Windows 8 Developer Preview and Me

Based on the jungle news and the Windows 8 Developer Preview by Microsoft, we can expect Windows 8 to be released by Q3 in 2012. Start getting used to terms like “Live Tiles”, “Socialite”, “Tweeny”, and “Metro Interface”, to name a few. As it is with all things from Microsoft, this new vocabulary will most probably be assimilated into our lingo soon enough.

This post does not cover a lot of these new terms, but we will have a post on that soon.

Download the Windows 8 Developer Preview

At the Microsoft Build developer conference about a month ago, a demo and deck with the new OS in its current state was presented. Though the Windows 8 Developer Preview is targeted at developers, anyone can download it.

Out with the Old

Windows Vista support ends on April 10, 2012.  Windows XP, the most popular Microsoft OS, will no longer be supported after April 2014.

Use the same Hardware

Microsoft announced that it will maintain the same hardware-requirement level as Windows 7, but  jungle news suggests that Microsoft  may even  try to lower hardware requirements  for Windows 8.

Green is the new Blue

The first thing that struck me was the change in the primary color used in the Windows 8 Developer Preview from blue to a very soothing, hospital-curtain green. It does not scream inspiration at all.

Check the Slide Show  below for a look at this feature.

Faster Boot-Up Time

The Windows 8 Developers Preview boots up in just a couple a seconds. It is a definite improvement from Windows 7.

Microsoft has been quoted saying the following about the Boot-up time.

When it comes to talking about “fundamentals”. We want to start with boot time no feature gets talked about and measured more. We designed Windows 8 so that you shouldn’t have to boot all that often (and we are always going to work on reducing the number of required restarts due to patching running code). But when you do boot we want it to be as fast as possible.

No Start Menu

There is a Start button in the Windows 8 Developer Preview, which takes you to the “Metro Shell”. The Metro UI is believed to be in for a major upheaval. The good news is that if this new UI proves to be unstable or uncomfortable, you can always go back to the Classic Menu option.

Tiles are used very prominently. Personally, I think that Microsoft is trying to bring the tablet and desktop visual experience closer together.

Check the  Slide Show  below for a look at this feature.

Power-Saving for your Device

You can use your device for approximately an additional  hour with the Windows 8 Developer Preview. This may sound unbelievable, but it is completely real. This may be due to the decreased number of memory Read/Writes.  Also, when you are not viewing an application, the application suspends itself automatically. This saves your computing resources, which in turn makes your device consume less power. There is quite an extensive menu for power options too.

Lock Screen is inspired by Bing

A Ctrl + L will no longer be a show for your screen saver alone. Microsoft introduced the concept of a   Lock Screen for the Windows 8 Developer Preview. Why do we need one now? Because the new OS is touch-based.

There is a clear inspiration, from the visual perspective, between Bing and Windows 8 Developer Preview. A look at the Locked Screen can confirm that. Notice the icons for unread e-mail and chat notifications. You can add more widgets to the Lock Screen too.

Check the  Slide Show  for a look at this feature.

Task Manager has a New Look

The Task Manager in Windows 8 Developer Preview has changed, but not too much. It should not be too hard to get around it.

Check the  Slide Show  for a look at this feature.

 Windows Explorer has a New Look too

The new look for Windows Explorer uses the Microsoft Office ribbon. I am not complaining, because I believe that the ribbon is one of Microsoft’s better innovations. However, this look does not match with the green-Metro theme; this is a disconnect.

 Same Old Media Center

The new Media Center is not included in the Windows 8 Developer Preview. The Metro Shell already seems to be a media platform, so it will be interesting to see what the new Media Center brings to the plate.


The  legendary and  feared BSOD (Blue Screen Of Death) has a new look. The use of the emoticon does soften the emotions I might have felt otherwise.

Skype and Lync Integration

There is some indication that Skype may be integrated with Microsoft’s Lync communication software.

Ballmer has been quoted saying,

“With the combination of the power of Lync and Skype under the same umbrella, we think we’re going to be able to do even more fantastic things together”

Here is a Slide Show that provides a peek at the Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Images used are from Microsoft-registered Web sites.

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Edrea de Sousa

A textbook twister and a writing typhoon. You can also catch me on Twitter (handle: edrea20).