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Windows 8 Keynote Day 1 at BUILD Conference and Summary

Microsoft previews Windows 8 at the BUILD Conference Day 1 keynote. Below after the break is my brief summary of what was shown and announced: 

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Windows 8 Philosphy

  • Everything that runs on Windows 7 runs on Windows 8
  • Re-imagine Windows from the chipset to experience
    • New range of capabilities, scenarios, form factors

Windows Memory Usage on Boot

  • Windows 7 Preview Release – About 540 MB / 34 Processes
  • Windows 7 SP1 – About 404 MB / 32 Processes
  • Windows 8 Today – About 281 MB / 20 Processes

Windows 8 Experience

  • Fast and fluid user experience
    • Responsive, alive and beautiful with animations and Metro Style
  • Immersive and full-screen
    • Focuses attention on your apps
  • Touch-first with full keyboard and mouse
    • Enables your choice of interaction
  • Web of apps working together
    • Apps are connected to each other and the cloud
  • Experience for all PC devices and architectures
    • No compromise across new form factors, desktops, and laptops

Start Screen

  • Each tile represents an application
  • Pinch to zoom out to see all tiles
  • Group tiles, Name group
  • Windows key to switch between Start Screen and desktop

Metro-style applications

  • Swipe from right of screen to display Charms or Windows+C
    • Charms – Search, Share, Windows, Devices, Settings
      • Search – Application Content Context Search + Internet
        • Like twitter app, etc.
      • Share – Share snippets with applications
      • Windows – to go back to Start screen
      • Devices – Expose device apps capabilities (e.g. print)
      • Settings – Unified settings screen for applications + system settings in 1 place (swipe right)
  • Swipe from left of screen to switch app
  • Swipe bottom to bring up app bar
  • Press and hold to dock multiple applications
  • Applications can share information with each other

Internet Explorer Platform Preview 3

  • Metro style Chrome-less (pun not intended) free browsing
  • Pinned website
  • Url bar at the bottom
  • Control+K to open new tab
  • Control+T to open a blank tab
  • Control+Shift+L to search selected text
  • Control+E to get search query bar
  • Can open in desktop view
  • Multi-touch support

Touch Virtual Keyboard

  • Spell checking throughout system
  • auto complete throughout system

Pictures (File Picker)

  • All pictures on hard disk
  • Applications can add capability to share content into the file picker (stored in the cloud without copying into the hdd)

Windows Store

  • Organized into sections
  • Games Category, Social Category, etc.
    • Subcategories, Paid, Free or Trial, Free, Sorted by newest
  • Lists Win32 and Metro style app

Windows 8

  • UEFI
  • 8 seconds boot
  • Security protection with defender, encrypted drive, UEFI security, antivirus, etc.
  • Connected Standby
    • Low power idle state
    • Instant on
    • Better power consumption management
  • USB 3.0 built in works everywhere
  • Windows 8 boots from a 256 TB drive (Windows 7 – 2 TB)
  • Everything has hardware accelerated graphics even in apps
  • Better touch integration with hardware and software
  • Widescreen format 16:9
  • Display Resolutions
    • Runs Windows 7, will run Windows 8
    • 1024 x 768 – Metro-style apps
    • At least 1366 across – Side by side multi apps
    • 1366 x 768 and above – All the Windows UI without compromises
    • Independent of aspect ratio
  • Supports sensors like NFC, GPS, gyroscope, compass, etc.
  • Device apps for hardware
  • Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) in Windows 8 (for mobile connectivity)
  • Suspend apps (freeze-dry state)

Hardware Platform

  • Smaller and faster on widest range of hardware
  • Native SoC implementation across x86/64/ARM
  • Integrated support for broad range of new mobile peripherals

Other improvements

  • New task manager
  • New move/copy/paste
  • New Control Panel
  • Refresh your PC without affecting your files
    • Your files and personalization won’t change
    • Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults.
    • Apps from Windows Store will be kept. All other apps will be removed.
  • Reset your PC and start over
    • Your personal files and apps will be removed.
    • Your PC settings will be restored to their defaults.
  • Use a command line tool to set that current state as your baseline for refresh
  • Windows Assessment Console
  • Metro-style Remote Desktop app
    • Control of Remote Desktop client at the bottom
  • Hyper-V running on Windows 8 client
  • Mount ISO natively (FINALLY)
  • Up button in the new Windows Explorer (of course with Ribbon too)
  • Multiple Monitor support
    • Desktop wallpaper spans across multiple monitors
    • Taskbar support for multiple monitors
    • Show only apps on the current monitor in the taskbar
    • Control-Page-Down to switch screens between monitors
  • Just type while in the Start Screen and it will search
  • Windows+F to bring up search
  • Windows+Z to bring up app bar
  • Enhanced Accessibility
    • Ease of access
    • Thumb-by-Thumb keyboard layout
    • Ink input
      • Pen digitizer and writing (without detecting touch)
  • Login to your Windows Live ID and sync all your personal settings (roam)

Cloud-Based Services for Windows 8

  • New Metro-style apps for Mail, Photos, Calendar, People
    • Connects to Live and the services you use
  • Sync across your PC devices and phone
    • Enables clean start on new devices and roaming between devices
  • SkyDrive for the information you create and care about
    • Stores and shares your photos, documents, and files to the cloud
  • Live APIs for SkyDrive
    • Build your own cloud connected Metro-style apps
  • side note: This feels like Windows Phone 7

Development Platform and Tools

  • New APIs and tools to build Metro style apps
    • Delivers a modern platform, great tools, accelerated graphics
  • Rapid and scalable development of Metro style apps
    • Includes powerful touch-enabled controls, layouts, and templates
  • Choice of world-class development tools and languages
    • Supports coding in JavaScript, C#, VB, C++, HTML/CSS, XAML for x86/64/ARM
  • Business opportunity is the world of Windows 8 customers
    • Introduces the Windows Store

Windows 8 Platform and Tools

  • Metro style apps / Desktop apps
  • WinRT APIs
  • XAML + C#/VB + C/C++
  • HTML5 + JavaScript
    • Use canvas, grid, etc.
  • Silverlight
    • Changes to networking api + launching api


  • Visual Studio 11
  • Expression Blend 5 works with HTML5
    • Grid support for HTML5
    • Landscape, Portrait, snap, flip view
    • Support for different resolutions checking
  • Same Silverlight/XAML code running on Windows 8, Windows Phone 7 with minimal changes
  • Direct Compute API to access graphics cards
  • Sensor Fusion API for all sensors

Windows Store App Submission

  • Rich licensing model
    • Trials
  • Pricing
  • Certification Process
  • Provide Technical Compliance tools to developers

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