal to UEFI.

    I've also been previously accused, Windows fonts are very ugly.

    Especially in Asia, it's very ugly beautiful Japanese characters in the world.

    People exposed to the iPhone is a computer font and have a very inspiring person and a thing of beauty like this.

    And those who experience it with ugly font rendering traditional Windows does not feel like reading a letter that is not uncommon for even the people who buy a Mac.

    My name is many times, challenges and priorities more than anything is the font rendering on Windows 8.

    Can double-byte fonts are terrible, especially in Asia.

    We look forward to a Japanese beauty is sure Windows can see my native language.

  177. TEL says:

    I'm disappointed that the command prompt still looks like MS DOS. A metro style command prompt would be cool…

  178. Peter says:

    Well even with a 5400 rpm hard drive the boot seems superfast and very friendly for I'v a dual boot with seven and it's js just great :)

    Thank you

  179. It actually is a 7 second boot lol  … I love it … starting to use the Developer Preview more than my Windows 7.

  180. Rsenft says:

    How about engineering in an intuitive way to shut Windows 8 down. I'm playing with the Developer Preview and I got a tell you, shutting the damn thing down is anything but easy. Whatever hard UX lessons you guys learned when patching Vista to create Windows 7 you seemed to have forgotten when creating Windows 8.

  181. Joey says:

    I've tested the Preview. One of the small thing is the Choose Your OS screen. To a user who dual-boot his computer before upgrading, it is not immediately aparent to him he is now able to navigate by mouse, instead of the arrow-enter keys. It might be good to allow the user to know he can use his mouse via small hints, like showing the cursor on screen, and perhaps be defaulting the cursor's position over the first OS option to make it more obvious.

  182. Kevin says:

    All i want to know is….can it run Xbox 360 games?

  183. Win7 fan says:

    I downloaded and used win 8 preview build in my desktop pc.I liked all other features except for this metro UI. the animation of opening an app (flipping)  was really was annoying. I got irritated using it for 10 min . any accidental press of windows key flips back to metro UI, this is again annoying.

    Plz make the Metro UI as an OPTIONAL Component.

    I think Metro is only good for touch UI or tablets not for desktop

    I know Metro is build in the kernal level, but then u have to make it optional to make it a successful product

  184. Win7 fan says:

    I downloaded and used win 8 preview build in my desktop pc.I liked all other features except for this metro UI. the animation of opening an app (flipping)  was really was annoying. I got irritated using it for 10 min . any accidental press of windows key flips back to metro UI, this is again annoying.

    Plz make the Metro UI as an OPTIONAL Component.

    I think Metro is only good for touch UI or tablets not for desktop

    I know Metro is build in the kernal level, but then u have to make it optional to make it a successful product

  185. Travis Brown says:

    I love the new os system restore nothing different just a different look But it is okay. I was using the os for a little bet but it seem there were errors with the icons will the apps sorry for my speach but the plateform is amazing it a good new windows come to life good job Microsoft I love you guys.

  186. I just hope the boot speed stays fast as more an more applications are added.  In Windows 7, it seems that the more applications you install, the slower boot becomes, whether it's from the number of restore points, the size of the wmi database, the shear number of services, etc…

  187. BitLocker TPM says:

    Please change how BitLocker uses a TPM to help prevent "evil maid" attacks.

  188. Octagon says:

    I dual boot with Windows 7. I have seen the graphic picture a couple of times, but after some problem I had to reboot and get to BIOS, which usually means pressing lots of Fxx buttons in a hurry. I have got some fast running lines and lost the graphical OS chooser, now the boot screen is white on black Windows 7 style.

    My point is: no easy troubleshooting for boot. For example, bcdedit has no signs of the graphical screen, except things like custom:260005. If that is it,,it is not it but junk.

  189. thomas says:

    is there some way to flash the bios chip in a circa 2008 lap top so i can get rid of the damn mbr bios and get uefi. if not is it possible to change the bios chip so i can have uefi. would rather not buy a new laptop but uefi is such an inprovement over mbr bios that i will have to if i cant change my curent laptop to uefi.

  190. AndrewDover says:

    Fast boot is not the only criteria.

    But there should also be a way to configure self-check options to ensure that the computer is operating properly.

    For example, if the computer is running a medical device whose failure is life threatening, it is more important that a hardware or software corruption problem is caught at boot time.

    So RAM memory tests, and crucial Windows DLL checksums should be configurable into boot.

  191. nk says:

    Andrew, that's what the POST is for.

    Anyway, would you really want life critical machinery running windows?

  192. JohnnyG says:

    Too funny.  It seems to me that a huge number of these messages basically say "Can we keep Windows 7?  I don't wanna change!"  Okay, so don't.  Problem solved.

    The number of people bitching about having to click/touch once to get to a desktop just amazes me.  Personally I don't see the need for a Start menu vs a Start screen.   I find the Start screen much easier to use, although there is some merit to the comment about using the mouse wheel to scroll horizontally.

    But honestly, I think what amazes me most is that all of this complaining is coming during the developer preview which, naturally, focuses on the new Metro experience that Microsoft wants developers to be aware of and code for.  But Microsoft's mantra – if you took the time to watch any of the Build videos is – 'no compromises.'  They don't want you, as a user, to have to give up the experience that you're used to.  

    Please remember people, that this is not even Beta software yet.   Booting up to a desktop is a simple profile switch that naturally was not in place for a preview that was intended to showcase the new stuff.  Relax.  Microsoft has a long history of trying to be all things to all people – no matter how backward they may be.  After all, if you'd rather use an abacus than a spreadsheet, who is Microsoft to stop you?

