Another week, another installment of my experience living with the Windows 8 Release Preview. Windows 8 will officially be released to the public on October 26, 2012. Interestingly, it’ll only be sold on new PCs or as a boxed (or digital download) upgrade. Will custom builders be able to pick up a full copy of the OS direct from Microsoft? At this point, we have no idea.
Speaking of upgrades, one thing that has been bugging me since I upgraded from the Consumer Preview to the Release Preview is Internet Explorer 10′s saved passwords. I never allowed IE to save my passwords in past versions of Windows, instead opting to use browser add-ons like LastPass to ensure that every account I have has a unique, randomly generated password. But since IE10′s Metro-style app does not support add-ons, I’ve started saving the passwords for a few of my most commonly used websites in both IE and LastPass. This has the added benefit of syncing my passwords between Windows 8 installations.
Strangely, this feature broke after I upgraded to the Windows 8 Release Preview. Try as I might, I could not get IE10 to save any new passwords. Over the weekend, I installed the Release Preview on yet another machine and I was pleased to discover that saved passwords were once again working. And yes, these passwords were automatically synced back to my primary machine. I’m looking forward to wiping my PC and applying the final version of Windows 8 in the coming weeks.
This week, Microsoft also unveiled Office 2013 and provided enthusiasts with a Customer Preview version of the software suite. I’ve been using Office 2013 on a daily basis since Monday, and I think it’s the best version yet. The flatter Metro-style interface looks great, but it’s also lighting fast. Even the animations seem to have been given a significant amount of care and polish. My favorite new features, however, have to be synced settings across devices, deeper SkyDrive integration, Exchange ActiveSync for Hotmail in Outlook 2013 (hooray for task sync!), and the improved blogging platform in Word 2013. In fact, this very post was written, edited, and posted completely in Word 2013. Preview versions of the Office 2013 Web Apps can also be accessed via this link.
A few hours after the release of the Office 2013 Customer Preview, Microsoft published the first Metro-style Office app, OneNote MX, on the Windows Store. This app is arguably the first completely polished app to enter the Windows Store. It looks great, feels great, and works great. Look for an in-depth look at the OneNote MX app here on Pocketables in the near future.