8 YouTube Videos Of People Testing Windows 8

youtube windows 8 videoAt the time of writing Windows 8 is almost ready for public consumption, with an expected release date of October 2012. The Windows 8 Release Preview is now available to download for those in need of an early fix (and tech-savvy enough to handle it), while the Consumer Preview of the operating system was released in February 2012.

Windows 8 is a re-imagining of the Windows OS, with Microsoft aiming to cater to everybody with one operating system to rule them all. It will work on laptops, desktops, and tablets, with its Metro interface designed primarily for touchscreen devices. A nice idea, but it’s going to take some getting used to. As these videos of people trying to get their heads around the Consumer Preview demonstrate.

How Real People Will Use Windows 8?

This is the video that most people reading this will have already seen. It kicked off the trend for presenting Windows 8 to someone for the first time and seeing how they cope with the obvious and plentiful changes made from the previous versions.

We see Internet entrepreneur Chris Pirillo sitting his dad down in front of a computer running Windows 8 Consumer Preview and telling him to just get on with it. He clicks Windows Explorer which brings up the old-style desktop interface, and then struggles to get back to Metro. Oops.

Short Demo Of Windows 8 Preview

This is a short demonstration of Windows 8 Consumer Preview in action, but despite its brevity it contains a lot of information. We get to see many of the main apps and features Microsoft has integrated into Windows 8, and this video shows just how different it all is from what we’re used to.

What I really like about this video and the guy responsible for it is the lack of bias shown, despite the fact he’s running Windows 8 in a virtual machine on his Mac. He actually likes the Consumer Preview and is keen to see what Microsoft does with the finished version.

Random Dad Trying Windows 8

Clearly inspired by Pirillo’s video, this one shows a random dad being exposed to Windows 8 for the first time. The experience is very similar, with the guy clicking through to the desktop interface and then struggling to get back to the Metro interface.

I assume Microsoft will take notice of these videos. After all they show how the normal, non-tech savvy, mainstream user will approach Windows 8 when faced with it for the first time. A learning curve is to be expected, but an impasse where the user gets stuck should never happen.

Windows 8 On HP TouchPad

Something a little different now. Microsoft has done what it’s done with Windows 8 in order to cater to as many form factors as possible. Knowing touchscreen tablets are becoming more important in the marketplace, Windows 8 is designed with those in mind, perhaps at the expense of everything else.

This video shows Brad Linder of Liliputing testing out Windows 8 on the discontinued HP TouchPad. It’s possible only via a workaround but it’s still interesting to see just how Windows 8 will look and operate on a tablet. It actually looks surprisingly good.

Random Nan Trying Windows 8

Continuing on with the theme of older people trying out Windows 8 this video shows a lady sitting her Nan down in front of the operating system. To her credit she finds her way out of the desktop interface quicker than the others, but there are other elements of Windows 8 that are completely alien to her.

Although it’s amusing to see an old person trying to figure out technology – the way they keep doing the same thing over an over as if it’s eventually going to work – there is a serious point to be made here. Microsoft is forcing people to effectively relearn how to use Windows, and some will struggle to do so.

Windows 8 Tablet Vs. iPad

We’ve already seen Windows being tested on an HP TouchPad but how does it stack up against an iPad running iOS 5? The Apple iPad is after all the current market leader in the tablet sector, and if Microsoft hopes to compete it needs to prove Windows 8 can hold its own against iOS.

This video shows The Verge comparing the two operating systems, doing the same processes on each. They conclude that the Metro interface is intuitive and could provide stiff competition to iOS. The only problem is the desktop features lurking in the background of Windows 8.

Random Kid Trying Windows 8

OK, enough of the old people testing Windows 8 out, let’s see how a 12-year-old kid does in the same situation. Let’s remember that this is a person who will have been exposed to computers all his life, so learning new technology will be a much more natural experience for him.

He doesn’t get quite as stuck as his elder counterparts, and there’s less staring into the abyss afraid of clicking on the wrong thing and starting World War III as a result. But it also isn’t exactly a smooth, carefree experience without some confusion.

Long Demo Of Windows 8 Preview

We end with a self-confessed redneck taking a long, hard look at Windows 8. In order to want or need to watch the whole 44-minute epic you’ll have to be committed and/or want to avoid testing out Windows 8 for yourself. But after seeing the experiences of others I wouldn’t exactly blame you for that.


As you can see the reactions to Windows 8 have so far been very mixed. Our own James Bruce gave his views on the Consumer Preview after using it for an hour. The Release Preview will hopefully have fixed things a little, but there’s no going back from the momentous decision to change Windows completely in the manner Microsoft has. I for one am interested in seeing whether this strategy works or not.

