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BUILD: Windows 8 Unveiled & More

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windows-logoMicrosoft’s BUILD conference is happening right now. It’s Microsoft’s big reveal for Windows 8 where a ton of details are unveiled across PowerPoints and news articles.

Engadget has did us all a favor and composed a nice list of some of the highlight features which I’m going to shamelessly post below:

  • All Windows 7 applications will run natively on Windows 8
  • Security update notifications have been minimized to the lower right of the log-in screen
  • Refreshed Windows Task Manager suspends apps when they’re not running on-screen
  • New “Reset and Refresh PC” functions enable simplified system wipe and restore
  • HyperV virtualization software comes pre-loaded on Windows 8
  • Multi-monitor support now enables a single background across screens, as well as monitor-specific task bars
  • Multi-touch support enabled for Internet Explorer 10
  • Magnifier function enhanced for desktop manipulation
  • Optional thumb-by-thumb input mode
  • SkyDrive storage support integrated into all cloud-based apps
  • Metro-style refresh for Mail, Photos, Calendar and People apps with Windows Live ID
  • Settings roam allows for preferences to sync across a user’s Windows 8 devices
  • Continued update support for Windows 8 Developer Preview Beta
  • Even a Lenovo S10 (first-gen Atom + 1GB of RAM) can “run” Windows 8
  • There’s “no overlays” with Windows 8; Metro-style goodness is baked into the core
  • Both Metro-style and conventional Win32 apps will be sold in the Windows Store
  • Windows 8 devices equipped with an NFC chip will be able to use a tap-to-share feature to either send content from one device to another, or simply receive content from something like an NFC-equipped card.
  • Logins will use a photo-based system
  • Apps will be able to natively connect and understand one another (if written as such)
  • Built-in antivirus software will ship in Windows 8
  • There will not be a different edition of Windows 8 for tablets, and presumably, not for Media Centers either
  • It’s unclear how many “editions” (Home, Professional, Ultimate, etc.) of Windows 8 there will be
  • ARM devices will be supported, but not in the developer preview

Phew. That’s a lot and I didn’t even include the news that we’ll be able to download a “Developer Preview Build” of Windows 8 tonight. Remember, this build isn’t meant to show off features to the customer, it’s for developers to build apps for that Windows Store.

I think I’m going to skip the developer build and wait for a more realized build.

I am curious what the traditional desktop PC will be like after Windows 8’s release. Will they all be touch screens like those HP TouchSmart PCs? Or will everyone move onto tablets? Or how about Ultrabooks with multi-touch enabled trackpads? Whatever it is, I’m excited to see how it all pans out.

With Metro, ARM support and a focus on touch screens, Microsoft seems to be ready for this post-PC world.

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