Microsoft unveils Windows 8 for public test

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by JAYRAM, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Reuters | Feb 29, 2012, 10.04PM IST

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    SEATTLE: Microsoft Corp has unveiled the first widely available test version of Windows 8, giving the public the first chance to try out the slick, new-look operating system it hopes will restore the company's fading tech supremacy.

    Windows 8, as the first Microsoft operating system compatible with low-power microprocessors designed by ARM Holdings Plc, will run on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

    "The operating system has begun to be seen as largely irrelevant," said Sid Parakh, an analyst at fund firm McAdams Wright Ragen, which holds Microsoft shares. "This is the release that will have to prove its relevance all over again."

    Tablets and smartphones and cloud computing have made Bill Gates' vision of "a computer on every desk and in every home" seem quaint, and Apple Inc and Google Inc and Amazon.com now set the agenda for the computing industry.

    Still, all of those companies' fancy new hardware devices need basic operating software, and Microsoft is betting there is still more than a little room for Windows.

    "The big increment here is that it'll be viable on the ARM platform, that there'll be a tablet form factor -- that kind of makes it a big deal," said Dan Hanson, a portfolio manager at BlackRock, which holds 5 percent of Microsoft's shares through various funds. "Microsoft correctly identified the relevance of the tablet form factor over a decade ago. This operating system may allow them to finally execute."

    The product

    Windows 8 will come in two main flavors -- one that works on the traditional x86 chips made by Intel Corp for desktops and laptops, and a new version for the ARM microprocessors that have become the standard for tablets, smartphones and other portable devices.

    Microsoft says it is aiming to get machines running on both the ARM and Intel platforms into the market at the same time but has not set a target date.

    In both versions, Windows 8 features a completely new interface, borrowed from what Microsoft calls the "Metro" style of the current Windows Phone software. It features blocks or 'tiles' that can be moved around the screen or tapped to go straight into an application.

    The tiles update in real time, so you can see if you have emails, voice messages or Facebook notifications at a glance. If PC and laptop users do not like the new format, they can revert to the old style with a click of the mouse.

    The key for any operating software -- be it Apple's iOS for iPhones and iPads, Google's Android software for smartphones, or Windows -- is to attract the support of the software developers who build applications, and on that score Windows 8 is off to a decent start.

    "The biggest hurdle our designers have had is trying to get inside the mood of a Metro user, where less is more," said Paul Murphy, business development manager at Aviary, which makes a photo editing tool that can be integrated into iOS and Android apps. "That was and still is a challenge, but I think now that they've been at it for a couple of months, they actually really like it. They appreciate the simplicity of the design."

    Developers who have already created apps for Microsoft's Windows Phone are finding it easier to adapt to Windows 8, said Ryan Lowdermilk, who hosts a popular podcast for apps builders.

    "Porting your code over, people are finding that to be pretty straightforward. But as far as finishing that last mile where some of this newer technology for Windows 8 comes into play, they are finding little hiccups and bugs here and there."

    The Windows 8 release has to be good, and soon, say industry experts.

    "Now that the tablet market is being defined by the iPad and the (Amazon) Kindle, if they come out with a buggy first version, they won't get a second chance," said Michael Cherry, a former Microsoft engineer who now works at independent research firm Directions on Microsoft. "They can't afford to disappoint customers."

    Microsoft has not put a timetable on the final release, but Windows unit head Steven Sinofsky has said new versions of Windows should be no more than three years apart, which would put a Windows 8 debut around October 2012. The public will get its first good look at Windows 8 on Wednesday, when Sinofsky launches the "Consumer Preview" at an event in Barcelona. Everybody will be able to download a test version of Windows 8 that will run on PCs and laptops based on Intel chips. But they won't get to try out Windows 8 on an ARM tablet until later this year.

    Initial buyers for Windows tablets are expected to be consumers, as most business users have not yet even moved onto Windows 7. But the long-term success of Windows 8 will depend on Microsoft's core business customers. A Windows tablet that works seamlessly with Microsoft's Exchange email system and Office applications would be a godsend for corporate technology managers, who have been bending over backward to put their CEO's iPads -- "executive jewelry," as one analyst puts it -- onto their company's email and security systems.

    Microsoft's killer punch is Office. After months of silence, Sinofsky confirmed earlier this month that the world's most popular suite of work applications, including the newest versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint, will come installed on tablets running the ARM version of Windows. That's a big and potentially risky departure for Microsoft, which has in the past sold Office separately.

