Microsoft To Fix Windows Phone SDK On Windows 8

One unfortunate consequence of installing Windows 8 that some developers have encountered is the inability to properly use the Windows Phone SDK on the OS. Of course, it is pre-release software after all — expecting everything to work perfectly is insane — but for those of you crazy people out there who are using it in a production environment, no worries; Microsoft are well-aware of the Windows Phone SDK incompatibility issues and will have more to share on a fix in the “coming weeks.”

On the Windows Phone Developer Blog, Larry Lieberman went ahead and elaborated on the three issues that are currently affecting the Windows Phone SDK on Windows 8: XNA Game Studio (an error message when the user attempts to install; components fail to install), the Windows Phone Emulator (doesn’t run at all), and .NET 3.5 (capability.exe and slsvcutil.exe doesn’t run on Windows 8 unless you separately install .NET 3.5).

On top of Windows 8 incompatibilities, the Windows Phone SDK also has issues with the Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. For those of you who, for whatever reason, actually thought that Visual Studio 11 would not support the Windows Phone SDK when it RTMs, rest assured; Microsoft has confirmed that it will.

Nokia Thinks A Tablet “Would Be Good For The Company”

With Nokia looked upon by many as one of the best-quality Windows Phone handset manufacturers out there, it should come as no surprise that people are hoping that they’ll enter the tablet business.

Though careful to not confirm any plans to produce a device at this time, they did tell Pocket-lint that “a tablet would be good for the company” during a one-on-one briefing at the Mobile World Congress with Niklas Savander, an executive vice-president at the company.

“The tablet is an interesting market for someone like Nokia because it is not cannibalising handset sales, it is cannibalising PC sales. If we are going to be in that market we need to have a [different] point of view, because being the 101st maker isn’t really a commercial or consumer proposition,” said Savandar. He is emphasizing the need to be unique and different from the others, so that Nokia can be a top tablet manufacturer. One can argue that the design and build quality alone would set the company apart from competitors.

He was quick to note that there are no solid product plans yet, though: “It is a potential growth market for someone like Nokia, but there are no plans so far.”

Perhaps, prior to investing in the development of a tablet, they wish to see how Windows 8 — and ARM tablets that will utilize the OS — will fare when it hits the shelves later this year.

With hardware quality being an important factor in purchasing a tablet for some, I think that there’s definitely a market out there for a beautiful, well-built Nokia tablet. Being spoiled by the hardware build quality of iOS devices myself, I hope that there will be comparable options when it comes time to purchase a WOA tablet.

How to Get Back the Start Button in Windows 8

As reported earlier, Microsoft is killing off the Start button with Windows 8. Windows 8 Consumer Preview replaces the Start button with a hotspot towards the bottom left corner of the screen.

The Start button is one of the most iconic aspects of Windows, and has been emulated widely since its introduction in Windows 95. It’s impossible to not feel a tinge of sadness as we bid adieu to the Start button. However, to be honest, I don’t really miss the Start button in the new Windows 8 build. The Metro interface, which features a full screen application launcher, is intuitive and efficient, irrespective of the form factor you are using. Nevertheless, if you still want to get the Start button back, there is a simple trick that will serve your purpose. Here’s what you need to do.


  • Download MetroStart8 from here. This tiny app is available in five different flavors – each having a different Start icon.
  • Extract the zip file to any location on your hard drive.
  • Right click on the Start.exe file, and select “Pin to Taskbar” from the context menu.
  • Drag the icon to the left as shown in the screenshot below.


The button simply simulates a Win key press, and mimics the functionality of the Start button. It’s largely redundant, but is a quick and simple fix for anyone missing the Start button.

