Exactly 7 days ago President of the Windows division, Steven Sinofsky, started the Building Windows 8 blog. Since it’s announcement in June, Microsoft has remained very quiet about Windows 8, so excitement on Twitter, Facebook and news sites has grown after the developer blog went live because it was the start of the official dialogue between us and the development team.
Steven hopes to achieve a two-way databindi-, er, dialogue between the development staff and fans around the world. He has repeatedly said that all comments and emails were read by the staff and Steven even manages to respond to some of the comments personally.
In this post, something I plan on doing regularly, I’ll be briefly going over all post we saw this week and give some of my personal thoughts at the end.
1: Welcome to Building Windows 8
In the first post, Steven introduces us to the blog, once again saying that Windows 8 will be a true reimagination of Windows. He hopes that this blog will give people confidence in the Windows team.
Our intent with this pre-release blog is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about, before we talk about it. Our top priority is the responsibility we feel to our customers and partners, to make sure we’re not stressing priorities, churning resource allocations, or causing strategic confusion among the tens of thousands of you who care deeply and have much invested in the evolution of Windows. Rather than generating traffic or building excitement, this blog is here to provide a two-way dialog about the complexities and tradeoffs of product development.
He also reveals that people will be able to get their hands on a pre-beta of Windows 8 ‘over the coming months’.
We’ve been hard at work designing and building Windows 8, and today we want to begin an open dialog with those of you who will be trying out the pre-release version over the coming months.
2: About this blog and your comments
In the second post, Steven says that all comments are being read and all articles are being written by the staff. He reminds people what a good comment is, though you might see not everyone happens to know that if you scroll trough them.
3: Introducing the team
In this post Steven introduces most of the “feature teams” that make up Windows 8. Many of the people inside Microsoft from all over the world make up Windows 8, making the development team really, really huge. He also confirms the existence of a marketplace for Windows 8, and oddly enough he calls it the “App Store”. Also, it seems like Media Center (and Windows DVD Maker) are pulled from the feature list.
4: Building robust USB 3.0 support
The last blog post that we’ll cover today, posted several hours ago, goes in depth about the development of USB3.0 support, which will be built-in in Windows 8. It seems like a massive undertaking to support millions of existing USB 1.0/2.0 devices while also supporting future USB 2.0 devices.
This post also contains a video of USB3 in action on a Windows 8 machine. Oddly enough the UI looks exactly the same as Windows 7 does today, probably a very early build.
Windows 8, the final name?
Windows 8 is used a 35 times on the blog, in a single week. Microsoft also opened the Twitter account @BuildWindows8 and win8.ms shortlinks. Is it safe to assume ‘Windows 8’ will be called Windows 8 now? Yes, I think so too.
All good things come to those who wait
It has taken almost 3 full months for Microsoft to get an official Windows 8 community running, but it was worth the wait. People give some great feedback in the comments, Microsoft listens, people are getting really excited, and maybe we’ll see some cool things before their big, really, big developer conference in September. Oh, and guess what? We got our first speaker for the Build conference.