Tag Archives | Microsoft. Windows

Five Big Unanswered Questions About Windows 8

Today’s formal unveiling of the Windows 8 developers preview at Microsoft’s BUILD conference in Anaheim revealed a boatload of information about the upcoming OS, which will introduce so many innovations that attendees and journalists are still trying to formulate (and assess) a coherent big picture.

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Coming on Tuesday: Live Coverage of Microsoft’s Windows 8 Keynote

I’m in Anaheim, holed up in my hotel room next door to the Anaheim Convention Center, where Microsoft will be holding its BUILD conference this week. It’ll serve as the launching pad for Windows 8, and will give us our first opportunity to see more than glimpses of the OS. A new version of Windows 8 is still a big deal, so I chose to come here rather than attend any of the other tech conferences that are going on this week in other locales. (Boy, are there a lot of them: DEMO, TechCrunch Disrupt, the Intel Developer Forum, the Information Week 500, and the Tokyo Game Show.)

On Tuesday morning at 9am PT, Microsoft will hold a BUILD keynote that’s likely to involve lots and lots of new details about Windows 8, an operating system we still don’t know all that much about. I’ll liveblog the whole event at technologizer.com/win8. Hope to see you there–and stay tuned for other Windows 8 news this week as it develops.


September 2001 Was a Long Time Ago in the World of Technology

I wrote about my memories of 9/11/01 a couple of years ago, on the eighth anniversary of the attacks. They involve me sitting at my desk at PC World in Boston and learning of a plane crashing into the World Trade Center when my colleague Denny Arar IMd me from San Francisco. (We both assumed it was an errant small-plane pilot, and both got e-mails from the organizers of a wireless conference scheduled to be held at Windows on the World reassuring us that the location would be moved if necessary.)

I remember trying to follow the news on the Web and discovering that major news sites were unusable, and then turning on the TV and attempting, sort of, to work as the day progressed. (By the evening, when my coworker Tom Spring and I had a beer and sat there in stunned disbelief, it felt like Tom, me, and the bartender were the last three people out and about in downtown Boston.)

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Watch: How Long It Takes to Boot Windows 8

Since I can’t turn on my laptop with the power of my mind, I guess I’ll have to live with waiting for it to boot up. You know, for eight seconds. It might be seven-and-a-half seconds too long, but since I can’t expect my phone to also cook, wash my clothes and let me travel into the future, I might have to recalibrate my expectations.

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Windows 8: Two, Two, Two Operating Systems in One

Steven Sinofsky, Microsoft’s Mr. Windows, on why the company is trying to build a Windows 8 that’s both a modern tablet OS and a smooth successor to Windows 7:

Windows 8 brings together all the power and flexibility you have in your PC today with the ability to immerse yourself in a Metro style experience. You don’t have to compromise! You carry one device that does everything you want and need.  You can connect that device to peripherals you want to use. You can use devices designed to dock to large screen displays and other peripherals.  You can use convertible devices that can be both immersive tablets and flexible laptops.

Which brings us back to the improvements we’re making to the desktop experience: we believe in the Windows desktop. It powers the experiences today that make a Windows 7 PC the most popular device in the world. So, even if we believe that over time many scenarios will be well-served by Metro style apps, for the foreseeable future, the desktop is going to continue to play a key role in many people’s lives. So we are going to improve it. We’re having a good dialog about what folks might think about our design choices but also wanted to put these choices in a broader context of the unmatched utility of the desktop.

Our design goal was clear: no compromises. If you want to, you can seamlessly switch between Metro style apps and the improved Windows desktop. Existing apps, devices, and tools all remain and are improved in Windows 8. On the other hand, if you prefer to immerse yourself in only Metro style apps (and platform) and the new user experience, you can do that as well!  Developers can target the APIs that make sense for the software they wish to deliver.  People can debate how much they need or don’t need different aspects of the product, but that has always been the case.  All of this is made possible by the flexibility of Windows.

Microsoft is setting the bar of success really high–and I can’t wait to judge whether it’s succeeded for myself. (With any luck, I’ll be able to do so at its Build conference, which is coming up in a couple of weeks.)


The Nation’s Windows 8 Newspaper

Hey, a preview of USA Today’s Windows 8 app over at ZDNet:

So far, all we’ve seen of applications utilizing Windows 8’s new user interface is what Microsoft has publicly demonstrated. But now, just 2-and-a-half weeks away from Microsoft’s BUILD conference, I’ve managed to unearth a couple of portfolios showcasing the first Windows 8 apps to be seen in the wild by 3rd party, non-Microsoft entities — one of them, being from USA Today.


Using Windows XP? Please, Don’t

And in non-Apple news: Here’s an AllBusiness.com column I wrote on Windows XP, the operating system that won’t go away (and why it should).


Hey Microsoft, There’s Nothing Wrong With “Windows”

Microsoft laid out some lofty goals at its Worldwide Partner Conference this week. As Nilay Patel reports, Microsoft envisions a future in which all of its devices — phones, tablets, PCs and even the Xbox — draw from the same software ecosystem.

Sounds interesting. But being weirdly obsessed with tech nomenclature, I’m fixated on a side note in Patel’s report: Microsoft has considered throwing out the Windows name once all this unification is complete. It’s a longshot, and probably won’t happen as long as Steve Ballmer is in charge — he loves the name — but the option is at least on the table. I think that’s a mistake.

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Windows 8 in April 2012? Could Be!

ZDnet’s Mary Jo Foley is reporting on a rumor: Microsoft may be trying to finish up work on Windows 8 by April of next year. She thinks it’s plausible–or at least not obviously crazy. Me, too. For one thing, the conventional wisdom that the OS is likely to show up for the holiday 2012 season is, as far as I know, based more on history than on anyone knowing anything specific about Windows 8. For another, Microsoft has a huge incentive to get this thing out the door–not so much for its PC business, but for tablets, where it’s not yet really in the game and won’t be until Windows 8 is available. And Steven Sinofksy, the Microsoft exec in charge of Windows, has a pretty good track record for exceeding expectations when it comes to shipping products in a timely fashion. (Enough so that I think that anyone who parrots the classic “Microsoft never gets anything out the door” meme hasn’t been paying attention over the past few years.)

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Windows 8/Lion/iOS 5/iCloud Wrapup

Between Windows 8, OS X 10.7 Lion, iOS 5, and iCloud, we’ve been inundated with previews of new operating-system stuff over the last week or so–and the one thing they all have in common is that they look beyond the era of the PC as we knew it. (Even Windows 8–when Microsoft seems to be thinking in post-PC terms, you know something’s afoot.) That’s what I wrote about for my Technologizer column for TIME.com this week.