Microsoft Windows 8 launches to developers this week, loaded with new features [video]

Microsoft announced that it is releasing a developer preview of its upcoming next-generation operating system, currently named “Windows 8,” during its BUILD conference in Los Angeles on Tuesday. President of Windows and Windows Live Division Steve Sinofsky took the stage during BUILD’s opening keynote and discussed several of the operating system’s new features. “We reimagined Windows,” he said. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.” As Microsoft has already revealed, Windows 8 will offer a new “Metro style” user interface that is built to take advantage of touch input but works just as well with a keyboard and mouse. Internet Explorer 10 will also offer full support for touch browsing, and Sinofsky hinted that even desktop-sized Windows 8 computers will largely take advantage of touchscreen monitors. Developers will be able to create Metro style applications that will fill the entire screen, too. Microsoft said the next-generation of Windows 8 hardware will turn on instantly and will be capable of running all day on a single charge. The OS is designed to run on devices ranging from a 10-inch tablet to a large desktop, and developers will have access to Windows 8 later this week. Read on for the full press release that discusses several other new features in Windows 8, as well as a hands-on video from WinRumors.

Microsoft Reimagines Windows, Presents Windows 8 Developer Preview

BUILD conference attendees and developers get first access to new operating system.

LOS ANGELES Sept. 13, 2011 — Today at its developer-focused BUILD conference, Microsoft Corp. showcased a detailed preview of the next major release of Windows, code-named “Windows 8.” The company also detailed new tools for developers to help write applications for more than 1 billion people around the world who use Windows every day.

“We reimagined Windows,” said Steven Sinofsky, president of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft, in his keynote address to the thousands of developers in attendance. “From the chipset to the user experience, Windows 8 brings a new range of capabilities without compromise.”

The company also highlighted a variety of new features in Windows 8, including the following:

Touch-First User Interface

Metro style. Windows 8 introduces a new Metro style interface built for touch, which shows information important to you, embodies simplicity and gives you control. The Metro style UI is equally at home with a mouse and keyboard as well.
Touch-first browsing, not just browsing on a touch device. Providing a fast and fluid touch-browsing experience, Internet Explorer 10 puts sites at the center on new Windows 8 devices.

More Ways to Engage With Powerful, Connected Apps

Powered by apps. Metro style apps built for Windows 8 are the focal point of your experience, filling your entire screen so there are no distractions.
Apps can work together. Apps communicate with each other in Windows 8. For example, you can easily select and email photos from different places, such as Facebook, Flickr or on your hard drive.
Your experience syncs across your devices. Live roams all the content from the cloud services you use most — photos, email, calendar and contacts — keeping them up-to-date on your devices. With SkyDrive, you can access your files, photos and documents from virtually anywhere with any browser or with Metro style apps in Windows 8.

Enhanced Fundamentals

The best of Windows 7, only better. Windows 8 is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7, delivering improvements in performance, security, privacy and system reliability. Windows 8 reduces the memory footprint needed — even on the lowest-end hardware — leaving more room for your apps.
Preserving power-user favorites and making them better. For those who push the limits of their PC, Windows 8 features an enhanced Task Manager and Windows Explorer and new, flexible options for multimonitor setups.

New Developer Opportunities

Windows Store. The Windows Store will allow developers to sell their apps anywhere Windows is sold worldwide, whether they’re creating new games or familiar productivity tools.
Build using more languages. Windows 8 lets you leverage your existing skills and code assets to create great experiences using the programming language you prefer.
Rich hardware integration leads to richer experiences particularly for games. DirectX 11 gaming power underlies Windows 8, allowing the easy creation of full-screen games with smooth, flicker-free action.

New Generation of Hardware

One Windows — many shapes and sizes. Support for ARM-based chipsets, x86 (as well as x32 and x64) devices, touch and sensors means Windows 8 works beautifully across a spectrum of devices, from 10-inch tablets and laptops to all-in-ones with 27-inch high-definition screens.
Always connected. With Windows 8, new ultrathin PCs and tablets turn on instantly, run all day on a single charge and stay connected to the Internet so your PC is ready when you are. Next-generation system on a chip (SoC) support will also enable greatly extended standby and low-power states.
Tap the full power of your PC. Windows 8 runs on PCs and is compatible with the devices and programs you use today on Windows 7, without compromise, to deliver the performance you expect of a PC.

Developers will be able to download the Windows Developer Preview via the new Windows Dev Center later this week. Webcasts of sessions will be posted on the BUILD site as well.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.

Some information relates to a prerelease product, which may be substantially modified before it’s commercially released. Microsoft makes no warranties, express or implied, with respect to the information provided here.

[Video via WinRumors]

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