Windows 7 is generally available for retail since 22nd October, 2009. Many things have been changed and many more have been arrived after that. The main focus from desktop has already shifted towards laptop/net-book. These days the trend has greatly diverted towards touch pads and slates. The main pioneer was Apple’s iPad followed by similar products from Samsung, Asus, Motorola etc. Generally these pads uses iOS, WebOS or Andriod. There are some windows based (Windows 7) options available but they are more powerful and hence more expensive than others e.g. Asus Eee Slate.
Microsoft has announced the Build Windows event to be conducted on 13-16 September 2011, to officially announce the next version of Windows i.e. Windows 8. To keep the local community up-to-date and introduce them to the latest development architecture & tools, Microsoft Saudi Community arranged the live webcast of the keynotes in 3 cities of the Kingdom: Riyadh, Jeddah and Al-Khobar. The tag line for new Windows 8 is:
In 1995, Windows changed PC. BUILD will show you that Windows 8 changes everything
In Jeddah, the event was planned at Dar Al-Hekma College. The keynote was supposed to start at 7 PM (Makkah Time). As per the agenda, the registration was planned to start at 5:30. A welcome note was given by Mr. Adel Al-Massarani, The Developer & Platform Group Lead, Microsoft, KSA. He explained about the technical communities and user groups operating in the Kingdom. He mentioned that Microsoft Arabia is interested in improving its collaboration with the technical community of Western Region. Microsoft is also planning to increase the frequency of the Sponsored Programs and events to help the users to adopt the new technologies.
It was followed by a short refreshment and prayer break.
The keynote was kicked off by Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft’s Windows Division, in a some-how Steve Job inspired style. He explained the new and cool features of Windows 8. Contrary to previous pattern of Microsoft, Windows 8 does not have any new hardware requirements, any PC that is fulfilling the requirements of Windows 7 is fully acceptable for Windows 8. The main trend building thing in Windows8 is the Metro style UI. Along with the traditional mouse based approach, this Metro style is Touch Oriented. In previous years, Office 2007 introduced a new ribbon based look and feel. Although it was taken as a new standard by many other applications (web applications as well) but it was not ported to Windows itself. But in case of Windows8, this metro style is highly dominant and the next release of Office is also expected to adopt it. Microsoft has been wise enough to provide simple and easy upgrade of classic applications to Metro style with minimum code.
During the keynote a lot of features + updates were described ranging from a daily user’s interest to the developers extent. This post is not intended to explain the keynotes in details. Below is JUST the list of some of the noticeable features:
- Extremely fast start up (8 sec in the demo)
- Infected USB boot protection
- Picture Password for Login
- ARM based architecture now supported
- Spell Checker available throughout the System
- User Profile Sync across multiple machines (based on Live Id)
- Microsoft Application Store linked with Visual Studio with Live status display of the application
- New low power state: Connected Standby
- Support up to 256 TB of hard disk
- Simple Refresh or Reset to factory setting feature
- Improved file copy with visual progress and better speed
- Fully loaded Control Panel and Task Manager
- Up Button is finally back in the Windows explorer with a new bar similar to Office Quick Launch bar
- Built in support for multiple monitors, ISO mounting and burning etc.
- Touch Enabled Internet Explorer 10 with extreme hardware acceleration
- Option to switch between Metro and classic Desktop style
- Browse SkyDrivesimilar to a native folder
- Tap to share available for NFC for supported hardware
- Different keyboards with emotions natively available. Split keyboard also available for thumb typing
Towards the end of the presentation, it was announced that 5000 Intel i5 based, 11 ” tablets made by Samsung will be given to the audience. This tablet, called Developer PC, is preloaded with Windows8 and other required tools for developing and debugging applications.
The keynote session last for about 2 and a half hour. It seems that Microsoft is planning to go far ahead with its new Metro styles Windows with full support for desktop machines up to the new touch centric tablets with extra slim sizes and increasing processing power. We can clearly expect to see Windows based tablets available for general users in the 1st half of 2012.
One more good thing is Windows8 can easily be downloaded (legally) from the following link:
The local attendees of the webcast were given a short survey by Microsoft Arabia to know about their interest which will help in understanding the needs and requirement of local market.