ANAHEIM, Calif. — Microsoft Windows President Steven Sinofsky kicked off the Build conference for developers in Anaheim today with an acknowledgement that computing is much more mobile and touch-centered these days.
Those are areas in which Microsoft has been lagging behind its competitors, and which the company hopes to catch up in via Windows 8.
“We said: We’re going to reimagine Windows, from the chipset to the experience,” Sinofsky said.
Sinofsky started out by assuring attendees that everything that runs on Windows 7 will be able to run on Windows 8, and by demonstrating that Windows 8 uses less memory and is more efficient than Windows 7.
Julie Larson-Green, corporate vice president for Windows Program Management, then demonstrated what she called the “fast and fluid” interface of Windows 8, swiping from screen to screen and from app to app.
She also demonstrated how apps can run side by side, and how it was easier to stay in apps in Windows 8 with something new called “charms” – buttons on the right side of apps. The “share” charm, for instance, acts as a clipboard, allowing users to copy-and-paste, say, a snippet on a website and instantly share it with friends, then go right back to browsing.
The morning’s talks then turned toward developing for Windows 8 and different hardware platforms.
“Windows 8 lets you choose the language you want to use,” Sinofsky said, saying the same template will be available no matter which programming language the developer chooses to use.
Antoine Leblond, senior vice president for Windows web services, introduced the redesigned App Store, saying Win32 apps would be featured there along with Metro-style apps.
The biggest applause of the morning went to Michael Angiulo, corporate vice president of Windows Planning & Ecosystem. It wasn’t for the different types of hardware — including the super thin and light ultrabooks. Rather, it was for his announcement that there were 5,000 Samsung tablets running Windows 8 that would be given to attendees at the conference. The tablet, which Microsoft is referring to as the Samsung Developer Preview PC, runs on a second generation Intel core i5, has 64 GB SSD, a dock with USB, HDMI and Ethernet 2nd g intel core i5, and other features.