Windows 8 on HP TouchSmart
I’ve been toying with the idea of installing Windows 8 Developers Preview on my HP TouchSmart 1025dx Laptop. In theory this should be a decent preview of Windows 8 Tablets to come. The TouchSmart laptop is a Multitouch and Pen based Windows 7 ready laptop and should make for an interesting experience.
The target system has an AMD Turion X2 64-bit CPU, 4GB of RAM and a 320GB HD. It previously ran a 64-bit copy of Windows 7 Professional. I wanted to install the 64 bit version of Windows 8. I’ve installed Windows 8 in a VM and it took about 45 minutes to install. I wanted to see if there was an upgrade option so, I launched the install from within Windows 7.
There was no option to upgrade from my current OS to the developer preview. I had to perform a clean install and as a result lost all my data. It took approximately 75 minutes from the launch of the setup to the completion of the install.
The experience was overall pretty lacking. Windows 8 is currently only in a developers preview. Windows 8 itself is an exciting new approach to desktop computing but a little raw. The larger problem is that the hardware and software weren’t strongly integrated at this case. None of the hardware shortcut buttons worked. Also the automatic screen re-orientation when rotating didn’t work. All of the native Window 8 applications launched. I did have some issues with IE. Once I launched it no key stroke/touch combination would allow me to exit. I had to place the machine in sleep and wake it up to switch between IE and the new Windows 8 start screen. I had other experiences similar to this such as artifacts within IE 8 when scrolling the webpage.
These are all OEM software and driver related issues. The 1025 is a couple of years old so as expected all the basic system drivers were there for things like wireless and video. Multitouch did work and I was able to switch from Touch and Pen based input at will. I was also able to swipe the screen which gave me a preview of what the full experience would be on hardware designed for Windows 8. I look forward to the full experience.