Have you tried Windows 8 in any format yet? If so what did you think of it? Has Microsoft made the correct decision in building Windows 8 from the ground up to cater to different form factors? Or would it have been better to release two different versions, one for desktop users with keyboard and mouse, one for tablet users with touchscreens? Feel free to let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Comments (16)
  • Maxi3w

    I think they should give us a choice. An ability to switch between what we are used to and the new; I don’t think there would be any harm in that and would be a wise move on Microsofts part. People are obviously struggling but many will eventually get used to it. I hated the ‘Ugg’ boots when they first came out for about a whole year and then I wanted a pair so I liken W8 to that and not be too hasty to knock it. Before I decide which OS to get, I think a preview is needed. I still flippin hate it!!

  • asterismW

    I’ll admit, I haven’t used Windows 8 yet. But after watching most of the videos here, I’m not sure I want to. Win 8 looks great for a tablet, but for a regular PC? The reason Apple uses the interface they do for their iThings is because small menus with lots of choices, tiny icons, and scrollbars are not conducive to a touchscreen environment, especially when the screen is so small. But the reverse is also true. Large icons, off-screen menus, and a minamalist interface are not useful when using a mouse. A mouse is much more precise than a touchpad, while at the same time being much slower to use. Not only are those tiles are a waste of space, they also take longer to get to with a mouse. And what is Win 8 like with multiple monitors? Their Metro UI doesn’t seem like it would play well with that at all.

    As a PC user, I don’t see myself jumping ship and going to Windows 8. I’m very pleased with Windows 7, and nothing I’ve seen so far has made me change my mind. I heartily agree with those who think Microsoft should not try to combine two interfaces into one OS. Microsoft, do yourself a favor and split them up now, before you waste millions of dollars trying to correct the mistake later. Or have you forgotten Vista so easily?

  • Dave Hawkins

    I have been using the consumer preview for about a month to do some programming work. It had a few kinks that I think folks will get used to fairly quckly if they have the good fortune of using a new system for the very first time.

    There is likely to be a “new system tutorial” which will tell users that you have hot zones on the screen. This hotzone concept, when communicated will make sense once it is understood. I didn’t get a tutorial, but I figured it out in an hour or so.

    It becomes something more akin to gestures, which makes sense for a tablet, and once that is understood, it beomes more obvious for mouse users. Just from habit, I was snapping my mouse to the traditional start location and found the start button. Drifting my mouse to the left incidentally began to show me the running applications in lieu of the task bar on the bottom.

    Gestures to the right showed the search and other buttons. Right clicking and moving the mouse up in IE and other applications that were full screen brought me all the context menu options for the given application.

    All in all, it wasn’t the most difficult thing to learn, and once you understood the concept for any one gesture, all the rest became easy to figure out. Like Milhovil says earlier in this thread, for certain tasks at the moment, you could say I am switched over as well.

    I only have this running on the Parallels demo (which I was able to get for $12 and it auto loads Win 8 as an option with almost zero effort), and I use it on a single screen windowed. Becuase it is windowed, I am using it on a multi monitor rig with 3 monitors. So far so good, and I am finding it very fun to use.

  • shaurya boogie

    it is quite fast and stable. hope apps are build faster

  • NealG

    Thanks for the videos, they were great. I’ve serviced electronics most of my life (over 40 years), and I am thinking that Windows 8 will be a big upswing of business for those of us who service computers: lots of people calling for help.

    I installed the first preview several months ago, it took me a couple minutes to get comfortable with the layout (I didn’t like it but I could navigate through the mess okay), and I recently installed the release preview. Windows 8 looks pretty solid, and I have only found one small bug (the bug will likely not be seen by most any other user). I created my own shut-off and start-menu folder icons on the desktop and in Metro so that I can still use W8 for light business (I’m thinking that I need to get very familiar with W8 so that I will be ready when customers start calling; I will be using W8 frequently so as to remain familiar with the menus and commands).

    For me, however, since I also do web design, I usually have ten to fifteen or more programs running simultaneously in XP or a tweaked Vista. As Windows 8 sits out of the box it would not be a viable operating system for individuals like myself who need rapid access to numerous programs. MS software is #1, but if I were forced to only use Windows 8 and not XP or a tweaked Vista, I would choose Linux (I already have a Linux distro configured to be used if the situation ever requires it). Yes it sounds odd/peculiar/weird, but I will stick with Vista for business use, and I will not choose W8 over Vista (or XP or even W2K).

    In my opinion Microsoft is surely aware that W8 is not suitable for most desktops nor for most users, and I would not be too surprised to see a WIndows 9 or a desktop 8 magically appear shortly before or after Metro 8 is released.

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