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Microsoft Windows 8 at Build Developer Conference

clock September 14, 2011 00:49 by author Jeremy

Windows-fans out there got a taste of Christmas early this year: Microsoft previewed their latest rendition of Windows 8 earlier today during the BUILD Developer Conference.

One of the alluring facts about Windows 8 is that it'll be available and fully-functional on tablets, but that much was already known. Today did confirm a rumor, though - ARM-based processors will be compatible with Windows 8. This is bound to open up a slew of possibilities for Microsoft within the tablet market, which may just give it a fighting edge needed in the battle against an iPad-held market.

The interface on the tablet-version of Windows 8 is quite simple: it'll utilize what Microsoft calls the "Metro-style" interface, which is similar to Windows Phone 7. A series of tiles make up the screen, which can be swiped, tapped and pinched to change in size, depending on your preferences. The best part of this, though, is that the Metro-UI is not limited to touch-screen tablets, so expect to see these colorful, adjustable tiles on your PC's too.

On the actual developer side of things, Microsoft showed just how easy creating an app could be. One app only had 58 lines of code in it. This simplicity could help to win over developers for the upcoming OS.

Sources: WashingtonPost, CIO



Keynotes from the D9 Conference, 2011

clock June 6, 2011 23:45 by author Jeremy

Engadget has done quite a number of liveblogs in their day, and their most recent stories are up from last week's D9 Conference. We'll give a quick wrap-up of the interviews from Google's Eric Schmidt, Hewlett-Packard's Leo Apotheker, Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, Nokia's Stephen Elop, and AT&T's Ralph de la Vega. (Oh, and be sure to put on any cautionary-equipment you may have: these company reps get a lot of burns, hardballs, and snide comments thrown their way!)

Starting with Google's keynote on May 31st, we're presented with Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal, Robert Thomson, followed soon after by- wait, seriously? Is that Glee's Jane Lynch?

Claiming to be the temporary CEO of "News Corp" (which, ironically, owns All Things Digital and thus D9), she apparently ripped on News Corp's iPad-only publication The Daily, cracked a joke about Glenn Beck, and even took a major swing at Sarah Palin! Talk about a grand opening for keynotes.

Eventually, Google's Eric Schmidt hit the stage and talked up Google Music as his first order of business. He admits earlier on that getting the music industry to work with non-Apple companies has been hard. He also defended Google's privacy-issues: some believe that they're just holding too much information, with even Steve Jobs calling Android a "probe in your pocket". According to Schmidt, data and information collected is only held for roughly 12 to 18 months, all of which is anonymous. And if you still think that Google has too much power with privacy, just take it from Schmidt himself: "If you've spent any time with the U.S. Government, you may start to feel more comfortable with this data in the hands of a private company." Ouch.

Their 12 to 18 month rule may not apply to Google Wallet, however: "[T]hat'll fall back onto widely regarding credit card policies already in place. We have a strong policy inside of Google to not data mine this stuff to create a surprise." Sounds good enough for me! This quote followed an actual demonstration of Google Wallet itself, which was also shown at the Google Wallet press event on May 26th.

On June 1st, there were three speakers to go through, starting with Hewlett-Packard's Leo Apotheker. With the combination of both HP and Palm, webOS is ready to become an active participant in the market against Android and iOS. And with webOS, HP is gaining a much larger foothold into the software business; it can be run on laptops, smartphones, and even printers. But being the large company that HP is, it has to battle against just about everyone on numerous fronts. Whether they can handle this Jack-of-all-trades approach has yet to be determined.

Later on in the day, D9 met with Microsoft's Steven Sinofsky, who gave a full preview of Windows 8. While this isn't the official name, Windows 8 is supposed to be Microsoft's OS for tablets. Rather than a start menu like Windows PCs have, the "desktop" will consist of tiles, like apps on a smartphone. The appearance of these will change depending on the tile: for example, a social networking tile's picture might reflect a recently-made post on twitter.

Also, there are different keyboard types and settings depending on how you want to use it. And at certain times (such as when running Excel), you'll run into familiar-looking Windows 7-esque desktop, to which Sinofsky commented, "We don't think people should have to give up things they know to deal with a new form factor."

The last keynote of the day was with Nokia's Stephen Elop. Much of this keynote revolved around Nokia's game-changing business plans, including their transition to Microsoft's Windows Phone instead of staying on the Symbian-train. According to Elop, staying with Symbian would have taken Nokia up to 6 years to really catch up with the rest of the world; siding with Android wouldn't have out well either due to issues revolving around differentiation.

Finally, on June 2nd, AT&T's CEO Ralph de la Vega had to defend against the onslaught of irritated demands and questions about his company's lack of service. Earlier in the interview, de la Vega promised better signal strength in both New York City and San Francisco. This transitioned to the subject of the possible AT&T / T-Mobile merger, which could help bring LTE service to 97% of the U.S. population, as opposed to the 80% AT&T could achieve on its own. Nonetheless, there was still much skepticism toward AT&T's LTE-service, comments over the possibility of overcharing in the past and current expensive prices.

De la Vega did have a bit of good (or at least interesting) news to share, though. First off, he made direct references to possible shared data plans between a single user's multiple devices. There aren't any official plans behind this yet, so it may be a while before we see it in action, if we even do. Also noted was the fact that their femtocells (which are used to help boost signal strength in relatively-weak areas) could actually reduce quality in areas with already-high signal; this wasn't known before, so be sure you're using the Femtocell accordingly!

Between the Google Wallet and webOS hoping to emerge well in the market, last week's D9 Conference went off with a hitch. Now all that's left is to see if these new fads catch on!

Source/Pictures: Engadget, AllThingsD



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