Don't look now, but Microsoft is peeling back the layers on Windows 8. In June, developers got back-to-back demos and discussion of Windows 8 at the COMPUTEX partner conference in Tapei, Taiwan, and the All Things Digital event near Los Angeles. These gave us our first detailed look at the Windows Phone Metro-inspired UI for the new operating system and provided valuable insight into issues like device support under Windows 8, as well as the strategic role of HTML5 and JavaScript.

Now Windows and Windows Live Division President Steven Sinofsky is back in the spotlight, kicking off the inaugural post on Microsoft's new Building Windows 8 blog. Inspired by the Engineering Windows 7 blog that traced the team's development of and decision-making around the Windows 7 operating system during its build phase, the new Building Windows 8 blog (or B8, for short) offers developers a voice in the process. I expect the blog will prove a valuable source of insight for developers seeking to grasp the changes Microsoft has implemented as it - and I quote Sinofsky here -- "reimagines Windows."

In his post, Sinofsky urged readers to provide input via blog comments or email. As he wrote: "In any case, we'll work hard to have constructive conversations with you, share the data, and, when the situation calls for it, make thoughtful changes." Microsoft is also maintaining a B8 Twitter feed, @BuildWindows8, to keep subscribers up to date on the latest posts to the blog.