PastimesWindows 8

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To: zax who wrote (76)3/4/2012 8:45:43 AM
From: tktom
   of 357
This just might work.. I sure want a couple of players, and not just apple..

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To: FUBHO who wrote (82)3/4/2012 12:18:11 PM
From: zax
1 Recommendation   of 357
Very good video on Win 8. Really a must watch.

Consumer preview is really amazing. You cannot tell Cut the Rope (an html5/javascript game) from a native app. Especially cool is that everything in the store is free in the consumer preview, and there is quite a bit. :)

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From: Eric L3/6/2012 10:43:44 AM
   of 357
Windows 8 Support for Windows Phone: Not Yet ...

>> Windows 8 and the Windows Phone SDK

Larry Lieberman
The Windows Phone Developer Blog
March 5, 2012

With the exciting announcement last week of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, developers have installed Win 8 and are asking about support for the Windows Phone SDK on the preview release. I thought it was worth posting on the topic to share our plans for Windows 8 and Visual Studio “11” support.

The Windows Phone SDK and Windows 8 Consumer Preview

We know many of our software developers are excited and eager to get started using the consumer preview on a daily basis, but Windows 8 is still a preview release, which means that there are going to be instances of software incompatibility. One of these incompatibilities is unfortunately with the current Windows Phone SDK. The good news is we are working to address these issues and should have more information for you in the coming weeks.

There are three issues with running the Windows Phone SDK on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview:

XNA Game Studio. On an attempt at installing the Windows Phone SDK, the user will receive error messages with regard to components of the XNA tool chain. These components will fail to install on Windows 8; the workaround for this has been blogged about by Aaron Stebner.

Windows Phone Emulator. Windows 8 cannot currently run the Windows Phone emulator, which will make it very difficult to debug your code. There are two issues in addition to the simple fact that the emulator does not run on Windows 8, having to do with specific emulator functionality.

.NET 3.5. Capability.exe and slsvcutil.exe will not run on Win 8 unless you separately install .NET 3.5.

The Windows Phone SDK and Visual Studio “11” Developer Preview

Many folks have also noticed that the new preview release of next version of Visual Studio (the "Visual Studio 11 developer preview", available here) does not include support for developing Windows Phone applications. Rest assured, there absolutely will be support for building Windows Phone applications with the next version of Visual Studio by the time it RTMs. Prior to that, per the first point above, we will be enabling the Windows Phone SDK 7.1 on Windows 8 in the coming months.

Windows 8 is the culmination of many years of work at Microsoft across many different divisions, (including Windows Phone), to redefine how people interact with computing devices. We are hard at work ensuring that we deliver a cohesive and comprehensive application development story with Visual Studio that enables you to leverage your knowledge and skills to build applications for Windows and for Windows Phone, in as seamless a manner as possible. We hope you enjoy where we are going with this. ###

- Eric -

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To: FUBHO who wrote (78)3/6/2012 2:50:24 PM
From: zax
1 Recommendation   of 357
Visual Basic 11 Beta Available for Download!

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To: Eric L who wrote (85)3/6/2012 4:26:55 PM
From: Eric L
   of 357
Mary Jo Foley on Windows 8 Mobile Phones ...

>> Windows 8 Phones: Can Microsoft Catch Up?

Mary Jo Foley

Whether you're a Windows Phone fan or foe, most know Microsoft is behind the eight ball in this market.

The 'Softies have tried to bolster their smartphone standing in a number of ways -- everything from giving Nokia more than a billion dollars to push Windows Phone over Android, to shelling out bucks so big-name developers will port their apps. So far nothing has moved the needle in Microsoft's favor.

Microsoft has another trick up its sleeve: accelerating plans to unify the Windows and Windows Phone platforms. Originally, according to rumors, Microsoft wasn't expected to be able to create a common Windows and Windows Phone platform until Windows Phone 9. But it looks as though that grand unification plan is arriving sooner -- this year, in fact.

Microsoft isn't simply going for a shared look and feel between Windows and Windows Phone. The two platforms will also include common kernel elements (the core MinWin components), a common browser (Internet Explorer 10), the same CLR core, and possibly even the same programming framework (Windows Runtime, or WinRT). At this point, the WinRT piece of the story is still uncertain, but the other items are basically confirmed.

Beyond sharing key pieces, Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 are going to be more tightly integrated on the synchronization front. The process of saving, sharing and retrieving files, data and documents across the platforms via SkyDrive and other mechanisms will be tighter and more seamless. There will be new Companion apps to make Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 work better together by deeply integrating core services and experiences across the two platforms.

It's still not clear to me at this point in Windows 8 development whether the next version of Windows is going to be a big hit or not. The idea of running two environments side-by-side -- one with Metro tiles and the other with a more legacy-like desktop -- is unproven. We still don't know the final battery life, form-factor options and pricing for the coming Windows 8 family of machines. And at this relatively late date, assuming a fall Windows 8 launch, the developer story is still a murky work in progress.

