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Windows 8 - Developer Preview

BUILD2011 is a Microsoft Conference (from 13-16 September at the Anaheim Convention Centre) intended to show hardware and software developers how to take advantage of future versions of Windows.

Windows 8 has been tagged as 'Windows Re-Imagined'  and has been designed to provide better security features, faster startup, and longer battery life. It will run on a wider choice of devices and chipsets and has a  a new touch-optimized interface. Windows 8 also provides the platform to create a whole new generation of full-screen apps that are based on modern web standards and (will be) available through the new Windows Store.

Watch the keynote by Steven Sinofsky,  President of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft from

You can see details of what's new in Windows 8 in the downloadable guide at

During the conference keynote, Microsoft announced their intention to give prototype PCs built by Samsung to 5000 lucky attendees. ( watch this bit ~1:59 into the keynote )

The Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview PC, (not intended for commercial release) is a touch screen tablet PC and consists of an 11.6 inch screen with a resolution of 1366 x 768 pixels, Intel Core i5 processor and 4GB of memory. It comes supplied with a stylus (or to be more precise an electromagnetic, pressure sensitive digitizer) and includes a dock and Bluetooth keyboard which allows you to use it as a more traditional 'laptop' type PC.

The package includes a years 3G service with 2GB download per month, from AT&T and is bundled with a variety of sample applications and the tools necessary for building and testing your own applications.

See a video of  this device from Channel 9

For lesser mortals, the Windows Developer Preview software is a pre-beta version of Windows 8 for developers. You should note this is pre-release software intended for developers

These downloads include prerelease software that may change without notice. The software is provided as is, and you bear the risk of using it. It may not be stable, operate correctly or work the way the final version of the software will. It should not be used in a production environment. The features and functionality in the prerelease software may not appear in the final version. Some product features and functionality may require advanced or additional hardware, or installation of other software.

and the additional  important note that

You can't uninstall the Windows Developer Preview. To reinstall your previous operating system, you must have restore or installation media.

More details about the Windows Developer Preview can be found at  the Windows 8 developer web-site

Other Links

Siggraph 2011

The 38th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques also known as Siggraph, is on from 7-11 August (NOW) at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

The Emerging Technologies program, presents interactive demonstrations of technologies applied to a wide range of applications, and this year features 23 of the latest innovations selected from more than 100 submissions from industry and university research labs. If you're not at the conference you can watch the original preview video )

Similarly, you can see the Technical Papers advance preview video )

In addition to the conference there is an accompanying exhibition

Full conference and exhibition details are available from Siggraph at

Siggraph is on Twitter at

and follow the official blog at

CES 2011 - Keynotes

by Mick 0 Comments

The Consumer Electronics Show is the worlds largest tradeshow for consumer electronics.

This year there were more than 2700 technology companies presenting their products to more than 140,000 visitors (with 30000 attendees from outside the US) .

Keynote addresses were presented by 22 CEOs including Steve Ballmer from Microsoft, Boo-Keun Yoon from Samsung and many others.

A transcript and video of the Steve Ballmer keynote is available at:

See the full list of all the keynotes and watch videos at:


Thr 37th International Conference and Exhibition on Computer Graphics and Interactive Techniques takes place from the 25th - 29th July at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

A video preview of Technical Papers to be presented is available

with some more details at

Emerging Technologies presents interactive demonstrations of technologies applied to a wide range of applications.

Here's a trailer

Find more information on the contributions at

and the SIGGRAPH 2010 home page at

Microsoft Courier

by Mick 0 Comments

In the light of strong rumours that Apple is about to launch a slate (tablet) device - to be revealed at the end of January for general availability from March - is there a new Tablet PC in the offing from Microsoft ?

First mentioned in September 2009, Gizmodo showed details of a device puported to come from Microsoft.

Although this may simply be a concept video, it is interesting to note another video demonstrating something similar as a prototype.

More information may become available today as rumor has it that Microsoft will be unveiling a HP-built Courier at this years CES.

You can watch the pre-show keynote address to be given by Steve Ballmer and Robbie Bach, President of the Entertainment & Devices Division from

scheduled to be broadcast on 6th January at approximately 6:30pm PST

Microsoft PDC

by Mick 0 Comments

There are lots of reports on the web related to the recent Microsoft Professional Developers Conference (PDC). This conference atracts leading-edge developers who want to learn about the future direction of Microsoft products. Here's my take on a couple of the topics and the location of some useful links for further information.

Microsoft Azure is an operating system for the 'cloud'.

The closest comparison appears to be with the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) - a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the 'cloud' which is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. (ref. )

Microsoft Azure is a web-tier offering, for Windows in the Cloud and provides

  • virtualized computation
  • a shared storage system
  • an automated service managment system

The Shared Storage system replicates data across many machines - possibly thousands.

Automated Service Management enables you to upgrade an application without bringing the system down.

Many developer tools are provided and include the 'Cloud on a Desktop' which provides a simulation of the Windows Azure Cloud environment on your local machine. Tools extend Visual Studio to enable the creation, building, debugging, running, and packaging of scalable services on Windows Azure. Azure works with both managed and unmanaged code.

Find out more at

A transcript from the Day 1 Keynote with Ray Ozzie, Amitabh Srivastava, Bob Muglia and  Dave Thompson is available at

or watch the actual keynote in Media Player, from

Windows 7 - spotted a pretty good article describing the features of Windows 7 so I don't need to repeat it here. Windows 7  is the next operating system from Microsoft, due as a replacement for Windows Vista and scheduled for release probably some time in 2010.

Other Links

**Azure Services Home Page:

Azure Pricing and Licensing:

**PDC Session Recordings:

PDC Home Page:

PDC Press Home Page:

**Windows Team Blog: