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2011-08-24 23:23:25

Microsoft says that a Windows 8-based PC is really a new kind of device, one that scales from touch-only small screens through to large screens, with or without a keyboard and mouse.

Indeed, the new OS appears to have two completely separate interfaces - one, a traditional (and, on the surface of it, unchanged) Windows desktop and the other a new touch-based interface that borrows heavily from Windows Phone.

Actually, as you'll see, it basically is Windows Phone. You can move seamlessly between the interfaces and even have both on screen at the same time. So that leads us to believe there will be a single OS for tablets and traditional PCs.

Windows 8 will be released in 2012.


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2011-08-24 23:56:53


All indicators point to Windows 8 being a huge change from its predecessors. While Windows 7 was a tightening, speeding up, and interface-improving of Windows Vista, Windows 8 promises to radically change the operating system—even beyond anything the leaks and rumors hinted at.

Microsoft's president of the Windows and Windows Live Division, Steven Sinofsky, recently launched the Building Windows 8 blog, where details will be shared and feedback will be collected. The blog is written by Microsoft engineers working on particular features of the OS and intended for an engineer audience. But it also gives the public some insight into what's cooking at the Redmond operating system factory.

In the first post on that blog, Sinofsky makes the bold assertion that Windows 8 will represent the biggest rethinking of the PC operating system since Windows 95. That's quite a statement, considering big-time releases like XP, Vista, and Windows 7 have intervened. Windows 95 was the first version to truly break the bonds of DOS, and Windows 8 also promises to move the PC in a drastically new direction. It's Microsoft's response to the "post-PC" world of tablets epitomized by Apple's iPad.


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2011-08-25 00:00:04



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2011-08-29 17:08:56
last modified: 2011-08-31 14:37:08


Everything you could possibly want to know about Windows 8 Beta:



[Click on image]

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2011-08-31 14:36:32


Windows 8's Explorer Will Use Polarizing Ribbon UI [Video]


The Building Windows 8 blog keeps on giving. In the last couple weeks Microsoft's developers have written about the complicated coding behind USB 3.0 implementation and overhauling copy/paste file management in Windows 8. On Monday the blog delved further into that latter subject, revealing one of the major changes coming to Windows Explorer in the company's next OS.


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2011-08-31 17:19:02


Microsoft Explains Relationship Between Windows 8 User Interfaces



Today's Building Windows 8 blog post, written by Steven Sinofsky, isn't really about a new Windows 8 feature or tweak, but rather about how the new-style Metro tablet UI will interact with the traditional Windows desktop.

Specifically, Sinofsky says that the Metro UI won't sit on top of the Windows desktop on tablets, but that the Windows desktop wouldn't even load unless specifically invoked by the user - "you can think of the Windows desktop as just another app," he says. At the same time, Sinofsky affirmed that Microsoft understands the importance of the standard Windows desktop, and acknowledged that the traditional mouse-and-keyboard interface was just better for certain tasks, including the running of legacy apps. He sums all of this up best toward the end of the piece:

"Our design goal was clear: no compromises. If you want to, you can seamlessly switch between Metro style apps and the improved Windows desktop. Existing apps, devices, and tools all remain and are improved in Windows 8. On the other hand, if you prefer to immerse yourself in only Metro style apps (and platform) and the new user experience, you can do that as well! Developers can target the APIs that make sense for the software they wish to deliver."

If Microsoft can deliver on this promise and give us one device that can serve as a satisfactory tablet and a satisfactory PC, I for one would definitely be interested.


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2011-09-08 18:13:24


Windows 8 to include Hyper-V virtualization


Windows 8 will include Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization tool in an effort to attract developers, IT pros, and other users who need to run, test, or support virtual environments.

Virtualization tools such as Hyper-V allow users to run multiple operating systems and environments on the same machine. That's helpful for developers and other individuals for testing purposes. But it's also increasingly used by IT administrators who need to set up and support virtualized PCs.

To run the new Windows 8 Hyper-V, users will need a 64-bit processor, which has been available on PCs for a number of years, the 64-bit version of Windows 8, and at least 4 gigabytes of RAM. But the requirements go a bit beyond that.