But even if the riskiest Microsoft product bet ever -- as CEO Steve Ballmer acknowledged back in 2010 that Windows 8 would be -- isn't a home run, Microsoft will still likely sell millions of copies. And with just 1.5 percent or so of the global smartphone market share, Windows Phone needs all the help it can get -- especially from its sister OS.

After the debut of the Windows 8 tiled interface last year, more than a few Microsoft watchers, customers and partners thought Windows Phone might help sell Windows 8, given the similarity of the interfaces. As it turns out, we had it backward. Microsoft is instead hoping Windows 8 will bootstrap Windows Phone 8.

There are still a couple of big what-ifs in this bootstrapping scenario that might be solved by the time this column is published (though I kind of doubt it). First: Will there be a single Windows 8/Windows Phone 8 marketplace, similar to the way Apple offers a common iPhone/iPad place to buy? This seems like a no-brainer, plus a great way for Microsoft to instantly populate the Windows Store by the time Windows 8 launches. But no one at Microsoft has said officially and publicly whether this is the plan. On a related note, how much work will be required to get existing Windows Phone 7.x apps to run on Windows Phone 8, given its new kernel and possible new developer framework?

If the 'Softies can get these synergistic 8 platforms out in time for the holidays in 2012, maybe those of us who wished for Microsoft to put the Windows Phone OS on its tablets will be more on board with Microsoft's strategy of integration. Big risks can lead to big rewards. ###

- Eric -

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From: Eric L3/7/2012 10:58:27 AM
1 Recommendation   of 357
How to Dual Boot Windows 7 and Windows 8 ...

... detaled steps from EasusUS with options to use either Windows built-in disk manager OR EaseUS Partition Master Home Edition:

Here's how to dual boot Windows 8 with your current Windows 7 installation so you can run them both side by side. All you need to do is create a new partition for Windows 8, install it on that partition, and then edit your new boot menu so Windows 7 stays the default OS.

- Eric -

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From: zax3/8/2012 6:37:57 AM
   of 357
Technically speaking, I suppose this is off-topic.

Windows Embedded Standard 8 preview available to download, Microsoft details roadmap
By Sam Byfordon March 7, 2012 03:04 am

Microsoft has laid out its roadmap for the next version of Windows Embedded, with a preview of the standard version available to download now. Windows Embedded is the specialized version of the OS that you'll often see running in devices ranging from kiosks and ATMs to car dashboards and medical equipment. It looks like the next version will be labeled with the Windows 8 branding across the board, though it's officially being called Windows Embedded v.Next in Microsoft's press release. The enterprise version is set for release three months after Windows 8 becomes generally available, and the standard version will come six months after that. The new Embedded Compact, which is designed for smaller devices and has formed the basis of Windows Phone until now, will be out in the second half of 2012. This could provide a new direction for the company in areas where it has recently been lagging, such as rugged mobile devices used in industrial situations.

Windows Embedded Standard 8 is available to download now in Community Technology Preview form. The main improvements are the ability to create Metro style applications, touch interactions, enhanced Web functionality via Internet Explorer 10, NFC support, and enhancements to security. As with Windows 8 on tablets the new version of Embedded will eventually support ARM processors, which would make it a good fit for small-footprint devices, but the preview doesn't have this functionality right now. OEMs that currently use Windows Embedded will have been running on x86 or x64 systems, though, so the preview should play nicely with existing implementations.

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From: zax3/8/2012 6:46:49 AM
1 Recommendation   of 357
Windows 8 Tricks, Tips and Shortcuts
By Julio Franco on March 6, 2012

Windows 8 Consumer Preview cracked 1 million downloads shortly after launching last Wednesday and I'm sure many of you have tried it already. Whether you went with a dual-boot, upgrade, clean install or virtual machine, if you're coming from Windows 7 you'll notice significant changes immediately, while others may not be as obvious.

Inevitably, with change comes good and bad -- at least until you learn some tricks that get you back up to speed. I know I've been hitting my head against the wall when things don't behave the way they used to. The Start menu's absence is a perfect example of a radical change. Indeed, the duality of the OS may bring some trouble, but as skeptical as I was, I must admit Microsoft has done a pretty good job of easing many of my concerns.

Metro is undoubtedly very touch-oriented and perhaps a beginner's dream come true. For experienced users, it seems like Windows 8 still holds some promise. The devil is in the details, they say, so besides experimenting with a clean install I tried the upgrade option to see how well it worked. Going from a year-old Windows 7 install to the Consumer Preview was as seamless as you could ask for.

File copy dialogs, the task manager and search look better and work faster, and that adds up for an improved experience. I'm not loving Metro on my desktop since there's little I can currently do with the stock apps, but I wonder if that will be true once my most-used programs take full advantage of live tiles.

