Finally I relented and agreed to try out Windows 8. My main obstacle to experiment with the new Microsoft operating system was mainly bandwidth: the ISO file is about 2.6 gigabyte (larger if you choose the 64-bit version), which would suck up my measly “unlimited Internet” personal wireless subscription quota dry. The office network limits file download to 10 MB each. But my dear assistant editor asked one admin in office network to download the Windows 8 beta ISO.
I installed Windows 8 in VirtualBox 4.1.8 and gave it 2 GB RAM and 2 virtual processor cores (2,1 GHz each). The installation ran without hiccups, except the one time when the installer asked a serial key. It turned out that Microsoft provides the keys on the download site. After that Windows 8 installed itself quickly in the virtual machine, much quicker (I think) than previous versions.
I can confirm that it looks like the Windows Phone interface (Metro), and it would have been nice to use with touchscreens. As it is, I use it with the usual keyboard-and-mouse (well, touchpad) combination, and it feels rather awkward. “Windows” name is also a misnomer with this new version, because the standard Metro applications run full screen, without windows.
I am sure I will find nice things to say about Windows 8 later, but for now I only wish I have a nice x86 tablet to install the OS on. The tiles on the Metro interface beg to be touched, not clicked. I can’t stand using it for prolonged time with the mouse.