Possible Windows 8 SKUs Found In Consumer Preview Registry

While sniffing around the registry in Windows 8, the guys at Windows 8 Beta seem to have stumbled upon what appear to be references to Windows 8 SKUs. Here’s the list of every SKU — a total of nine — that was in the registry file:

  • Windows 8 Enterprise Edition
  • Windows 8 Enterprise Eval edition
  • Windows 8 Home Basic Edition
  • Windows 8 Home Premium edition
  • Windows 8 ARM edition
  • Windows 8 Professional edition
  • Windows 8 Professional Plus edition
  • Windows 8 Starter edition
  • Windows 8 Ultimate edition

As you can see, compared to Windows 7, there are two additional SKUs that are mentioned: Windows 8 ARM edition (which we knew would exist), and, interestingly enough, a Professional Plus edition SKU. There are also what appear to be placeholder “pre-release” SKUs that are in the list, pictured above (though this entire list could possibly be inaccurate placeholder content).

Below is a screenshot that Windows 8 Beta took of this very registry file, but in Windows 7.
Should this list prove to be correct, I cannot think of any reasons as to why there needs to be a Professional Plus SKU; if anything, Microsoft should work towards simplifying their editions of Windows 8 instead of adding to their abundance. But again, it is also likely that this content is inaccurate. An obscure registry key in a pre-release version of Windows is hardly confirmation of anything, so this one should be taken with a grain of salt. If you have an additional grain of salt at hand, let me point out a similar list of alleged SKUs that recently cropped up that is likely also placeholder content.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Surpasses One Million Downloads In 24 Hours

The Windows 8 Consumer Preview has hit the 1 million download milestone in only a day since its release yesterday, according to this tweet from the @BuildWindows8 account a few hours ago: “One day later…one million downloads of the consumer preview”.

Now, we must keep in mind that this isn’t a unique count of people that have downloaded the build; if an individual downloaded the ISO several times, these downloads would also be factored into the count. Nevertheless, that’s still an impressive figure, and there’s likely still a good amount of people using the build as we speak.

The Windows 8 Developer Preview — released last September at BUILD — was downloaded 500,000 times in a day, so by this metric, we can say that the Consumer Preview build is experiencing twice the traction. How does the traction of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview compare to that of the Windows 7 Beta? Unfortunately, Microsoft never disclosed the download milestones of it. However, we do know that the Windows 7 beta download was initially restricted to 2.5 million downloads, which Microsoft quickly lifted.

There have been 100,000 changes made in the CP build since the Developer Preview in September, according to Sinofsky. We recently wrote a post that outlines a few of the major improvements in the build, such as system-wide spellcheck and Microsoft Account.

Bing Metro Apps Hit The Windows Store

The Bing Team have announced that they have released three apps to the Windows Store  — which has opened its doors to submissions from developers on top of yesterday’s release of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview — are three apps that are powered by Bing: Finance, Weather, and Maps. All three of these apps are, of course, Metro apps, and thus display information in a very clean and minimal fashion.

Weather, for example, displays the current temperature, weather conditions, and a forecast of the coming days in the form of clean text that’s laid out against a beautiful background that’s relevant to the current weather.

The Finance app allows you to quickly glance at market prices. You can add individual stocks and market indices as live tiles, in which their current price is displayed. You can also quickly glance at a chart, and read relevant news to stay informed.

And finally, the Maps app uses, well, Bing Maps to display a map that you can interact, search, and retrieve driving directions with.

“We think these apps help showcase the endless new possibilities with Windows 8 and Bing”, writes Brian MacDonald, Corporate VP of the Bing Application Experiences Team. That they do.

Install Windows 8 from a USB Drive

A short while back, Microsoft released Windows 8 Consumer Preview, which features more than 100,000 changes. Go ahead and grab the download link and product key, if you haven’t already. Windows 8 is available as a simple installer, as well as an ISO image. The installer is simpler to use, and it automatically downloads the right version for your system. However, it also requires constant high speed internet connectivity on the system on which you wish to deploy Windows 8. If you want to use the ISO image, but don’t want to go through the hassle of burning it to a DVD, here’s a quick guide for installing Windows 8 from USB media. You will require an USB device with at least 4 GB free space and NTFS file system. Formatting it before proceeding with the creation of a bootable device is recommended, but is generally not necessary.

