windows-8-start-screen-600

Microsoft just launched the consumer preview of Windows 8. That means anyone who wants to check out the latest version of Microsoft’s new operating system — unveiled on Wednesday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona — can download it right now and start scrolling through Metro apps in all of their tiled glory.

How can you get this groundbreaking piece of pre-release software? Just head on over to Microsoft’s site and download. Microsoft has said repeatedly that Windows 8 would run on any machine that can run Windows 7, so theoretically you should be able to install it on your Win7 PC with no problems (of course, be sure to back up all your stuff thoroughly).

Be warned, though: this is pre-release “beta” software — not ready for prime time yet. As we found in our detailed look at the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the OS still has many bugs, and some of the functionality isn’t fully baked. Most notably on the “under construction” list: OS-level sharing, which right now can only be done with the Mail app.

SEE ALSO: Microsoft on Windows Phone: We’re Exactly Where We Need to Be
However, for those bold enough, using Windows 8 on a touchscreen device or with a traditional mouse and keyboard is a fascinating experience. Many Metro apps, with their full-screen nature, look gorgeous, and Microsoft has built bridges into the OS for connecting with services such as Facebook and Flickr. Of course, the traditional desktop is always just a click or two away.

When will you be able to get the final version of Windows 8? Not till this fall, when Microsoft is expected to release it to the public — along with an nearly identical version of Windows for low-power ARM devices and a big update to Windows Phone that’ll bring it more in line with Windows 8.

Until then, you’ve got this to play with. What do you think of Windows 8? Have your say in the comments, and watch for our Open Thread post later today.


Windows 8 Consumer Preview: An Overview


 

Start Menu

Here’s what greets you every time you log into your Windows 8 machine. Yes, the tiles are customizable, though it’s a little unwieldy in practice.

Click here to view this gallery.

More About: microsoft, trending, Windows, Windows 8

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As Steve Ballmer promised in January, Microsoft has released version 1.0 of the Kinect for the Windows Software Development Kit (SDK).

Improvements since the Beta 2 version, which was released in November 2011, include support for up to four Kinect sensors on one computer, improved skeletal tracking and speech recognition accuracy, as well as numerous API updates, stability, runtime and audio fixes.

Also of note is the Near Mode that enables the depth camera to see objects very close (40 cm) in front of the device.

Kinect for Windows Hardware is now available in the U.S., UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Spain, Japan, New Zealand and Mexico.

The suggested retail price of Kinect for Windows hardware is $249, but Microsoft promises special academic pricing of $149 for qualified educational users later this year.

Now that everything is set from Microsoft’s side, all that’s missing are the apps. We’ll see if Kinect for Windows lures developers to create some good ones in the coming months.

More About: Gaming, kinect, microsoft, SDK, Windows

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Can’t wait to try out Windows 8 for yourself after Microsoft’s big unveiling of the new OS at yesterday’s Build Conference? Well, you needn’t wait any longer, as the developer preview version of the OS is now available for download.

You can install it on a 32-bit or a 64-bit x86 machine. Activation is not required, but it’s far from a finalized version of the OS, so if you do install it, expect bugs and glitches. In any case, you should definitely check out Microsoft’s Windows 8 guide to get an idea of what you can expect from the next version of Windows. Also, check out our list of four most important new features in Windows 8.

Without further ado, the download is available here. If you choose to install it, please share your experiences in the comments!


Windows 8: Photos & Screenshots


Windows 8 Devices

Microsoft demonstrated a lot of Windows 8 devices, including tablet devices, at its Build conference in Anaheim, CA.

Windows 8 Devices: A Closer Look

These are some of the devices running Windows 8 at Microsoft’s Build conference.