Hyper-V also demands a 64-bit system that has Second Level Address Translation (SLAT), a feature that helps with memory management.
"SLAT is a feature present in the current generation of 64-bit processors by Intel and AMD," John explained. And by current, John means Intel's Core i3, i5, and i7 processors and AMD's Barcelona processor.


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2011-09-14 14:49:41


Today at its developer-focused BUILD conference, Microsoft showcased a detailed preview of the next major release of Windows. See the highlights.

Get more information about the developer preview of Windows 8 http://win8.ms/build


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2011-09-15 11:37:17


Microsoft's president for Windows, Steven Sinofsky, today revealed a reimagined Windows, which boasts a very different, tile-based user interface called Metro based on Windows Phone that is touch-savvy, runs on ARM processors as well as Intel x86 chips, and will also work on traditional keyboard-and-mouse PCs and run anything that runs on Windows 7. The ability to run legacy Windows apps on ARM processors was not expected by pundits' predictions. The new version, code-named Windows 8, is now in developer preview and will be available for download later today from dev.windows.com, with no release date yet set.

Sinofsky said Microsoft redesigned Windows because "things are a whole lot different now than three years ago.... Touch is a whole new dimension. Mobility is a whole new dimension.... We want Windows to respond to that." He also said Windows 8 uses just 281MB of RAM, down from 404MB in Windows 7, and that all the new capabilities are native to the core OS, not layered on top of it. That should ease development and aid performance, he said. Microsoft has said Windows 8 will not run on smartphones, which will use Windows Phone 7 instead.

Like Windows 7, Windows 8 is designed for touchscreen PCs where users gesture on their vertical monitor screens, a contrast to Apple's strategy of restricting gestures to horizontal touch surfaces such as a touchpad. (Non-touchscreen PCs use traditional pointing devices instead, as do non-touch-savvy apps.) It also runs on iPad-style tablets. Thus, Windows 8 includes APIs for mobile devices' sensors, such as accelerometer, near-field communications, and device orientation. There are also new APIs to simplify integration of Wi-Fi and 3G networking and of printing, as well as to integrate storage, setup, and sharing access via Microsoft's Windows Live cloud service.


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2012-03-22 13:26:50


Microsoft will launch Windows 8 this Autumn



Microsoft will polish up its Windows 8 operating system (OS) this summer before launching it in the Autumn.

That is the claim in a Bloomberg report that cites 'sources' for the slightly refreshed timeline. Until now we had been expecting that the firm would release the OS before year end, but this report with its more definite date, if nothing else, narrows that down a bit.

Sources who declined to be named but are party to the release schedule told Bloomberg that Microsoft will launch the OS for systems running both Intel and ARM processors.


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2012-07-03 10:09:17


Microsoft Windows 8 Upgrades Cost $39.99 for XP, Vista or Windows 7 Users


Microsoft has announced that upgrades to Windows 8 from previous versions of the operating system will go for $39.99 via download and $69.99 if purchased in a store.

The low-cost upgrade is positioned as a promotion available only from the time Windows 8 ships this fall until Jan. 31, 2013, Microsoft said. Users running Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7 will be able to download Windows 8 Pro in 131 markets.

Microsoft also is allowing users to add Windows Media Center for free after the upgrade. In addition, upgrading customers have the option of purchasing a backup Windows 8 DVD for $15 plus shipping and handling.


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2012-12-23 15:42:44


Suppose that you are an expert user of Windows NT/XP/Vista/7, an expert user of an iPad, and an expert user of an Android phone…. you will have no idea how to use Windows 8.

What are the best features of Android? A permanently on-screen Back button. A permanently on-screen Home button. Neither of these are present on the Windows 8 “tablet screen”. Every app developer implements the “Back” feature in a manner and location of his or her own choosing (Microsoft apps seem to put a big arrow on the top left of the screen; other developers used the bottom left; many screens do not have a Back option at all).

What is the best feature of iOS on the iPad? A permanent hardware Home button. It isn’t as convenient as going “Back” on Android but at least it facilitates re-navigating to wherever you were. The closest thing to a full-time Home button in Windows 8 is the “windows” key on the keyboard (but the whole idea is that the keyboard is not always available/required).


Christmas gift for someone you hate: Windows 8
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