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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…….

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The Verge Interview: Stephen Elop ‘more confident than ever’ about Windows Phone | The Verge February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Microsoft, News and politics, Platforms & EcoSystems, Windows Phone.
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The Verge Interview: Stephen Elop ‘more confident than ever’ about Windows Phone | The Verge

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Nokia CEO Stephen Elop is on hand at MWC this week to help spread the company’s message to business partners, carriers, and the press. Ever gregarious and approachable, Elop gave us a few minutes of his time today to discuss the first year of Nokia’s transition, which got started with the announcement of a strategic alliance with Microsoft in February 2011. He was candid about the downsides of this fundamental change in strategy, noting the number of jobs Nokia has had to cut in an effort to streamline operations.

Today, Nokia remains very much in the middle of its transition, says Elop, but a lot has been accomplished in those short twelve months. His present assessment of the decision to move to Windows Phone is no less sanguine than it was a year ago:

"One year later, after making our big decisions about strategy, I am more confident than ever that we made the right decisions."

Nokia’s impact on the development of the Windows Phone OS and ancillary services is only now starting to be felt and there’s a lot more that the company will look to contribute to the effort. Moreover, with Microsoft building up an entire ecosystem around the Metro style UI — with Windows Phone, Windows 8, and Xbox Live — Elop believes there’s great opportunity to expand Nokia’s influence beyond the smartphone but isn’t willing to announce anything quite yet. Needless to say, he’s taking a long hard look at how Nokia can be a player in the tablet space.