Microsoft Struts Out Windows 8, Developer Story at BUILD

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-09-13 Print this article Print

title=Windows 8 Across a Spectrum of Devices} 

Larson-Green said planning for Windows 8 began in June of 2009, even before Microsoft was done with Windows 7. She said Microsoft was not reacting to anything in the market at the time--such as tablets--because nothing like that existed at the time.

Larson-Green also said Windows 8 is application-centric, in that it focuses on how apps are shown and what apps can do. Windows 8 is powered by apps, enables apps to work together and allows users to sync content across their devices.

Jensen Harris, partner director of program management for Windows Experience, gave several demonstrations of Windows 8 in use, including the use of the five Windows 8 "Charms": Search, Share, Start, Devices and Settings. Harris also discussed the concept of Contracts in Windows 8. The notion of Contracts is a part of the Windows 8 developer platform and Contracts let apps share Charms and bring up options for how applications can interoperate or share data. Harris said the closest metaphor to a Contract is the Clipboard.

Also, with a preview version Internet Explorer 10 included, Windows 8 provides touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the center on new Windows 8 devices, Microsoft said.

Meanwhile, discussing Windows for business, Iain MacDonald, partner director of program management for Windows, said Microsoft will deliver Windows To Go. With Windows To Go, enterprise IT pros can provide users with bootable USB storage devices containing a copy of Windows 8, along with their business apps, data, and settings. When users are finished and log off, they simply remove the USB device, leaving no data or information behind, MacDonald said.

Moreover, with support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 devices, touch and sensors, Windows 8 works across a spectrum of devices -- from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens, Microsoft said. Also, with Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet even in standby mode. And Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs users use today on Windows 7 to deliver the performance users expect of a PC, Microsoft said.

Developers will be able to download the Windows Developer Preview via the new Windows Dev Center later this week, Microsoft officials said.


Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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