Windows 8 Release Preview Review

Metro Apps
The following is my experience with the PC after doing a vanilla install of Windows 8 Release Preview.  There are three “new” Metro Apps, along with some update apps.  The new ones, are noted below.

Start Menu
Nothing much has changed here; but its important to view this short gallery as, the rest of the review deals with the Metro Apps featured on the Start Menu’s Live Tiles.  The one change of note is that Microsoft has included a number of additional color schemes for the Start Menu.  You can choose from up to 20 or so, instead of just a handful.

I had heard that MS was supposed to lose the beta label with the Release Preview. Clearly, that’s not the case, as this screen shot shows.  MS only includes the Beta Fish background in beta releases.


The first half of my Windows 8 Start Menu.  The minimum resolution to get any Metro App to work is still 1027×768. If you look at the Start Menu, though, you’ll see a few new, and a couple updated Metro Apps.

The second  half of my Windows 8 Start Menu.  The minimum resolution to get any Metro App to work is still 1027×768. If you look at the Start Menu, though, you’ll see a few new, and a couple updated Metro Apps, specifically, News, Travel and Sports.

Finance
Finance has seen a nice update in the Release Preview.  The applet provides a great deal more financial-based news and information. While this is really just an evolutionary progression of the app, it feels more complete. I especially like the indices graphs that are included for the Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000.

The Finance start page. Here you have access to the top financial story as well as index performance figures.  The startup page of each Metro App is visually stunning, and Finance is no different.

The indices details page.  Here you can see daily, weekly, monthly and 1 year charts for all the major, reported indices – Dow, S&P 500, NASDAQ and Russell 2000.

Finance is a financial news specific news aggregator. Here, you’ll get all of the important finance headlines directly from Reuters.

Finance shows you all of the market movers in one spot – movers, losers and most active stocks can be found here.  A simple tap on any of the listed stocks will take you to specific details on the noted security.

You can get similar information for individual stocks and other securities in Market Movers. You also get a nice visual representation of how currencies, bonds commodities, exchange traded funds and finance rates are doing.

From the Across the Market page of Finance, you get the latest on currencies, bonds, commodities and EFT’s (exchange traded funds).  One thing that Finance doesn’t do, however, is space everything so that only one major subject shows up on any one screen.

From the Rates page of Finance, you get the latest on major interest rates for mortgages, savings accounts and bonds, and credit cards.  It’s clear from this screen that Finance, as well as other Metro Apps don’t space things well…

If you’re looking for substantiated fund picks, Finance has recommendations for you. The Fund Picks page shows you top performers, highest rated core bonds, 5-year top performers and conservative bongs in a single screen.

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