Windows 8: Lock Screen

“Your personalized lock screen shows you unread emails and other app notifications. The image shown here is a photo of the road leading to Mt. Cook National Park in New Zealand.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Start Screen

“See your apps and content in a glance on the start screen.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Files

“Pick the files you want to send or share from one place.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Internet Explorer

“Touch browsing is fast, fluid and intuitive.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Thumb

“The thumb keyboard feels natural and comfortable.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Touch Keyboard

“Large buttons help you type on the touch keyboard.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows division President Steven Sinofsky

Windows division President Steven Sinofsky takes the stage at Build.

More About: microsoft, operating system, Windows, Windows 8




Can’t wait to get your hands on Windows 8? You can get it tonight — as long as you’re willing to suffer through countless bugs without any technical support.

Microsoft unveiled Windows 8 on Tuesday at its Build conference in Anaheim, California. The tech giant detailed how its next-generation OS bridges the gap between tablets, laptops and desktops with a lightweight system that is built for both touchscreens and keyboards.

Windows 8′s features include a Metro style interface, fast boot times (Windows loads in less than eight seconds), a new Windows Store for apps, communication between apps, support for ARM and Intel-based hardware and countless UX and UI changes that are a dramatic departure from its predecessors.

While attendees of the Build conference already have access to the Windows 8 Developer Preview (our review is coming soon), you can take it for a spin as well, starting Tuesday, Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. PT. That is when Microsoft will post the download links for Windows 8. During the developer preview, Windows 8 will be free. It will be available in 32 and 64-bit configurations.

Be warned, though — this is not a finished product. It will come with bugs, constant updates and lots of incompatible software. And Microsoft will not be offering any technical support for the OS. If you install it, you’re on your own.

If you want to get a better idea of what is coming in Windows 8 before you install it, check out the screenshots we’ve collected below. Let us know if you intend to try out the new Microsoft OS in the comments.

Windows 8 Devices

Microsoft demonstrated a lot of Windows 8 devices, including tablet devices, at its Build conference in Anaheim, CA.

Windows 8 Devices: A Closer Look

These are some of the devices running Windows 8 at Microsoft’s Build conference.

Windows 8: Lock Screen

“Your personalized lock screen shows you unread emails and other app notifications. The image shown here is a photo of the road leading to Mt. Cook National Park in New Zealand.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Start Screen

“See your apps and content in a glance on the start screen.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Files

“Pick the files you want to send or share from one place.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Internet Explorer

“Touch browsing is fast, fluid and intuitive.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Thumb

“The thumb keyboard feels natural and comfortable.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows 8: Touch Keyboard

“Large buttons help you type on the touch keyboard.”

Courtesy of Microsoft

Windows division President Steven Sinofsky

Windows division President Steven Sinofsky takes the stage at Build.

More About: microsoft, Windows, Windows 8


Not very long ago when we were planning the launch of our humble magazine BuildMobile, which you are reading right now, the content strategy included coverage of the nebulous WebOS mobile operating system. Come launch time, there wasn’t enough traction to include it in our platform categories, but we were hopeful for the future. WebOS in 60 Seconds WebOS is a mobile operating system based on the Linux Kernal Initially developed by Palm and first released in January 2009 Acquired by Hewlett-Packard in April 2010 for US$1.2b WebOS uses a “card” UI with a left-to-right flick for app swithcing, flick up for “off” The WebOS broswer, called simply “Web” is based on the WebKit layout engine WebOS “Synergy” feature integrates information from many cloud services into a single list Devices include the Pre , the Pixi and the Veer phones, then the HP TouchPad HP announced in March 2011 that WebOS would run within Windows by the end of 2011 On 18th August 2011 HP announced it would discontinue operations for WebOS devices Potentially even more HP TouchPads will be made and sold at a loss Web Standards based Native Apps A feature that was full of promise, and partly responsible for the underdog adoration WebOS attracted from developers worldwide, is that web technologies like HTML, CSS and Javascript are first class tools for developing native apps for the platform, with full access to hardware APIs like the camera.

