Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Live Blog DONE

Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business information is up now, the live blog will start shortly. Hang tight.

MWC 2012: We’re live blogging for you the rollout of Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview, the beta of Microsoft’s next gen operating system.

Microsoft posted its Product Guide on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business early this morning US time. According to that doc, there will be two products — a Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business — ie, for enterprise — and one for everyone that does not work for IT. The first one was a total surprise.

Go to our home page to see our analysis on the biz version’s features. Our tech pro Ant Pruitt not only tells you it’s coming, he analyzes the PDF Microsoft slyly released a few hours ago and tells you eight things you should watch out for.

Microsoft barely alluded to it, except to say HTML5 (one of several specs it alluded to in the doc) and “enterprise news” is coming at CeBIT. I am sure all the enterprise people know already. Do you? Email me at .

HERE WE GO: 6:20 a.m. PT

Tami Reller, spelling, she is the corporate VP at MS. She is making the intros 6:22

They are starting so late.

6:26 PT: Steve Sinofsky, Windows chief, is on stage. He is one of the two Steves at Microsoft, odds are very good he will succeed Ballmer.

6:30: He says “we took a new approach” to making Windows 8. Yeah, yeah. What about the fact that you slipped out a product guide for an ENTERPRISE version of Windows 8?

6:31 PT: Ah, now he is talking about all the security features. Good — that is key for Microsoft to secure the network. But don’t Active Directory and the features mentioned in the product guide for Windows 8 Consumer Preview for business conflict? How does that work?

6:33PT: Sinofsky says — everything is cloud connected. Yes, we know you will integrate SkyDrive in this. Show us please!

6:35: Julie Green is on stage, she is another VP, doing a demo on a Samsung tablet.

6:38 Did I mention they said MS has added a billion new features since Developer Preview came out in September? Not a billion. A thousand. Still. Okay it’s on the big screen now. Cool.

6:38 Showing the tile interface, which is cooler than I thought. A lot of sliding about, left to right. She says, wow, “flexibility” in moving and arranging apps, a much better way of organizing them.

6:39 Xbox games. That’s well timed. With all the games hitting the Apple store in last few days, not to mention Marvel comics now in iTunes. I don’t know how that is related.

6:40 HTML5. Yeah, that’s in the doc that Microsoft posted *link below” describing Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business

6:42: She has not yet mentioned support for CSS, or built-in support for HyperV, also things we know are built in for business version.

6:42: Expected this, too, Windows 8 has music, video stores built in. Oh, come on. RECIPES. REALLY? This has been going on forever — companies always show recipes as if it is the killer app. Where’s the beef? LOL.

6:42 You can see running apps by “thumbing.” I thought that was hitchhiking. Well, now it is a swipe technique.

6:44 Yes, we know this, too, from Sinofsky’s blog last week, Windows Live, Google a bunch of other social stuff built in. Twitter.

6:44: Docking apps? I KNEW IT. I had a source who said the Windows 8 tablets will be built for docking. Your next PC is, get ready, a docking station! I KNEW IT. A much better experience. I think I said this on TWiT on Sunday. I hope so.

6:45: Well, look, there are no overlapping windows. Tiles. Tiles. Tiles.

6:46: Aw, I like that name. The Charms bar. Sounds like a cereal/candy bar. But I digress. That’s interesting. Looks nice.

6:47: Hello, Antoine. He’s got a Lenova Ultrabook, an IdeaPad. Good god, those Lenovas are in every demo I see. Lenova and Samsung. The power of Asia.

6:48: Clicking still works! Why wouldn’t it? Clicking not working would be a story! HA

6:49: They moved the Start menu, made it more of a globular thing at the right. I saw a how to on GroovyPost recently that shows how to make the start menu go back to where you’re used to.

6:50: This is me, Gina, talking: Didn’t you ever wonder why you had to hit START to STOP or log off in Windows. Start me up to reboot. Well, did they fix that?

6:50: Dragging apps around on the screen, zooming out to see the landscape, that’s cool. Kind of. I have a feeling they’re about to announce Tango. Let’s see if I’m right.

6:51: It looks nice, I think, but this is going to be a learning curve.  But ah, you can take Metro apps, Metro-style apps, use a mouse with them. Well, I hope so!

6:52. Antoine is showing everything we already know. Hit the Windows key, yeah, yeah. If it DIDN’T bring up the Start menu that would be a story! LOL

6:53: News apps. Yes, these would be good. These are required.

6:54 Antoine drawing a connection, over and over, between how this works on tablets and how it works on PCs. Same. Quote of the day right here “Windows 8 is … even … better than Windows 7.” It better not be worse. I like Windows 7.

