Windows 8 is been in the news for quite a while now after its developer preview demo at the Build Conference a few weeks ago ,got a huge response from the crowd with a record number of people downloading the Windows 8 Developer Preview which sports some new and exciting features packed in with an innovative Metro UI.
Though the official launch is still a few months away,but that doesn’t restrict the boss Steve Ballmer to show off some of the new exciting features of Windows 8.At a recent Dell World gave a glimpse of some of the interesting features in Windows 8 information week reports.
First off he started with the new Lock Screen concept,showing the attendees the notifications of incoming email prompts an update on the number of unopened messages at a small envelope symbol and even the icons of Social Networking sites with no. count in the screen.Then he showed the attendees the new Metro UI(inspired by the windows Phone 7 UI) to the attendees who haven’t yet got the chance to see it live in action with the new Start Screen concept in action.
Then he showed off the Windows 8 Server features like the virtualization with Live migration of the Operating System and Data moved to the new physical location in advance.With the Beta release getting closer and closer we might expect some more light shed onto the new features which are still unknown to the public to surface to the web.Watch this space for more Windows 8 Scoop.
The world of Tablet is currently filled with a lots of cheap Android based so Called iPad killers/Clones and some expensive android tablets but iPad stands out to be the topmost tablet in terms of market share along with the internet traffic share as well.
Then came the Build conference and Microsoft unveiled their new Offering the Windows 8,the all in one operating system ranging from the desktop,laptops to the tablets with a highly optimized innovative Metro UI and hardware acceleration and lots more features like reduction in run time memory for efficient usage,Windows 8 is going to launch in 2012 with wide range of hardware devices but the surveys have already started flowing into Windows 8 directions with many recent surveys predicting a huge marketshare for Windows based tablets in the coming years.
New entrant in the survey is Boston Consulting Group (BCG) which conducted a research to ask people about what is their preferred Operating System on the Tablets ,according to the survey 4 out of 10 people who were questioned said that they would prefer using Windows based system,while iOS was preferred by 34% chinese people and 27 % Americans ,while android was no where closer to both of them with 18-20 % preference.
So with the rise of the Windows 8 and fall of the ecosystems like Web OS this might very well be the opening microsoft is looking for and the stage is already set for a big leap from microsoft to eye for the Number one slot and not end up being the close second or third to iOS.
Yesterday on the Building Windows 8 blog on MSDN, Microsoft posted a really long and extremely detailed post about the feedback and the consequential changes that they decided to make on the new Windows 8 Start Screen. The Start Screen is arguably one of the most discussed features of Windows 8 and it has drawn high amounts of both criticism and praise from users.
Senior Program Manager Marina Dukhon talks about the extensive research that Microsoft conducted in to user behavior and their reasons behind the completely new approach. Let’s look at a few of the issues that the Start Screen addresses.
Apps At A Glance
According to Microsoft’s research, people launch approximately 57 different apps over a period of several months. However, regardless of the screen resolution, the Start Menu will only show 20 apps maximum before scrolling down. In comparison to this, the Start Screen can have a 36 wide or 72 square tiles on a 1920×0180 desktop screen. 42 wide or 84 square tiles on a 2560×1440 screen. Once you move to the Apps screen that is roughly the Metro equivalent of the All Programs menu, you can have 80 tiles on a 1920×1080 and 150 tiles on a 2560×1440. Marina also cites research later in the post saying that the human brain is much better equipped to quickly process and located things on a grid than scrolling through a long menu. Which is why we have a much easier time finding icons on the desktop than finding them on a list.
A lot of advanced users have complained about being unable to perform in depth customizations on the start screen, which can be done on the start menu. Additionally, the quoted user comment also talks about third-party customizing applications. Regarding this, Marina mentioned that there some basic customization already built in to the star screen, where people can reorder, resize and group tiles together. Users can also move entire groups back and forth through the app grid without disturbing the rest of the grid. As the program reaches beta, there would be more customization features from Microsoft. And once Windows 8 releases, third-party developers are definitely going to provide customization solutions to go beyond what Microsoft provides.
We know that Windows 8 is highly optimized for working in lesser runtime memory usage and that it’s memory consumption is almost half of that the windows 7 memory usage and even though the minimum requirements are at 1GB RAM ,nerds over the web are always upto doing unimaginable stuff every now and then. Marius Oiaga from Softpedia tried an experiment on Windows 8 Developer Preview running virtually under the Oracle Virtual Box trying to get the most out of it using as less amount of RAM as possible.
First he started off with 128 MB test for Windows 8 Developer Preview,The virtual machine booted fast with the normal login procedure of lock screen,login screen and the Start Menu worked fine and the task manager took just a few moments to show up the usage.
Though the IE10 worked on it he wasn’t able to load Metro apps on that much amount of memory.
If that wasn’t enough he tried yet another test with windows 8 developer preview only this time the amount of RAM used was halved to a near impossible 64 MB(which is the minimum requirement for Windows XP) and surprisingly it worked ,though it took some time to start up and load the start menu(10 minutes) but he was able to take a screenshot of the usage from the Task Manager.This is quite an accomplishment keeping in mind that it war run on 64 MB of RAM.
So this test again confirms the fact that people who built Windows 8 has done everything they can to make it a universal OS to RUN on virtually any type of machine and with wide configuration range with optimum usage.
Did you ever imagine running Android apps on your Windows PC?Well this has indeed been achieved thanks to this latest application to hit the market from BlueSatcks.The BlueStacks App Player for Windows PC is a free ware that allows Android users to run their favorite apps on Windows PC.
BlueStacks running on Windows 7
The applications can run full screen on a desktop PC using a new type of virtualization.It allows Windows users to run a maximum of 10 pre-loaded applications.According to the company,it took ten engineers, two years to build this technology.It also allows graphically advanced games like Angry birds and Fruit Ninja (built for ARM) to run full-screen without any special developer porting for the first time.
