Friday, September 16, 2011

Windows 8

As you may or may not have heard, this week at the build conference, the Windows 8 Developer Preview was released. You can go over to the build website, watch the keynotes (good overviews), and download the ISO files for the Windows 8 build.
We've installed it here on a laptop, and it's nice to see the work in progress. Stressing the work in progress. We've already had to reinstall it, after switching the laptop between docking station and running stand-alone, the new start screen got very confused on what monitor to be on, and decided to just disappear altogether. In any case, it's cool to play around, it also has IE10 on it and Visual Studio Express 11, which I haven't had time to check out yet. Make sure to watch some of the videos on the build website, they show off some good tech stuff, developing against the WinRT API using Javascript, etc.

A good friend of mine, Kevin Dockx, who is a frequent speaker on SilverLight at Microsoft events (and has written books on the subject), has put together a quick overview and his take on the whole new API, JavaScript development, etc. Check it out here. It's a good overview for developers in case you don't want to watch all the Build conference material.

I agree with him that the new Metro-style and start screen are great for touchscreens, but are pretty clumsy on mouse and keyboard. We have to keep in mind though that this is an early preview, so we'll see how this ends up in the final product. For those who were involved in the AX 2012 beta program, you know how for example the sales order screen was initially redesigned (short story: it was pretty bad). Microsoft did take the beta participants' feedback and reworked that to something way more user friendly. So let's not scream too hard just yet, there's a ways to go with Windows 8 development.
What I like a lot is the new multi-monitor support. It's gotten better over the years, especially with Windows 7, but I feel like the new features (taskbar per monitor, options for showing all or only windows on that monitor, etc) finally equal what other OSes and third-party plugins have offered for years now.

I've tried to install the AX2012 client on Windows8, but it threw an exception while checking prerequisites. I'll try again later but at least it won't work right out of the box (yet).

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