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Microsoft Releases Windows 8 Developer Preview 266

New submitter Tonyd0311 writes "Microsoft has just released the Windows 8 Developer Preview in both x86 and x64 formats. The download includes an SDK for Metro-style apps, and 28 example apps. It also has 'developer preview' versions of Expression Blend 5 and Visual Studio 11 Express."
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Microsoft Releases Windows 8 Developer Preview

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  • Too late (Score:2, Insightful)

    If I wanted to develop smartphone apps, I would go with one of the more established platforms like iOS or Android. Windows 8 just doesn't have the market share for phones ....What, it's for desktops? They can't be serious.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Pengo ( 28814 )


      Our small group has developed a few mobile apps, and we've done well enough on markets that don't have Apple's huge user base. Building a reasonably decent app for us have sold well when ported to Palm's market. Though now it's all but dead, the windows market will make a lot of people a lot of money before critical mass lands. Pushing prejudice aside, and not taking into consideration some groups already considerable investment in the marketing strategies and loyal customer base for the iOS plat

      • Really?

        Yes, really.

        the windows market will make a lot of people a lot of money before critical mass lands.

        No, they won't. When Android was catching up to iOS no money was made by anyone until critical mass was reached. Most users on mobile platforms do not pay for any applications which makes critical mass very important.

        • You are correct the android market is no where near a profitable venue for developers. I happen to use a great cross platform tool kit but refuse to even compile a copy for android. By the time I press the compile button and upload the apk to the market I have already wasted more time than it is worth.

    • Well to be fair you can kill Metro and you'll have a bog standard Win 7 UI, which personally I think is the best damned UI MSFT has ever come out with by far. Breadcrumbs, jumplists, it makes it easier for power users while at the same time letting those that are clueless get around and find new features easily.

      Frankly trying to pass Metro off on the desktop tells me what I already knew, that Ballmer isn't qualified to shine Gates shoes and he sure as hell ain't a decent CEO. he has a case of Apple envy so

  • Windows 8 (Score:3, Informative)

    by North Korea ( 2457866 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:33AM (#37394710)
    I tested it earlier today and I think it looks great. The boot time is insanely fast, the metro UI is better than I thought and you can still easily change to the normal Windows shell. On top of that developers can target both Windows PC and the upcoming Windows tablet markets with their apps. Overall I got a very good impression of Windows 8.
    • by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:34AM (#37394722)
      Ya I trust all the news I get from North Korean sources too.
    • Ah, slashdot, where giving a honest opinion about Microsoft's product will get you modded down for troll if you say anything good about it.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ozmanjusri ( 601766 )

        Ah, slashdot, giving a honest opinion about Microsoft's product

        Don't blame us Slashdotters.

        Your own marketing team is shooting you in the back because you didn't gratuitously say "Windows" often enough. Windows.

      • by bonch ( 38532 )

        It simply couldn't have anything to do with your past trolling history.

    • I tested it earlier today and I think it looks great. The boot time is insanely fast, the metro UI is better than I thought and you can still easily change to the normal Windows shell.

      I found that too, the interface will take a bit of getting used to if you wanted to use metro with a mouse and keyboard but i found just jumping to the desktop view for desktop apps was fast and fluid. I'd like to try it on touch hardware.

      On a side note why is parent modded troll?

    • by nzac ( 1822298 )

      How long does it take you to get to the normal windows shell?
      Is it loading the full OS or just enough to run Metro apps?

  • Whew! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Black Parrot ( 19622 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:35AM (#37394726)

    I was starting to worry that we'd have to go a whole 12 hours before we got another Windows 8 story.

    • Re:Whew! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by igreaterthanu ( 1942456 ) * on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:40AM (#37394748)
      Hey at least it's not about Bitcoin. ;)
    • Given that there are two more days of BUILD, you'll probably see more of this.

      I predict the next story will be about the windows app store [twitter.com] policies [neowin.net].

    • by SpeZek ( 970136 )
      *gasp* News for Nerds? On my Slashdot? It's more likely than you think!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bonch ( 38532 )

      Yes, can we please go back to the daily cycle of Linux, Google, piracy, and random gadget stories? Two stories about a major overhaul of the most popular desktop operating system in the world is way too much.

    • Seriously? Why do you bother coming here at all? Windows 8 is the hot topic at the moment because these last 2 weeks there have been movement at the OS that could potentially make up more than half of all computer OSes (or won't if you believe the Slashdot comments or your own eyes). This is how News works. Something happens, it is reported on, often this generates hype for a few consecutive weeks, and then the stories drift off in the ether until the next major milestone.

      Don't like geek news? Don't read it

      • Seriously?

        Uh, no.

