Windows 8 Developer Preview on HP TouchSmart Laptop


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.

Install

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.

Experience

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.

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