Building Windows 8

An inside look from the Windows engineering team

  • Building Windows 8

    Experiencing Windows 8 touch on Windows 7 hardware

    • 136 Comments
    As many no doubt know by now, we've released a Developer Preview of Windows 8. This is a build of the software designed for developers to begin developing apps using the new capabilities of Windows 8 and our new tools. The build is substantially complete across subsystems but is not a beta by any measures that we use to define a beta. The rich diversity and creativity you find within the ecosystem of hardware/software/peripherals for Windows can lead to a situation where different parts of an overall...
  • Building Windows 8

    Welcome to Windows 8 – The Developer Preview

    • 292 Comments
    If you’ve been following this blog, then you know today is a big day for the Windows team. At the BUILD conference we are about to preview Windows 8. There’s a ton to see in the product and so we’d really encourage everyone to check out the available streams on http://buildwindows.com , where we will webcast the keynote. The BUILD conference this week is focused on developers and hardware partners, and there are over 100 sessions (all of which will be available from the link above...
  • Building Windows 8

    Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8

    • 419 Comments
    When it comes to talking about "fundamentals" we want to start with boot time – no feature gets talked about and measured more. We designed Windows 8 so that you shouldn't have to boot all that often (and we are always going to work on reducing the number of required restarts due to patching running code). But when you do boot we want it to be as fast as possible. This is a very deep topic and we have a lot of folks focused on it. We made a bigger leap in this area with Windows 8 than we...
  • Building Windows 8

    Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8”

    • 190 Comments
    In this post we talk about how we will support virtualization on the Windows "client" OS. Originally released for Windows Server where the technology has proven very popular and successful, we wanted to bring virtualization to a core set of scenarios for professionals using Windows. The two most common scenarios we focused on are for software developers working across multiple platforms and clients and servers, and IT professionals looking to manage virtualized clients and servers in a...
  • Building Windows 8

    Reflecting on our first conversations (part 2)

    • 533 Comments
    As mentioned at the start of the last post, I wanted to pause for a moment and look back at the dialogue we’ve had via this blog, further exploring a few of the exchanges and inquires, just as we did with the Engineering Windows 7 blog. We’ll pick up where we left off the last post, discussing the importance of feedback, and then we’ll look at the discussions around the Ribbon, Metro style, and Media Center availability. Ribbon We thought the amount of energy around the redesign...
  • Building Windows 8

    Reflecting on our first conversations (part 1)

    • 188 Comments
    When we kicked off this blog, the premise was a dialogue – a two-way conversation about building Windows 8. As we said we intended to do, we’ve started a discussion about how we build the product and have had a chance to have some back and forth in comments and in posts about topics that are clearly important to you. To put some numbers on things, I’ve personally received about 300 email messages (and answered quite a few) and in total, we have had just over 3,000 English language...
  • Building Windows 8

    Designing for Metro style and the desktop

    • 369 Comments
    We thought it would be good to take a moment to talk about where we are heading in terms of the user interface of Windows 8. By now you've seen two different elements of the Windows 8 design—first, a Metro style user interface we showed previously and in a video seen by millions of folks. And recently, we have described in this blog some of the enhancements we’re making to familiar Windows desktop tools such as Explorer and the copy file dialog. We’ve seen a lot of dialog about...
  • Building Windows 8

    Accessing data in ISO and VHD files

    • 310 Comments
    In continuing with the improvements in core Windows functionality and also oft-requested features, we are adding native Explorer support for ISO and VHD files in Windows 8. While terabytes of storage are available to all of us, managing disk (or disc) image formats remains important for a number of mission-critical operations in many organizations and among power users. We know even more support for VHD is a big request, so stay tuned. Rajeev Nagar authored this post. He is a group program manager...
  • Building Windows 8

    Improvements in Windows Explorer

    • 1,343 Comments
    Windows Explorer is a foundation of the user experience of the Windows desktop and has undergone several design changes over the years, but has not seen a substantial change in quite some time. Windows 8 is about reimagining Windows, so we took on the challenge to improve the most widely used desktop tool (except maybe for Solitaire) in Windows. Alex Simons on the program management team authored this post with a detailed look at the evolution of Explorer and the major improvements to its interface...
  • Building Windows 8

    Designing the Windows 8 file name collision experience

    • 230 Comments
    Thank you so much for all the comments about our work to improve file management basics. We’ve been overwhelmed by the dialog—there’s a huge amount of excitement for the changes we’re making and a ton of energy around this topic. That’s what makes working on Windows 8 so much fun. While there were comments and suggestions around many parts of what we talked about, by far the most back and forth (expressing all sides of the issue for sure) came from the discussion of the file name collision dialog...
  • Building Windows 8

    Improving our file management basics: copy, move, rename, and delete

    • 630 Comments
    We wanted to do an early Windows 8 post about one of the most used features, and one we have not improved substantially in a long time. With the increasing amount of local storage measured in terabytes, containing photos (in multiple formats and very large files), music, and video, these common operations are being taxed in new ways. These changes, along with consistent feedback about what we could improve, have inspired us to take a fresh look and redesign these operations. Of course this is just...
  • Building Windows 8

    Building robust USB 3.0 support

    • 120 Comments
    One of the important roles Windows plays as part of a broad ecosystem is developing support for new hardware. This is a pretty involved process and so for this post we wanted to take a look at supporting USB 3.0, something we know everyone is anxious to be using because of the improvements it brings. This is also our first video post – we aimed for "engineering" videos and not high production values but I think we make our point (note videos are embedded in HTML5 and available for download...
  • Building Windows 8

    Introducing the team

    • 272 Comments
    Thanks for the comments and the flood of email we received (and to the number of folks now following us on Twitter, too). It is definitely humbling to see all the enthusiasm and interest. There are clearly already few important threads in the initial comments, some of which are based on the previews of the Windows 8 user experience. We’re definitely gearing up to discuss these issues, the design, and tradeoffs. Windows 8 has new features across the full breadth of the product. It takes quite...
  • Building Windows 8

    About this blog and your comments

    • 98 Comments
    Thank you very much for the warm reception. It is humbling to see the amount of interest and enthusiasm for the blog and for Windows. We've been digesting all the comments (lots of mail is going around internally about specifics) and I've been going through my overflowing inbox (I can't reply to every message, but I have been replying)! Thank you. The most popular question/comment is about "signing up for the beta". We will be up front and very visible with any pre-release software programs that...
  • Building Windows 8

    Welcome to Building Windows 8

    • 386 Comments
    Building the next release of Microsoft Windows is an industry-wide effort that Microsoft approaches with a strong sense of responsibility and humility. Windows 8 reimagines Windows for a new generation of computing devices, and will be the very best operating system for hundreds of millions of PCs, new and old, used by well over a billion people globally. We've been hard at work designing and building Windows 8, and today we want to begin an open dialog with those of you who will be trying out the...
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