This is pretty exciting time for the us within Microsoft as we are looking at some of the major beta releases coming on the February 29th in the next few days. The excitement which Windows 8 has generated has been incredible at The Wall Street as reflected in the MSFT Stock prices and the build up among the developer community on the beta release expected on Feb 29th has been great. If you haven’t been watching the Building Windows 8 blog posted by Steven Sinofsky this is a great resource for getting to know the details about what the team has gone about while building the great features in Windows 8. The blog posts are pretty detailed and here are some of the must reads

Connecting your apps, files, PCs and devices to the cloud with SkyDrive and Windows 8

Building Windows for the ARM processor architecture

Improving power efficiency for applications

Engineering Windows 8 for mobile networks

Building the next generation file system for Windows: ReFS

Virtualizing storage for scale, resiliency, and efficiency

Metro style browsing and plug-in free HTML5

Bringing Hyper-V to “Windows 8”

Delivering fast boot times in Windows 8

Building robust USB 3.0 support

 

The developer tools for the Windows 8 are packaged with the Visual studio 11 and Somasegar announced the availability of the Visual Studio 11 Beta and .NET 4.5 Beta on Feb 29th along with the Windows 8 Beta. There are quite a bit of exciting features which have come with the Visual Studio 11 Developer preview which was announced with the Build Conference and Soma has been blogging about some of these features in his 5 part series over the last few months. While there are quite a few improvements between the Build Conference and the Beta it is worth reading through these blog entries from Soma to understand the new features in Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview.

Visual Studio 11 ALM Advances

Visual Studio 11 Platform Tooling Advances

Visual Studio 11 IDE Advances

Visual Studio 11 .NET Advances

Visual Studio 11 Programming Language Advances

 

Download the betas of Windows 8, Visual Studio 11 and .NET 4.5 on Feb 29th and Happy Programming!!! If you already have the developer preview the good news is that the expiry dates have been pushed back to Jan 15 2013.