Review – Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Weather
Windows Weather is perhaps my favorite Metro App.  Some of the screens are really nice.  To get started, you tap the live tile.

Once you start Weather, it’s going to ask you if you’d like to use Windows 8’s Location Services.  Allowing Location Services to function SHOULD get to a local weather forecast.  I say should… Initially, I ran into a bit of trouble.

Seattle, WA is the default Favorite city in Weather. You’ll notice from the error message that I received that either Windows 8’s Location Services were down, there’s no weather data for my current location or there’s something wrong with my laptop. I clicked Try Again.  Many times… The error wouldn’t clear itself while I was connected to my home network, and for some reason, it didn’t matter how many times I wiped the PC and rebuilt it.  I kept getting this error.

Right clicking anywhere on the screen brings up the context menu, this time at the top of the screen. I clicked on the Places button in order to see what might and might not be defined for my PC. I was kinda disappointed when I got to the next screen.

Even though Seattle is the default Favorite location, it’s not listed anywhere in the Places screen; and you couldn’t see if data had been requested or sent from the Favorite Places screen.  What I got instead was the following.  Clicking on the button that looks like a bull’s-eye attempts to activate Location Services, which didn’t appear to be working.

Clicking the mouse cursor into the Enter location field got me a flashing cursor. I began typing “Chicago,” and it found Chicago after two letters. I highlighted the location and clicked Add. I got the next screen…

From here, it truly appeared as though Location Services was down, and that Weather wasn’t sending or receiving any weather data. I had initially thought that Weather was having trouble finding data from my local home town. I was wrong. I tried to add New York, LA, San Francisco, Paris, etc. Weather wouldn’t pull in data from any major city at all. I was initially forced to give up my use of Weather entirely, though if you look at the first Start Menu screen shot, you’ll see that the Windows Live Tile for Weather did in fact update for Seattle, after I went back to the Start Menu.

What a difference a couple of days makes!  I was able to get Weather to work the following Business Day. Here, you see weather for Naperville, IL. Weather finally decided to fetch data while I was on the train on my way into the office.

After I was able to get information on my current location, I added data for those places that held meaning for me.  One of the things that I found out, that really kinda puzzled me was that Weather only displays information for your “Favorite” city on its Live Tile.  I was certain that it would cycle through all of your Favorite Places, but it doesn’t.  Home or Favorite city only… This is confusing, because the Mail application will cycle through ALL of the messages in your inbox…so uh, exactly why doesn’t Weather run through your Favorite Places..?  That is an EXCELLENT question; and one I’ve submitted feedback directly to Microsoft on.

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