Not many things have been shared by Microsoft ahead of this event. Today we are provided with a “Big Picture” overview of what’s up next, in the form of a introduction Keynote, followed by three Big Picture sessions.
What we’ve seen today:
A showcase of the new Metro-Style user interface. This touch-first interface, first seen on the Zune and recent Windows Phone devices, has been significantly enhanced. It runs on many devices, in a variety of shapes and sizes, including ARM-based tablets and phones.
A whole host of improvements, both in the core architecture of Windows and in the user interface. Because, indeed, the existing user interface is still there and protects the massive investment that has been made on Windows over the years.
Last, but not least, Microsoft has given away the full suite of Developer’s Preview Software stack – Windows 8, Visual Studio 11, etc. – bundled on, what they call the Developer’s Preview Hardware: a brand new Core i5 Samsung Windows 8 Tablet!
This most anticipated piece of hardware was demoed live and will definitely prove to be a major contender against competing offerings from Apple and Google.
By giving away the Developer’s Preview Hardware tablet, Microsoft hopes to create a vast ecosytem of applications, ready to be downloaded from the upcoming Windows Store when the platform ships, probably around spring next year.
In fact, by bringing support for both Multi-Touch and Stylus-based Input to Windows, and allow for seamless co-existing Metro-Style and Desktop applications, this platform will certainly appeal to professionnals and consumers alike with a compelling set of applications.