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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: All Apps Comes Of Age March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: All Apps Comes Of Age

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If you’re familiar with Windows Phone, you know that this system presents a dual view user experience, with a primary screen called the Start screen that is filled with pinned tiles and a secondary screen called All Apps that lists every single app installed on the device. In the Windows 8 Developer Preview, however, only the Start screen was readily available. To get to All Apps, curiously, you needed to instantiate a search.

Guess what just got a lot easier?

In the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, Microsoft has fixed All Apps, making it much easier to access and, as important, making it even more useful than the similar feature in Windows Phone.

To access All Apps from the Start screen, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to reveal the new App Bar and then tap the All Apps button. (With the keyboard, you can tap WINKEY + Z. Or, with a mouse, just right-click the Start screen.)

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The new All Apps interface, shown below, includes a few improvements, too.

all_apps

First, as you install new applications, the All Apps screen will segregate each of the app’s various executables into groups so that they’re together. As you can see above, there are groups for internal items (Windows Accessories) as well as applications that were installe separately by the user (Microsoft Office).

Also, the presentation is denser than it was in the Developer Preview, providing more apps onscreen at once.

Microsoft tells me, however, that one more change is coming. What’s missing, currently, is a way to easily get back to where you just were. So between the Consumer Preview an RTM, Microsoft will add an App Bar to the interface with a button to go back.

Note that you can still search for apps as before, and that’s true whether you’re in the Start screen or the All Apps view. To start a search, simply start typing any letter.

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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Windows 8 App Previews March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Paul Thurrott.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Windows 8 App Previews

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There’s been some confusion about the apps that are included with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. Many of these apps resemble Metro-style versions of apps that Microsoft currently includes in Windows Live Essentials, and that’s not a coincidence, as they too "complete" the Windows 8 experience. But they’re included only to provide testers with this more complete experience. They’re not part of Windows. Rather, most of these apps will ship with Windows 8 on most new PCs, and will be available separately, and for free, from the Windows Store.

So what’s an App Preview? According to Microsoft, its own internal apps developers began work on these apps at about the same time that external developers received the Developer Preview code at BUILD. And with the underlying Windows 8 platform only complete for about two months, these apps are not as far along as is the OS. So they’re branded as App Previews to differentiate them from the underlying system, which is more robust and mature.

To be clear, not all of the apps included with the Windows 8 Consumer Preview are App Previews. For example, the two included games, Pinball FX2 and Solitaire, are not. I think the naming here is telling, though, and not just for the fact that each app is incomplete.

In any event, here’s a quick rundown of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview App Previews…….

Metro style app development February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Microsoft, Software, Windows 8.
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Metro style app development

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Download the tools and SDK

Get the tools to build Metro style apps for Windows 8. Our free download includes Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 and Blend for Visual Studio 11 Beta to help jumpstart your project.

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Experience the newest version of Windows and see for yourself how apps are at the center of the Windows 8 experience.

Explore the documentation

Our docs are optimized to make you more productive. Discover everything you need to plan, build, and sell great apps.

Read the developer guide

Windows 8 Consumer Preview introduces many powerful features for developers. Discover the new features for Desktop, Web, and Metro style app developers.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Microsoft, Software, Windows 8.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview

 

It’s Windows reimagined and reinvented from a solid core of Windows 7 speed and reliability. It’s an all-new touch interface. It’s a new Windows for new devices. And it’s your chance to be one of the first to try it out.

 

See what’s new

Swipe, slide, and zoom

Touch a full-powered PC. It’s fast and it’s fluid. Take natural, direct, hands-on control.

Apps, front and center

Apps in Windows 8 work together to get things done faster. Get them from the Windows Store.

Your Windows, everywhere

Windows 8 can connect you to your files, photos, people, and settings, wherever you sign in.

Wall-to-wall web

Internet Explorer 10 Consumer Preview brings you immersive web browsing on screens big and small.

The familiar, made better

Still devoted to your mouse and keyboard? Windows 8 makes the tried-and-true feel brand new.

The Windows Experience Blog

Read this Windows Experience Blog entry for some tips on getting started with Windows 8 Consumer Preview.

Behind the scenes

Meet the engineering team

Check out a short video for an informal look at Windows 8 from one of the teams that built it.

Building Windows 8

Get the latest news and the inside scoop on the development process from the Windows 8 engineering team blog.

The product guide

Download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for more in-depth, detailed info on this release.