6:55 Okay, showing Excel and Office apps in tiles. So this is how it is going to announce office on the iPad or at least Mango/Tango tablets. Clever.

6:56: Finally … oh, okay, this is something new, copying is different, you can copy lots of things at once, they all run separately, you can stop one and let others go. Kind of like how you drop files in Skype, I guess. I bet that’s where MS got the idea. Okay, move along.

6:58: Is the desktop really just another metro app? I guess that’s one way to change the user experience.

6:59 I HATE IT WHEN REPORTERS APPLAUD. Reporters should not applaud at demos. Is it just me? Are there really fans in here? Maybe Microsoft plants. No matter how cool, stop it, stop it. Journalists should not applaud.

7:00 PT: Bill Gates used to always say everything was cool in his demos. Now it is “magical.” Magic. Any technology that is sufficiently advanced … how does that quote go … it looks like magic.

7:01: It looks nice, magic takes it a little far. Install it on every system — that’s the recommendation. A beta? I bet there’s some push back there. But the IT people …

7:02: “You can attach photos” from different sources, I’m a bit lost at that. At the same time? Why again?

7:03: There’s Charms again. That is such an un-Microsoft name, isn’t it. These words repeated over and over: Metro. Charms. Dock. Mobile.

7:04: Okay as she shows this, I want to make an aside — and a prediction. She is going to draw this out, show us everything we’ve already seen, end with a “one more thing” kind of Apple-y thing. It’ll be, my prediction, Tango — that’s Windows Phone 8. There has been no mention of that yet. No mention of Mobile IE 10 either. But we know it exists from the PDF MS snuck out to enterprise a few hours ago. Link to that below.

7:05 This demo hasn’t crashed yet. Remember when Gates used to always have crashy live demos. I wonder if this is pre-recorded. LOL. No, seriously. Someone should check.

7:06: AH, the money. How to get people to develop for the app store? You pay them. You pay them more than Apple. I said that. But it’s obvious that’s the plan — there is no mention of how much app developers will get. I’ll find out. We have tons of app developers here at aNewDomain.

7:07: Trying to “lure” small developers. This is going to be the trick. The developers I have interviewed at the App Show I host always say iOS, Android. So rare for them to say Windows. Small developers don’t have the resources.

7:07 Cut to tape. There’s Steven. Sinofsky. He’s the Windows chief. In many ways, he reminds me of Brad Silverberg, who used to be the head of Windows product years ago. Funny.

7:09: Ah wait, there is just one platform, one API. Well, good. That is where Apple is headed. That makes sense.

7:10: Games, people checking their messages now. Little games, lots of little ones, little built-in apps. Sigh. More cooking. I like cooking. But …

7:11: Finally some news. The store will “be open for business” before we know it. Soon. Soon. We know not when. Soon in MS lingo means in this quarter. You can tell I have covered MS too long, LOL LOL.

7:12: There’s a whole new term now. Preview. What? There is a preview level. But wait, Sinofsky is just biding his time. They all are. I am putting it out there — they are about to announce something, I believe Tango, I know for a fact the Consumer Preview for Business.

7:13: It’s pretty obvious that the need here is for apps. Well, I’m being kind here, it paid for Elop and Nokia, it should bribe app makers …

7:17 Sorry I fell asleep. Wait, what’s that. Windows on ARM. We knew this. I might go get some coffee and come back for the beef, no offense, guys.

7:18 OKAY FINALLY TEGRA, that’s the quad core, Qualcomm, TI – chips “to go to market with?” I guess in multiple phones everywhere. And tablets.

7:19 And NVIDIA. And Intel. Hey! I thought they broke up! Kidding.

7:20: No one has yet made a joke about the two Steves at Microsoft. Maybe that’s crass.

7:21: Welcome news for developers — develop for Intel 086 — x86 — and other chip, ARM, same thing. One process. And yes, I see.

7:22 This is the very last time I am going to quote MS saying the same UI across devices. We get it. Apple is doing it. MS is doing it. It is the thing to do. Like ADD. Sorry. I am just waiting for the Consumer Preview for Business info — and the Tango demo. Come on, now. I heard this would be long. It is now one hour.

7:23 This looks nice — I think so far it is a win. I kind of like the tiles. Everyone I know who has DP (dev preview) kinda likes them. But these are developers. What will your mom say? Wait? She’ll get a COOKbook. When did I get so sarcastic? It’s just I am waiting for something major.

7:24 FAST boot. That is cool. But again, that was announced in September. I even ran a video showing why that was.

7:25 I have to say I am very happy with Windows 7 and I carry an iPhone. I have to be the person — the kind of person — MS is attempting to lure here. More hardware. That’s so Microsoft. Microsoft on every clone. Good. But what did you expect, truly?

