Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Windows8 Development, Deployment and Features: A brief description

The new OS has more than its share of rough edges, and the new “modern shell” is disorienting—at least initially. If you think you know what to expect from Windows 8, just wait till you get your hands on it.   

 Although you can use Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard, it’s at its best on a touchscreen-equipped tablet like the one I tested. The form factor is thin, but this compact PC is no lightweight; there’s a fully loaded PC under the hood, with an i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a speedy solid-state drive. With a screen resolution of 1366 by 768, it’s capable of playing high-definition videos and meets the minimum spec to arrange two of the new Metro-style apps side-by-side.


Windows8 features
  

                Although you can use Windows 8 with a mouse and keyboard, it’s at its best on a touchscreen-equipped tablet like the one I tested. The form factor is thin, but this compact PC is no lightweight; there’s a fully loaded PC under the hood, with an i5 processor, 4 GB of RAM, and a speedy solid-state drive. With a screen resolution of 1366 by 768, it’s capable of playing high-definition videos and meets the minimum spec to arrange two of the new Metro-style apps side-by-side

Microsoft’s Windows 8 developer conference kicks off on yesterday(sep,13th). Here’s a cheat sheet of what we now know and don’t going into the four-day confab.
  • Windows 8 will work on any PC that can run Windows 7: Whether it is a touch-enabled device or not.

  • Windows 8 still supports stylus/digital ink and voice-input: Even though it is “touch-centric,” Windows 8 will enable user input using keyboards and mice. The pen is optional and not a requirement.
  • The user experience default is the tile interface : That looks and feels a lot like the Windows Phone one. The “legacy”/desktop experience is accessed via a Desktop tile on users’ Windows 8 systems. There are not two different Windows 8 “modes” or user interfaces. The tile interface is the only interface and the “classic” interface is available as an application.
  • HTML5, JavaScript and CSS aren’t the only way to develop Windows 8 apps: Developers can still use Visual Basic, C, C#, C++, .Net, Silverlight and XAML to write both “modern” (or what is now officially known as “Metro-style” apps) and line-of-business “Desktop” apps. The emphasis at Build — and going forward at Microsoft, in my view — is on Metro-style apps, however, preferably written in HTML5 and JavaScript.
  • There’s going to be a Windows Store: that will be populated with new Metro-style apps, alongside existing desktop apps. In the store, some apps will be directly downloadable; others will be links that redirect to app developers’ own sites for download.
    • Microsoft is adding new/more HTML5 tooling: support to Visual Studio “11″ (a k a Visual Studio 2012) and the coming version of its Expression Blend design tool.

    • Microsoft will make Windows 8 available on a USB stick: This new “Windows to Go” capability, rumored for years, is aimed at business users who need to deploy Windows 8 on numerous PCs.
    • The official beta/final timeline for Windows 8:Though there is next-to-no one out there who thinks it won’t ship in 2012 in time for holiday sales
    • How many different Windows 8 packages, or SKUs: Microsoft plans to ship and how much Windows 8 will cost
    •  How much tweaking Windows Phone 7 app developers will need to do to their apps to get them to run on Windows 8. (It seems it is possible to reuse some of the Silverlight code written by phone developers; I am not sure how much XNA code written for Windows Phone games can be saved.)


      • How/when/if Microsoft will support PHP, Ruby and other non-Microsoft languages and tools for those who’d prefer to use them to write Windows 8 apps. What Microsoft Office “15″ will look like so as to enable it to run on both x86/x64 and ARM hardware. ARM-based systems won’t support legacy “desktop” apps, the Softies reconfirmed this week. That means Office 15 is going to be a “Metro style” app. We don’t know for sure if that means it will be some kind of HTML5/JavaScript Web-app or if Microsoft is rewriting it as a native C++ Windows 8 app.
      • Whether Windows 8 will feature built-in Kinect integration: Microsoft is set to talk about new kinds of sensors that Windows 8 will support (ambient-light sensing, etc.) but no word going into the keynote whether Kinect integration will be baked in from the get-go.

      • What’s coming with Windows Live Wave 5: The set of consumer services designed to complement Windows 8. Beyond the fact that there are next-generation Mail, Calendar, Photo, People (Messaging) and SkyDrive applications/services, we don’t know much of anything.

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