        This is Slashdot. We make fun of Slashdot here. Don't get your panties in a bunch over a perceived slight to your favorite software.

  • Can anyone inform what the time period on this is? 128 days?

  • To be fair to MS (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Space cowboy ( 13680 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:51AM (#37394798) Journal

    They at least are showing there is more than one way to develop a touch-enabled and touch-optimised smartphone. I'm on the fence as to whether it's the correct UI for the desktop, but anything that makes life simpler for the few relatives still holding out and not going Mac is a boon to me.

    Redmond definitely didn't "photocopy" this UI, and I like the look of it - fresh, well thought out, and novel. You're not taking away my iPhone just yet, though :)


  • by RiBread ( 181983 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @12:55AM (#37394828)

    So, in June the marketing guy says to me "you should go to the Microsoft dev conference this year", and mind you this is one week after I've finally cut over to Linux as my primary OS.

    Well. as I sit here reading Slashdot on my free Samsung win8 tablet, I have to say I'm impressed. This thing may not be an iPad but it sure is better than the android tab I brought with me!

    • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

      Your ARM based Android tablet isn't as powerful as an Core i5 based tablet? Let me guess which one is heavier, has worse battery life.
    • Well. as I sit here reading Slashdot on my free Samsung win8 tablet

      Not win8. They're called W-Eights, and for very good reason...

  • by RyanFenton ( 230700 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @01:02AM (#37394870)

    I remember back when this "Metro" was called "active desktop". Your family members would gunk up their desktops with a dozen widgets, then go hunting for more until their system was useless. On my own system, it has always been one of the first things I disable, as it serves no real purpose, and complicates the use of traditional applications in various 'interesting' ways.

    Windows cannot be simply limited to an app store, so half the banner ads on popular websites will quickly become devoted towards offering persistent applications on your system - also known as spyware - now tailored to fit into a giant box in the center of your screen.

    I don't need my icons to take up 1/16th of my screen - it's a rather bad use of what I'd like to be productive time. Even with various media-consumption pads and consoles, I find it a horrible design to limit my view to a random assortment of large candy boxes.

    And I really, REALLY don't think this heralds any positive new era of application development. A whole new layer of specialized docking, with its own special UI process, making cross-platform work that much more of a mess... I don't mind the learning the complexity, it's just the reasons for the added workload seem to be more to feed Marketing than actually accomplish something meaningful, which always holds some existential angst.

    Ryan Fenton

    • Active Desktop was way ahead of its time. These days the active desktop system would work rather well.

    • by ADRA ( 37398 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @01:23AM (#37394982)

      This think of this as a good thing. All native desktop environments are going to the big harry fad of tablet computing. WHEN the fad fizzles out and people stop buying consumption devices and companies realize that they have to to start making -productivity- tools again, their desktop platforms will be dead and anyone developing interesting and usable UI systems will be doing so on the web instead.

    • Oh, the irony. Do you know what Active Desktop is called today?

      KDE Plasma Desktop.

    • by bonch ( 38532 )

      So don't install those apps.

      Anything else I can help you with?

    • by Hadlock ( 143607 )

      You don't need icons to take up 1/16th of your desktop; however I think if I spent more than a few seconds, I could dig up several studies that 90% of consumers use less than 8 applications on a daily basis (internet, facebook, twitter, email, instant messaging, word, excel, calculator - or similar! take your pick!).

      Win8's metro/active desktop won't be for the power user, but this is definitely the direction things are going to head for consumer laptop/netbook/tablets in the future. This is the appl

    • I don't need my icons to take up 1/16th of my screen - it's a rather bad use of what I'd like to be productive time.

      Ehem.. you talk of productive time... and you are reading slashdot? Worse... you are commenting as well!..

    • I remember when disabling Active Desktop freed up 16MB of my 32MB of RAM.

  • Walled garden (Score:5, Informative)

    by Adrian Lopez ( 2615 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @01:07AM (#37394904) Homepage

    Too bad software made for Windows 8's default "Metro" interface will only be available through Microsoft's App Store [geekwire.com]. Win32 programs will still be available from other sources, but Metro apps will not.

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      I count that as a feature. Let's keep all that crap together in one place so it's easy to avoid.

      • by bonch ( 38532 )

        This community is so out of touch. It's not 1998 anymore. It's okay to stop personally hating "M$".

        • No, it's not.

          Even if Microsoft, against all expectations, produced a usable OS, it still must be destroyed, because Microsoft always cuts off all possible directions of progress unless Microsoft is in full control of them.

          • s/Microsoft/Apple/g


        • Vista.

        • Agreed.
        • oh really? and what, exactly, changed? feel free to roll over, but you'll need arguments if you want to convince people with half a brain of following in your lack of footsteps.