7:27 More hardware, let’s see, Lenova, Samsung, Acer, yep, Asia is covered .. and there’s the task man. Hey, hey, it’s the task man. Manager.

7:29 Same as it was in the Dev Preview, again we saw all that. But it’s good. Task Manager has needed a makeover since the Pleistocene.

7:30: Times like these I think, wow, am I so glad we have all these IT pros at To me, it is looking cool but the same. The thing interesting to me is the Business version with the HyperV built in. No mention of this. Maybe they are sticking with the consumer stuff and trying to start a whisper campaign with the PDF? PDF detailing Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business — for Enterprise — is linked to below and also in Ant Pruitt’s piece. Have you seen it?

7:32: Okay it’s an hour. Officially. Time to show something new. I am going to go see what the folks on Google+ think and send a message to the IT pros at

7:34: More hardware, big desktop, yes, and this is what MS told me last year, look at it on a desktop, it is not a post-PC era because you want a screen and a monitor. I agree. What they are going to have is a dock. Docking station. Will they announce it here?

7:35 They warned us this would go a long time. I don’t get it. People can’t read a 300 word story without getting bored anymore. But now they expect us to … ah, never mind. The big thing is coming. It must be. It must be.

7:36 I am going to stop typing until something new, really new, is announced. Coffee would be good. Did I mention there is a BUSINESS version of this thing MS quietly leaked in a PDF, one with enterprise features? Maybe MS fears that will bore people.

7:36 Do you know how many Microsoft demos I have seen in my life. There was a point in the 1990s where I had memorized parts of various executive speeches and I would move my lips as they spoke. This would thrill my photographer. This is back when people had photographers.

7:37 I think if I start live blogging this in Spanish, it will be mas interesante. Hey, wait, check out NFC support. That makes sense. Microsoft needs NFC, not for the speakers it is showing here, but to get into mobile payments, which is where the huge war is about to happen with Google. I’m just pointing that out. Remind me to write a piece on that.

7:38 I think any minute now the announcement of SkyDrive and Live Mesh integration will happen? Why? Because they are for some reason talking about storage. I remember when I worked at NC — NIC — Larry Ellison’s network computer company, Microsoft said the hard disk would always be the way Windows would go. Larry is smiling somewhere right now. I should call him.

7:40: We should all get Peet’s cards. (Peets is a coffee chain in San Francisco and elsewhere in the US).

7:41 THERE IT IS __ NEWS! Windows to Go. Did I render that correctly? Windows to go. Oh, I forgot to mention that the whole demo was done from a USB flash drive. EEPROM YAY.

7:42 HERE IT IS: Windows to go is an enterprise feature. Finally. Announcing the Consumer Preview for Business features. This is going to make me happy.

7:45 I am going to check now to see where the links are to download this puppy. Hey, probably the same place where you download the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 8 developer preview.

7:46 AW. Is this a wrap up? Developer preview to now, lots of new features, more stuff on IE 10 — no mention of IE 10 mobile, which is alluded to in the PDF MS released last night.

7:47: Okay that is a big number, didn’t catch that before. 10,000 new features. Ten thousand. Very few mentioned here, many more in the doc Microsoft posted.

7:48 AGH enterprise specific news will be at CeBIT. That’s the German tradeshow. Well, it doesn’t matter because most beans are spilled in that document from last night on Windows Consumer Preview for Business. What do you think? If you are an IT pro, please email me and let me know what you think!

7:50 And that is all she wrote. He wrote. So sneaky of Microsoft to release that document online. Something must’ve happened to make execs push this back.  I guess we’ll see. Looking for links.

Thanks for watching, if you did. We know one thing for certain — one thing it has not said — and we know it from Microsoft — there is a Windows Developer Preview for Business promoted on Microsoft’s site. Maybe they accidentally — it accidentally posted it. Is it still there?

Let me know what you think. Time to get some coffee! Adios!


Our editor and EIC Brian Burgess points to the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview for Business product guide. That link is live now with product information. Check it out. Ant Pruitt, one of our team’s IT pros did, and he has some commentary. Microsoft didn’t say it, but from its own docs, it is clear there are two versions of its Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview — one of them is a total surprise. Maybe it’s two skins. But the surprise is the business version. Our tech pro Ant Pruitt not only tells you it’s coming, he analyzes the PDF Microsoft slyly released a few hours ago and tells you eight things you should watch out for.

Earlier this morning, Google chair Eric Schmidt addressed the crowd — promising “an Android in every pocket.” He’s taking a page out of Bill Gates’ playbook with Gates’ famous “a PC on every desk, in every home” prediction of the 1980s.

Check out the coverage of the Microsoft Windows 8 Consumer Preview and Consumer Preview for Business here and at GroovyPost.