Microsoft’s Build Professional Developers Conference opened in Anaheim, California on Tuesday. On Monday Microsoft unveiled a beta of Windows 8 before a private gathering of journalists and analysts.
According to Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows division, Windows 8 is a “bold re-imagination” of Windows. It opens up a new generation of Windows use featuring live tiles, touch-base gestures and semantic zooming. In fact it is very much like the touchscreen feature of Windows Phone 7.
On Windows 8 you will not be viewing any menus as on your traditional desktops, instead Microsoft introduces a new UI known as Metro whereby users access apps by touching tiles. According to Jensen Harris, director of program management for Windows, “Tiles are more expressive than icons,” since tiles can be updated with the latest info. Various apps can be clubbed together into these Tiles. For example you may organize Tiles into games, social networking etc.
“Semantic Zooming” lets you zoom in and out depending whether you want to focus on a particular app or view all the groups.
The traditional desktop is not completely done away with. It stays for apps “precision apps” which require precise mouse clicks such as Adobe Photoshop. That makes the desktop as more of an app jut like the various other apps available. However, as clarified by Sinofsky traditional desktop apps will not be run on ARM processor-based machines.
Another feature is the “Charms.” These are 5 in number i.e. Search, Share, Start, Devices, and Settings appearing on the right hand side of the screen and all you need is a single swipe of your finger to access these. Search lets you search files, Share is meant for sharing content by using apps built to support APIs that have been provided.
As already reported earlier Windows 8 will also feature an App Store, which will give developers access to Windows 8 userbase.
Microsoft has made an effort to build a robust cloud system. For example Chat messages will be saved in cloud and hence consistent across any machine log onto.
A 32-bit ad 64-bit developer preview of Windows is available for download on MSDN site. The 32-bit comes with developer tools.
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