    They will not be in the new "Metro" style, but they will be optimized for touch. That would give Windows tablets a unique selling point over iPads and Android tablets.

    High stakes

    Even a wildly successful Windows 8 might be less profitable for Microsoft than its predecessors, simply because the company won't be able to charge nearly as much for software that runs a $400 tablet than it could for software running a $1,500 PC.

    The Windows unit averages about $80 per PC sold now, but will likely get half that from tablets, Sanford C. Bernstein analysts estimate. Wall Street is expecting a bump in Windows sales for at least 12 months after the release, fueled by consumer demand for tablets but does not foresee a spike matching the hot-selling Windows 7.

    Analysts are estimating a 12 percent jump in Microsoft's earnings per share for each of the next two fiscal years, which is better than the flat expectations for this year, marred by lackluster PC sales.

    But it is not exceptional for a company that posted nearly 30 percent increases in earnings per share for the last two fiscal years. Gross profit margins, while still comparatively high, are expected to drift slightly lower. Several analysts have recently raised their outlook for next year's earnings, helping the stock rise to a four-year high on Tuesday, partly buoyed by building interest in Windows 8.

    "The next four to six quarters will be extremely important for Microsoft," said Parakh at McAdams Wright Ragen. "They have to prove they too have a competitive product, not just on traditional desktop PCs and laptops but on the tablet and even phones. And this is their chance."

    Microsoft unveils Windows 8 for public test - The Times of India

    Related news:

    Microsoft unveils Windows 8 for consumer testing
    Microsoft releases Windows 8 for public testing | Reuters
    Microsoft Releases Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Here’s Where To Get It | TechCrunch
    Microsoft Releases Windows 8 Consumer Preview | News & Opinion | PCMag.com
    A Review of the Windows 8 Beta - NYTimes.com
    What's new in the Windows 8 beta | ZDNet
    Windows 8 preview: Now it’s the consumers’ turn - The Washington Post
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    Kunal Biswas, asianobserve and Singh like this.
  2.  
  3. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Windows 8 Preview

    The Windows 8 Consumer Preview launches today, and it’s well worth a look. This is the most dramatic change to Windows in almost two decades. Here’s a quick visual tour of some of the things you can expect when you install it for yourself.


    [​IMG]

    Charms


    Charms are one of the central pillars behind Windows 8’s design. Swipe your finger (or hover your mouse pointer) on the right edge of the screen, and you’ll get instant access to Search and Sharing functionality, as well as your devices and settings. These charms are designed to work with your apps, too; if you’re browsing the web and have a link you’d like to pass along, tapping the Share charm will give you quick access to the email client, or services like Facebook and Twitter.

    [​IMG]

    Settings

    The settings menu contains a lot of stuff we’re used to seeing on tablets but not in Windows, like virtual keyboard settings and notifications.

    [​IMG]

    Pinball


    One of the two pre-installed games is Pinball FX 2, which is really a fantastic title. Too bad only one table is available.

    [​IMG]

    Solitaire

    The other built-in game is an old standby: Solitaire. This one is touch-enabled, but otherwise unremarkable. What, no Minesweeper? Hopefully these built-in games are a little more polished and feature-rich in the final release

    [​IMG]

    Explorer


    Of course the desktop is still there, and it’s fast and responsive. The new Explorer, with auto-hiding ribbon, is quite nice. Buttons to go “up” one level, or see folder properties, are welcome additions.

    [​IMG]

    Store

    Unfortunately, the Store isn’t open for business on our preview build, but it will be for the general public in the Consumer Preview. All the apps in the store will be free, but there will be a limited selection.

    [​IMG]

    Xbox Live

    There’s a neat Xbox Live hub with your avatar, some game promotional stuff, and a few Xbox games. It’s sort of spartan right now, but it could be useful if it fills out nicely by launch.

    [​IMG]


    ....
     
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  4. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    ....



    Weather

    Okay, we have to admit, the built-in weather app is actually pretty slick. It's attractive and gives you lots of info about the day's weather, the forecast, weather maps, etc.

    [​IMG]


    Maps


    The built-in Maps app is all right in a proof-of-concept sort of way, but it’s a little flaky on updating tiles, and needs a lot more features (like a street-level view).

    [​IMG]

    Reader

    There’s a built-in Reader app that handles PDF and XPS files. It’s sort of basic, but we're glad to see built-in support for PDFs.

