Win8: Hands-on test @Gizmodo, Munich

On friday the 26.10.12 I had the opportunity to test the new OS from Microsoft, Win8.

Gizmodo Germany invited 20 guests to it’s Munich based location.

Our hosts brought a line-up of Windows8 devices, including the Sony Vaio Tap 20 and different Ultrabooks from Acer and Asus.

After a very short presentation from a Microsoft consultant, showing the main features of the new OS, we could play with all the devices on our own.

At first I got my hands on an Asus Ultrabook. It didn’t had a touch display and only a few gestures could be made on it’s touch pad. I also had problems to establish a wifi connection, so lots of the tiles didn’t had content and some of the apps didn’t even work, just like FreshPaint.

After the Asus I gave the Sony Vaio Tap 20 a try. A massive device. Too big to be placed on your laps for a long time. It makes only sense to place it on the desk. The tablet was fully connected to wifi, so I tried a lots of apps, like the Travell tile, where you can see interessting spots and locations. I liked the impressive panoramas of the Grand Canyon and San Francisco.

Unfortunately Gizmodo didn’t show the much talked about Surface tablet and they didn’t invite a product manager from Microsoft, that would explain some details, why the Metro UI has this feature and not another one.

So here are my first impressions of the new OS from Microsoft:

-game classics like Solitaire and Minesweeper can be found in the app store
-the Metro UI (what was it’s new name again?) makes the home screen somewhat more structured and less cluttered then the old fashioned desktop screen

-confusing gestures
-a high learning curve at the beginning (gestures, hidden functions – where do I find this again?)
-very low number of apps in the app store (e.g. only 15 apps in finance)
-no killer-app, no must-have-devices (like the Kinect for the Xbox)
-speech recognition seems not to be part of the HMI

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