T’was the Night before Build



When I was young I used to not be able to sleep at all on Christmas eve. It was in anticipation of gifts and that feeling that I was in for something special. And that’s how I feel right now waiting on the Keynote to Build ,Microsoft’s conference that will debut Windows8. For those that don’t know Windows 8 is the next operating system from the Redmond, WA base software firm. It is to be Microsoft’s first real stab at creating an operating system optimized for touch. Part of the excitement around Build is based on the fact that Microsoft hasn’t had any serious leak of information about Windows8 outside of its US premiere at the D9 conference in the US and a more detailed presentation during Computex in Taiwan. In fact outside of the recent Building8 blog we tech nerds have only had to go on intuition and rumor.

Now we are hours away from knowing everything about the new OS. So I thought I’d go back and review what we know so far and what I hope to see in Windows8. This is my breakdown.

In June,Stephen Chapman of MSFT Kitchen and ZDNet posted leaked slides showing Microsoft plans for the next version of Windows. In the slides Microsoft talked about touch applications, an app store, and the tablet pc form factor. Also Chapman posted information about possible changes to boot and sleep times

Windows 8 Plans Leaked: Numerous Details Revealed


In April, Long Zheng, Paul Thurrott, and Rafael Rivera post about AppX, a new tile interface referred  to as MoSH (Modern Shell), and Jupiter (a new programming model). At the same time Mary Jo Foley found additional info.

First look at the future of application deployment on Windows 8: AppX

Windows 8 Secrets: Modern Reader

Windows 8 Secrets: Windows Explorer Ribbon

CES: Will ‘Jupiter’ be key to Microsoft’s Windows 8 app store’s future? (Note Jupiter and MoSH first written about in January)

Then in June came D9, the All Things Digital conference, which showed the new tiled interface and the news that the new touch platform is built on HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. What followed was a panic that the current Microsoft based tools (.Net, Silverlight, XNA, and WPF) were dead.

Windows for the App Age

Out of the Computex presentation we get the news of minimum specs, UEFI requirements, and new sensors.

Then silence. Until the start of the Building Windows8 Blog. There we learned of faster boot times, integration of Hyper-V, ISO mounting, and the Ribbon UI.

Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8

Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8”

Improvements in Windows Explorer

Now for all we know, there is much that we don’t.

What is the future for Silverlight, XNA, and WPF? A lot of Microsoft developers use,like, and invested in learning them so how will they transfer over to the new UI if at all. Will this platform connect to Windows Phone, Microsoft’s smart phone OS? How will Xbox be implemented ? Will an operating system built around the desktop work as both a traditional PC and tablet?

From what I can tell is that Microsoft has stuck heavily to the plan shown in the leak slides. And that a lot of the leaked features (UI, Ribbon, etc) have been proven. If Microsoft can balance the execution between tablet and PC Windows8 will be an interesting option for consumers.

I’m both trying to keep my expectations realistic and low, but I’m also really excited to see Windows8 in action. I’m also hoping for at least two things; background images for the Metro UI and a multi application view (showing all the open apps) similar to the one on Microsoft’s Surface 2.



Here are a few posts predicting what will see at the conference:

Robert Claws- My Predictions for this Week’s PDC 2011….Oops I mean Build

Ed Bott- What I expect from Windows 8


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