10 Things you may not know about Windows 8


    Look at thisYou probably know that Windows 8 is available October 26th, but what don’t you know?

    1. There are two editions of Windows 8 available: Windows 8  and Windows RT

    Both versions allow people to download apps from the store (so everyone with Windows 8 can download your Windows store apps.) Windows RT runs just the new Windows 8 Store apps, and there are Windows 8 apps for Office. Windows 8 runs the new apps, and also allows you to run all the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7. I like the simple way this blog by Eric Nelson explains the difference. But here’s the official explanation as well.

    2. You won’t miss the Start button

    You can launch an app by hitting the Windows key and typing the name of the app to launch. You can also use Windows+X to bring up the start menu. More great keyboard shortcuts here

    3. The Surface rocks, but there is other great hardware for Windows 8 too

    The Microsoft Surface is getting some great reviews, here’s a review from Wired. But if it’s not what you are looking for, there are a lot of manufacturers releasing awesome Windows 8 and Windows RT devices. Tablet? Hybrid? touch laptops? Find the device that is right for you.

    4. Students can publish Windows Store apps for free

    Just like the Windows Phone store, the Windows Store offers free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program. Instructions on how to create that account are here.

    5. Windows 8 enables Hyper-V

    This means I no longer have to have Windows Server running on a laptop in dual boot so I can use Hyper-V virtual machines to set up different developer environments.

    6. How to print from Windows store apps

    It’s on the charms, under devices.

    7. Windows 8 isn’t just boxes and squares

    When you buy Windows 8 (not Windows RT), you still get the desktop which you know already so the apps you’ve been running on Windows 7 run on Windows 8 as well. So, if you are used to Windows XP or Windows 7, you won’t find it difficult to transition to Windows 8.

    8. Windows 8 is for business too! not just for consumers

    Most of what you’ve heard has been about consumer features like video, Skype, Xbox and Music. But Windows 8 is for business too. There is actually a Windows 8 for business website where you can find out more.

    9. Canadians are already building great Windows 8 apps

    Canada has amazing developers, and already their apps are starting to appear in the Windows store. Tetes a Claques, Tou.tv, games from Sad Cat, WayTwoGood, to name a few. Will yours be next, find out how to get started.

    10. It boots faster than Windows 7

    A lot of people ask me how well Windows 8 will run on their existing laptops. I installed it on my laptop which was my Windows 7 machine. It boots up faster.

    Be a part of Windows 8, build a cool app, get it published, get some help building your app, join us at one of the upcoming WOWZapp events on November 9-11th in Canada, part of a worldwide Windows hackathon! Our main WOWZapp site will be in Vancouver, but there are students organizing WOWZapp events for students across the country. Register today!

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Windows 8 is here!


    Today is October 26th, Windows 8 is here! Where in Canada can you go check out Windows 8 software and hardware?

    Out of curiosity I looked up a few Canadian websites today and found the following, this is not an exhaustive list by any means, but simply evidence that Windows 8 is out there!






    Not to mention the Microsoft pop-up holiday stores in Canada which opened today!


    And of course the Yorkdale Microsoft Store opening November 16th, with Wayne Gretzky in attendance for the opening, how much more Canadian can you get?

    Windows 8 is out there! Don’t you want your Windows 8 app out there too?

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    The Windows Store is open


    A guest blog from the Windows Store

    Throughout the Windows 8 preview timeframe, we’ve been humbled by interest in the Windows Store and amazed at the level of creativity you’ve poured into app development on the new platform. With today’s launch of Windows 8, we’re excited to open the Windows Store to the world, providing new opportunities for your apps to be discovered and downloaded by consumers around the world. In this post, Ted Dworkin, Partner Director of Program Management, talks about the path to Windows 8 general availability and the great work our partners have done to support the grand opening of the Windows Store today.


    October 26th marks the opening of the Windows Store for consumers around the world. We’ve spent the past year jointly building the Windows Store with our early partners, and starting today, consumers broadly can experience Windows 8 and the amazing apps you’ve built.

    The Windows Store has come a long way in less than a year. From our Store preview last December, to Windows 8 Consumer Preview with 70+ partners, Release Preview with 200+ partners, to general availability – we’ve had tremendous support from the publishers you see in the Store today, building multiple times while we delivered an evolving platform. Thank you to all of them for their early commitment and effort in joining us today for general availability.

    Apps bring Windows to life

    Over the past year, we’ve showcased some of the great apps that bring the new Windows 8 experience to life. The apps you see in the Store today take advantage of Windows 8 design and represent fantastic diversity across categories.

    The Windows Store is an international store, with apps for more than 200 markets and 100 languages We love the global support from top social sites like Renren, QQ and Sina Weibo in China, Daum in Korea and Vkontkakte in Russia. We’re also proud to feature media apps like Sky News, Financial Times and Dailymotion in the UK and top commerce sites like Mercado Libre in South America.

    Windows 8 Start Screen

    Today is just Day 1
    As much as we celebrate the joint effort that has realized today’s Store, we are focused on moving forward every day—evolving and expanding the service in ways that benefit consumers and our publishing partners. In the past four weeks alone, we’ve seen a 300% increase in the Store catalog and the submission trend continues. Since we started outreach through efforts like the Windows 8 Developer Camps in early 2012, we’ve hosted more than 400,000 developers in 87 countries. We’re excited to see the growing momentum.
    Our very first blog post noted our commitment to deliver the most significant opportunity for app builders in history and that mission fuels us daily. On behalf of all of us who work on the Windows Store, thank you for creating great apps, for continuing to inspire us with your innovation and creativity, and for joining us on this journey.


  • Go DevMENTAL

    Your code + Developer Movement = Rewards


    Developer movementDeveloper Movement is back and ready to reward you for your Windows 8, Phone and Azure apps

    Due to it’s incredible popularity last year, Developer movement is back, and it’s bigger and better!

    The Developer Movement program allows you to collect points for a variety of different tasks. You could earn 1,000 points today just by registering!

    • Publish a Windows Phone or Windows 8 app 5,000 points
    • Publish a Windows Phone or Windows 8 app using Windows Azure 10,000 points
    • When you publish your first app, earn a bonus 5,000 points

    Collect a few more points while you take a break from coding your apps

    • Refer a friend who registers 200 points
    • Refer a friend who publishes 1,000 points
    • Complete a Windows Azure lab 500 points

    What can you get with your points? Here’s a few examples

    • 1,000 points could get you a t-shirt, so if you register today, you’ve already earned a reward!
    • 5,000 points could get you an Xbox 360 Wireless Headset, or a Laptop Backpack
    • 8,000 points could get you World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria Collector’s Edition
    • 11,000 points could get you a Xbox 360 Kinect
    • 19,000 could get you a Samsung 21.5” LED Monitor

    The program ends on March 28, 2013 at 11:59:59 PM EST that gives you lots of time to get coding! Here’s some resources to help you get started

    Don’t forget as a student, the same apps that are earning you rewards for Development Movement could take you to Russia for the Imagine Cup!

    So what are you waiting for? Get all the details and register today!

  • Go DevMENTAL

    Catch the //build/ keynote live now!


    The //build/ conference sold out before many developers could register. But you can watch some of it online!

    Just a short note to remind you that if you want to build Windows 8, Windows Phone or Windows Azure. The Build conference is this week and some of the content will be live.

    The keynote is live at 11:30 AM Eastern, 8:30 AM Pacific today October 30th!

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