Microsoft launches 'Building Windows 8' blog

By on August 15, 2011, 6:07 PM

Microsoft introduced a new blog and Twitter account to keep partners and customers better updated with the development and progress of its next operating system. Windows President Steven Sinofsky made the first post on the “Building Windows 8” blog today, sharing some new information about Windows 8 and outlining the purpose of these new outlets to end-users, developers and information professionals.

In the post, Sinofsky briefly mentions that a pre-release version will be available “over the coming months”, likely to developers only. If the process used to roll out Windows 7 is any indication, Microsoft could also provide a Windows 8 Release Candidate to end-users before the public launch.

The blog welcomes comments and constructive criticism both from visitors and the Windows 8 staff. End-users are encouraged to email questions and blog topics for consideration.

"Our intent with this pre-release blog is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about, before we talk about it. Our top priority is the responsibility we feel to our customers and partners, to make sure we’re not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of you who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows. Rather than generating traffic or building excitement, this blog is here to provide a two-way dialog about the complexities and tradeoffs of product development."

Windows 8 builds have been leaked online for a few months now. Windows 8 build 7850, the first leaked Windows 8 build, hit the Internet in April 2011. It was quickly followed by Windows 8 build 7955 a few weeks later. Windows Server 8 build 7959 then leaked in May 2011.

Microsoft announced in January that Windows 8 will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures from ARM-based systems designed by partners Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. Microsoft's goal is of course to further increase the range of hardware it supports with Windows.

In June, Microsoft released some information about Windows 8's UI and posted a preview video on YouTube. The next major event for Windows is the BUILD conference in September where more information will be provided to develpers.




User Comments: 18

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Xero07 said:

That doesn't look half bad

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

The magic is still missing. Most of us aren't going to be using a touchscreen monitor, but a mouse and keyboard. How does this new UI work with those?

Mizzou Mizzou said:

It looks like it's really geared for tablets and mobile devices. The segment that demonstrated running Excel with your finger wasn't particularly impressive. Also, looks like it would be cumbersome when trying to manipulate a large number of objects.

Guest said:

This looks great. I can't wait for Windows 8 to be here. As far as mouse goes, I believe it is easier to use than finger (precision, no grease, etc). Using fingers, however, would allow for multi-touch (Win 7 already supports that). Very cool so far.

RH00D RH00D said:

gwailo247 said:

The magic is still missing. Most of us aren't going to be using a touchscreen monitor, but a mouse and keyboard. How does this new UI work with those?

If you have a keyboard and mouse you would use the regular windows UI (like Windows 7 UI). This one is presumably made for tablets and All-in-one touchscreen PCs. Although, the tablet UI is compatible with a mouse and keyboard if you *really* wanted to do that.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the new UI. It is entirely optional. (Unless you buy a Windows 8 tablet, I don't imagine there would be an option to disable the new UI, because why would you want the regular UI on a tablet? Lol.)

Guest said:

Am I the only one that feels this looks like complete and total garbage? If I wanted my PC to try to be a smartphone, then I'd just go buy a frickin' Apple product.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

RH00D said:

If you have a keyboard and mouse you would use the regular windows UI (like Windows 7 UI). This one is presumably made for tablets and All-in-one touchscreen PCs. Although, the tablet UI is compatible with a mouse and keyboard if you *really* wanted to do that.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the new UI. It is entirely optional. (Unless you buy a Windows 8 tablet, I don't imagine there would be an option to disable the new UI, because why would you want the regular UI on a tablet? Lol.)

I understand that, but if you take away the new UI, then you basically just have Windows 7. Why would I buy Windows 8 to put onto my PC if there is no difference whatsoever between 7 and 8? What would be the point of this whole new interface if mouse and keyboard users would essentially not use it?

I know that the new UI is tablet-oriented, and optional, but I still expect MS to show how this would be used by an average desktop user.

parasit3 said:

NOOO! this is not hardcore and it looks like a smartphone/tablet OS. OMG it looks like an Xbox 360 OS too! ahhhhhhhh. i hope this dont replace WIndows 7 and this 'Windows 8' seems to urge touch-screening. It's not exactly the OS we want for a gaming pc either. For Chrissake continue the traditional windows UI scheme.

M1r said:

Has anyone seen a video of Microsoft demonstrating windows 8 using keyboard & mouse? I've been searching all across the internet (youtube)

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Mizzou said:

It looks like it's really geared for tablets and mobile devices. The segment that demonstrated running Excel with your finger wasn't particularly impressive. Also, looks like it would be cumbersome when trying to manipulate a large number of objects.

Imagine if you have to type a 'nested' formula

But anyway, for an OS which is still in development it doesn't look bad at all. As gwailo noted the OS is geared towards touch devices, which shouldn't be a problem as long as they give desktop users option to choose which UI they want to have.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

This is great for phones/tablets, but I would NOT want this UI on my laptop/desktop. If W8 doesn't give us the choice of which UI to use, then you can count me out when it comes to buying W8. It's not that I don't like change, I just don't like this particular type of interface on my laptop/desktop.

example1013 said:

gwailo247 said:

RH00D said:

If you have a keyboard and mouse you would use the regular windows UI (like Windows 7 UI). This one is presumably made for tablets and All-in-one touchscreen PCs. Although, the tablet UI is compatible with a mouse and keyboard if you *really* wanted to do that.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the new UI. It is entirely optional. (Unless you buy a Windows 8 tablet, I don't imagine there would be an option to disable the new UI, because why would you want the regular UI on a tablet? Lol.)

