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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Windows 8 at BUILD: Part 1

If you didn't know, Microsoft's BUILD conference is going on this week in Anaheim, CA. This conference, geared towards (desktop) Windows development, has much news in regards to Microsoft's next version of Windows, Windows 8.

I have reported about this on my blog before, but Windows 8 is getting a big change to the graphical shell interface. This change brings in elements found in the Metro UI of Windows Phone, and integrates them to create a user interface which looks similar to the Metro UI found in Windows Phone. The good news is that if you like the old Windows interface that you are used to in Windows 7 more than the new one, you are in luck because you can choose which interface you like best.

Along with this, we have word that with Windows 8, Microsoft has announced it will have an app store for Windows 8, which will sell programs with the older interface and programs with the newer Metro interface. If you have a Windows Phone device, chances are that this Windows 8 app store will be similar to the Windows Phone app store.

Next, we have news that the old stigma associated with upgrading to the latest version of Windows has been eliminated. With Windows 8,  you won't have to upgrade your hardware (just) to get great performance. Evidence of this has been show, with Windows 8 having been shown running on a Lenovo IdeaPad S10, which has an early-generation Atom cpu. Microsoft says that you will only need about 1gHz processor and 1 gigabyte of ram to run Windows 8. I'm not sure if this is with the older interface or the newer interface, but either way, the low amount of system resources needed to run Windows 8 is good and reassuring. If I can get a hand on a developer preview of Windows 8, I will run it on my eeepc 4g (one of the first eeepc models that Asus made) and see how it handles itself.

I mentioned being able to download a developer preview. The good news is that if you're curious about Windows 8 and you have a spare machine + space to install windows 8, Microsoft has said that you are able to download a developer's preview some time next week. If you are able to be at Microsoft's BUILD conference however, you can get access today, and actually, everyone who went to the BUILD conference got a free computer running Windows 8.

As today is only Tuesday, the conference and there is still more news to go around concerning Windows 8, so stay tuned for more. If you have any thoughts on Windows 8, let's hear them via the comment box below or you can e-mail them to me at, and I will answer them at the end of my next article. You can also follow me on Twitter (username is @rctechgeek).

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