Without further ado, here's a shortlist of Windows 8 shortcuts and useful quick tricks I've gathered thus far.

Hot corners
The Start menu is no longer there, but there's a hot corner that makes up for it (unfortunately on multiple screens it's somewhat of a pain to use).

  • Lower-left corner + Left click Goes to the Start screen (Metro).
  • Lower-left corner + Right click Power user shortcut menu (Device Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, Power Options, etc.).
  • Upper-left corner Shows open window thumbnails, click to switch between them.
  • Upper screen limit + Click & Drag on desktop Move to left or right to snap the current desktop or Metro app to one side of the screen.
  • Lower-right corner Windows 8 Charm menu or Windows Aero Peak.
  • Upper-right corner Shows Windows 8 charm menu.

Left or right click on the lower-left corner and you'll be surprised with
a useful Windows orb replacement.

Keyboard shortcuts
Windows 8 is very hotkey-heavy, here are some of the shortcuts I find most useful:

  • Windows key Shows the new Start screen (Metro).
  • Win + type keyword Instant application search (same as in Windows 7).
  • Win + D Standard Windows desktop. Also minimizes/restores all open windows in desktop mode.
  • Win + Q Shows all installed apps.
  • Win + W Instant search for settings.
  • Win + F Instant search for files.
  • Win + I Settings sidebar (control panel, network, volume, brightness, notifications, and more).
  • Win + P Shows multi-monitor options, also useful for connecting an external monitor or projector.
  • Win + X Power user shortcut menu (Device Manager, Control Panel, Command Prompt, Power Options, etc.).
  • Win + Z Shows App Bar in Metro applications.
  • Win + . (period) Snaps the current Metro app to the right side of the screen. Do it twice and it will snap to the left.
  • Win + . (period) + Shift Snaps the current Metro app to the left side of the screen.
  • Win + J Switches focus between snapped Metro apps.
  • Win + Page Up / Down Moves full-screen Metro app to secondary monitor.
  • Win + Left / Right arrow Moves and snaps desktop applications in that direction, or to a different monitor.
  • Win + Tab Switches between open applications. Similar to using the left-upper hot corner with a mouse.
  • Win + L Locks Windows.

You can snap Metro apps or your desktop to the side and continue working on the center of the screen.
Another shortcut lets you switch focus between the two.

Showing all apps at once (Windows Phone style) and searching with a few keystrokes is
the Windows 8 equivalent to the old Programs menu.

Get the Start Menu back, orb and all!
Following user posts in our previous Windows 8 articles, I've seen some of you wanting to completely get rid of Metro and get the Windows 7 orb back. If that's the case I'd personally recommend you just stick to Windows 7, but if you already jumped ship there's a trick to do so as discussed on AskVG.

Updated: A second, improved alternative The clever folks at Stardock have released a piece of software called Start 8 that essentially adds a Start button to Windows 8's desktop mode. When you click on it you get a Metro-esque Start menu from where you can search and access other settings.

Remove that pesky wallpaper watermark
As we've seen on older betas, Windows 8 CP shows a wallpaper watermark indicating it's not a final build. The lock screen or Metro UI don't have any similar nagging reminder, and spending a majority of my time in the desktop mode, the message is tacky to say the least. Here's a solution I found circulating on a few forums:

  • Download this zip file and install the InstallTakeOwnership.reg registry file
  • Take Ownership from the shell32.dll.mui file located on C:\Windows\System32\en-US
  • Take Ownership from the basebrd.dll.mui file located on C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-US
  • Copy and replace the shell32.dll.mui from the Edited Files to C:\Windows\System32\en-US
  • Copy and replace the basebrd.dll.mui from the Edited Files to C:\Windows\Branding\Basebrd\en-US
  • Close the Windows Explorer window and open the Command Prompt with Administrator rights (remember that Win + X shortcut?)
  • Type mcbuilder, wait for it to finish and reboot.

Other quick tips
  • Drivers Windows 8 won't suffer the same fate Vista did with drivers. Most Windows 7 drivers will work just fine with the new OS. Nvidia advised GeForce owners to use the readily available 295.73 driver set, while AMD decided to release new Radeon drivers for the Consumer Preview.

  • Recalling storage space after setup Your mileage may vary with a Windows 7 upgrade. It worked great for me but remember this is still beta software. Anyway, if you upgraded you may want to restore files from the Windows.old directory which contains data from your older OS installation and other files used during the setup using the Disk Cleanup tool. Reminder #2: If you upgrade, you can't revert back to Windows 7.

You can recover a few gigabytes worth of storage space if you
clean up after a Windows 8 upgrade.

