Windows 8 beta first impressions: brave but flawed

Adam Oxford at

Microsoft made the public beta, or 'Consumer Preview', of Windows 8 available for download on Wednesday afternoon, so we've had the best part of two days now to play around with it and work out what we like and what we don't. So far, I've used three PCs to try it out – one normal machine, one with a touchscreen and one Atom-powered tablet.

People have described Windows 8 as genius, ground breaking. A long overdue reworking of the tired desktop metaphor that better reflects how people really use their computers. Others look at it as a mess, forcing a look and feel designed for mobile phones onto unwilling desktop users. They see it as broken in the ways that Windows ME or Vista were.

Me? I see it as both. Fabulous and flawed at the same time.