There are not much of changes to the look of Windows 8 in the Release Preview. However, there are improvements compared to the Developer’s Preview and the Consumer Preview. Navigating around is even smoother than before, and fast. Booting up the laptop, a Samsung 900x loaded with the prototype touch-pad drivers, booted in about 15 seconds over three cold boots. That’s about the same as the Consumer Preview.
Resuming from sleep took under 2 seconds, about half of what it was in the previous version. However, despite changing the settings, Windows 8 would lock the screen after only one minute of idling. On its own, it’s not critical, but it’s certainly annoying and is indicative of the enormous bug-hunt that Microsoft will have to do to get this ready for the public.
Snapping apps to one side so you can view two apps simultaneously — such as Mail and Calendar — is much smoother. You can also grab an app from the top and drag it to the bottom to close it. Do that with the Desktop view, though, and you free up the resources of the Desktop without losing any data. Reopen Desktop, and if, for example, you had desktop Internet Explorer open, it will return to the site you were viewing.
The lower left-corner Start button has also been shrunk, so it interferes with traditional mouse pointers less often, and you can now toggle a tile’s “live” status so that it doesn’t display updates.
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