  193. Really, the question about entering F8 menu with touch is quite interesting :) Is there a special gesture designed for it?

    As well it would be interesting to know which touch drivers you support (or will support) natively in Windows 8 and especially during boot process. Because today Windows 8 doesn't include even NextWindow drivers. And is touch-during-boot-process a part of an updated driver model or, otherwise, how this support is provided?

  194. Bryan S. says:

    I love the frowny face for the new BSOD :) It just makes me feel better about crashing for no identifiable reason.

  195. Ernie Mink says:

    All versions of Windows in the past, accept ME were vital even Vista. They are security updates and necessary and with Windows 7 going to 8, it is just more progress. BUT remember Microsoft KEEP the mouse functions for those that use DLP big screen LCD televisions, since touchscreen will not work with those.

  196. Benny says:

    I have a question, do you have any idea already how much the windows will take from the RAM memory?

  197. WinFan01 says:

    What if you want to use Windows 8 with an old monitor that can only display smaller than 1024×768?

  198. Andre Ziegler says:

    Benny

    10-05-2011 10:58 PM

    I have a question, do you have any idea already how much the windows will take from the RAM memory?

    _____________________________________

    If you have a PC from today you'll have no issues with Windows 8.

  199. Joe H says:

    As long as you're going to go for the updated blue screen of death, you might as well just phrase it from the first person. Like your computer is communicating with you: "I've encountered a problem I couldn't handle… I'll restart in…"

  200. 無名 says:

    Wow, you've taken the BSOD and made it useless. Yes, Microsoft, keep making your OS more "user friendly" by letting the idiot MBA-types instead of the Raymond Chen-types make ALL the decisions. You'll see where that'll land your products soon enough. (Hint: not on my system)

    I, for one, am deeply worried about the future of what (used to be?) my favorite operating system. From what I've seen so far, Windows 8 is just another step backwards for power users.

    Microsoft joined the bandwagon of "apple-ing" PCs into lifestyle products. Sigh, please excuse me while I throw up.

  201. Wondim says:

    I like the new Boot Screen but it is slow to load unlike Vista/7 boot manager, which loads in an instant! Of course, it should take some time to load all those options and tools but it would be great if you could make the boot screen faster by reducing the unnecessary graphics and by increasing the necessary speed.

    The other problem I see with the Boot Screen is, each buttons take lots of space, which require multiple pages to get from one option to another.  It would be better to use Tabbed menu or drop down menu to navigate through options or smaller buttons to have more buttons on one page and less number of pages and complications.

    The other problem I saw is that it removes any entry other than Windows 7 and Windows 8 Boot entries. I currently use EasyBCD to add ISOs in Windows 7 Boot Manager and now they are all gone. So I have to restore Windows 7 Boot Manager to see all other Boot entries again.  

    The other major issue while using the Windows 8 Boot Screen is, after using Windows 8, when I use Windows 7, Win 7 starts so sluggishly with out error message. I have to wait upto 8 minutes till Win7 starts running properly.

    The other problem is the default boot entry time out. I could only find 5 sec, 30 sec and 5 minutes. There is no option to manually enter a timeout by the user say for instance 2 sec, 3 sec, 1 sec.

  202. I like the new Boot Screen but it is slow to load unlike Vista/7 boot manager, which loads in an instant! Of course, it should take some time to load all those options and tools but it would be great if you could make the boot screen faster by reducing the unnecessary graphics and by increasing the necessary speed.

    The other problem I see with the Boot Screen is, each buttons take lots of space, which require multiple pages to get from one option to another.  It would be better to use Tabbed menu or drop down menu to navigate through options or smaller buttons to have more buttons on one page and less number of pages and complications. There is no coherence on menu, one cannot predict which page is next. Just finish the WinRE options and the boot menu in one page. If you need help in re-organizing it, I am happy to help.

    The other problem I saw is that it removes any entry other than Windows 7 and Windows 8 Boot entries. I currently use EasyBCD to add ISOs in Windows 7 Boot Manager and now they are all gone. So I have to restore Windows 7 Boot Manager to see all other Boot entries again.  

    The other major issue while using the Windows 8 Boot Screen is, after using Windows 8, when I use Windows 7, Win 7 starts so sluggishly with out error message. I have to wait upto 8 minutes till Win7 starts running properly.

    The other problem is the default boot entry time out. I could only find 5 sec, 30 sec and 5 minutes. There is no option to manually enter a timeout by the user say for instance 2 sec, 3 sec, 1 sec.

  203. There is no coherence on menu, one cannot predict which page is next. Just finish the WinRE options and the boot menu in one page. If you need help in re-organizing it, I am happy to help.

    Sorry for the triple post, I though the above idea might not be visible in the second post.

  204. Érico Porto says:

    @Steven Sinofsky

    1 – We really need a safe mode option to test this in developer preview, because the system is still very instable, and I had to do this by myself using the same bcdedit commands you said you were trying to banish…And it was the first time in my life.

    2 – I agree with @Tuwogaka, you guys should learn from linux, make a option to NOT screw things up and let another operating system handle the boot – is it Ubuntu, or Windows 7!

  205. Shashank Timilsena says:

    I think the boot screen should be made changable. for eg. the colors meet each other to form the logo of microsoft. Behind that, if users could change or replace any picture it would be better.

             Thank you for giving me a chance to pour my views.