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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools March 1, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in Beta, BlogoSphere, Downloads Links, Paul Thurrott.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: The Developer Tools

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Microsoft included a pre-release version of Visual Studio 11 in the Windows 8 Developer Preview, of course, giving developers the tools they needed to get started on Metro-style app development. But with the Consumer Preview, these tools are available as a separate Beta download.

Last week, Microsoft provided a sneak peek of Visual Studio 11, though it didn’t speak much about Windows 8 developer issues specifically. I can tell you, however, that the Windows 8 platform–the Metro-based environment–was finalized about two months ago, so the versions of the APIs and platform we see now with the Consumer Preview is pretty close to complete. Too, the Visual Studio 11 Beta is close to final from a user experience standpoint.

So before we discuss anything else, you’ll want to get that download (and installation) going.

Click HERE to download the Visual Studio 11 Beta

(Note that the Beta will include separate downloads of Visual Studio 11 Ultimate, Premium, Professional, Test Professional, Team Foundation Server, Express for Windows 8, Express for Web, and Team Foundation Server Express. Visual C++, Visual C#, and Visual Basic Express editions are not available for this release.)………

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…….

Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Welcome to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview February 29, 2012

Posted by John Ruby in BlogoSphere, Microsoft, Paul Thurrott, Software, Windows 8.
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Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Welcome to the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

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For weeks now I’ve been biting my tongue, watching what I say and write about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview. But with the release today of this most eagerly-awaited Windows 8 milestone, the shackles are off. This freedom takes a few different forms for me. I can reveal that work on Windows 8 Secrets has already begun in earnest. And I have a ton of content to post here on the SuperSite for Windows, with more to come in the days ahead. Best of all, I can guarantee that you’ll find out things about Windows 8 here you won’t see anywhere else.

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that I often write lengthy reviews of Microsoft products, including pre-release versions. With the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, however, I’m going to do things a bit differently. This article will serve as a high-level introduction of sorts, providing you with a basic overview of what’s new and different in this second and most crucial milestone on the way to Windows 8. But scattered throughout the discussion below, you’ll find links to numerous other articles about the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the vast majority of which are immediately available and dramatically expand on the overview provided here. This isn’t just information overload, it’s a tsunami.

Ready? Good, let’s dive right in.