What's Good and What's Bad About the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Mike Halsey MVP
Mar 6, 2012
Windows, Windows 8

I've had a good few days now to delve deep into Windows 8 and I've decided what I think is good, great, bad and awful about the OS.  I thought I'd share my thoughts with you.  Now I want to start by saying that I'm going to steer away from Metro, I've got another article about that planned for tomorrow and frankly this one things has been getting far too much attention and drawing the discussion away from other very important things within the OS.  So here is my list of just a few of the things that I think are good and bad about Windows 8.

The Good

It is very long past time that a full and effective virtualization client was built into Windows.  XP Mode might have had some nice tricks but it was clunky, based on very old technology and programming and frequently causes problems with logons to software.  Having the full version of Hyper-V, even though it will probably only be in the business editions, is a fantastic feature all round.

By far one of the best features in Windows 8 is the ability to take your settings and Internet Favourites with your to other Windows 8 computers.  I'm not talking here about Windows To Go, though that is very cool as well, but the desktop syncing that's built into the OS.  Sure there are some questions that need to be asked about privacy and security, but as a time-saving feature goes this is probably at the top of my list.

The Bad

For years now Microsoft have been criticised for the ludicrous situation that comes with pressing "Start" to shut your computer down.  Now though despite a streamlining and a simplifying of the situation with Windows 7, not to mention the removal of the word Start with Vista, it now takes four mouse clicks to shut down your computer.  Sure there is Alt-F4 which will bring up a menu in which you can shut the machine down quickly, but four mouse clicks to access the standard shut down method is just too much.  To make matters worse, rather than press "Start" to shut the machine down you now have to enter "Settings".  Why is shut down and restart a setting?  These are no more settings than bugs that cause blue screen of death crashes are "undocumented features"!  It could be argued that Windows 8 isn't meant to be shut down, just put to sleep, but you still have to shut down mobile devices such as laptops.  Batteries don't stay charged forever.  Surely this is a silly and ill-conceived move.

Getting rid of the Start Menu is a brilliant idea in my book.  When Windows 7 first appeared I criticised it heavily as a half-way house, a bad way of working with the new and the old.  Why introduce a cool and efficient new way to launch programs when you're leaving the older inefficient one there too?  You'll notice that when Microsoft were justifying the new Start Screen to people they made no reference of launching software from the Windows 7 Taskbar, only the Start Menu.  The reason for this is that the Taskbar was a half attempt and still hasn't been fixed in Windows 8.  Icons should be buckets for software in the way folders in the Start Menu are.  You should also be able to pin specific programs in those folders too and software should auto-pin to the Taskbar when its installed.  Sadly we can still do none of this.

What I'm Missing Out

I've decided here to miss out everything that obviously should have been included before now, and these are usually things that made it into rival operating systems some times ago.  Each of them can be counted as a good feature though and I welcome their inclusion in Windows 8.  They include the Windows Store, File Versioning, Storage Spaces, Anti-Virus and Sharing.

So here is my short list of some of the things that are good and bad in Windows 8.  What's on your list?  Why not tell us in the comments below.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):


  14. Raphael Benzo said on September 24, 2023 at 9:52 pm

    I try to disable the Diagnostics Tracking Service (Connected Devices Platform User Services) but it wont let me disable it, any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Tank you for your help

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