Windows 8 is here and and Microsoft is holding a NYC event to tell its story. The new operating system provides support for older Windows apps, but also has the Windows RT offshoot for new, touch-friendly apps. Here’s our live blog of the event.


Microsoft is holding an New York City event to debut Windows 8 and we’re on-site ready for the show. The new operating system, along with a version called Windows RT for tablets, is a bold strategy for Microsoft as Google, Apple and others are gaining mindshare if not market share. My hope is that Microsoft offers a message today that provides compelling reasons to consider — or for some, reconsider — Windows as a platform and ecosystem. Stay tuned as the live blog is updated once the event begins!

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:14 am

And with that, Steve is gone and so is the presentation. Now it’s time for a Surface RT reception for some hands on time. I’ll have a Surface tablet review unit in a bit and will follow up with a first look video. Thanks for following along!

Tom Krazit October 25, 20129:13 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:12 am

Much of the message here is that this is “Windows reimagined”. There’s little direct comparison to Apple’s iPad or other tablets except where certain touch activities are involved. This is definitely a new device class that may not be a direct comparison to anything other than your old PC.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:11 am

Ballmer notes that 400m new PCs are expected to sell next year, showing the huge opportunity Microsoft has with Windows 8.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:10 am

Ballmer now talking about Windows Phone, the similarities and synchronization features that extend Windows 8. If folks like the Windows 8 user interface, I could see some try Windows Phone, provided the apps people want are available.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:09 am

Think AirPlay plus IMDB on a PC.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:08 am

With Microsoft SmartGlass you can control media on your Xbox and get additional information, such as actor biographies and such.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:07 am

“Skype on Windows 8: It’s fast, beautiful and designed to be always on,” according to Ballmer.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:06 am

“Internet Explorer is perfect for touch,” says Ballmer. I’ll be checking that claim given how much browsing I do on phones and tablets.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:04 am

Ballmer: “Microsoft is all in to make the Windows 8 vision a reality: Office, Bing, IE, MSN, SkyDrive, Skype, Xbox Music, Video and Games.”

Tom Krazit October 25, 20129:04 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:02 am

Ballmer says, “With Windows 8, we’ve brought together the best of both worlds. The PC and the tablet. Your work life and your home life.”

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:01 am

Ballmer notes that while desktop and laptop users will see benefit, there’s a new paradigm that Windows 8 is ready for: touch.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20129:00 am

“The experience is magical: sign in and it lights up with your life.” More pushing of the sync and services, which is key. The market is no longer about just hardware or software, but the entire experience.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:59 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:58 am

Ballmer notes that these machines are all “Alive with activity: Personal, Live tiles, your Microsoft account”.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:58 am

He reminds us that tonight at 12:01 am (that’s really tomorrow, Steve) you can buy Windows 8 devices.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:57 am

And it’s…. Steve Ballmer on stage!

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:56 am

A round of applause for the Microsoft Surface RT device.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:55 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:55 am

Here comes a closer look at the Windows RT devices. Lenovo Yoga, Dell XPS 10, and Samsung ATIV. More plugging of the “works with 420m hardware peripherals.”

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:54 am

Folks that have used Windows Phone will be right at home here in Windows 8; same user interface and app look, which is a good thing.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:53 am

Julie is highlighting some of the nicer looking apps: UrbanSpoon and Bing Travel. Easy to pin an app to the Start screen. Now she’s showing us her Jetpack Joyride skills. Go Julie!

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:51 am

The new Snap feature is pretty slick: One window to watch a video while live notifications update in a smaller second, interactive window.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:50 am

Number of Windows Store apps have doubled in the past few weeks, says Mike. Still no mention of how many apps.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:49 am

Julie is now talking about Windows 8 scalability: from small tablets to a large Dell all-in-one desktop; the same touch experience is consistent throughout.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:49 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:47 am

Windows 8 reconnects to Wi-Fi in about 1 second on average after waking; for Windows 7 it was 15 seconds. Smart metric to highlight.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:47 am