Link:
BuildMobile: The Future of WebOS

In my previous post you saw how to navigate forward to a new page and then back either via the hardware back button or by calling the GoBack method. Quite often you’ll want to pass some data between pages, for example if a user selects a customer from a list you can pass the customer id or name through to the customer details page. This post will not only cover how to do this, it will also highlight the sequence of events that are raised during the navigation process. For the purpose of this post we’ll be using a simple example application that has two pages, CustomerListPage and CustomerDetailsPage.

View post:
BuildMobile: Navigating with Data in Windows Phone

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What’s interesting about the development platform for Windows Phone is that it is based on Silverlight, which, as most of us are aware, was first and foremost a web technology. As such Silverlight supports a navigation model that maps well to the way browsers work with the ability to navigate forward to new pages and back to previous pages. In this post you’ll learn how to carry out navigation tasks within your Windows Phone application. When you create a new application in Visual Studio or Expression Blend your project will contain a number of files which define a basic Windows Phone application, see Figure 1

See the original article here:
BuildMobile: Windows Phone 7 Navigation

So far we’ve looked at the importance of notifications on the Windows Phone platform along with the different types of notifications that are available to your application. In this post we’re going to go through setting up your application to receive notifications and how to actually send notifications. The first step in configuring your application to receive notifications is to register with the Microsoft hosted Push Notification Service. This is done by creating an instance of the HttpNotificationChannel class and calling the Open method

See original article:
BuildMobile: WP7 Push Notifications Part 2

In my previous posts I’ve referred to the notification system that comes with Windows Phone, specifically in reference to updating the Live Tiles on the Start screen. We’re going to jump in and take a closer look at how the push notification system works and the types of notifications that are available to you. Firstly, there are three types of notifications that your application can make use of: Toast Notification If you want to notify the user of an important event within your application you can send a Toast Notification. This notification is made up of two pieces of text that appear as an overlay across whatever application the user is currently in, as shown in Figure 1.

Read the original post:
BuildMobile: Push Notifications in Windows Phone

Microsoft is experimenting with a ribbon interface for parts of Windows 8, and we have a gallery of leaked screenshots showing examples of an early build.

Microsoft Word users are already familiar with the idea of a ribbon interface, where a tabbed and extra-tall toolbar resides at the top of the page, offering dynamic groups of icons in an attempt to make the user interface more efficient. Microsoft also added the ribbon interface to a couple of applets within Windows 7, including Paint and WordPad.

We’ve already shown you leaked pics of Windows 8′s taskbar, but what we see here are experiments with Windows Explorer (for you Mac users, that’s the Windows version of the Finder), adding various groups of tabbed ribbons at the top of the window. As you’ll see in the gallery, these leaked pics, courtesy of our new pals at WithinWindows, show a UI that’s very much under construction, with most of the future icons substituted by mere placeholders so far.

We also included a bonus screenshot in the gallery, a peek at the Windows 8 login screen that was revealed on Friday and many thought was an April Fools’ Day joke. While it’s been confirmed as the real thing by a few different sites, we’re thinking its design will probably change before Windows 8 hits the streets, which we’ve heard might happen in early 2012.

None of this is too pretty yet. We’re giving this artwork the benefit of the doubt, because Windows 8 is still in its early developmental stages. But we’ve gotten used to the ribbon interface in Microsoft Office 2007, and can understand its inherent efficiency. It gives interface designers a way to place lots of controls within easy reach, rather than burying them under multiple menus.

On the other hand, with today’s wider screens, it doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense to use up even more vertical space on user interface elements.

What do you think, commenters? Is Microsoft moving in the right direction with Windows 8?

Ribbon Menu

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Ribbons

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Status bar

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Windows 8 Ribbon

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Windows 8 Ribbon 2

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Windows 8 Ribbon 3

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

Windows 8 Logon UI

Screenshot courtesy WithinWindows

More About: Leaked Screenshots, Microsoft Windows 8, Ribbon interface, Spy Shots, Windows Explorer

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