The Windows engineering team continues to detail changes in Windows 8 one blog post at a time. The latest Building Windows 8 blog post once again turns the spotlight on the Start screen, which has already attracted a “ton of [critical] interest” from users. If the previous posts focused on the evolution and design of the Start screen in the upcoming operating system, the latest delves into the design of the Start screen’s integrated search feature.
Reviewers – including us – got their grubby little hands on AMD’s long-awaited “Bulldozer” 8-core FX -8150 chip a week ago, and while there is plenty to like with the processor, a lot of folks were expecting, well, a bit more. Benchmark tests showed performance similar to Intel’s Core i5-2500k pretty much across the board. But wait! AMD expects more efficient multi-core CPUs to work more efficiently with Windows 8 than they do with Windows 7. But will the news OS make that much of a difference?
Amazon did more than just throw down the gauntlet when it announced its $200 Kindle Fire tablet, the e-tailer may have also scared off some of the competition altogether. Oddly enough, the Kindle Fire might actually help Microsoft increase its presence in the mobile market, as OEMs look to Windows 8-based slates in order to avoid a price war among Android tablets.
The tablet war has pretty much been a two horse race: Apple vs. Android. (Yeah, we know about the PlayBook, but let’s be realistic.) And that race has been like a blowout as the iPad 2 has been galloping away from the competition pretty handily. Microsoft’s hoping to hit the ground running with Windows 8 sometime soon, however, and they’ve just got a boost from Dell, who says they plan on heavily supporting the upcoming operating system.
Microsoft has been pretty clear in its message regarding the system requirements for Windows 8. If it will run Windows 7, it will run Windows 8. Promising to add new features, all while keeping the OS footprint steady is no easy task, but why stop there. In a blog post yesterday, Microsoft announced isn’t looking to just hold the line on resource usage; they actually believe it’s possible to make Windows 8 even more efficient than 7. When compared to Vista….. lets not go there.
The Windows engineering team continues to share its insights into the Windows 8 development process on the frequently updated Building Windows 8 blog. On Monday, the developers turned their attention to the evolution of the Start menu,” posting what is the first post in a series on the “Start screen and the evolution of the core activity of launching and switching apps.” Hit the jump for more.
In a typically detailed post on the Building Windows 8 blog Monday, the Windows 8 team underlined the advantage of using a Windows Live ID to sign into different Windows devices. According to Katie Frigon, the group program manager of the You-Centered Experience team at MS, doing so will let users have “a truly personal experience that seamlessly bridges their online and offline tasks, is simpler to set up and use, and persists across their set of Windows 8 PCs.” Hit the jump for more.
At first glance, Microsoft’s decision to go with UEFI instead of BIOS seemed like a decent security-minded step. Microsoft plans on requiring that all PCs shipping with Windows 8 implement the secure boot option included in recent UEFI specifications. That’s good, right? It stops malware from playing around with the boot path and disabling antivirus programs! The smiles faded into looks of concern when it was pointed out that a PC with only OEM and Microsoft secure boot keys couldn’t launch Linux distros. The ‘Net raged, and yesterday, Microsoft responded to the allegation.
I’m writing this right now using Microsoft Word on the recently released Windows 8 Developer’s Build. I’m using a real PC, not a tablet, and it’s a system any Maximum PC user would be proud of: a Core i7 990X system running 12 GB of RAM plus an eVGA GeForce GTX 580SC. The system also has a pair of 1080p monitors attached. The goal was to live with the OS for a few days as my primary operating system and see just how usable it is in its current state.
The bottomline: not ready yet. Read on to find out why!
Screw the Emmys! The best gift bags of the past week came at Microsoft’s BUILD conference. The Redmond crew put their money where their mouths were and provided 5,000 developers with a tablet based off of the Samsung Series 7 Slate and packing a version of the Metro-tized Windows 8 Developer Preview. Theoretically, the gift was supposed to spur on app development for the upcoming operating system; instead, some not-so-gracious recipients have turned the tablets into quick cash on eBay.