  • Upgrading to Windows 8 Windows 8 will offer a complete upgrade option from Windows 7, but the same won't be possible if you are using Vista or XP (or the current Consumer Preview for that matter). System requirements for Windows 8 are essentially the same as Windows 7 (which were similar to Vista), so most semi-modern hardware will run it just fine.

  • Metro notifications, turning some of those off Windows 8 encourages you to use a Microsoft account so you can take advantage of neat features like SkyDrive or syncing your OS settings across multiple PCs. However, it will also activate other things like the Messaging Metro app, which looks good, but becomes a nag if you are using a different IM client like Trillian or Pidgin. Windows 8 uses notifications that resembles those of Growl on OS X. You can fully manage, and deactivate the Messenger app notifications from the Settings menu.

Windows 8's notifications look good and serve a purpose, but you may want to be
selective about the programs that can interrupt your workflow.

  • Native screenshots in Win 8 Although using a third-party tool like Droplr remains the easiest way to grab and share a screenshot, Windows 8 finally adds a screenshot shortcut that doesn't require the snipping tool or another program where you can paste the taken image. Win + Prt Sc does the trick, saving a PNG image file on the Pictures folder.

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From: zax3/10/2012 5:13:29 PM
1 Recommendation   of 357
This article raises a lot more questions than it answers! One set of "walled-garden" rules for Metro apps, and one set of classically open rules for desktop apps... and now some third type of app can straddle this boundary??? Who decides what apps live in this space? Only web browsers??? What would make that type of app more special? Anti-trust concerns?

Microsoft to let Windows 8 web browsers play nice with Metro, Firefox version in the works
By Dante D'Orazio on March 10, 2012 04:27 pm

We previously heard that Mozilla was planning a Metro version of Firefox, and now developer Brian R. Bondy has announced that the company has begun work on it. While that's good for Firefox fans, the real news is that the program is going to belong to a new, third type of Windows 8 apps: "Metro style enabled desktop browsers." We're still trying to figure it all out (and we think Microsoft is too), but from what we understand, this new, third type is an exception to Microsoft's rules and lets traditional Windows web browsers participate in the Metro experience. The third category would co-exist alongside Windows 8's two current categories — one for apps in the traditional, Windows 7-like environment, and another for those that belong in Metro. Programs in the new category will be traditional desktop applications that are allowed to have live tiles on the new Start menu and will be compatible with Metro's app contracts and new snap features.

According to a Microsoft document that explains how to develop an application in the new style, a Metro style enabled desktop browser will be a single app that works in both the Windows and Metro environments. To date, two different Internet Explorer programs have existed on Windows 8: a Metro version and a traditional version, but it sounds like that will soon change. However, according to Microsoft, the Metro version of these apps will only function if the user sets the program as the default web browser. Microsoft says that the limitation is in place to create a consistent user experience — one Metro internet browser that opens all web links from Metro apps. Unlike the Metro apps we've seen so far, these new browsers will be distributed via traditional methods instead of the Windows Store.

The benefit for developers is that browsers that are built in the new app category will be able to use Win32 APIs that browsers need (like those for rendering HTML5 and performing multiple background processes) while fitting in with the Metro design philosophy. In theory, this should mean that such browsers will also be able to support Flash — something current Metro web browsers can't do. Microsoft is urging developers to include code in their software that will have the new browsers open in either Windows or Metro mode depending on what type of program you clicked a link from; so hopefully you won't have the jarring experience of opening a link in Outlook in Office 15 and then getting pushed out to a Metro web browser.

While the details aren't yet clear, it does sound like this new category of apps will make it easier for developers to create third-party web browsers that adhere to the Metro guidelines. If you're disappointed to hear that the new category is only available for web browsers, there is always hope that Microsoft might open it up to other apps down the road. We'll let you know when we learn more.

Thanks, Anonymous!

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From: Eric L3/15/2012 12:11:52 PM
   of 357
Fred Langa: Setting up a VPC VM to run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview

Fred provides a very detailed walk through of setting up Oracle’s free VirtualBox virtual PC (a VPC Virtual Machine) software to run the Win8 Preview and it is probably the approach I'll use when I get around to it..

>> Step by Step: How to safely test-drive Win8

Using safe, free virtual PC software [a VPC: in this case Oracle’s free VirtualBox], you can set up and run the Windows 8 Consumer Preview inside your current PC without affecting your other programs or your installed version of Windows.

Fred Langa
Windows Secrets | Top Story
March 14, 2012

This method lets you test-drive Windows 8 without having to make potentially risky changes to your current setup. There’s no need for dual-booting, special partitions, and so on. Setting up Windows 8 in a virtual PC requires numerous steps. I’ll take you through all of them, one by one, to help ensure that everything works right the first time. ... <snip rest: see article with numerous screenshots at link above>. ###

Note: Access to the article may require a Windows Secrets subscription (a modest donation) but I don't think so in this case. Windows Secrets is here:

- Eric -

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