  • Mount the image using a freeware like SlySoft Virtual CloneDrive or extract it using WinRAR (or other similar software).
  • Open Command Prompt as Administrator. You can do this by typing cmd in the Run dialogue box (Win+R) and pressing Ctrl+Shift+Enter.
  • Type the following commands:
    list volume
  • From the list that is displayed, note the volume assigned to your usb device, and select it as shown in the screenshot.
    select volume 5
  • Next, we need to mark it as the active volume.


  • Now the disk is ready, and we can proceed with the creation of the boot sector. Exit diskpart.
  • Browse to the location where you extracted/mounted the ISO, and open the boot directory, as shown in the screenshot below.


  • Execute the following command. In my example, D: is the drive letter of my USB device. Replace it with the appropriate value.
    bootsect /nt60 d:


Finally, the USB device is ready to be used as a bootable media. All that remains to be done is to copy the contents of the Windows 8 setup directory into your usb device. Once this is completed, reboot the system and enter the BIOS. Change the boot priority to assign highest priority to Removable Device/USB Device. Save changes and restart again to proceed with Windows 8 installation. Don’t forget to reset boot priority settings after Windows 8 installation is completed.

The Gestures Supported In Windows 8 And Their Mouse Equivalent

Earlier today Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 8 Consumer Preview. The touch friendly Metro interface for Windows 8 is not restricted to tablets. Microsoft has followed a dual-UI strategy for Windows 8 and replaced the traditional start menu with a Metro version start screen. Since one UI is meant for the traditional keyboard/mouse interaction and the other for finger interaction (no pun intended), Microsoft has shared a simple chart explaining the gestures supported in Windows 8 and what they do along with details about how to perform the same tasks using a mouse:

(Click image to enlarge.)

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Key

Microsoft has been focusing on for all of past year and the OS has definitely turned out to be great. Microsoft just released the Consumer preview of Windows 8 (Download Windows 8) to the public after the press conference at .

If you install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the installer provided by Microsoft, you will not require a product key. However, if you create a installation media and start your PC from media and then install Windows 8 consumer preview, you will require a product key.

The product key for installing Windows 8 Consumer Preview is:




Once again, you will only require this if you are using the ISO file and creating a bootable installer and installing Windows 8 using a USB drive or DVD.

If you install Windows 8 Consumer Preview using the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Setup program, you won’t need to enter a product key—the setup program automatically provides the product key. If you create installation media, start your PC from the media, and then install Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Also Read:

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Now Available For Download

Sneaking on over to Barcelona for the convenience of the mainstream tech press, Microsoft has finally released the much-anticipated Windows 8 Consumer Preview, during a special press event at the Hotel Miramar.

There are almost as many changes in this build (from the Developer Preview) as there are mentions of Windows 8 being a “no-compromise” and “re-imagined” OS; over 100,000, according to Sinofsky. That being said, we put together a brief overview of the primary changes in the build (such as system-wide spellcheck, the start preview thumbnail, new notifications, boot forward, and Microsoft Account.)

Released in both x64 and x86 flavors, the build is available in English, Chinese (Simplified), French, German, and Japanese. Optimized to work well with the same hardware that powers today’s Windows 7 devices, here are the system requirements:

  • Processor: 1 gigahertz (GHz) or faster
  • RAM: 1 gigabyte (GB) (32-bit) or 2 GB (64-bit)
  • Hard disk space: 16 GB (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
  • Graphics card: Microsoft DirectX 9 graphics device or higher
  • To use touch, you need a tablet or monitor that supports multitouch
  • To access Windows Store and to download and run apps, you need an active Internet connection and a screen resolution of at least 1024 x 768
  • To snap apps, you need a screen resolution of at least 1366 x 768
Head on over to the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview website to snag the build.