Building Windows 8

An inside look from the Windows engineering team

  • Building Windows 8

    Delivering reliable and trustworthy Metro style apps

    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. ...
  • Building Windows 8

    Building robust USB 3.0 support

    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

    Metro style browsing: one engine, two experiences, no compromises

    We are very happy to have received such a warm welcome from developers yesterday as we kicked off a pretty big opportunity with Windows 8. Our focus on B8 now moves to the Developer Preview and what is in it and how it evolves. We hope those choosing to participate in the blog are installing and using the build. While it is early and focused on developers, it is also quite fun to use. I am doing all my posts from the conference via the Samsung Preview tablet! We wanted to talk some about Metro style...
  • Building Windows 8

    Building a power-smart general-purpose Windows

    In this post, we look at the broad topic of developing an OS to reduce power consumption. We've seen an ever-increasing emphasis on power management in the OS from two perspectives. First, as Windows 8 comes to market, it is easy to see two-thirds of all PCs shipping as portable devices operating on batteries some or most of the time. And second, in the workplace, there is an increasing demand for desktop machines with a reduced carbon footprint as we look to save energy wherever we can. In all cases...
  • Building Windows 8

    Managing "BYO" PCs in the enterprise (including WOA)

    With more and more people providing their own hardware for work, the "bring your own" PC is becoming more commonplace and IT Pros want to have the confidence that they can support their clients who follow this trend. The presence of BYO does not change the need for IT Pros to manage, secure, and remain accountable for the network assets of an organization, and we all know that written policies can only go so far. This post focuses on managing WOA PCs, which are designed with this "consumerization...
  • Building Windows 8

    Protecting your digital identity

    We live in a world of usernames, passwords, and PINs when it comes to using our computing devices connected to the Internet. These are very important elements of the digital economy and providing the infrastructure for these in Windows is serious business. This work starts with the most basic step of signing in to Windows, and then includes the technologies used to secure the myriad of accounts you will come to use over time. In this post we take a look at the architectural improvements to Windows...
  • Building Windows 8

    Designing the Windows 8 file name collision experience

    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

    Extending "Windows 8" apps to the cloud with SkyDrive

    Building on the recent post about signing in to Windows 8 with a Windows Live ID, we wanted to talk a bit about using SkyDrive from within new Windows 8 Metro style apps. While apps get some amount of "automatic usage" of SkyDrive to roam settings, and the apps themselves roam, we know developers are anxious to make it easy for customers of their applications to have data they create roam easily across devices. SkyDrive is a great way to do this as every Windows Live ID has a free cloud-based drive...
  • Building Windows 8

    Going behind the scenes building Windows 8

    As we start to talk about some more of the details of the Consumer Preview release and some of the changes, or just features we haven't had a chance to blog about yet, we wanted to take a step back and re-introduce the team a bit--a reminder of the people behind the features we talk about. Building Windows 8 is a pretty significant undertaking and involves a team with diverse backgrounds and experiences. We're proud of the fact that the diversity on our own team reflects the diversity of the customers...
  • Building Windows 8

    Optimizing picture password security

    We wanted to talk a bit more about the security of picture passwords in a follow up post based on some of your comments. Jeff Johnson, the Director of Development for the User Experience team, is particularly interested in the math and security of this feature and authored this post on how to optimize the security of the picture password. Since this is a new form of logging on and concerns over security (especially with mobile devices) as well as new authentication techniques (fragility of facial...
  • Building Windows 8

    Reclaiming memory from Metro style apps

    Modern operating systems take a different view of the resources on the system. Regardless of the form factor, it is important for the OS to more effectively manage resource utilization than in the past. Currently, it is far too easy for a single process to consume available resources (memory, CPU, disk I/O) even when this does not improve the overall performance for end-users. The very role of an OS is to balance resources and make sure you can complete all the things that you want to do on your...
  • Building Windows 8

    Windows Store event and blog

    Today at our Windows Store Preview event in San Francisco, Antoine Leblond revealed the business terms and app policies for anyone developing apps for our new Windows Store. He showed some of the great apps that will be available in the Store at Windows 8 Beta, and demonstrated the design, capabilities, and flexibility of the Store as a platform . Antoine has also just started a new Windows Store for developers blog , where he will provide info and updates related to the Store for anyone interested...
  • Building Windows 8

    Reflecting on our first conversations (part 1)

    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

    Best place to discuss Windows 8

    I wanted to offer a pointer to the best place to have discussions about Windows 8. Please head over to the forums we have set up to discuss the product and answer questions.  As we have seen, the commenting mechanism is not a great place to have a wide variety of topics different than the topic of the post while keeping track of the discussion. We set up this short URL to be easy to remember: gets you to the general forum.   -Steven
  • Building Windows 8

    About this blog and your 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...
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