    [​IMG]

    Multitasking

    With fullscreen apps taking up so much real estate, you’re probably wondering about how you’ll find your stuff. Swipe in-and-out from the left (or hover your mouse pointer in the upper-left corner), and the multitasking bar will show a few of the most recent apps. If you’d like to close something, just drag it off the list and down to the bottom of the screen.

    [​IMG]

    Semantic Zoom

    Need to drill down even further? Hold Ctrl and spin the mouse wheel (or pinch the touchscreen), and you’ll trigger Semantic Zoom, offering a birds-eye view of your apps. You can rename groups by dragging down on them, or drag up to slide them around.

    [​IMG]

    ....
     
    Kunal Biswas and asianobserve like this.
  5. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    ....




    Toast Notifications

    Windows 8’s Toast notifications keep you updated on what your apps are up to, with a quick notification in the top right corner of your screen. You can click on the notification to jump straight to the app in question, or just ignore it -- it’ll fade away after a few seconds.

    [​IMG]

    TV Marketplace

    The Video app is very similar to its Xbox 360 incarnation. You can head here to purchase and watch episodes or seasons of your favorite TV shows and movies.

    [​IMG]

    Photo Library

    The Photos app hooks in to popular photo sharing services like Facebook and Flickr, as well as scouring SkyDrive and your device’s photo library for any pictures you have on hand. You can swipe or scroll through them quickly, or search for a particular shot.

    [​IMG]

    Finance

    The Finance app taps into Microsoft’s Bing to serve up financial data and news you’d like to keep track of.

    [​IMG]

    File Transfers

    One of the unsung heroes of the Windows 8 experience: the file transfer dialog box. It’s been completely revamped, tracking transfer speeds and completion time, while offering superior tools for dealing with duplicate files.

    [​IMG]

    .
     
    asianobserve likes this.
  6. JAYRAM

    JAYRAM 2 STRIKE CORPS Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,274
    Likes Received:
    313
    Location:
    North Frontier, The Mighty Himalaya's
    Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview available for download

    New Delhi: Microsoft Corp. has now announced the availability of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which is available for download at Windows 8 Consumer Preview , thereby giving the public the first chance to try out the slick, new-look operating system.

    Windows 8, as the first Microsoft operating system compatible with low-power microprocessors designed by ARM Holdings Plc, will run on tablets as well as desktops and laptops.

    The Product Windows 8 is said to be coming in two main flavors - one that works on the traditional x86 chips made by Intel Corp for desktops and laptops, and a new version for the ARM microprocessors that have become the standard for tablets, smartphones and other portable devices. In both versions, Windows 8 features a completely new interface, borrowed from what Microsoft calls the 'Metro' style of the current Windows Phone software.

    [​IMG]

    The new operating system lets you see your apps and content in a glance on the start screen. The new Metro interface is subdivided into blocks or "Live Tiles," as Microsoft calls. These touch interactive tiles display immediate data - email services, social networking sites, IM apps and other information sources.

    The Metro Internet explorer 10 browser brings a start screen for quick access to the websites frequently used by the user. Besides, the touch browsing is claimed to be fast, fluid and intuitive.

    "With Windows 8, we reimagined the different ways people interact with their PC and how to make everything feel like a natural extension of the device, whether using a Windows 8 tablet, laptop or all-in-one," said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft.

    At a Windows 8 consumer preview event in Barcelona, the company shared some key new updates. Since the developer preview in September, designed to preview the programming platform, Windows 8 it touted to progress across every dimension.

    The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will be available worldwide for download in English, French, German, Japanese and simplified Chinese languages.

    With additional inputs from Reuters

    Microsoft Windows 8 consumer preview available for download - Tech News - IBNLive

    Download links:

    Installer - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/download

    ISO - http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-8/iso
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2012
    Kunal Biswas likes this.
  7. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    Messages:
    31,663
    Likes Received:
    17,161
    Location:
    EST, USA
    Thank you. Nice thread.

    Who is the first DFI'an to try Windows 8?

    It is JayATL, yay!!!


     
  8. Rahul92

    Rahul92 Senior Member Senior Member

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2010
    Messages:
    1,622
    Likes Received:
    748
    Awesome Dude can't wait to get it From pirate Bay
     
  9. nrj

    nrj Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    9,252
    Likes Received:
    3,347
    Location:
    Brussels
    4 blue screens of death!! :scared2: :scared2:
     

Share This Page