Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Microsoft previews Windows 8 to app devs


In a bid to have developers build apps for it this early, Microsoft released this week the developer preview of its upcoming operating system Windows 8.

Microsoft Windows division president Steven Sinofsky said the preview is an opportunity to build apps for devices using Windows 8, from desktops to tablets.

"The investments you have made as developers in all of these languages carry forward for Windows 8, which lets you choose how to best make use of the Windows 8 system services. We talked about Windows 8 being a no-compromise OS for end-users, and it is also a no-compromise platform for developers," he said in a blog post.

Sinofsky noted many are particularly interested in Windows 8 for ARM processors, which require a deeper level of integrated engineering between hardware and software.

He also said the new development tools enable developers to start building Metro-style applications that will seamlessly run on x86 (32- and 64-bit) or ARM architectures.

"Even if you use native C/C++ code, these tools will enable Metro style apps to target specific hardware if you choose. As new PCs become available for testing, PC manufacturers will develop seed programs for developers," he said.


The Developer Preview includes a 64-bit (x64) build with development tools to build apps, and a 32-bit (x86) or 64-bit (x64) build without development tools.

Also, Sinofsky said the releases also include a suite of sample applications.

However, he said upgrading from Windows 7 is not supported for pre-release code. He recommended that clean installs be made.

"Reminder: this is a developer preview release and is not meant for production. It is not a beta release. We will be updating the release with various quality updates and drivers over the coming weeks/months just to exercise our overall update and telemetry mechanisms," he said.

Also, he said the developer preview does not include other features of Windows 8, including the Windows Store, Windows Live Metro style apps, and some of the user interface features.

"The focus of the preview is the API and development tools for building Metro style apps," he said.

The Windows Developer Preview with developer tools (English, 64-bit) is available as a 4.8-GB .iso download. It includes:

- 64-bit Windows Developer Preview
- Windows SDK for Metro style apps
- Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows Developer Preview
- Microsoft Expression Blend 5 Developer Preview
- 28 Metro style apps including the BUILD Conference app

The Windows Developer Preview English, 64-bit (x64) is available as a 3.6-GB download, while the Windows Developer Preview English, 32-bit (x86) is available as a 2.8-GB download.

System requirements include:

- 1 GHz or faster 32- or 64-bit processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver


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