  • You swipe in from the right to get a "start" menu.
    How is that intuitive?

    • On a tablet, you'd actually just click the physical "Home" button to do that, same as iPad. On a laptop or a desktop, you'd move the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen, or press the "Windows" button on the keyboard.

      You can do it through the swipe-from-right "charms" menu mainly because it is easier to do so when you're holding the tablet in landscape and operating it with thumbs, but it's not the sole way to do this.

  • I wonder how many downloads they from Linux users.

    Is it too much to hope for a Slashdot-effect and then mail Microsoft and ask them for the stats?

    Just a thought.

    • Trying to slashdot Akamai would be a bold attempt, but rather futile.

    • Count me as one - I'm downloading it to my Linux box...

      I've sshed in to my home server from work, and used wget to download the iso. I certainly couldn't do the same task remotely by command line using a windows system, and work would frown on me downloading a 5 gig iso using their network.
      I'll run it in a vm to take a look, but I doubt there will be anything interesting enough to move me from linux :-)
    • I just finished installing Windows 8 Dev Preview on a test machine, and I'm a Fedora guy all the way through. The interface is startling. My one complaint after using it for about 15 minutes is that the interface presents screen items such as the word "Start" but doesn't give the user any indication on how to interact with the screen element. My instinct was to mouse-over "Start" and try to click it. I was surprised when there was no response from the OS. It's just decoration. Another example might be
  • You would have a hard time finding a new PC today that ships with Windows 7 32-bit (and isn't the 32-bit-only Starter edition). Why not drop it and make all our lives easier? Legacy systems can use Windows 7 or VMs.


    When Win 7 should have been x64 only, they tell me Win 8 will be x86 too? Gahhhh, why won't they drop x86 already?

    • Gahhhh, why won't they drop x86 already?

      For much the same reason that Linux is still available for DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, SPARC, S390, etc. Granted, it doesn't make business sense for Microsoft to support that many architectures, but barring it being prohibitively difficult to design which I imagine it is not, maintaining support for the x86-only community is likely to increase sales to those who wouldn't otherwise be able to upgrade.

  • by black3d ( 1648913 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @02:51AM (#37395434)

    Words fail to describe how truly and completely awful the interface, task switching and metro UI are for normal Desktop PC usage.

    If I hit Search, I want my regular search box, one click away from the app I was already using. I do *NOT* want to then after searching, have to click START to return to the metro UI, then DESKTOP to bring up the Windows desktop, then click my program to get back to where I was. Nor do I want to hit the Application Scroller button and rotate through to the correct application. Might be great on a tablet PC where you can just "hold a finger down" and bring up a task list (no idea if you can, just presuming they'll follow something Mac-like in that regard). But on a desktop, this is truly hideous.

    If the interactions I've experienced in testing so far even remotely resemble the end-product, I'll be giving Windows 8 a miss. In that case, if Windows 9 is similar too, I'll finally be forced to kick the Windows habit I've had for 15-odd years.

  • by QuietLagoon ( 813062 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @08:34AM (#37397466)
    Microsoft will be using all its grassroots capability to hype up Windows 8 here on /.

    It is going to be Windows 8 all the time here.

    The problem is that Microsoft software always looks best before the official release. What we see of Windows 8 before the launch will be carefully orchestrated and controlled by Microsoft. Even Windows Vista looked good before the launch.

    Think about it....

  • Is it sooo difficult to have the Metro UI on tablets and the classic UI on desktops? As a desktop user, I am not going to run Metro apps, because the mouse works better than touch in most cases.

    So why do you have the Metro UI as the default for desktops? it doesn't make sense.

  • Has anyone had any success running this in a linux vm?

    I downloaded the 64-bit version, but my attempts to run it in qemu[*] don't yield happiness ... it gets as far as writing "Window Developer Release" or something on the graphics screen, and then after a while it starts puking out weird messages (some numeric codes, and a message "you must reboot; hit the hardware reset key") in a loop and then reboots.

    [*] qemu-system-x86_64 -cpu core2duo -m 2048 -hda qemu-hda.disk -cdrom WinwsDeveloperPrevi

  • The Metro style UI is definitely optimized for a mouse and for touch screens. Does anyone know how to navigate the Metro Start page using a keyboard?

    Intuitively, I figured that you could just use the arrow keys to move around, but they do nothing.

  • by LtGordon ( 1421725 ) on Wednesday September 14, 2011 @11:42AM (#37399530)

    The move towards tablet-style interfaces as a default makes me cringe. And seriously, the shut down option being hidden by default? C'mon, GNOME devs.

    Oh, wait? Were you guys talking about Windows 8?

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