Microsoft is handing out 5,000 Samsung-manufactured tablets running Windows 8 Developer Preview here at BUILD, the company's developer conference. I spent some quality time with one this afternoon. While my overall impressions are good, I must say that Windows 8 demos better than using it. Perhaps I'd feel differently having used the Windows 8 slate for a longer time.
Earlier today, Steven Sinofsky, Windows & Windows Live president, and several top lieutenants gave one of the best operating system demos ever. Not even Apple CEO Steve Jobs, in younger and healthier days, could have evoked such energy and enthusiasm as Sinofsky did today. It was infectious and aspirational in all the right ways.
Beginning at 8:00pm Pacific Time (3am GMT), Microsoft is making the first Developer Preview of Windows 8 available for download at the new Windows Developer Center (http://dev.windows.com) for anybody with a Windows Live ID to download.
This preview won't yet support ARM machines, but will be available in both 32-bit and 64-bit variants for x86 machines. It will also be available with the new Visual Studio and Expression tools on it, or just as the bare .iso that has only the sample applications on it.
The 5,000 Samsung tablets that Microsoft is giving out to developers today at the BUILD conference will be the first items to include the third platform preview of Internet Explorer 10.
Steven Sinofsky, President of the Windows Division at Microsoft, showed off the fact that this preview will include both the traditional desktop IE10 view and a Metro UI interface. This included a demonstration on a Touch-based IE test drive site, which unfortunately was running from the demo tablet's C: drive rather than from the live Web, so we don't yet have the ability to preview the test site Sinofsky was showing during his keynote.
In his Keynote opening the Build developers conference, President of Microsoft's Windows Division Steven Sinofsky touched on some updated facts on the still-relatively-young Windows 7 before diving into the demonstration of the next-generation Windows 8.
-Sales of Windows 7 is approaching 450 million copies.
-Windows 7 consumer usage is now greater than Windows XP.
-1,502 non-security product code changes have been delivered.
-Internet Explorer 9 is "the fastest-growing Windows 7 browser."
-542 million people using Windows Live services every month.
Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft's president of the Windows & Windows Live division, walked on the stage like a rock star this morning. "I'd like to invite everyone to Windows 8" Sinofsky says. He said that later this week, consumer usage of Windows 7 would exceed XP. Microsoft has sold nearly 450 million Windows 7 licenses. More than 500 million use Windows Live services.
This morning before the keynote started here at Microsoft's BUILD developer conference, I got a chance to handle a tablet running Windows 8.
There you see it. Move over Apple and iPad. Microsoft has got a fluid and lively user interface, and Apple won't be suing Microsoft for patent infringement like it is seemingly everyone else.
Big news will be coming out of Anaheim, California today as Microsoft holds its BUILD developer conference, which is expected to focus largely on the next frontier of Windows development: the cross-platform Windows 8.
Your friend and mine, Betanews managing editor Joe Wilcox will be covering the event, and early leaks suggest that he might be heading back to his hotel room today with a brand new Windows 8 developer tablet from Samsung, which is pictured above.
Can you hear it? Can you hear it coming? Microsoft's Windows developer conference is almost here. BUILD kicks off September 13 in Anaheim, Calif., and it's going to be big, big, BIG. Microsoft will give Windows 8 its formal unveiling -- everything else before was just movie previews. No new Windows version is really official until Microsoft presents it to developers.
But there's more. Microsoft moved its annual Financial Analyst Meeting from July to September, coinciding with BUILD. It's a colossally smart move. Wall Street geeks and technophobes will have chance to get caught up in the energy and enthusiasm of Windows 8 -- and Windows Phone "Mango", too. Microsoft really needs to energize analysts about these products and how they're not so much the past but vital forces for the so-called post-PC era.
Microsoft's BUILD developer conference is almost here (save the date, September 13). It's going to be a big event for Microsoft and the official debut of Windows 8 (c`mon, you know there's going to be a developer beta).
Apple could spoil it all, with one of its famously-timed leaks or official product announcements. With iPhone 5's launch expected as soon as October, timing would be right for an Apple spoiler. Blogger, news media and Wall Street obsession about Apple is sure to succumb to a competing gravity well that pulls attention and online posts/print stories from Windows 8 during its special week.
Windows isn't the only makeover going on at Microsoft this week. Alongside today's Windows 8 preview, Microsoft also announced the BUILD conference, what had been PDC 2011. Microsoft previously announced the developer conference during MIX11, in April, for Sept. 13-16 in Anaheim, Calif. BUILD is the same event, made over, and with new name.
What a name! The connotations are loaded, and Microsoft is doing good job endearing them. From Microsoft: "BUILD what you DREAM." "BUILD with Windows 8."