I understand that, but if you take away the new UI, then you basically just have Windows 7. Why would I buy Windows 8 to put onto my PC if there is no difference whatsoever between 7 and 8? What would be the point of this whole new interface if mouse and keyboard users would essentially not use it?

I know that the new UI is tablet-oriented, and optional, but I still expect MS to show how this would be used by an average desktop user.

Ostensibly for DirectX 12 support on new video games to try and force upgrades when no one buys it except on a tablet. I really can't think of any reason I'd go through the hassle of buying Windows again.

Guest said:

Seems like Microsoft is saying Windows 8 (or at least some version of it) will run on any form factor(phone, tablet, netbook, laptop, desktop) and processor. Since the new up and coming things are mobile devices Win 8 is showing off features that work well with them to create a buzz. They don't appear to be showing the desktop experience with keyboard and mouse simply because that's not new or flashy and most likely will look about the same as Win 7.

RH00D RH00D said:

example1013 said:

gwailo247 said:

RH00D said:

If you have a keyboard and mouse you would use the regular windows UI (like Windows 7 UI). This one is presumably made for tablets and All-in-one touchscreen PCs. Although, the tablet UI is compatible with a mouse and keyboard if you *really* wanted to do that.

There seems to be a lot of confusion about the new UI. It is entirely optional. (Unless you buy a Windows 8 tablet, I don't imagine there would be an option to disable the new UI, because why would you want the regular UI on a tablet? Lol.)

I understand that, but if you take away the new UI, then you basically just have Windows 7. Why would I buy Windows 8 to put onto my PC if there is no difference whatsoever between 7 and 8? What would be the point of this whole new interface if mouse and keyboard users would essentially not use it?

I know that the new UI is tablet-oriented, and optional, but I still expect MS to show how this would be used by an average desktop user.

Ostensibly for DirectX 12 support on new video games to try and force upgrades when no one buys it except on a tablet. I really can't think of any reason I'd go through the hassle of buying Windows again.

To both of you, the reasons for buying Windows 8 even if the UI isn't modified much is that Windows 8 can potentially have better optimization, better security improvements, new technologies like DirectX 12, more/better hardware support and a load of new features (The best reasons being potential new features). None of those things would require a heavily modified UI. IMO I think a new UI is one of the last reasons I would upgrade an OS(Why would I buy the same OS with a different face?). Unless the current UI was horrific, but I think the Aero UI is great already.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

While reading these posts I realized that by the time Win8 comes out, Win7 will be around 3 years old, so I see no big deal in launching a new OS. Personally I don't want MS to sleep for 6 years then suddenly one day wake up to do a major overhaul to the OS, breaking up stuff/applications (for the corporate customers) in the process.

Guest said:

The reason for Microsoft's windows 8 lack luster reception has most been

been a giant user interface back peddle, early retro-ing of the user interface

technology.

( raise your hand if you feel clicking a picture icon is /that/ innovative,

I was doing that, and a whole lot more, with my mouse, before

Windows 95 existed).

'reimaging' windows, err does that mean removing features?

when Microsoft incorporated document management into Windows 95,

they took a giant step forward, Bill Gates pocketed his first fifty bill $,

but the user wasn't made aware of the user interface capability of

document management ( scripting, for example, an automatic drag and drop

of scanned documents which are subsequently retrieved for dual window

or monitor database screen entry, ( this was back in the day's before a

document management application was included with

every copy of Windows 95 sold.) ( I bet the vast majority of

Window's user's or developer's still didn't know much about these

features, Trivia time, "The Windows 95 InBox, What was is supposed to do?

( Where was is modeled from?))

The document management software from Microsoft exploded with Windows XP

because document management indexing was made into a service.

However, now, Microsoft is making a retreat, not because they don't

have the true monopoly on drag-and-drop document management but

maybe because Microsoft is still actually forbidden /by law/ to teach

document management software technology as a Windows in-built application.

( what they already knew ( and copied from an elsewhere 90's windows

3.11 drag-and-drop document management software company)

( I created customized drag-and-drop software in the early 1990's,

several years before the Windows 95 debute, ( Bill Gates may recall

a rented battleship in Massachusetts for a World's Greatest Top-Gun's

of Document Image Management ceremony, I was a asked by

a college buddy of Bill Gates to attend, while eating at The

Top Gun BBQ grille, my buddy told me about the end of my

non-Microsoft drag-and-drop document management career))

Best of luck with Windows 8, ( Windows XP is becoming a secret

anomaly of Microsoft , too bad the user's never really understood

it's true potential, ( or did some, well anyway). no need to follow

the engineering tradition of backward compatibility,

just lock their data into a certainly very profitable future for Microsoft,

nothing else matters, ).

anymouse

SammyJames said:

I will be staying with Win 7 until further notice.

abe10tiger abe10tiger, TechSpot Paladin, said:

I just got Windows 7 last week and now Windows 8 is almost making it's appearance? wow,

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