I’ve downloaded my next geek project and installed into a virtual machine.  I use Oracle VM VirtualBox to run all of my virtual machines.  If your computer is a CoreIx series processor, the functionality to run virtual machines is already built in and I highly recommend this FREE program.  But that’s not important.  If you have a Windows Phone, or an XBox, you’re already familiar with the below interface.

Brand new awesomeness from Microsoft as they’re abandoning the interface used since 1994, finally!

Go ahead, click on the picture.  I’ve blocked out anything personally identifiable of course as I value my anonymity online.  It’s built around the metro user interface (MUI) and everything has been logically grouped into icons.  Some of the icons, such as Mail, Messaging, Contacts, Calendar open up their respective applications.  Other icons such as SkyDrive, Marketplace, and Music open up into custom applications that are pretty much redesigned from the ground up for this version of Windows.

The neatest and coolest part of this is that I signed on with my Microsoft Live ID (soon to be renamed to Microsoft Account) and it automatically configured my email, contacts, calendar, messaging, etc. without any interaction from me.  It’s a beautiful merge of mobile, laptop, desktop, and server.  See, here is the simplicity behind a “shared” experience.  The same interface and functionality will exist in Windows Server 8, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 making it even easier for non-techies (like my parents) to use their computer in ways they’ve never been able to before.

At the risk of sounding like a fan-boy here, I think that Microsoft is finally listening to their customers and attempting to create something totally unique and different across their entire software platform.  I personally am excited for the final production release and I will certainly be purchase at least 2 copies of the software the day it is available.

The only drawback I see is that its designed to be touch enabled, meaning that not have a touch screen the interface is a bit clumsy.  It would appear to me as the only draw back that most critics will certainly point out in reviews.  I have had my Windows Phone for over a year and can’t wait to get a new Windows Phone 8 when I can upgrade again in January 2013!

Google “Windows 8 Consumer Preview” to download the 3.3GB ISO file.  If you want to run it without fubar’ing your current OS, download Oracle VM VirtualBox and run it in that.  The process to get it running is literally a few wizards and it practically installs itself.

Have fun!