Mike now showing digital inking on an Lenovo tablet. Handy for those that need it (said the former Microsoft Tablet PC user)

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:46 am

More than 1,000 systems now certified for Windows 8, so plenty of PC choices.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:45 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:45 am

SkyDrive can sync files between PCs, tablets, Windows Phone and Xbox. Mike says. Again: all about the ecosystem.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:44 am

Talking up the Save to SkyDrive service now, which looks very nicely integrated.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:43 am

Moving the mouse to the bottom left corner of the screen shows all the running apps for multi-tasking: Reminds me of the Android 4.0 method – a bunch of stacked images showing the apps.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:42 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:42 am

Mike is getting applause: “This Windows 7 PC upgraded to Windows 8 boots 30 percent faster!”

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:42 am

30 million tracks available in Xbox Music.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:41 am

Wow, they’re flying through the services: Xbox Music and then Xbox Live. Blink and you miss it!

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:41 am

Demonstrating 10 point multi-touch, which could bring some interesting new apps.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:40 am

Julie is showing the ease of switching through Live Tiles on the Start screen while Mike is being a little devil: he’s going to change Juiie’s lock-screen background.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:39 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:38 am

Now on stage: Mike Anguilo and Julie Larson-Green to show off some hardware, starting with Windows 7 upgrades.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:37 am

The message I’m hearing: RT offers the benefits of Microsoft’s Windows ecosystem from a hardware and services standpoint. From an app perspective, not so much.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:36 am

Windows RT works with 420,000,000 devices, Sinofsky says. He’s alluding to various Windows peripherals here.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:35 am

Now let’s talk Windows RT. It includes Office 2013. He’s noting that it won’t run traditional Windows apps; how will this message get to consumers, I wonder?

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:34 am

Sinofsky is alluding to the potential lack of apps. “We know folks will hit the store to see if their favorite app is there.” But he says developer interest is huge and at the store’s opening will have more apps than any other app store when it opened. (How many, Steven? How many?!?)

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:32 am

New Windows Store for apps will be available in 231 markets.

Tom Krazit October 25, 20128:31 am

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:30 am

New Ultrabooks with touch displays are getting a little attention now.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:30 am

Every Windows 8 PC comes with an onscreen “how-to” to help people adjust to the new interface, says Sinofsky. I’ll be taking a look at that later today because some are concerned abut the learning curve.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:29 am

Sinofsky is playing up the touch-ability of Windows 8, giving rise to new device form factors and traditional notebooks with touch displays.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:28 am

Wow: Windows 8 was tested in public for over 1.24 billion hours!

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:27 am

Windows 8 upgrades will help performance: faster cold boot times and a reduction in memory use by up to 21 percent.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:26 am

Windows is redesigned from the chipset to the experience, says Sinofsky.

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:25 am

Services are important too: SkyDrive now has 200 million users. (Yup, it’s about the ecosystem.)

Kevin C. Tofel October 25, 20128:25 am

Steven Sinofsky is on stage to start us up. 1 billion people using Windows now; Windows 8 is for the next billion users.

  1. Is it just me, or does this demo look like the Home Shopping Network?

    1. Joel McLaughlin Thursday, October 25, 2012

      LOL! FUNNY!

    2. Yes it does and I will say what no one else wants to say;

      It’s a sad day for Windows and its a sad day for Microsoft. RIP Win 8

  2. Alejandro Ortiz Thursday, October 25, 2012

    Wow….Microsoft presentation demos look like crap ……very copied from Apple…..Apple’s product are some much better …..and reliable……. Once again Microsoft miss it by 3 years…..

  3. I was impressed by the presentation, and with the product, it oozes quality. I will wait for the full version on my next laptop.

    1. So, you’re a Microsoft employee?

  4. I found it very tough to use.


  5. yeah its even cheaper you can activate and purchase windows 8 pro for only $39 from http://www.windows8save.com

    I remember in 2009 how huge windows 7 was so really your blog makes sense.

  6. Here’s an unboxing of the Acer Windows Tablet: http://techblog.tv/acer-iconia-w700-windows-8-tablet-unboxing/


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