Building Windows 8

An inside look from the Windows engineering team

May, 2012

  • Building Windows 8

    Creating the Windows 8 user experience

    • 784 Comments
    This blog often focuses on the bits and features and less on the “philosophy” or “context” of the product. Given the level of brand new innovations in Windows 8, however, we think it is worth putting Windows 8 in the context in which we approached the design. As with any significant change to a broadly used product , Windows 8 has generated quite a bit of discussion. With millions of people using the Consumer Preview for their daily work, we’ve seen just as many points...
  • Building Windows 8

    Delivering the Windows 8 Release Preview

    • 554 Comments
    Today, Windows 8 Release Preview is available for download in 14 languages. This is our final pre-release, and includes Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10, new Windows 8 apps for connecting to Hotmail, SkyDrive, and Messenger (and many more), and hundreds of new and updated apps in the Windows Store. Since our first preview release last September, millions of people now use the pre-release product on a daily basis and millions more have been taking it through its paces, totaling hundreds of millions...
  • Building Windows 8

    Making Windows Media Center available in Windows 8

    • 265 Comments
    In this post we wanted to update you on Media Center and Windows 8, specifically how we will make sure Windows 8 fully supports the capabilities of Media Center as it is in Windows 7. We took the feedback about maintaining the functionality very seriously, and we clearly understood what we’ve heard many of you saying around the value of Media Center for movies, Internet TV, broadcast TV, optical media, music, photos, and all the other scenarios it covers today. Many said in comments and email...
  • Building Windows 8

    Designing for PCs that boot faster than ever before

    • 206 Comments
    While we're hard at work making sure you never have to turn off your PC and can run in a connected standby state, we know that there will still be reboots for updating key system components. We've previously talked about reengineering the Windows boot experience and how we modernized and touch-enabled the core boot loader and choices. We've also made boot go by very fast . In fact, it is now so fast that we had to look at the design to enable the kinds of diagnostic boots required by those who do...
  • Building Windows 8

    FAQ - DVD playback and Windows Media Center in Windows 8

    • 204 Comments
    We thought we would follow up the previous post with an FAQ which is based on the comments and discussions, so Bernardo put this together so things are in one place. Some of these might be introductory for some but since the comments covered a lot of topics, it seemed reasonable to start at the beginning. --Steven What are the codecs needed to play DVD? A codec is software that is used to compress or decompress a digital media file, such as a song or video. MPEG-2 is widely used as the format...
  • Building Windows 8

    Enhancing Windows 8 for multiple monitors

    • 152 Comments
    This post goes into the details around the multi-monitor experience for Windows 8. From the very first public release and demonstrations of Windows 8 we have shown improvements over Windows 7 for multi-monitor scenarios and have shown how we support new Metro style apps within a multi-monitor environment. We have continued to develop and refine features for multiple monitors and have significantly enhanced the experience as we move to our next milestone, the Release Preview. This post provides a...
  • Building Windows 8

    Cloud services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone: Windows Live, reimagined

    • 134 Comments
    We have talked quite a bit about SkyDrive and using your Microsoft account for the sign-in and roaming capabilities of Windows 8. These are just two aspects of a broad service infrastructure that you can tap into when using Windows 8 (and Windows Phone, Xbox LIVE, and a host of other services and apps). We want to talk more about the capabilities and features of cloud services for Windows 8 and Windows Phone. To get started, Chris Jones, the VP of our Windows Live group responsible for the development...
  • Building Windows 8

    Keeping your family safer with Windows 8

    • 125 Comments
    One of the intrinsic capabilities of Windows 8 is the ability to use multiple accounts on any PC. This makes it much easier for parents to use tools that can help protect their children from content on the Internet as they see fit. It is also a great way for each family member to maintain their own unique online identity while still sharing a single PC. Microsoft has been a leader in creating tools to help maintain a safe computing environment for all users as well as for parents in particular. With...
  • Building Windows 8

    Redesigning chkdsk and the new NTFS health model

    • 101 Comments
    We’ve written about tons of improvements in the OS kernel, networking, and file system. While for most client PCs, the tried and true chkdsk utility is one we rarely use anymore except in very rare circumstances, we are using Window 8 as an opportunity to improve this utility. We wanted to focus on rethinking how the utility works to increase availability and reduce downtime due to chkdsk operations. In looking at the real world usage of chkdsk, we note that corruptions are exceedingly rare...
  • Building Windows 8

    Delivering reliable and trustworthy Metro style apps

    • 84 Comments
    As we developed the app model for Windows 8 and the new Metro style apps, a key architectural requirement has been to deliver apps to customers that can be used with confidence--confidence that apps will be well-behaved with respect to resources, that apps will not interfere with other apps, that apps use system resources with your permission, that apps can be installed and uninstalled with ease, and so on.  These attributes require a robust platform and strong set of tools for developers. ...
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