Bluestacks is aiming to accumulate around 1 million customers downloads and is founded by former McAfee CTO and Cloud.com board member Rosen Sharma. The BlueStacks App Player will also interact with the company’s Cloud Connect software for Android.On installing a gadget onto a Windows 7 desktop the App Player can be operated. The gadget then provides access to the variety of inbuilt Android applicationsand the ability to download additional apps.
This approach by BlueStacks has attracted some strong initial partners too. Pre-loaded applications in the alpha release of the software include Bloomberg, LivingSocial, Huffington Post and Creative Mobile. Furthermore,the company hopes to attract more developers in future thanks to its unique proposition. A lot of app developers will see this as an opportunity to get their Android apps into the hands of millions of Windows users.
This is an early look at the company’s work but the firm is looking for substantial feedback for future software updates. There’s also a Mac version of the application in process. “The openness of Android is enabling innovation around the world. We are grateful to Google and others for their contributions. This is also a social equalizer in the US and countries like Brazil, India and China, where a large percentage of the population who can only afford smartphones can now enjoy and benefit from the ubiquity of apps on the Android platform,” said Rosen Sharma, President and CEO of BlueStacks. “We look forward to getting feedback from our users on the alpha release.”
After being a one stop shop for Windows users for such a long time,Microsoft has decided to retire Windows Live Gallery one of its premier site.Launched in 2006,it had gained popularity amongst Windows users for the variety of software, plug-ins and other applications.
But as reported earlier today The Windows Live Gallery has been retired, so that the development team can work seamlessly on the upcoming new features,so to concentrate on the new things it’s better off to do away with the old things,so from now on there won’t be any submissions for new Gadgets.But keeping in mind the users demands the popular gadgets would still be available over the Gadgets page.
Windows Developer Preview allows you to leverage your existing skills and code assets so you can create great experiences for your customers. Gadget and web developers can now use their HTML5 and CSS3 skills to build native Windows apps. .NET Developers can use XAML, C#, and Visual Basic to build beautiful Metro-style apps. Game developers can use the power of DirectX 11.1 to build amazing, immersive gaming experiences. Driver developers benefit from increased productivity with the new, integrated Visual Studio development environment.
So we can expect lot more feature apps in the Windows Store when the Windows 8 final version releases we are in for a treat from the developers :D
Metro Apps To Be Solely Distributed Through The Windows Store
Microsoft has declared that the Windows Store will be the sole distributor of Metro apps. Which translates to the users being restricted to the Windows store for legally downloading and installing Metro Apps for Windows 8. This is of course nothing new. Apple did the same with the iOS. On Android you can optionally turn on the option to install from another location but it is off by default and buried deep inside the settings. But this rule of Microsoft is not without its exceptions.
At the recently conducted BUILD conference,Microsoft decided to give its developers its new product the “Tablet”.So it was expected that some of them might land up on eBay and so they are,a couple of developers have put their tablets on sale.
These tablets were only given to BUILD attendees and are not available for general public purchase, which is a unfortunate as they would most likely sell like hot property as many of geeks would like to load up Windows 8 on a tablet.
The device in itself is state of the art, running a Core i5 cpu, 4GB of RAM, 64 GB SSD, its spec list reads more like a laptop than a tablet, which is what Microsoft had most likely intended.
When coupled with the included Bluetooth keyboard and other accessories, the tablet quickly shows that it can function as a tablet, or as a full function PC.
Past week has been quite a buzzing week with the Build conference and all the Windows 8 Operating System and the hardware devices which will be supported by the upcoming operating system,ranging from the Desktops to the Laptops to the Tablets with wide range of configurations and various options as well.
Over the past week we saw various videos from the Build keynotes as well as some of the tutorials for Windows 8.From one of those sessions which were held at the build conference Long Zheng of the famous Chevron WP7 Spotted one of the possible features coming to the Windows 8 Operating System.
As you can clearly make out from the above image that there is a missed call notification tile on the Windows 8 Start Page the tile displaying the last missed calls on the device.So if we see it as one of the steps to bring the Windows Phone,Windows 8 Tablet Ecosystem closer to each other then this might very well turn out to be a great upcoming feature in the Tablets which will be powered by 3G chipsets and will allow the Video Calling Feature on the go and Recent Microsoft Skype buying thing we can see that happening into reality sooner rather than later.
Checkout the Build Video : Windows 8 Metro Style Communications Apps
The video shows various metro style communication apps, one of which is People App,similar to the people hub in the Windows Phones,you can fast forward the video to(2:33 mins) to see a persons contact listed with his phone number and text message option.
Watch this space for more Information on this one and other Windows 8 News.
Recently we reported about Internet Explorer 10 will be a Plugin Free browser and that it might very well be the end to the Flash support as far as the IE10 goes,but as reported on the official Adobe Blog ,we will indeed see Flash support on Internet Explorer 10.
We expect Windows desktop to be extremely popular for years to come (including Windows 8 desktop) and that it will support Flash just fine, including rich web based games and premium videos that require Flash. In addition, we expect Flash based apps will come to Metro via Adobe AIR.
Also mentioning that they are working with Microsoft, Google, Apple and others in the HTML community to drive innovation in HTML5, to make it as rich as possible for delivering world-class content on the open Web and through App Stores.So as far as the Windows 8 IE10 desktop and Metro Browser Goes Flash is still pretty much into the picture.
Windows 8 developer preview was demonstrated earlier this week in the Build Conference and was later made available for download with 2 kinds of builds,one with developer tools bundled(64 bit) and one with plain Developer Build(32 bit and 64 bit).You can download the Windows 8 developer Preview from Here.